Christmas is the perfect time for getting together with your loved ones, trading gifts, and reveling in some winter magic. It’s also a great occasion for spoiling your four-pawed best friend.
Putting on a dog-friendly Christmas movie could be a nice touch, and asking Santa to leave a squeaky toy or a flashy new collar under the tree is sure to make a good impression, too.
As an extra seasonal treat, some people also choose to cook up a canine-friendly storm. If that’s something you’d like to explore, here are some tips.
Everyone loves a home-baked treat (once they’re cool enough to eat!)
Whatever other great gifts you’re getting your dog this Christmas, you can be sure they’re going to throw a grateful tail wag your way if you whip them up a delicious baked treat.
The problem with most Christmas cookies and other seasonal snacks, is that they’re likely to contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs and should be strictly avoided.
Luckily, there are some great recipes for dog-friendly home-baked treats out there, like this one from the ASCPA.
Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Treats (with xylitol-free peanut butter only)
- 2 ½ cups of oat flour
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¾ cup of pumpkin puree
- 3 tbsp peanut butter (make certain it’s xylitol free, as xylitol is toxic to dogs)
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Combine ingredients well
- Roll out ½ thick and cut individual biscuits with cookie cutter
- Lay out on greased cookie sheet and bake for 40 minutes or until crunchy
- Allow to cool completely before letting your pup enjoy!
- Keep for up to one week in a sealed container
Festive foods to keep far away from your dog
The recipe above is perfectly pup-friendly. But not all Yuletide treats are. In fact, many of our favorite festive foods are downright dangerous for dogs.
Here’s a reminder of some common offenders to keep far away from your four-pawed friend:
- Chocolate – very toxic to dogs, primarily due to the stimulant theobromine (dark chocolate and products containing cocoa powder, such as chocolate cake or cookies, are the most toxic to dogs)
- Cinnamon – not toxic, but high quantities may lead to diarrhea, vomiting and irritation of the mouth
- Xylitol – found in certain brands of peanut butter, some sauces and spreads, and various other products, xylitol is highly toxic to dogs
- Almonds – not toxic, but can be a choking hazard for dogs. Also high in fat and can cause digestive issues
- Macadamia nuts – poisonous to dogs. Can cause vomiting, weakness, difficulty walking, and elevated body temperature
- Grapes and raisins – potentially toxic. Can cause an upset stomach and serious kidney problems
Remember that even if you’re not directly feeding these foods to your dog, they’re still likely to be included in lots of classic Christmas treats. If in doubt, keep those festive delights far from the reach of curious paws.
The dog who ate a whole Christmas cake
John Davies, one of the co-founders of Lintbells, home of YuMOVE, knows something about the dangers letting a dog get too close to the Christmas goodies.
Several years ago, the family’s chocolate lab, Tasha, managed to eat an entire Christmas cake in the blink of an eye.
Fortunately, she was swiftly taken to the veterinarian and managed to survive. But the incident highlights just how important it is to keep Christmas delicacies hidden away and stored out of reach when you’ve got a hungry dog on the prowl!
Don’t let chocolate ruin the festivities
For us humans, chocolate can make just about any occasion that much sweeter. But for dogs, it’s one of the most dangerous foodstuffs of all, and can be deadly.
The stimulant theobromine is one of several substances known as ‘methylxanthines’ and is found in chocolate. Theobromine is a potent toxin for dogs, and even a small amount can cause diarrhea and vomiting. Larger amounts can be fatal.
It’s extremely important to keep any chocolate far out of reach of your dog, but dark chocolate and products containing cocoa powder are especially dangerous since these have the highest concentrations of theobromine.
If your dog does accidentally eat chocolate or chocolate-based items over the holiday season, contact your veterinarian immediately.
How about another great gift idea?
If your dog enjoyed this recipe, why not keep the good times rolling with a gift they’ll really appreciate? Try our YuMOVE Joint Supplement for Dogs today!