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What to and NOT to Feed Your Pets During the Holiday Season?

What to and NOT to Feed Your Pets During the Holiday Season?

Christmas is only complete with our fur family feasting alongside us!

That said, it is important to know that everything that delights our tastebuds is not suitable for our furchildren.

This is why we have put together a small guide for you to consider what to and NOT to feed your pets and certain festive specials to look out for.

We know it’s the holiday season and you would be busy prepping up for Christmas and New Year, so we will keep it short. For more details, you can always reach out to our team of qualified pet food advisors on WhatsApp. We would be happy to assist!

So let’s begin with some common festive foods you should NOT be feeding your pets.

1. Turkey Skin and Cooked Turkey Bones

Turkey Dinner for Christmas

With Christmas and the turkey dinner, it’s hard to resist those cute little eyes aiming to devour any leftovers or even the smallest morsel that drops.

And if your furry family members are the ones who guilt trip you for your food, it just gets tougher to deny.

But this is where we need to be extra careful and ensure that our furchildren are not consuming too much turkey skin or any cooked bones.

Especially with the skin of turkey as it contains high amounts of fat that can cause digestive upsets and feeding excess of it can trigger pancreatitis in pets.

Also, do NOT feed cooked bones. When turkey bones undergo the high heat involved in cooking your delicious turkey dinner, they lose their moisture and become brittle.

Cooked bones that cats and dogs shouldn't eat

And when our furry friends gnaw and chew on these bones, there’s a likelihood that these bones can splinter and puncture the digestive tract and stomach lining. Or cause a potential hazard of choking.

We know Christmas calls for a turkey dinner!

And if you would like to offer your pets some turkey, avoid seasoned turkey or the stuffing, especially with cats, as their digestive systems are not built to deal with spices and other ingredients such as raisins, onions, etc. that are not suitable for our pets.

Or you could serve them with a turkey dinner, made specially for them!

So, we have got two special festive turkey recipes for your furry friends to enjoy the festive meal as well.

  1. A Howliday Feast for Dogs
  2. Festive Feast for Cats

Howliday Feast for Dogs & Festive Feast for Cats

And just like other Furchild Meals, these recipes are complete and balanced, which means your pets get the same health benefits of Furchild along with a touch of festive magic and taste.

Along with that are our Christmas Special 3-in-1 masterpieces. So pour a little Turducken Bone Broth and sprinkle a few Turducken Treats over your furry friend’s meal to add more festive cheer to their bowls!

2. Chocolate

The next on the NOT-to-feed list is chocolate.

And while many pet parents know about the toxicity of chocolate in dogs, the majority don’t know that it’s even more toxic for cats.

Chocolate contains substances called theobromine and caffeine.

chocolate candy on Christmas table

Our pets’ metabolism wasn’t made to process these ingredients. As a result, when our dogs and cats eat chocolate, it’s processed very slowly, which can lead to an accumulation of toxins in their systems.

Also, excess doses of theobromine and caffeine stimulate the cardiovascular and central nervous systems and increase heart rate in pets.

The additive theobromine, in particular, can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, increased thirst, restlessness, and even more severe issues such as tremors, seizures, and, in extreme cases, death.

And unlike humans, where dark chocolate is healthy for us, it’s the opposite for our pets. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate contain higher levels of theobromine compared to milk chocolate, making them even more dangerous to pets.

And if you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate, seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.

3. Xylitol

With Christmas, New Year, and the holly jolly vibes, most of us turn into a sweet tooth. And sometimes, our furchildren too.

That’s why, it’s important to know that desserts, chocolates, and sweets usually have sugar which is not healthy for our pets. Or even worse, xylitol - a commonly used artificial sweetener that can easily be found on many food labels.

Xylitol (an artificial sweetener) used in desserts and sweets

What’s more important to know is that xylitol is highly toxic for pets.

It can upset the stomach, damage the liver, drop blood sugar levels, and in worse cases, even cause seizures and death in dogs and cats.

Again, the health issues associated with the consumption of xylitol (an artificial sweetener) are more common in cats, despite the interesting fact that cats don’t have taste receptors for sweetness.

