If you’re like me, you’ll consider your pet to be another member of the family and try to make them feel as such, particularly when it comes to including them in family celebrations and festive occasions. But apart from buying them a new toy, how can you give your pooch a really special day on Christmas?
While it may be tempting to feed your dog the same festive delights that you enjoy, remember that they have very different digestive systems to us, so play it safe by avoiding feeding them fatty foods, chocolate or candy. However, rather than just giving them their normal bowl of dog food, why not try making some tongue-waggingly healthy DIY festive treats? That way they can join in with the gluttony of Christmas with the rest of the family!
So here are three recipes to prepare for your pet to include them in the celebrations.
In the run-up to Christmas, while you and the rest of the family are scoffing down chocolate and other indulgences in preparation for the gastronomically grueling meal coming up, your dog can also enjoy some tasty treats.
Peanut Butter Cookies
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup non-fat dry milk
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 and 1/4 cups hot water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, saving the peanut butter till last
- Gently and slowly begin to combine all of the wet ingredients (including the two eggs, beaten) to the dry ones and knead it all together until you have a smooth dough ball
- Flatten it out so that the consistency is even, and cut out using desired shape of cookie cutters
- Cook for 30 minutes, making sure to leave them to cool before serving
Now that everyone has had their share of snacks and treats, it is time to start thinking about Christmas dinner. There is no reason here why your dog can’t join you with a special meal they only get once a year. This quick and easy meal will take you about 10 minutes to prepare and shouldn’t cost too much either. If you don’t have time to prepare this on Christmas Day, you can make it the night before and keep refrigerated.
Raw Meat Stew
1lb of raw and ground up turkey, chicken, beef or pork (you could make it more special by using the same meat that the rest of the family will be eating)
2 cups pureed vegetables (carrots, green beans and pumpkin are great for canine stomachs)
4 oz raw organ meat and gizzards (this should be easy to come by if you’re cooking a big turkey)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup plain low fat yoghurt
3 eggs with their shells
Fresh or dried parsley (a magical cure for any resulting doggy breath!)
- Chop up any larger piece of meat and mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Use a food processor or mix by hand, depending on the consistency your dog would prefer
- Pour the mixture into their dog bowl and leave in the fridge until ready to serve, making sure not to place it near any cooked meats. That’s it!
Once everyone has stuffed themselves with meat and other assorted goodies, it is time to bring out the Christmas cake! This ‘cake’ can be sliced up and served over the course of several days as smaller treats, or you can double the quantities of ingredients to feed more than one dog.
Doggy Christmas Cake
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
I chopped and cored apple
I cup molasses
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
- In one bowl mix all of the dry ingredients together
- In another bowl mix the canola oil and the molasses together, and then add the eggs one at a time
- Beat this mixture until it is blended and then add the vanilla extract and ½ a cup of water
- Mix the wet and the dry mixtures and then add the apple until the mixture is smooth
- Put the batter in a baking dish and cook it for around half an hour on 350 degrees, making sure to let it cool down completely before serving it to your dog
As always, it’s important to make sure your pup has a healthy, balanced diet, so dish these treats out in accordance with your usual feeding routine. If you don’t own a dog but have lots of friends and family who do, you could make these treats, such as the cookies, ahead of Christmas and give them to owners as an extra special Christmas gift.
Share with us what you do to include their dogs in their Christmas celebrations!
Louise Blake is a passionate animal lover and writer who blogs for several pet websites and companies, including Petmeds. She loves Christmas and is currently attempting to train her boxer puppy, Harley, but he frequently outsmarts her at every opportunity he gets!