A Canine Holiday Feast: What your dog can and can't eat

A Canine Holiday Feast: What your dog can and can't eat

The holiday season is a time for joy, celebration, and of course, delicious meals. As you gather around the table for your Holiday feast, it's natural to want to share the love with your dog. While some festive foods can be enjoyed by your dog, it's crucial to be aware of what's safe and what's off-limits. Also, for many of you, you would like to know what the benefits of some of these foods for your dog are.  In this guide, we'll explore the canine-friendly delights that can make your dog's holidays a special one, along with a list of foods to keep away from your pup.

Turkey: A Protein-Packed Delight

A holiday dinner wouldn't be complete without a succulent turkey at the center of the table. The good news is that your dog can partake in the festive bird too! Turkey is an excellent source of lean protein, providing essential amino acids for muscle health like tryptophan. Turkey under Traditional Chinese Medicine is also considered to be a cooling food. So, if you have a wild dog (also known as a fire dog), having turkey in their diet will help complement that fiery personality.

Suggestions on preparation: make sure that you remove skin and bones before sharing with your dog. Skins are very high in fat and will likely irritate your dog’s GI system so its best just keep it out. Cooked bones have the chance to splinter which can cause difficulties with digesting or could cause a blockage. We recommend that all bones are raw if going to serve bones to your pup.

Sweet Potatoes: A Nutrient-Rich Side Dish

Sweet potatoes are a nutritious and dog-friendly addition to your Holiday dinner. Packed with vitamins A and C, as well as fiber, sweet potatoes can be a tasty treat for your furry friend. Because sweet potatoes are a nutrient packed starch, your dog does not require that much of this food.

Suggestions on preparation: Cook them without added sugars, spices, or butter to ensure they're safe and healthy for your dog. What we do is roast our sweet potatoes, then add our delicious seasonings when we are mashing after. This way, everyone gets to enjoy!

Green Beans: Crunchy and Full of Fiber

Green beans are a low-calorie, high-fiber vegetable that can be a great addition to your dog's Holiday plate. They provide a satisfying crunch and are rich in vitamins (B6, A, C, and K), minerals (iron and calcium), and antioxidants.

Suggestions on preparation: Like sweet potatoes, lets hold off on the butter and spices. Steam your green beans and then cut these bad boys into bite sizes pieces for your pup.

Cranberries: She’s a Superfood

Cranberries, in moderation, can be a safe and flavorful addition to your dog's holiday meal. They are rich in antioxidants, which can help prevent diseases and boost your dog’s immune system. Proanthocyanidins protect your dog’s teeth by preventing plaque and tartar buildup. Quercetin contributes to preventing food allergy symptoms and inflammation. Additionally, cranberries are filled with soluble fibre which can help with digestion.

Suggestions on preparation: Cranberry sauces must be handmade and sugar free if we are sharing with our puppy. Canned cranberry sauces can contain toxic ingredients like xylitol so best to be prepared homemade.

Now, let's discuss the foods that should be kept away from your canine companion during holiday dinner:

Chocolate: A Festive Treat for You, Toxic for Them

Chocolate is a classic holiday season indulgence, but it's a big no-no for dogs. The theobromine content in chocolate can be toxic to dogs and lead to serious health issues. Keep all chocolate-based treats, desserts, and decorations out of your dog's reach.

Alternative: dogs can safely consume a chocolate alternative, carob. It does not contain Theobromine which makes it perfectly safe for pups.

Bones: Not Always a Dog's Best Friend

While a bone might seem like a natural treat for your dog, cooked bones can splinter and cause serious injuries. Avoid giving your dog turkey or ham bones, as these can pose a choking hazard or lead to intestinal blockages.

Alternative: try raw meaty bones from a pet store or the butcher. Fun fact, raw bones have a  perfect ratio of calcium to phosphorus that a dog requires.

Onions and Garlic: Flavorful but Harmful

Onions and garlic, common ingredients in many holiday dishes, contain compounds that can damage a dog's red blood cells and cause anemia. Keep foods seasoned with these ingredients away from your dog's bowl. Sadly this eliminates the option to give your pup stuffing/dressing.

Alternative: you can sprinkle some herbs on your dog’s food like parsley or rosemary to give some flavour that are completely safe for dogs.

This Holiday Season, make sure to share the festive spirit responsibly with your canine companion. By incorporating safe and nutritious foods into their holiday meal, you can create lasting memories without compromising their health. Remember to always check with your veterinarian if you have any doubts about whether a specific food is safe for your dog. Wishing you and your furry friend a joyous and safe holiday season!


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