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Natural Instinct’s Guide to a Healthy Christmas Dinner for Your Dog or Cat!

By Kate Bendix; broadcaster, journalist, founder of My Itchy Dog 1 month ago 528 Views

I don’t know about you but I’m going full After Eights this year. They’re so moreish I can only have them in the house as a magnificent treat at Christmas. Otherwise I’d be a type 2 diabetic by Valentine’s day.

Luckily for me Nikita only likes a nibble on a digestive or plain cake, but only when she can get it and that’s about four times a year. I can trust her not to bother with anything else. Which is a good thing because if she snaffled my After Eights A – We would have to have words, and B – she could get seriously sick.

So here is my guide to Christmas food your dog must avoid and foods to embrace this Christmas.

The Christmas foods that can make your dog seriously ill

I’m sure you’ve heard this all before but for those of you new to this dog lark here’s a list of the Christmas foods you should never feed your dog, in order of toxicity and why:

  • Christmas cake, Christmas pudding
    Both contain raisins and other dried fruit. Raisin toxicity is well known in dogs and yet no one knows why. Small amounts can be fatal. It’s estimated that it only takes six raisins per kg of bodyweight to kill a dog. How many raisins do you think are in your pudding?

  • Grapes
    See above. Grapes have the same toxicity as raisins and, again, no one knows why.
  • Chocolate
    Chocolate contains theobromine. The darker the chocolate the more theobromine it contains. In small amounts your dog will get an upset tummy and the runs. In large amounts we’re talking muscle tremors, seizures, internal bleeding, irregular heartbeat and heart attack.

    The onset of poisoning is usually severe hyperactivity. Get your dog to the vet immediately. You only need 25g of chocolate to poison a 25kg dog. That’s three squares of Lindt 70%. Really nothing at all.

    So, keep them away from selection boxes, chocolate tree decorations, Quality Street, the Ferrero Rocher (so cheap you can’t even re-gift it) and your Lindor.
  • Alcohol
    Not the worst thing in the world but I’d certainly make sure uncle Brian doesn’t leave his drink on the floor when he settles down for his post Christmas blowout snooze.

    Most dogs don’t like the taste of alcohol and will only take a sip. But the sweeter, fruitier drinks are far more appealing in flavour so definitely watch those.

    It’s the ethanol contained in the alcohol that does the damage, so the stronger the drink the higher the ethanol content.

    Dogs have a hard time processing alcohol it puts a lots of strain on their kidneys and liver. Essentially they get drunk in the same way we do. You might notice an upset tummy, wobbling, lethargy and a need to drink more water.

    The good news is they won’t start telling really bad jokes, say they don’t care what anyone else says, you’re OK, or make inappropriate moves on Sheila from next door.

    If they’ve only drunk a little, lower alcohol drink, beer for example, let them sleep it off but keep an eye on them. If they’ve consumed a lot it’s straight to the vet. They might need to be rehydrated if nothing else.

So what can I feed my dog for Christmas dinner?

No one wants to leave their best friend out of all the festivities on Christmas day and there’s no reason why you should, it’s just a matter of choosing the food that’s right for them.

Dinner

For Christmas dinner I’d go for Natural Instinct’s Limited Edition Christmas Feast containing 75% turkey followed by carrot, liver and a full range of fruit and veg safe to eat.

Boredom and anxiety

If you’ve got a crowd coming over your dog needs a safe place to retreat from all the milling about, especially from small grabby children.

Dogs de-stress by chewing. It’s one of the reasons they shred cushions and furniture. Chewing also relieves boredom, another reason you come home to decimated upholstery.

If you can stick them out in the garden or a place inside you can clean the floor afterwards go for a Lamb Spine, a Turkey Neck or a Chicken Carcass.

Play bones are a great idea too. Natural Instinct stock them in small and large sizes meaning your dog can while away the hours nibbling at any meat left on the bone and teasing out the marrow within, oblivious to the chaos in the other room.

Treats

And just for being good, or to give a guest a treat to feed the dog, luckily Natural Instinct offer a selection of delicious dehydrated raw ones too. I’d go for Organic Chicken Hearts, Liver Treats or cut up Lamb Lites. Whitebait is another good one.

Don’t forget to subtract these from their daily ration though otherwise your dog is going to end up like the rest of us after Christmas, 5% heavier and full of post Christmas regret.

Happy Christmas lovelies, party hats are a go!

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