Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year; warm cosy fires, twinkling lights, mulled wine and delicious food!
But the chocolate selection boxes, mince pies, rum truffles and other seasonal treats, while great for us, are not usually good for our four-legged friends. Some could even prove fatal if wolfed down by dogs.
Foods to be mindful of with your dog
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To help keep dogs safe over the festive period, know which foods may pose a risk to them, as no-one wants a trip to the vets.
These popular Christmas treats are ones to be wary of:
Chocolate -Contains theobromine and caffeine which are dangerous to dogs.
Sweets (e.g. candy canes) – May contain the artificial sweetener xylitol which is toxic to dogs.
Mince pies – Often contain, raisins or sultanas which are harmful to dogs.
Stuffing – May contain onions or garlic which can damage red blood cells.
Cooked bones – Can splinter and cause internal damage.
Roast potatoes – If cooked in poultry fat or oil, they can be too high in fat for dogs.
Christmas cake or Christmas pudding – May contain raisins or sultanas which are harmful to dogs.
What else could be a hazard to dogs at Christmas?
It’s not just the ‘edible’ foods that we need to think about, we also need to consider the inedible objects that still might tempt our pets.
Glass tree decorations, wrapping paper, small plastic cracker toys (to name just a few) can look like tempting chew toys or snacks to some dogs.
Unfortunately, if these are ingested they may pose a choking hazard, or could splinter into sharp pieces and cause internal damage.
Store toys and delicate decorations up high, and make sure to throw any discarded wrapping paper away as soon as possible.
We love them - so must look after them:
Foods your dog may enjoy
While tucking into a home-cooked roast, it's common to look down to a beseeching pair of deep brown eyes, willing us to share our plate.
While there are many foods our dogs cannot eat over the festive season, it doesn’t mean to say they should be excluded from all celebrations. This list is of foods that are healthy treats for your dog in small amounts:
Brussel sprouts (boiled)
Carrots (can be raw)
Broccoli (can be raw)
Cooked, plain chicken or turkey meat (lean with no skin or bones)
Top tip: put these foods on to a separate plate and put aside for your dog. That way, they can be picked up as dog treats by family or friends.
It’s important that you don’t add sauces, salt, gravy or fat to the above ingredients as this may make your dog unwell.
Please also note that while these treats may be ok for a healthy dog, they may not be appropriate for dogs with a medical condition or intolerances. If you are unsure, check with your vet first.
Just like us, dogs can be prone to putting on a few extra pounds as a result of more treats over Christmas. It’s all too tempting to give your dog a little extra as we indulge at this time of the year.
However, treats should always be given in moderation and be in accordance with the exercise output of your dog.
All the above advice comes from Zoe Russell, nutritional officer at Skinners. The Skinners' Get Out and Go! range has been formulated to help aid dogs’ exercise and recovery, with ingredients such as salmon and salmon oil to aid healthy joints and skin.