What can your pet eat from your Christmas dinner? The safe and dangerous festive foods for dogs and cats

22 December 2020, 12:19 | Updated: 23 December 2020, 09:43

This is what you should feed your pets at Christmas
This is what you should feed your pets at Christmas. Picture: Getty Images

Here’s what you should and shouldn’t be feeding your pets this Christmas.

While we’re tucking into roast dinners, mince pies and chocolates this year, it can be hard to resist giving your furry friend a few Christmas treats.

But even though you don’t want them to miss out on the festive fun, some Yuletide foods can be harmful to your cats and dogs.

Pets at Home has revealed a list of all the human foods that are dangerous to your pets, along with the things they are safe to nibble on.

Turkey or chicken bones is dangerous to pets
Turkey or chicken bones is dangerous to pets. Picture: Getty Images

What can you feed your cats and dogs at Christmas?

Turkey - only boneless, skinless, white meat, as the dark meat can be far too rich for them.

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Cranberry sauce - it must be pure cranberry sauce with no sweeteners, sugars or other fruit added.

Potatoes - if you want your furry friend to join in on the roast dinner, you can feed them plain mashed or boiled potatoes with nothing else - such as butter or salt - added.

However, they should only eat potatoes in moderation as the starch can be difficult to digest.

Vegetables - feel free to feed your pet small amounts of carrot, peas, Brussel’s sprouts and parsnips.

Remember not to add butter or seasoning and avoid bulb vegetables such as onions and leeks.

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What should you not feed your cats and dogs at Christmas?

Turkey or chicken skin and bones - whether they are raw or cooked, bones are hollow so are a severe choking hazard. The skin is also way too fatty.

Gravy – this is often too salty and fatty for your family pet.

Onions – contain compounds called disulfides and thiosulphates which can be toxic for cats and dogs if ingested.

Stuffing – often contains onions (see above) and herbs and spices, which may result in stomach upsets.

Pigs in blankets – again, while these little parcels are loved by humans, they are too fatty and salty.

Bread sauce – a firm favourite over the festive period, the lactose in bread sauce is difficult for pets to digest.

Pets can only eat boneless, skinless, white meat from a turkey
Pets can only eat boneless, skinless, white meat from a turkey. Picture: Getty Images

Grapes, raisins, currants, sultanas - when it comes to desserts, avoid anything with currants even in small amounts.

Owners should seek help from a vet if their pet accidentally eats these foods.

Christmas pudding and cake – full of raisins, currants, and sultanas, this can be dangerous.

Chocolate – chocolate contains Theobromine, which can be fatal to pets even in small doses.

Nuts – macadamia nuts and walnuts are toxic to dogs, and salted peanuts won’t do your pet any favours, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.

Candy canes – full of sugar and sweeteners, these treats aren’t good for pets.