Let’s all just take a breather, shall we?
It’s been a long couple weeks of prepping the house for Thanksgiving, double checking recipes, and slaving over hot stoves to feed our loved ones.
But before you start preparing your second holiday meal, take a second and ask yourself: what are the dogs going to eat on Christmas?
Are you just going to dribble some gravy on their food and call it a day? Or are there better, heartier foods that Fido can enjoy this holiday season?
We’ll cover all that and more in this short blog below!
Quick facts about safe & healthy food for your dogs at Christmas
- Sweet potatoes, apples, pumpkin, turkey, and green beans are all wonderful foods to feed your dog at Christmas so long as you leave off the seasonings.
- Any food that’s high in salt, fat, or spice is a no-go for feeding to your dog – even if it is Christmas!
- There’s a recipe for a nutritious, tasty treat that you can quickly whip up for your dog at the bottom of this blog
Safe foods for dogs to eat on Christmas
Apples are a common ingredient in many of our favorite Christmas recipes including apple pie and stuffing. While neither of those dishes are dog-friendly, apple slices on their own definitely are! Apples contain heavy concentrations of vitamins A and C and also present a great source of fiber for your dog. Vitamin A is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that aids vital functions such as vision, bone growth and maintenance, and immune response in dogs. Vitamin C, on the other hand, is an important antioxidant which is important for reducing inflammation and cognitive aging.
Boneless, skinless turkey meat
Make sure your dog is nearby when you read this next sentence: dogs can have leftover turkey without any issue. All that you need to do is ensure that you only feed you dog boneless, skinless turkey meat that hasn’t been seasoned. Not only is turkey high in protein and low in calories, but it also contains essential nutrients like magnesium and phosphorus, both of which are essential for maintaining healthy fur and skin.
Green beans are almost unreasonably good for dogs (though not when served in casserole form). They offer a substantial source of plant fiber and manganese, as well as vitamins C and K. Vitamin K is especially important for older dogs, as it assists in the creation of proteins needed for blood to clot. Likewise, manganese is vital for maintaining the health and structure of dogs’ bone cartilage and joints. As with sweet potatoes and turkey, the key to feeding green beans for dogs is to only serve unseasoned raw green beans.
The facts are… every dog care blog talks about the benefits of pumpkin for dogs – there’s a lot to digest here…pardon the pun! Not only is pumpkin packed full of natural fiber that aids digestion, but it’s also a great source of vitamins A, C, and E. Pumpkin also contains a substantial amount of iron and potassium, both of which aid in functions of the heart. Specifically, iron helps carry oxygen throughout the body while potassium helps power the heart’s electrical charges. However, pumpkin should only be given to dogs a few tablespoons at a time to minimize the chance for an upset stomach.
Similar to pumpkin, sweet potatoes offer dogs a tremendous amount of dietary fiber in each serving, as well as a healthy portion of vitamins B and C. Sweet potatoes’ dietary fiber not only assists the GI tract with digesting food, but also can help relieve upset stomachs. Additionally, sweet potatoes are rich in tons of minerals including calcium, potassium, and iron. Best of all, serving sweet potatoes to dogs is relatively easy: just boil or steam them for 15 to 20 minutes without any seasoning or salt, and voila! You’ve got a healthy snack for your furry friend ready to go.
Foods To Avoiding Feeding Your Dogs at Christmas
Turkey Skin, Bones, and Drippings
Look, we can’t help the truth: dogs should not be eating turkey skin, turkey bones, or turkey drippings. Though these might be the cornerstones of a tasty bird to us, they can also be hazardous to dogs. Turkey skin and drippings are high in fat which, if consumed in large enough quantities, can cause inflammation to the pancreas. Equally unfortunate is that turkey bones, like chicken bones, can splinter and present a choking hazard. Additionally, while we might crave a well-seasoned turkey, eating too many spices or too much salt can cause sodium ion poisoning in dogs.
First no good turkey, and now? no stuffing at all? That’s right. While stuffing might be the best dish on the table no questions asked, it can also be problematic for your pooch. Why? Simple: all of the ingredients that make it good are bad for your dog’s digestive system. Sage? Bad for dogs. Onions and garlic? Bad for dogs. Smoked sausage? Terribly and unfortunately bad for dogs. As much as it might seem harmless to just sneak your dog a morsel of stuffing from the table, it’s best not to risk it.
Garlic and Onion
Remember how we just said that onions and garlic being bad for dogs is why they couldn’t have stuffing? Well, it’s true: onions and garlic are really bad for dogs. The reason for this is because onions and garlic – like leeks and chives – belong to the Allium species of vegetable. The Allium species are all toxic to dogs as they can cause red blood cells to break down, as well as the liver. Worryingly, vets haven’t yet determined how many onions dogs can eat before being poisoned. Nevertheless, it’s best not to risk it and refrain from giving your dog any amount of onions or garlic this holiday season.
What was that about sugar, spice, and everything nice? Well, as it turns out, some of our favorite holiday spices – like nutmeg – aren’t safe for our pups! Nutmeg is rich in a substance known as myristicin which can cause psychotropic effects in dogs including hallucinations, elevated heart rates, and even seizures. However, given that nutmeg is typically used sparingly in dishes, most pets are not at risk of developing myristicin poisoning.
Look we can’t front as a company based in America, we love our butter. We just don’t love what high-fat foods like butter do to our dogs! Same as with turkey skin and drippings, butter is very high in fat which can put unnecessary strain on our dog’s pancreas. If Fido gets into enough butter, he can eat enough to cause a potentially life-threatening condition known as pancreatitis. Now, it takes a lot of butter to harm a dog, but it still isn’t worth it to go handing your dog a buttery piece of bread in case they’re sensitive to high amounts of fat.
Here’s a recipe to make your dogs for Christmas
Sure, you could just give your dogs a few spoonfuls of sweet potatoes, green beans, and a hunk of turkey meat. But is that really a meal fit for a holiday? Instead, whip up this quick, easy meal for your dog on Christmas! Not only will they get lots of beneficial nutrients out of this meal, but they’ll also go to sleep knowing for sure they made it onto the Nice list this year.
Turkey and Veggie Dog Food
- 2 lbs of lean (80/20) ground turkey
- 2 tablespoons of finely diced chicken breast meat
- 2 roughly chopped medium carrots
- 1 cup of diced raw green beans
- 1 cup of whole cauliflower florets
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Add 1 ½ cups of water to a double boiler before placing vegetables in a steam basket over the pot, then cover. Heat the water until boiling before reducing heat to a medium simmer. Steam the veggies for 10 minutes, or until tender.
- While your water is boiling, chop your vegetables. Then, add the turkey and chicken meat to a large, unoiled skillet. Raise the temperature to medium-high, making sure to skim off any excess fat in the process. Add your chopped vegetables to the meat in the skillet.
- Add your olive oil to your turkey and veggie mixture, frying only for a few seconds before taking off the heat. Once cooled to room temperature. Save some for a few meals and freeze the rest in meal size portions. Now you are ready to defrost them at leisure, at a future point, to make Fido’s day!!
So, now you know what foods to feed your dog on Christmas. We wish you and the rest of your fur family a very happy holiday. We also hope that you’ll come back and read more from our blog in the New Year. After all, there’s always more things to learn about how to keep your four-legged friend happy and healthy! For example, why not start your year off with a refresher on how to keep your dog’s ears clean (and your vet bills low)? Or explore some of our more quirky titles such as how long can a dog go without peeing or how to take care of pesky dog eye boogers.
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