Can you feed a dog Christmas dinner? Items not to feed your pets from the Christmas dinner leftovers

While many of us might want to treat our dogs to a piece of Christmas dinner, there are some food items that are unsafe and toxic for our four-legged friends to eat.
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The holiday season is here and as the family gathers for the yearly Christmas dinner, it might be tempting to treat your pets to a snack as the leftovers start to pile up. But while us humans may eat our own body weight in turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce,  there are some items that our four-legged friends should avoid.

While many vets advise against giving your dog a full Christmas dinner as it may unbalance their diet and make them expect a similar treat every time roast is on the menu, giving them a small treat will most likely be appreciated. And as most pooches see even the smallest bite as a generous treat, letting them try a plain boneless bit of turkey won’t cause any harm.

According to People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), of the many items on the Christmas menu, some of the ‘dog-safe’ foods are white turkey meat (but make sure it is bone free), mashed carrots and swedes, carrots and parsnips, green beans, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, peas and cauliflower. Do however make sure that anything your dog eats is as plain as possible and not covered in glaze or oil.

And while foods like pigs in blankets, roast potatoes, bacon and cheese sauces aren’t necessarily bad for dogs, they are very high in calories and fat and could upset their stomach. Christmas is always a bit messy but none of us want one THAT messy.

There are however some items on the Christmas menu that our barking friends should absolutely avoid feeding your dog. Onions, garlic, leeks and shallots are all toxic to dogs, so make sure nothing that they get to taste contains them. Same goes for alcohol, chocolate, mincemeat, currants, raisins and sultanas.

Any meat offered should be completely boneless, and despite being a typical feature in films and cartoons, dogs should not be allowed bones of any kind. It is also recommended to be careful with items like gravy and stuffing as they can contain toxic ingredients that make for an unpleasant Christmas.

Safe and unsafe Christmas dinner foods for dogs

Dog-safe foods off the Christmas menu if kept plain:

Can you feed a dog Christmas dinner? Items not to feed your pets from the Christmas dinner leftoversCan you feed a dog Christmas dinner? Items not to feed your pets from the Christmas dinner leftovers
Can you feed a dog Christmas dinner? Items not to feed your pets from the Christmas dinner leftovers
  • White turkey meat (boneless)
  • Carrot and swede mash (ensure it is free from onion and butter)
  • Carrots and parsnips
  • Green beans, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, peas
  • Cauliflower

Christmas foods not to feed your dog:

  • Bones
  • Onions, garlic, leeks and shallots
  • Mincemeat, currants, raisins and sultanas 
  • Alcohol and chocolate