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What Christmas Leftovers are Safe to Feed Our Pets?

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It is quite usual for your pets to put on some extra weight over the winter months because of the cold and wet weather conditions affecting their outdoor exercise. Even more so over the festive season when they may be fed some of the Christmas leftovers.

But extra pounds on dogs and cats can cause obesity that could lead to health disorders such as heart and respiratory issues or increase the risk of high blood pressure. Obesity in your pets is also more likely to bring about the onset of diabetes. 

So what Christmas leftovers can we feed our furry loved ones that the vets say is safe and healthy for them to eat? Here is a list of ten things that are good and bad.


Turkey is a good form of lean protein to give to your pet. However, do make sure you remove as much of the skin and fat as you possibly can. Only feed them the white meat and do not forget to check for any small bones. 

2) Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is okay for pets but check how much sugar is in it. Just make sure that you only give them a small helping.

3) Potatoes

Cooked potatoes in most forms makes a good filling vegetable you are able to share with them. Sweet potatoes is a great low calorie option for your cat and you can feed your dog mashed potatoes with complete peace of mind, but without any extras such as onions, butter, cheese, sauces and gravy.

4) Onions and Garlic

Any type of allium (i.e., onion, garlic, leek, etc) are harmful to pets, whether in a form of powder or cooked. A large quantity or regular smaller ones can damage a dog’s red blood cells. After consuming this a dog may show signs of sickness and tiredness after only a few days. Their urine may become more orangey or red. If you detect any of these symptoms, take them to a vet immediately.

5) Xylitol

Xylitol is used in some sweets, artificial sweeteners, cakes, deserts and other products including toothpaste. Not that toothpaste should ever be included in a list of ‘Christmas leftovers’! However, check the ingredients to make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol before feeding anything sweet to your pet as it can increase insulin inside a dog’s body. That could lead to their blood sugar dropping and possible liver failure in a matter of days.

Whilst on the subject of cakes, some Christmas fruit cakes may contain alcohol and cause alcohol poisoning. Nothing to do with xylitol!

6) Milk and Other Dairy Products

Just like humans many dogs are lactose intolerant, meaning they cannot break down lactose as they are unable to produce the enzyme called lactase. If they are lactose intolerant, anything they consume that contains milk will probably cause them a tummy upset.

7) Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and Raisins are a no-no! Even though the exact reason is not known as to why these can cause kidney failure in dogs, it is clear that they are dangerous for them to eat. They are toxic to our pets and it is wise to keep them well out of harm’s way.

8) Chocolate

Most pet owners are aware that chocolate is off limits to pets. But it may get forgotten over this time of the year when certain dishes containing baking chocolate reach our dining table. This can be the worst kind of chocolate to feed our pets and can cause them really bad harm by innocently being given to them.

9) Fresh Vegetables

Most fresh vegetables are safe and healthy to share with them. Plain green beans can be used as a great treat to feed our pets, but like everything, in moderation. Broccoli is known to be a super healthy vegetable for humans, but does not have to be included as an essential item in our pet’s diet. Again though, it is very important to be aware of anything else that they may have inadvertently been mixed with.

10) Caffeine

Coffee, tea, cocoa, cola or anything else containing caffeine can be fatal if given in large enough doses. It can lead to heart palpitations or worse and there is no known cure.

About the author

Peter Davis Peter Davis is a Marketing Analyst at PaydayLoan123 specialising in financial products. Peter writes most of our articles as he stays up to date with the latest information. He enjoys most sports, particularly playing football and watching his favourite football team. Peter really like his food too as we have all witnessed first hand!

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