Whether you like gifting your dog their own wrapped-up presents, dressing them up in a cute festive bow tie or preparing them their own Christmas dinner, if your four-legged friend is having a good time, it really can make the festive period feel perfect.
But while we sit down to our delicious turkey dinners and decadent desserts, it’s important to remind ourselves that not every Christmas treat is designed to be suitable for our dogs.
Pet food company Tails.com warns that there are a number of festive dishes that you should not share with your pooch, no matter how eager they are to have a bite. The nutritional experts share advice on what to do if your dog has eaten any of them.
Chocolate. As you probably already know, chocolate is highly toxic for dogs as they are physically incapable of metabolizing it. Chocolate can cause your dog to experience an increased heart rate and it can also cause unwanted stress on your furry friends’ kidneys and nervous system. If your dog eats even a small amount of chocolate, you should arrange an immediate appointment with your veterinarian, and in the meantime monitor their behavior very closely for any symptoms or sickness.
Long-abandoned Leftovers. We know that our pups love to sniff out forgotten scraps days after Christmas has passed. But when food gets left for too long it can become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria, with bread, meat and dairy products being particularly susceptible. If you plan on keeping any leftovers, make sure to keep them out of reach from your pet and no longer than 24 hours or the recommended amount of time on the product’s packaging.
Skin and Bones. While it is fine to feed your dog small portions of leftover turkey, it is important to keep your pooch away from the skin and bones of the bird. Turkey skin is far too fatty for your pooch and eating greasy foods like this can lead to pancreatic issues and obesity, especially in smaller dogs. Not only that, but meat bones are a potential choking hazard for your dog and can cause internal damage to their organs, as they are too hard to digest properly.
Onions, Garlic, Shallots and Leeks. While onions, garlic, shallots and leeks are tasty for us humans on Christmas day, they all belong to the allium plant family, which are poisonous to dogs. Foods like onions and garlic contain a chemical compound called thiosulfate which can be toxic for dogs as it causes damage to their red blood cells and can result in them becoming anemic.
Nuts. Nuts are a popular festive treat, but they can be extremely harmful to your dog as a lot of them are fatty. Even small amounts can cause your pooch to experience diarrhea, vomiting and weakness in their hind legs, or in the worst-case scenario may even lead to pancreatitis.
If your dog has consumed a large number of nuts and appears to be showing symptoms, then you are advised to seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.
We’ve compiled several dog-friendly (and safe) recipes for the season in the Northwest edition of our Holiday-Winter Issue. Click here to request your copy today (it’s FREE!).
about the author
Brandie Ahlgren is founder and editor of CityDog Magazine. She, and her team of dog-loving editors, dig up the best places for you to sit, stay and play with your four-legged friends. Brandie, 12-year-old boxer Thya and Mexican foster failure Pancho, reside in West Seattle and can often be found hanging out at Westcrest Dog Park.