What Christmas foods can dogs eat?

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Written by Pure Pet FoodPure Pet Food are the experts in healthy dog food and healthy dogs featured in media outlets such as BBC, Good Housekeeping and The Telegraph. Working with high profile veterinary professionals and nutritionists, Pure Pet Food are changing dog food for the better. Dr Andrew Miller MRCVSDr Andrew Miller MRCVS is an expert veterinary working in the field for over 10 years after graduating from Bristol University. Andy fact checks and writes for Pure Pet Food while also working as a full time veterinarian. - Our editorial process

As the 25th of December is fast approaching, you might be wondering if you can whip up a mini Christmas dinner for your dog to enjoy alongside you. After all, our dogs are part of the family, so why shouldn’t they get to enjoy some of the festivities with us?

Christmas is one of the biggest celebrations of the year and it’s the time where we get to indulge with some of the tastiest foods for a whole month. However, you do need to be careful with what Christmas foods you treat your dog to, as many of them pose a hidden danger to pooches, which you can read all about in this blog post.

Luckily for your dog, this post is all about the foods they can tuck into over Christmas, so read on to find out how to treat your pup to a tasty Christmas treat.

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Safe Christmas foods

Your dog’s Christmas snack list is significantly shorter than the list of foods that they should avoid, mostly because the foods we eat over Christmas are high in fat, sugary or actually really dangerous for our dogs. However, your dog can still enjoy a safe Christmas dinner alongside you. Keep reading to find out our dog-safe Christmas food choices.


Turkey is the main event of our Christmas dinner, and luckily for your dog, they can enjoy it too. Turkeys are huge birds, much bigger than the humble chicken, meaning that the leftovers from your Christmas dinner will be enough to feed the family 5 times over, and when we say family, we mean the dog too!

Not only is it tasty, but turkey is also a great source of protein, packed with B vitamins for a healthy nervous system and metabolism. It’s no surprise as to why it’s commonly seen as the main protein source in several dog foods. We actually use turkey in some of our Pure recipes because of its excellent health benefits.

Your dog will be your BFF if you feed them some turkey as a treat, just make sure that it’s totally plain and the skin is removed. We humans often stuff, baste and lather our turkey in fats, herbs and spices to make it extra tasty, but this will be a problem for pooches. All these tasty additions will cause your dog a lot of tummy trouble and the extra fat could even be dangerous for acute pancreatitis flare-ups.

Be careful too with the turkey bones, they’re small and snappable, and these broken shards could cause internal rips and tears, alongside being a significant choking hazard. Also, cooked bones can brittle and splinter easily, so keep these well away from any greedy paws.


Although not the most traditional festive food compared to the classic turkey dinner, many people enjoy a side of salmon over the Christmas period. And luckily, our dogs can feast on this fish too!

Salmon is a super healthy protein source, packed with amino acids which are essential for growth, development and maintaining bodily processes. Also, it’s rich in omega 3 oils which have an abundance of benefits. Promoting healthy digestion, cognitive function, healthy muscles, a shiny coat and even helping to reduce inflammation, omega 3 is one of the best things your dog can have in their diet.

This is why we include natural omega 3 oils from algae and linseed in all our Pure recipes, alongside some recipes using salmon as the main protein source. All in all, salmon is a great addition to your dog’s diet.

One thing to note however, don’t feed your dog raw or smoked salmon. Raw salmon carries harmful bacteria named Nanophyetus Salmincola, which causes something called ‘salmon poisoning’, making your pet very ill.

Similarly, smoked salmon is still raw, it’s just been cured rather than cooked, so it still carries the same nasty bacteria. Smoked salmon also contains a lot of salt, which isn’t great for a dog’s sensitive tummy.


Most veggies are safe for our dogs, and they can be a nutritious, even delicious addition to your dog’s Christmas dinner. Vegetables provide both humans and hounds with an abundance of vitamins that are essential in a diet to keep us healthy.

This is why we add peas, carrots, sweet potatoes and cabbage to Pure so your dog feels the benefit of healthy, wholesome food all year round, not just for Christmas.

Here’s some of the best dog-safe veggies to dish up in your dog’s dinner bowl this Christmas:

We humans have the tendency to decrease the healthiness of the veggies on our Christmas dinner by adding butter, seasonings and even honey to make them a really tasty treat. However, dogs won’t do well with this on their portion, only give them some if it’s totally plain.

Cauliflower cheese is another staple component of many Christmas dinners, but the cheese sauce will be too rich for your dog, causing tummy troubles. Although dogs can eat cheese in small amounts, and they typically enjoy it very much, the amount of cheese in this side dish is far too much for their sensitive stomachs.

The main veggies that your dog needs to avoid over the Christmas period are the bulb vegetable part of the allium plant family, so think, onions, garlic, leeks and shallots. These commonly crop up on the Christmas dinner so keep them out of reach as they’re highly poisonous for dogs. Read more about the Christmas foods to avoid here.


Plain potatoes can actually be a pretty healthy treat for your dog, as long as they’re fed in moderation. Potatoes are packed with fibre for healthy digestion and vitamin C to keep the skin nourished.

An abundance of minerals, such as manganese, phosphorus and potassium are all bundled into the simple spud, so if you want to give your dog a bit as a treat, go right ahead! Just don’t go overboard as potatoes are dense and starchy.

We balance potato and sweet potato in our Pure recipes along with plenty of other vegetables to make sure your dog can reap all the nutritious benefits of the spud in the perfect portion size.

As with everything, just make sure your dog only eats potatoes that have no fatty extras like butter, cream and salt. Plain mashed or boiled potatoes are usually your best bet for a dog-safe snack, as roasties tend to be covered in oil.


Dogs can eat many of the same fruits we can, like apples, bananas and blueberries. They’re actually packed full of nutrients, and your dog will see this healthy snack as a really yummy treat.

Cranberries are a festive fruit that our dogs can tuck into too, they have powerful antioxidant properties and they’re incredibly nutritious. They might be a little sour though, so your dog might be a bit unsure if they have them on their own.

However, if they’re a fan of the tart taste, cranberries contain both vitamin C and E, which helps to promote healthy skin, coat, bones and an efficient immune system. Cranberries are even known to help ease and prevent UTIs by fighting off E.coli bacteria. So much goodness packed into one tiny fruit, this is why we include cranberries in Pure!

One thing to note however, although cranberries have tons of benefits, the lashings of cranberry sauce we often add to our Christmas dinner won’t be healthy for hounds. Although they can technically eat cranberry sauce as it doesn’t contain anything unsafe for dogs, it’s usually packed with loads of sugar.


So, the main thing to consider when you’re treating your dog to their very own Christmas dinner is ensuring that absolutely everything you give them is totally plain. Other than that, they can still enjoy the main components, the turkey, veggies and potatoes. With that, your dog will feel like they’ve been given the best Christmas present ever.