As members of the family, we want to share all the excitement with our dogs too. Although many think the odd titbit won’t do any harm, dogs and food on Christmas Day can be an accident waiting to happen. That’s why we’re here to give you advice around feeding your dog Christmas dinner.
What to watch out for:
- Festive foods that contain raisins as they are toxic to dogs
- Chocolate which can cause an often-fatal allergic reaction
- Cheese boards which can be very tempting to dogs, but grapes are toxic, and rich cheese in large quantities can cause digestive havoc
What we recommend:
- Keep to your dog’s normal routine as much as possible and ensuring they’re well exercised before guests arrive
- Stick to their regular food and mealtimes to minimise any stress or risk of a tummy upset
- Warm any visitors not to feed scraps and to be careful with what they might leave around the house that your dog could sniff out
What could cause a dog to have a ‘tummy’ reaction to Christmas dinner?
Every dog is an individual and some have more sensitive tummies than others. Dogs fed a highly processed kibble diet are more likely to have an upset tummy after consuming Christmas leftovers. In the same way as when you eat a healthy salad after eating fast food on the go, the fresh ingredients can trigger a ‘cleansing’ effect. But no one wants that cleansing effect on the carpet, especially on Christmas Day!
Dogs fed a biologically appropriate raw dog food diet like Poppy’s Picnic will easily digest fresh ingredients like cooked turkey meat as their digestive systems are healthy and acidic. One of the effects of a kibble-based diet is that its non-species appropriate ingredients like barley, maize or rice accumulates in a pro-inflammatory effect, which makes a dog’s digestive system unhealthy and alkaline and can cause them to have a reaction.
Can I prepare my dog his own Christmas Dinner?
There is no harm in preparing a special version of your Christmas dinner for your dog. Keep it simple and use lean turkey meat to comprise 80 per cent of the bowl, add a few seasonal veggies like a finely chopped Brussels sprout. Add a tiny amount of sausage and bacon, but avoid any stuffing, gravy and no bread sauce! It is important to factor this meal into your dog’s calorie allowance for the day, as it’s easy to pile on those extra pounds over Christmas.
Consider investing in a slow-feeder bowl to make dinnertime last longer. Even entertain your dog through the day using an interactive toy like a KONG. Stuffing it with lean turkey meat and veggies will keep them busy as they work hard to release the food.
Alternatively, if you’ve got quite enough on in terms of preparations, feed them some Poppy’s Picnic COMPLETE Turkey Mince, a tail-waggingly delicious and seasonal meal that is perfectly balanced and simple to serve.
Anna Webb – Broadcaster, Author, has studied natural nutrition and therapies with the College of Integrated Veterinary Therapies (CIVT). She lives in London and is owned by Prudence a Miniature Bull Terrier and Mr Binks, a re-homed English Toy Terrier. www.annawebb.co.uk