More to it, xylitol also goes by the names wood sugar, birch sugar, and birch bark extract. The names may sound fancy, but they are the same xylitol that can be harmful to your furry friends. So keep a watch on those names as well.

We know you want to treat your pets to something special this festive season, so why not give them real raw treats that they love and provide a bountiful of health benefits too?

4. Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins kept on a table

Big No! Because grapes and raisins when consumed in excess can cause kidney failure in both cats and dogs within hours to a few days of eating.

The symptoms of grape or raisin toxicity may include vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, and decreased urine production.

Plus, it’s uncertain, as the toxicity of grapes and raisins can vary between individual pets. Studies and literature indicate that there is no specific known safe amount.

So it’s always better to keep grapes and raisins, or any foods containing them, away from your pets. The usual festive dishes that contain raisins and grapes are Holiday Fruit Salad, Mince Pies, and Christmas Puddings.

If you’d like to give your dogs some fresh fruits or vegetables, you could give your dog fresh apples (without the core), berries, cucumbers, carrots, and even broccoli.

But if your pets have eaten any dish containing raisins or grapes, consult your veterinarian.

5. Alcohol

pictures of alcohol to celebrate the festive Christmas spirit

Alcohol is a big part of the festive celebrations for many families. And while the drinks set the vibe for merry good times for us, they can be toxic for our pets.

It can upset your pet’s digestive system, causing vomiting and diarrhoea, and can even affect the central nervous system amongst other health concerns.

With the festive season, we also have many delicious delights being cooked with alcohol. This makes it equally important for us to make sure that our furry family members not only stay away from the drinks but also from these dishes that have traces of alcohol in them.

The common dishes that involve the use of alcohol are rum cakes, eggnogs, brandy sauces, and champagne risotto.

6. Blue Cheese

Blue cheese that is harmful for cats and dogs

Holiday starters aren’t complete without the cheese platter. Are they?

And with your furchildren around, you may want to sneak a little cheese for them as a treat. However, be careful as not all cheese is good for them.

Specifically blue cheese. It should be strictly avoided.

Because… The fungus used in making blue cheese, stilton, produces a mycotoxin (or naturally occurring toxin made by fungi) called Roquefortine C, which is toxic to both cats and dogs.

Himalayan Cheese Chews for Dogs

More to it for our furchildren, blue cheese can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea, high temperatures, and even seizures in severe cases.

The same goes for flavoured cheese. The onions, pepper, and chives within can upset your pet’s stomach.

Himalayan Cheese Chews for Dogs

If you would like to give your dogs cheese, offer them our Himalayan Chew. No lactose, no artificial flavours, no preservatives, no grains, no gluten, and no guilt!

Made with 4 simple natural ingredients, our chews are 100% natural and digestible. Plus, they are long-lasting and provide hours of cheesy chewing entertainment for your dogs.

7. Christmas Plants & Ornaments

There’s the famous Christmas tree. And then our Christmas decorations and Christmas plants: Mistletoe, Holly, and Poinsettias.

But did you know that these Christmas plants can be toxic to cats and dogs?

They can upset your furry friend’s stomach and cause vomiting and diarrhoea if consumed.

Also, make sure your pets aren’t playing with Christmas ornaments. There are many cases where emergencies occur due to pets gobbling up baubles, tinsel, or pine needles.

So keep your furchildren away from these potential hazards and ensure your family enjoys a safe holiday season!

‘Tis the season…

But if you are unsure where to start… Or if you are looking for healthy festive feasts and treats for your cat and dog…

Here’s our Christmas Menu to light up your furry family’s tastebuds and add a touch of festive magic to their bowls holiday season!

Christmas Meals for Cats and Dogs - Howliday and Festive Feasts and Turducken Treats

Holiday Timings

Also, please note that Furchild HQ will be closed on December 25th, 2023 and January 1st, 2024. So we request you to plan your visits, orders, deliveries, and pet food consultations accordingly.

As we embrace the festive spirit, our hearts resonate with yours, and the Furchild team extends our warm wishes to you for a Merry Woofmas and a Furry New Year!

Furchild Team in front of the Furchild HQ wishing everyone with their Merry Christmas jingle

Dec 2023

Have a question or comment? We would love to hear about it.

FURCHILD is the first raw pet food company of its kind in the Middle East.

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