Dog mums and dads are often more than willing to slip their pup a little bit of whatever they’re eating, especially come Christmastime.
However, while it might be tempting, there are some festive foods that you should never feed your dog – and mince pies, fruit cake and gravy are on the list.
Caroline explained: “Christmas isn’t just a holiday for humans anymore but our pets too, and we all like to treat ourselves over the festive period, but it’s important we know what’s good and bad for our pets’ health.”
Top of the naughty list for Christmas foods are raisins and sultanas, which are found in numerous festive bakes.
These are thought to be toxic to our canine companions thanks to the flavonoids, monosaccharides and tannins found in grapes, which are difficult for dogs to metabolise and can cause kidney damage.
Unfortunately, these ingredients also rule out mince pies and Christmas pudding, two popular festive desserts.
Fruit cake is likewise toxic to dogs due to the raisins and sultanas it often contains, as well as its very high density of carbohydrates, which are ‘super difficult’ for our four-legged friends to digest.
In addition, while other sweet treats like chocolate might be popular with humans at Christmastime, this is a ‘definite no-no’ for dogs.
That’s because it contains theobromine, another toxic substance that is hard to metabolise.
However, it’s worth noting that the level of toxicity depends on the darkness and concentration of the cacao – a quality 85 per cent dark chocolate bar is far more dangerous than a single milk chocolate M&M.
As for savoury festive foods, dog owners need to be careful of several Christmas dinner components as well.
Onions, for example, contain a substance called N-propyl disulfide that is toxic to dogs, and can lead to the breakdown of their red blood cells.
This means you need to avoid giving them any roasted onions, as well as any sauces or broths containing them, gravy included.
Other members of the Alliaceae family, such as garlic, are likewise toxic, and best excluded from your dog’s diet – find out why on TeamDogs.
In addition, whatever meat you opt for this Christmas, whether that’s beef, ham, turkey or something else, be sure not to give your pup any cooked bones.
Unlike in their raw form, these are brittle and easily fragment into sharp shards, which can get stuck in your dog’s throat, stomach, or intestines.
Last but not least, pets should absolutely not engage in any Christmas drinking, so be sure to watch out for any spillages that they might lick up.
In severe cases, alcohol can cause your dog’s body temperature to drop leading to them experiencing low blood sugar and falling into a coma.
Symptoms of alcohol consumption in dogs can be similar to that in humans, with them likely to become wobbly, drowsy and in some cases, wanting a fuss.
You should take your dog to the vet immediately if you believe they have eaten any of these foods or drinks.
Luckily, though, there are still ways you can treat your pup this Christmas, such as giving them a nibble of skinless and boneless turkey, with the fat removed, or vegetables like peas, carrots or broccoli.
Alternatively, instead of giving your dog a cooked bone, Caroline suggests a non-weight-bearing raw meaty bone.
That said, it’s best to stick to their regular diet as closely as possible.
She added to TeamDogs : “The safest bet is to stick to your raw food diet and if you like, which many of us do, pop in some leftover turkey for their next meal as a treat, minus any bones!”
Alternatively, for the month of December, Bella & Duke has also launched a Turkey and Cranberry meal – a special edition Christmas dinner equivalent for your dog.
Bella & Duke is a Scottish-based premium raw pet food subscription company.