It was the night before Christmas and all through the house...

...were lots and lots of foods that could be harmful to your pets!

Christmas is a magical time - spending time with family and friends, giving and receiving gifts, and, of course, all of that lovely food! And not just for us humans either - what dog or cat doesn't appreciate some leftovers from the Christmas table?!

But while lots of Christmas foods are fine for our four-legged friends, it's very important to remember that many are not and some can be outright dangerous so be sure to make a mental note of what foods can and cannot be fed to Fido this festive season.

DON’TS

There are a number of festive foods that can be very harmful or even life threatening if eaten by our pets so make sure everyone in your house knows not to give the pets any of the following:

  • Chocolate
  • Grapes and raisins (so no Christmas pudding, mince pies etc)
  • Onions, leek and garlic (so no stuffing)
  • Cooked bones
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Xylotol (which is found in a lot of candies)

Gravy, turkey/chicken skin and foods like custard should also be avoided as they contain very high levels of salt, fat and/or sugar.

DON’T over do it

Too much of anything, even good foods, can quickly cause upsets so be sure not to go overboard. As a general rule, try not to feed more than 10-15% of your pet's daily ration as leftovers, treats or other additions and when you do, make sure you offset it with a similar reduction of their normal food to prevent overloading their system.

DO’S

But it's not all bah humbug! If you avoid the above list and keep things in moderation, then there's no reason your pets can't enjoy Christmas dinner as much as you do. Many leftovers, fed in reasonable amounts, are not only fine but can provide your pets with a wide range of beneficial nutrients:

  • Meat is always good (take care to remove any bones from cooked meats)
  • Cooked vegetables like carrots, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, runner beans, swede, peas are all excellent for dogs and cats (if they'll eat them!)
  • And top it all off with a little leftover cranberry sauce for those C vitamins! Yummy!

Wishing you and your pets a very Merry Christmas!