The Christmas Treat Cheat Sheet: Good Food & Toxic Food for Pets
Pudding, chocolate and ham…just a few of our favourite things at Christmas time!
It can be very tempting to sneak a treat under the table to your furry family members during the festive season. However, certain foods that we love to indulge in can actually be harmful to our buddies. Here’s what you should refrain from sharing not only at Christmas time, but all year round.
The Naughty List:
The following is a list of bad food for pets:
The cacao seeds that give chocolate its delicious qualities also contain a compound called theobromine, which is toxic to cats and dogs and, if consumed, cause serious illness or death. Symptoms of toxicity can take 6-12 hours so if you suspect your buddy has been scavenging, call your vet immediately for further diagnosis and treatment.
- Raisins and grapes
Yes, this does include your Christmas pudding! The raisins and grapes found in pudding can be fatally toxic to dogs, even in small quantities!
Ingestion of onions can contribute to stomach upsets and even cause Anaemia.
- Under-cooked meat
Just like humans, your pets can suffer the effects of eating under-cooked meat, which can contain e-coli and other bacterial dangers.
- Pork, bacon and ham
Some pork products contain a high amount of fat, which can lead to illnesses like pancreatitis. Statistics actually show an increase of pancreatitis cases in dogs at Christmas time!
- Cooked Bones
These are danger as they tend to splinter when chewed by dogs, causing damage to their teeth, mouth, throat and intestines (not to mention their high calorie content!).
While it may seem obvious, allowing our pets to consume any alcohol is dangerous. It can cause alcohol toxicity and even seizures.
- Milk and dairy products
It may surprise many to learn that dogs' bodies weren't designed to process dairy. Consuming dairy can cause stomach upsets, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Loaded with sugar and even worse for our pets than they can be for us, lollies can disrupt your pets’ metabolism and when consumed in high amounts, can even cause diabetes.
- Christmas ornaments
So they aren't technically a food, but you know what our furry friends can be like! Keep an eye on your pets around the Christmas decorations and try placing décor in high places, out of their reach.
The Nice List:
The following is a list of safe food for pets that they can enjoy in moderation:
- Leftover beef and chicken
As long as it’s de-boned, this leftover meat can be a delicious treat. Be sure to feed in moderation and without any of the food on the ‘naughty’ list.
- Fruit and veggies
Small amounts of apples, oranges, bananas and watermelon are all healthy treats for our dogs at Christmas (especially when it’s kept in the fridge and given on a hot day!). Just ensure all the seeds are removed first, and avoid stone fruits. Carrot sticks, green beans, cucumber, pumpkin and zucchini are also wonderful snack option.
Christmas dinner tip
Limit the chances of your buddy being fed from the table by removing them from the area whenever you’re eating. Pop your pet outside or in another room while you’re enjoying your meal, to avoid the temptation of sneaking them a morsel. Doing this will also reduce the chance of your pet picking up bad habits, like begging at your feet any time you bring dinner to the table!
NOTE If your canine pal has been placed on a prescription diet by their veterinarian that restricts them from eating certain foods outside the diet, please follow the vet's guidelines.