Christmas Dinner Dos and Don’ts for Dogs

Dec 17, 2021
Dog with Santa hat

Many dog owners include their canine companions in all the family festivities, and this often involves a share in the delicious Christmas dinner. However, there are many food items in the Christmas meal which if consumed, can be dangerous for your dog. At DogBonding, we have highlighted the Christmas dinner dos and don’ts for your dog.

Christmas Dinner – Starters

Dogs have very sensitive stomachs, and you must be very careful what you feed them over the festive period. Traditionally in the UK, a Christmas starter may generally consist of food items such as prawns, pate, or smoked salmon. Although fish is high in Omega 3 and fine for your dog to consume in small amounts, it is generally not recommended as they can upset your pet’s digestion. Raw fish such as uncooked prawns and salmon can have all kinds of bacteria, including salmonella and listeria, as well as parasites and viruses. It is always advised not to feed your dog anything raw and cook all fish thoroughly before feeding them.

Christmas Dinner - Mains


Christmas would not be Christmas without a turkey! Your canine companion can enjoy turkey in small amounts but make sure that the meat is boneless, skinless and without gravy and other marinades added which can upset your dog’s stomach.  

Roast Potatoes

Fluffy roast potatoes are the essential side for any Christmas dinner. If you are considering feeding your dog roast potatoes, then make sure you do so in small quantities. Roast potatoes are very starchy and can have butter and salt added to them which can give your pets an upset stomach, so make sure you reserve some roast potatoes that are plain and cooked through. An issue arises when the potatoes are raw as they contain solanine, a compound that is toxic to some dogs. However, cooking a potato reduces the levels of solanine.

Winter Vegetables

Winter vegetables such as roasted carrots, peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, and parsnips are packed with important vitamins, along with potassium, which is good for a dog's muscles, nerves, and kidneys. Their fibre can also help dogs stay regular. Swedes and other root vegetables are high in antioxidants. Your fury friend can safely eat these vegetables whether they are raw or cooked. Make sure you wash off any excess butter or oil before giving them to your pet and always serve them in small amounts.

Bulb Vegetables

Bulb vegetables such as onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, and chives are all hazardous to dogs owing to an ingredient that can harm their red blood cells and cause anaemia. Similarly, Christmas stuffing can often include both garlic and onion so avoid feeding this to your dog as well. Another bulb vegetable like rhubarb can also be very toxic to dogs if consumed in large amounts. To ensure your dog’s safety, it is best to avoid these bulb vegetables altogether this December.

Pigs in Blankets

For many families in the UK, a traditional Christmas just would not be complete without the classic tasty side order of pigs in blankets. Perhaps one of the tastiest sides at a Christmas dinner, pigs in blankets are also extremely high in fat, salt and therefore far too rich for a dog’s stomach. Foods high in fat can cause pancreatitis in dogs, so should be avoided.

Cooked Bones

Avoid giving your dog cooked bones of any kind this Christmas. Cooked bones become very brittle, and they can splinter into shards if consumed by your pet.

Chocolate and Sweets

Especially hazardous for dogs, chocolate includes a substance known as theobromine and when consumed in large amounts can be lethal. Be particularly cautious if you have advent calendars because dogs can often get inside the windows and consume the hidden chocolates and sweets.  

Dried Fruits

Particularly toxic for dogs, even if consumed in small amounts, these fruits can cause your canine companions to encounter sickness, looseness of the bowels and in some cases kidney failure. Food items such as mince pies, Christmas pudding and even fruit cake include some of these dried fruits not to mention alcohol, so try your best to keep them out of your dog’s reach over the festive period.

Closing Thoughts…

We hope you found this article helpful. Hopefully, these Christmas dinner dos and don’ts will enable you to give your dog the perfect Christmas meal that does not put their health at risk. If you have enlisted in our online puppy training programme, then please let us know what food items you used in your dog friendly Christmas dinner this year, in the comments below.

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