Christmas is a time for everyone to gather round and enjoy some festive food. If you have a dog, you might be wondering how to involve them in the celebrations.
Christmas pudding is one of the hallmarks of a festive dinner, but it isn’t suitable for animals. With pet ownership on the rise in the UK according to Statista, more people will be looking to involve their four-legged friends in the celebrations. In fact, Statista also found that Brits spent £7.9 million on their pets in 2020, which is a 170% increase since 2005, showing that interest in pet ownership has been growing over the years.
So, how can you involve your pet in the Christmas meal? There are obvious options for the main course, such as turkey, which is a lean meat with many beneficial nutrients for both dogs and cats. But did you know that you can also make a dessert option for your furry friend?
Pet healthcare brand Bob Martin show you how to make your own Christmassy puds for cats and dogs.
Christmas pudding for dogs
It’s actually surprisingly easy to create a Christmas pudding that dogs can eat, as they need lots of different foods in their diets. By using healthy ingredients such as yoghurt, xylitol-free peanut butter, and eggs, you can whip up a pud that your pooch will love.
To give things a seasonal twist, you can use a few dried cranberries for decoration. These fruits are safe for dogs to eat in small amounts, and provide fibre and nutrients. Yoghurt is another food that is safe in small amounts, as long as your dog doesn’t struggle with digesting lactose. If you are unsure, you can give your dog a tiny portion to try ahead of Christmas day, to make sure that they enjoy it and can digest it comfortably. Another good idea is to double check any potential festive treats with your vet.
To give these treats the look of a Christmas pudding, make them in small round moulds, or roll them into balls, and then add the yoghurt on top at the end. This way, they will look like classic Christmas puds with icing on top!
Pick these ingredients up and you’ll be good to go:
- 60g peanut butter
- 7 table spoons wholewheat flour
- 1 egg
- Yoghurt and cranberries
Melt the peanut butter until it softens, then take it off the heat and mix it with the flour in a bowl. Add the egg, and combine the ingredients into a dough. Then, roll the mixture into balls and place it on a baking tray. Bake the treats at 175°C for 25 minutes or until they look crispy. Allow them to cool, and then add a spoonful of yoghurt and some dried cranberries on the top as decoration.
Mackerel Christmas treats for cats
You can make your cats Christmas pudding treats with mackerel, which will give your kitties lots of healthy fats. Wholewheat flour can also provide protein and fibre when used in small amounts, so these treats can provide your cat with good nutrients as long as they are eaten in small quantities to leave room for your pet’s regular diet.
Make sure you have the following ingredients:
- 60g of wholewheat flour
- 30ml of skimmed milk
- 60g canned mackerel
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 1 egg
Place the mackerel in a mixing bowl and crumble it with a fork. Add the flour and mix it with the fish, and then add the egg and oil. When you have a dough, roll it into tiny balls. Place them on a baking sheet, and cook them in the oven at 170°C for ten minutes. Remember to let them cool completely before giving them to your kitty.
Mark Spurlock, Head of Technical Services at Bob Martin says: “Christmas is a lovely time to share food with family and friends, and involving your pets in the festive meal can make it so much more fun. But it’s important to only use ingredients that your pooches and cats can comfortably digest.
“So, make sure that the peanut butter you use for dog treats is xylitol-free, as this can be harmful (luckily, most UK manufactured peanut butters are xylitol free but it’s better safe than sorry). Stay well clear of foods like grapes, raisins, dark chocolate and any other foods that may be toxic to dogs. Then, check any recipes with your vet if you are unsure about whether they will suit the animal’s diet. Making treats yourself can also be a great way to be in control of the recipe so that you can include things that will suit your four-legged friend.
“Having these treats as part of a balanced diet will ensure that your pet not only has fun over the festive season, but has all the nutrients that they need as well.”