Why you shouldn’t feed your dog any leftover Christmas dinner

We’ve all been there: you eat up your delicious Christmas lunch — from the juicy turkey meat to the roasted parsnips and everything in-between — and despite eating until you’re stuffed, you still end up with plenty of leftovers, both on your plate and in your oven. In the generous and jolly spirit of Christmas, it’s tempting to pass on some of those leftovers to your beloved family dog, but experts have warned that feeding dogs Christmas dinner leftovers is something best avoided.

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According to Tyla, who spoke to Dr Suzanne Moyer, Burgess Pet Care’s in-house vet, there is a pretty extensive list of foods you should avoid giving your pet. Festive favourites such as pigs in blankets, mince pies and stuffing can all cause potential harm to a dog, from vomiting to even seizures in more serious cases.

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Got leftovers from your plate of food on the day? Avoid handing these down to your pup at all costs, says Dr Moyer. ‘The meat may have been cooked with gravy, seasoning, nuts and herbs – which can be poisonous to pets, causing tremors, seizures and damage to the central nervous system.’

‘This includes pigs in blankets which are high in fat and salt so not suitable for your dogs, cats or other pets.’

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However, it’s not just meat and other roast dinner components that should be kept to humans. The full list is as follows:

  • Turkey skin
  • Pigs in blankets
  • Oysters and fish
  • Leftover cooked meat
  • Gravy (seasoning such as herbs)
  • Nuts
  • Turkey or chicken bones
  • Stuffing and nut roasts
  • Raisins and currants
  • Mince pies
  • Christmas cake or Christmas pudding
  • Chocolate
dog at table
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As you can see, desserts are also best to keep from animals, particularly if they contain chocolate (which is known to be dangerous to dogs) or any kind of currant. ‘Hidden dried fruit, sultanas, currants, raisins and nuts in our favourite festive foods, such as Christmas pudding, cake and mince pies, can be toxic and cause fatal kidney problems for dogs,’ Dr Moyer told the publication. 

Instead of feeding dogs Christmas dinner, there are plenty of dog-friendly treats you can pick up for a little festive treat for your pup, so stick to those to be safe.