For many of us, the holidays can be a cornucopia of delicious foods. There areelaborate dinners full of all different side dishes and carefully prepared main entrees, desserts that include everything from pies to cookies to special cakes, and festive drinks like hot chocolate, eggnog, and mulled wine. It’s definitely a very tasty time of the year! Your dog sees it that way too — the only difference is that there are only a few holiday foods your dog is allowed to eat that won’t put them in danger, whereas you can probably enjoy most of them.
A Christmas dinner spread might look appetizing to your pup, but you’ll want to keep an extra close eye on them to make sure they don’t sneak anything they aren’t supposed to have. The holidays are full of foods that can make your dog sick or have very serious consequences. Dogs should avoid any food made with nutmeg (so, gingerbread is definitely out), dishes that include a lot of garlic and onions (don’t let them near the stuffing), anything made with grapes, raisins, or raw yeast (no fruitcake for them!), sweets made with xylitol (like candy canes), and, of course, any kind of alcohol. And that’s not even everything they should be avoiding!
So what can your dog eat during the holiday season if you want to give them a festive treat? There are a few things they should be safe to chow down on, although you’ll want to check with your vet if they have any health issues or food allergies.
Having a big turkey for your holiday dinner? It’s OK to share a bite with your dog, but there are rules. Only give them the white meat, and try to avoid fatty skin. It’s also not a good idea to give them the bones, which can be a choking hazard and even puncture their intestines. Also, don’t cover that turkey in gravy, which can be too rich for your dogs stomach.
2. Green Beans
Green beans are a popular side dish on the holidays, and luckily for your dog, they can eat them too. According to American Kennel Club, they can be a great source of plant fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, and manganese for your dog. But again, there are rules: only give them plain green beans — not green bean casserole, or green beans smothered in butter or garlic. And make sure you cut them up instead of giving them huge pieces.
3. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes, another popular holiday dish, are also healthy for your pup. They are an excellent source of dietary fiber and contain lots of vitamins, and plain sweet potatoes can promote healthy skin, coat, eyes, nerves, and muscles. But again, keep them on the plain side. Candied yams are not a good idea.
Pumpkin is often served during the holidays, and it’s OK for your dog to get in on the craze. You don’t want to give them a piece of pumpkin pie (especially if it’s made with nutmeg, as it often is), but you could give them some canned or raw pumpkin.
If you’re going for a roasted chicken instead of a turkey, your pup is in luck: they can definitely eat cooked chicken. Just make sure you remove it from the bone, as dogs shouldn’t have chicken bones, and don’t let them eat it raw (they could get salmonella).
Potatoes are another veggie that are good for your dog. If you’re making mashed potatoes, set some plain ones aside before mixing in butter, sour cream, or any garlic or anything like that.