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Stuff that matters

It’s that time of year when many of us overindulge in food and drink.

And what’s this? Your beloved dog has realised that there is food to be snaffled.

They really know how to manipulate their puppy-dog eyes to persuade us into handing over food – even though we know we shouldn’t.

And at this time of the year, with lots of delicious festive food and treats on offer, you should on high alert to ensure they don’t snaffle anything that they shouldn’t.

As tempting as it is to give them a little treat, it’s vital that you don’t sneak them something that could do them harm.

Allowing them some festive fare could result in serious damage to your beloved pooch, and a trip to the vets.

The list of items they aren’t allowed includes mince pies – which contains raisins that are toxic to dogs.

And don’t feed them any Christmas pudding which is packed full of dried fruit and soaked in booze – another toxic ingredient.

Even items you might have sneaked them before like sausages and pigs in blankets pose a risk.

Tails.com head vet Sean McCormack previously warned: “It’s important to be cautious about the treats you give to your dog both over Christmas and throughout the year, to make sure you avoid giving harmful foods and so your dog doesn’t pile on the pounds.

“It’s amazing how much we underestimate the calories in the ‘harmless’ treats we give our pets.

“Giving a small dog a single sausage can be the equivalent of us eating up to three cheeseburgers.

“To treat your dog in a healthy way at Christmas, stick to lean, cooked meat and healthier Christmas table staples like carrots and green beans.”

Here’s what to look out for
Sausages – high in fat and calorific
Meaty bones – choking hazard, injury & blockage risk if swallowed
Cheese – high in fat and most dogs are actually lactose intolerant
Pigs in blankets – high in fat, calorific (risk digestive upset or even pancreatitis)
Mince pies – high in fat, contain raisins which are toxic to dogs (along with grapes)

Gravy – generally high in fat if the meat juices from a roast dinner have been added
Red cabbage – spices and vinegar could cause your beloved pooch to suffer a stomach upset
Roast potatoes – high in fat, calorific and could cause a dietary upset. Mashed or boiled potato is okay in moderation as long as no butter, milk or salt added
Chocolate – toxic for dogs, with toxicity depending on the level of a chemical called theobromine found in cocoa. Essentially, the higher the cocoa content of the chocolate, the more toxic it will be and even a small amount can lead to problems

Crisps – very fatty and calorific
Stuffing – onions can be harmful to dogs, and herbs or spices may cause a dietary upset
Christmas pudding – contains alcohol and raisins, both toxic ingredients for dogs