Holiday Food Safety Tips for Dogs + DIY Dog Food Topper Recipe

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Hi Mighty Paw fam, Barbara here to share some holiday food safety tips for dogs with you! I'm also including a tasty DIY dog food topper recipe for the picky eaters in your life.

After all, 'tis the season for sharing and caring, so I'd love to talk about which holiday foods are OK to share with your pup, and which aren't.

If you're like me, your dog's not just a dog but he's part of your family. That's how I've felt about all my dogs, including my current pup Wally, and it's why I love sharing edible goodies with him.

Now, some foods are perfectly fine to share, but others aren't and can be downright dangerous and even life-threatening.

So without further ado, let's talk about which holiday foods are OK to share and which aren't. 

Holiday Food Safety Tips For Dogs And DIY Dog Food Topper Recipe

Holiday Foods That Are OK To Share With Your Dogs

  • Pumpkin purée
  • Cooked meat
  • Puréed or steamed veggies
  • Bone broth (homemade or store-bought)

You can either make your own pumpkin purée from fresh pumpkins or buy the canned kind. When you get the latter, be sure to buy 100% pumpkin purée and not pumpkin pie filling. You can usually find canned pumpkin purée in the baking aisle at your local grocery store.

It's perfectly fine to offer your pup some cooked meat like ground turkey or chicken breast. I personally am a certified raw dog food nutrition specialist and feed raw meat, but the cooked version is perfectly fine too. Just FYI, a healthy dog's stomach is very acidic (much more acidic than ours!) which is why it can digest raw meat.

Tip: Cooked chicken or turkey breast also make great high value training treats! Another option is to make your own chicken or turkey jerky with a dehydrator.

Dehydrated treats fit great into our Mighty Paw Dog Treat Pouch!

Veggies like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, cauliflower and shiitake mushrooms are rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory benefits. They're also low in carbs. Ideally, they should be fed puréed and/or lightly steamed because dogs don't have the enzyme that breaks down plant cell walls. 

Bone broth is not only tasty, it's also highly nutritious and lubricates joints. That's because it's chock-full of glucosamine and chondroitin. Both naturally occur in bone marrow and joint bones, which is what bone broth is made of. 

Holiday Foods That Should Never Be Shared With Your Dogs

  • Chocolate
  • Cookies 
  • Cake
  • Yeast dough
  • Alcohol
  • Nutmeg
  • Poultry skin
  • Cooked bones
  • Raisins and grapes

The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is for dogs. White chocolate is the least dangerous (but still dangerous!), followed by milk chocolate and baking chocolate.

Cookies and cake consist of sugar or sugar replacements like the sweetener Xylitol. Sugar can lead to diabetes and obesity, and Xylitol can cause insulin release and lead to liver failure.

Yeast dough rises and can cause bloat. That's a life-threatening condition where the dog's stomach twists on itself. 

Small amounts of alcohol are sufficient to cause alcohol poisoning in dogs that can be life-threatening.

Some spices like nutmeg can cause an upset stomach and affect the nervous system.

Poultry skin tends to be very fatty and can cause pancreatitis. 

Cooked bones are a huge NO NO. That's because cooking changes the density of the bones and makes them brittle and sharp.

Raisins and grapes can cause kidney failure in dogs.

Symptoms of food poisoning in dogs:

  • Excessive drooling and panting
  • Dehydration/Increased thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Vomiting
  • (Bloody) diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Collapse

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Hotline

Just in case of a food-related emergency with your pup, it's good to know the ASPCA Poison Control Phone Number: (888) 426-4435.

It's also a good idea to know where your nearest emergency vet or clinic is located. That's not something you'll want to start looking for in the event of an emergency with your furry. That situation in itself is already stressful enough.

Tasty DIY Dog Food Topper For Picky Eaters

OK, are you ready for a tasty, colorful, and healthy dog food topper? The recipe I'm about to share with you is easy to make and should be a hit with your pup.

DIY Dog Food Topper Recipe

Here's what you need for it:

  • Coconut oil or olive oil 
  • 1 boiled sweet potato
  • 1 cup cooked kale
  • 1 lb cooked turkey meat 
  • 1/2 cup bone broth (chicken, beef, turkey, venison - your choice!)

Boil the sweet potato. Next, pour 2 tablespoons of coconut or olive oil into a pan and sauté the kale. Use the same pan to cook the ground turkey or turkey breast - there should be enough left over oil from sautéeing the kale.

Now transfer all the ingredients into a food processor, add 1/2 cup of bone broth, and mix it all together. 

The result is a tasty dog food topper that consists of healthy fats and protein, and it's also low in carbs. Great for picky eaters and those who need to watch their weight!

Holiday Dog Food Topper On Mighty Paw's Dog Lick Pad

Works great on our Dog Lick Pad!

You can also use it to smear it onto our Mighty Paw Dog Lick Pad. That's a lick mat made of BPA-free, food-grade silicone that's safe for your pup to lick.

It's a wonderful boredom buster that has 4 different quadrants for varying levels of licking difficulty. That said, it's great to distract dogs from upsetting situations like fireworks or bath time. 

Dog licking tasty dog food off the Mighty Paw Dog Lick Pad

Happy and safe holidays from our Mighty Paw Family to yours!

Barbara Rivers writes regularly for Mighty Paw. She is a blogger, raw feeder, former dog walker and maintains the blog K9s Over Coffee.

1 comment



Great info! I’ve forwarded it to a few Friends! Thanks!

Great info! I’ve forwarded it to a few Friends! Thanks!

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