With Christmas just around the corner, it's that time of the year again of food, cheers, presents and sharing, and for those with dogs, lots of barks too. In line with the spirit of Christmas, food, sharing and your dogs would inevitably be something hard to avoid. We understand - it can be hard to resist handing over a tidbit or two of what you are having to your dog when they're sporting those pleading puppy dog eyes. You like it, your dog likes it too, but is it really safe for them? To keep the cheers and barks going throughout Christmas, read on for what foods would be alright and what would not for your dog.
The NO list of foods you should not feed your dog
Raisins are sweet and awesome to us in moderation as raisins are packed with energy and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are however very toxic to dogs, and just a few will cause problems for small dog breeds. Be aware that raisins can also come mixed in with other dried fruits and nuts. Some other Christmas foods that may contain raisins are puddings and fruitcakes too.
Bones are bad for dogs! It may look cute in cartoons but bones are a big no. Every year countless numbers of dogs end up in the emergency room from being given bones by their owners, usually as a treat. The fact is that dogs are omnivores, not carnivores and most dogs cannot tolerate bones. They can splinter or lodge in the intestinal tract with disastrous results, usually requiring surgery. They can also get stuck in their mouth or throat, which is just as dangerous. All bones are bad, including pork, chicken and beef.
Ham and other salty meats and foods are very dangerous to dogs. In addition to being high in fat, they are also very salty which can cause serious stomach ache or pancreatitis. Also, large breeds of dogs that eat salty food may drink too much water and develop a life-threatening condition called "bloat".
Ah.... chocolate. That food of total sensory pleasure. For us chocolate is a guilty pleasure. We crave it because it tastes wonderful and sweet. But chocolate can be lethal to pets because it contains theobromine, which causes increased heart rate, central nervous system stimulation and constriction of arteries. Clinical symptoms range from vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, and excitability to cardiac failure, seizures and death. This can occur as quickly as four to six hours after ingestion. Baking chocolate is the worst because it contains the highest amount of theobromine.
Approximately one pound of milk chocolate is poisonous to a 20-pound dog; one-half pound for a 10-pound dog. The average chocolate bar contains 2 to 3 ounces of milk chocolate. It would take 2-3 candy bars to poison a 10 pound dog. Semi-sweet chocolate has a similar toxic level. If your pet has gotten into chocolate you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
It doesn't take much alcohol to intoxicate a pet. Animals will stagger and bump into things, hurting themselves, and it also causes them to urinate uncontrollably. In high doses, alcohol will suppress the central nervous, respiratory and cardiac systems and can lead to death. It is best to just give your pet water. So keep your dogs away from that eggnog, which coincidentally also contains our next dangerous foods, milk, which makes for a dangerous combination.
With all that eggnog on the loose during Christmas, you really should not be offering any to your four legged best friend. One of the ingredients of eggnog is milk, and while milk may not be toxic (the alcohol in eggnog IS however), some dogs have no problems digesting milk and dairy products, but others experience acute intestinal distress, like gas, diarrhea or vomiting, whenever they consume these kinds of foods.
It all comes down to how your dog handles a specific nutrient found in milk, a nutrient known as lactose. this inability to digest milk is infamously known as lactose intolerance. And it’s the same lactose intolerance so many humans suffer from every day.
So, if you’ve ever noticed your dog developing gas or loose stools after having milk, there’s a good chance your pet may be suffering from this condition. To stay on the safe side, simply avoid milk altogether.
The OK list of foods that you can feed your dog
Cranberries, in both fresh and dried forms are safe to feed to dogs in small amounts. As mentioned above, be careful that raisins may come mixed in with them and are toxic to dogs, so keep an eye out for it.
Vegetables such as carrots, turnip, parsnips and broccoli are usually a staple served alongside a Christmas turkey roast. These are a sampling of vegetables that are safe for dogs. Turnips can be a great treat for your dog. Turnips can be served dehydrated, baked, mashed, or raw. Dogs can safely have parsnips too. Not only are they safe for dogs to have, they are really healthy as well. However, it's very important to only feed small amounts of turnips or parsnips to your dog. If you do that, these root vegetables can be really beneficial to your dog
Broccoli is also a good source of fibre, calcium, beta-carotene, folate, and vitamins A and C. It is also low in calories with just 34 calories per 100g serving. You can feed broccoli raw, cooked, or frozen.
No Christmas is complete without roast turkey, as its the highlight of every Christmas dinner spread. It is perfectly alright to handout turkey meat (do your dog a favor and remove the bones) to your dog as a treat. Some other types of poultry such as chicken or roast beef that are served during a Christmas dinner are also fine for most dogs, with the exception of ham and other salty meats. Do note however, dogs may be allergic to certain kinds of meat on an individual basis so if you notice symptoms such as non-seasonal itching that may involve the whole body or be focused on the ears and feet, chronic or recurrent ear and skin infections you might want to refrain from offering these meats to your dogs. Some dogs may even develop vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive gassiness.
With these information in hand we hope you will have the most joyful Christmas with lots of uninterrupted happy cheers and barks. PetBacker wishes a very Merry Christmas to you and your four legged friend!