As we all sit around the table on Christmas Day, we just know that those little eyes will be watching… and longing… for their fair share of delicious Christmas food. And can you blame them? Christmas Dinner is a huge part of the day, all of our favourite foods, piled (far too) high, with all the trimmings to match. So, how can you include your four-legged family members in this special and tasty part of the festivities?
Some human food can be dangerous to dogs – leftover treats are not only high in calories but can also give them an upset stomach. Some things that we eat can be toxic to our dogs too.
Nonetheless, if you would like to involve your dog in the Christmas Dinner tradition, here are our 5 top tips to ensure you don’t overindulge your furry friend.
1. Keep an eye on portion size
If you are giving your dog a food treat, make sure you don’t give them too much. A small portion of human food is a big treat to your dog so try to resist serving them a full dinner.
You should always feed your dog the appropriate amount of food for their size and weight. With this in mind, be sure to balance out their meals for the rest of the day, cutting down on portion sizes to ensure calorie intake remains balanced.
2. It’s all about timing
If you, like many, have worked hard to ensure your dog stays away from the dinner table during mealtimes, make Christmas Day no exception. Resist feeding them tit bits during your own meal and instead, put anything you prepare for them aside, for once you have finished eating.
Alternatively, they can enjoy their Christmas lunch at the same time as you, but in a separate space, where they usually eat. By doing this they can take part in the Christmas tradition, without having to use the power of their begging eyes.
3. What is safe?
- Lean parts of the white turkey meat
- Carrot and/or swede mash (plain)
- Plain boiled or raw carrots
- Plain boiled parsnips
- Plain boiled or steamed green beans, Brussel sprouts, broccoli and/or peas (peas can also be mashed).
- Plain boiled, wilted or raw spinach
- Plain cooked cauliflower.
4. What is dangerous to your dog?
Bones. Bones can be a choking hazard and if swallowed, can also cause a gut blockage. Don’t be fooled into thinking a cooked bone is safer – these are in fact more likely to splinter.
Foods that are toxic include:
- Onions and garlic (including anything with an onion or garlic sauce, think gravy, stuffing and bread sauce)
- Leeks and shallots
- Mincemeat, currants, raisins and sultanas
Any food or drink containing alcohol can also be dangerous for dogs.
5. An alternative Christmas treat.
As tempting as a tasty treat can be, your dog will also be happy with a new squeaky toy, content cuddling a new plush companion or entertained with a new doggy boredom buster.
Don’t feel like including them in your Christmas Dinner is the be all of everything. They will have their pack around them all day and will be more than happy with a big fuss from you all and a family winter walk or two. It’s the time we spend together that makes Christmas so special.
We know it is a slightly different Christmas this year. We sincerely hope that you and your furry family members enjoy the festive season. Merry Christmas from us all here at Vitalin.