7 Safe Snacks for Dogs this Christmas

How to include your pooch in the holiday festivities
| Updated: December 19, 2023
dog ate santas cookies as a christmas snack

No one wants a Christmas vet visit. The holidays are upon us and whilst you’re doing your last-minute groceries for extended family– don’t forget to stock up for your dog too. After all, they’re the most important family member, right? Sorry, Uncle Ted.

Including Your Dog in Christmas Snacking

Here’s the thing, although our four-legged friends would love to join us for the appetizers, roast (extra gravy please), and large slice of cake – this will end in stomach troubles at best and at worst, serious ill health and hospitalization.

So here are the safe foods that will have your dog feel part of the day.



Yes, turkey is safe to feed dogs and a healthy meat often found in dog food. But what type of turkey meat is important. White meat is what should be offered. Tasty turkey breast without the skin can be enjoyed by your dog. The same advice is applied to chicken if turkey isn’t your thing.

Feeding a dog a bite sized snack on christmas


Good news for kids wanting rid of these green veggies. Plain sprouts are safe for dogs to have in moderation. Make sure no onions or garlic are combined, as these are highly toxic to dogs. Keep portions small. Like humans, too many sprouts can cause unpleasant wind; no thanks! For smaller breeds, break into pieces to avoid choking hazards.


You may already give your dog raw carrot as a healthy snack. These are safe raw or boiled and add juicy texture plus a source of fibre. Fed raw they can also help keep teeth clean. Don’t give too many as they are moderately high in sugar.



A fun alternative to carrots. Parsnips are safe to offer. Make sure they are boiled not oily and offered in moderation as they are high in sugars. You can even mash them together with boiled carrots to add some extra interest. Will your dog appreciate the extra effort? Not guaranteed.


Peas introduce a new texture. Boiled from frozen or fresh are best. Peas are found in dog food and a good source of fibre. Avoid too many and it’s not advisable to feed to senior pets or those with kidney problems due to their high purine content.


Replace roast potatoes with baked potato, for a crispy treat that is safe. Don’t add butter or fat as this can cause stomach irritation or even pancreatitis- a serious health condition in dogs, triggered by excess fat ingestion. Boiled potatoes are a good option too.

Never feed raw potato, they contain a harmful chemical to dogs and pose a choking risk.



In STRICT moderation plain hard cheese can be a high-reward treat for your dog. Limit your pet to 2-3 small, roughly half inch, cubes. Even 2oz of cheese is equivalent to 25% of daily calories for a medium dog. That’s two doughnuts worth of calories for a human.

Never offer blue cheese! Dogs can react to the cultured microorganisms that make it blue. This leads to neurological problems and even seizures. Keep the stilton for humans only, or better, a supply just for yourself.

Final Thoughts for Keeping Your Dog Safe During the Holidays

Making Christmas dinner is a skill and trying to keep in mind the dog too is an added stress.

Pro tip– when preparing the meal, put boiled vegetables to one side for your pet. Put into a Tupperware along with the turkey breast. You have the option to serve as one meal alongside the whole family or alternatively keep in the fridge for bites through the day. Let everyone know where the dog treat box is.

This avoids the temptation to give what’s on your plate to the dog, or sneak unsafe snacks. As always, watch those grandparents! You and the dog know, they love to slip extras to pets.

Finally, remember a dog’s number one love is you! Quality time with you is top of their wish list. The last thing either of you want is a vet visit over the holidays so stick to safe snacks for the ulti-mutt Christmas day.

What’s your dog’s favourite Christmas themed food? Let us know in the comments below.

Dr. Hannah Staniforth, BVSc MRCVS Author Image
Dr. Hannah Staniforth, BVSc MRCVS

Dr Hannah Staniforth is an experienced veterinary surgeon and freelance writer. She has a wealth of experience in pet health care from her time working in veterinary hospitals and exotic clinics across the UK. Currently she splits her time between England and charity work in Sri Lanka, where she works with street dogs and a rabies prevention programme.

Hannah’s experience with pets and their owners means she knows just how important they are to us. She enjoys using her technical knowledge to write accessible and fun articles here at BuzzPetz.

When she’s not writing or in surgery, you can find her catching waves, hiking or making friends with the local street dogs and cats.

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