Christmas is certainly a time of indulgence – mince pies, mulled wine, roasted chestnuts… the list goes on!
High streets up and down the country are adorned with Christmas goodies and shelves are stacked high with brightly-coloured treats in festive swathes. And, let’s be honest, after the year we’ve had why shouldn’t we indulge!
So go on, have an extra portion, pour another glass and treat yourself.
But, what about our four-legged friends?
Just like every other department, the dog treat section at Christmas is often packed full of festive dog treats, toys and accessories. Everything you need to keep pooch happy… or perhaps not!
Unfortunately, Christmas is a dangerous time for our pets.
Firstly, let’s tackle the cheap, awful ‘treats’ sold by some shops.
Avoid Raw Hide Chews
Remember our blog post on rawhide treats – if not, do your dog a favour and have a read here.
As you’ll see, this stuff is evil – unfortunately, however, at Christmas, there are countless options for a Christmas-themed rawhide chew.
As educated pet owners knowing what you know about them, you’ll probably never buy one ever again. The trouble is often friends or family members wanting to spoil your pet at Christmas – so they’ll do what they think is a good thing and buy them one of these chews.
If you know someone likely to want to spoil your pet at Christmas, it’s a good idea to tell family and friends what’s suitable and what’s not suitable as a treat.
As well as rawhide chews there are lots of other unhealthy, cheap treats available at Christmas for dogs. Our best advice is only to buy natural treats that are made from 100% meat – if it’s cheap, there’s a reason for it!
We only sell 100% natural dog treats – see our range here
Christmas Foods Poisonous to Dogs
It’s not just animal treats that put pets at risk during Christmas – there are lots of poisonous foods for dogs that feature at Christmas.
Advent calendars, chocolate figurines, Christmas tree decorations and chocolate tins are the most-common items devoured by dogs at Christmas. Make sure these are out of reach of pets.
Chocolate contains theobromine, a stimulant similar to caffeine, which can cause vomiting, increased heart rate, agitation and seizures in dogs.
Once cooked, the bones are susceptible to splintering and in large quantities cause constipation or at worst, perforation of the throat and gut which can be fatal.
Be careful when giving them leftovers that all bones are removed.
Raisins are one of the most-mentioned toxic foods for dogs as they can cause kidney failure. Just one raisin can be severely toxic for a dog so whether fresh or as an ingredient in a bun, fruit loaf or mince pie, these are very, very dangerous for dogs.
Never give your dog Christmas pudding or cake.
Macadamia nuts can cause dogs to experience weakness, depression, tremors, vomiting and increased body temperature as they contain a toxin that can affect your dog’s muscles and nervous system.
This can also include swollen limbs and excessive panting.
Many stuffings contain onions and/or garlic, whether in powdered or fresh form. This can kill your dog’s red blood cells and cause anaemia and food poisoning.
Signs may include weakness, vomiting and troubles with breathing.
Giving your dog a sip of your beer or wine may seem like a little harmless fun, but it’s really not a good idea!
Alcohol in dogs can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, coordination problems, central nervous system depression, tremors, breathing problems, coma and even death!
We all love a bit of gravy on our roast dinner and lots of people give their dogs scraps without thinking it’s bad for them. Whilst tasty, gravy is high in salt so should be avoided.
Symptoms include high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes and many other health problems.
So what can you give them at Christmas?
- Turkey, chicken, beef, pork meat (no bones)
- Brussel sprouts
- Mash potato (best without additional butter)
- New potatoes
- Sweet potatoes
If you’re concerned about giving them something at Christmas, always best to err on the side of caution and just don’t give it to them.
If you having any questions relating to your dog’s diet, or if you would like to discuss how our food could potentially help your dog, please get in touch.