Christmas dinner advice for dogs and cats to ensure trouble free festive fun

From a succulent roast dinner with all the trimmings to fruit-laden puddings, cakes and chocolates – not to mention nuts, mince pies and smoked salmon – Christmas Day is all about eating.

And it’s not just us we like to indulge, but our much-loved four-legged family members too. It’s hard to resist slipping them scraps or even their own Christmas dinner from our leftovers, however, we need to be mindful that not everything on the Christmas menu should be shared.

With this in mind, and to give pet owners a helping hand this festive season, insurer MORE TH>N’s qualified vet Andrew Moore has devised the ultimate Christmas dinner guides for cats and dogs, ensuring all the family can join in safely on the fun and the food this year.

Andrew Moore, MORE TH>N’S veterinary consultant, explains: ‘We all over- indulge at Christmas, but festive food in human sized quantities is more no no no than ho ho ho for our pets. Most festive food is fatty, rich and can sometimes even be downright poisonous to cats and dogs. However it’s not all Bah Humbug, there are certain foods that are fine to feed your pet for one festive meal. When it comes to our pets and food, it’s all about moderation – so the one occasion you should act like Scrooge is to keep the festive treats small and then your pet can enjoy their very own Christmas meal this year, without any nasty repurr-cusions.’

Christmas Dinner Guide For Dogs


FISH: Whilst salmon is a favourite amongst us humans, it’s also a great starter for your dog as it is high in protein and Omega 3 fatty acids, which help support a dog’s immune system and also add shine to a dog’s coat. Choose plain salmon in spring water over smoked salmon though.  Prawns – as long as they are well cooked and shelled – will also go down very well.


MEAT: Treat your pooch to some turkey this Christmas. Choose small amounts of boneless and skinless breast meat, which can be added to your dog’s meal in moderation.

VEGETABLES: To bring a bit of variety to their Christmas bowl, add some sprouts, swede mash, potatoes, green beans and parsnip, ideally served plain – before any butter or oil is added.


Pudding is just as important as the main in our opinion and there’s no need to leave your dog out once the dinner is over. Low in lactose desserts like yogurt and ricotta cheese in moderation are a great option, as they are excellent sources of calcium and protein. You could also swap grapes and raisin-based desserts for blueberries and dried cranberries, which are both safe for dogs.

TOP TIP: Don’t forget to remove a little bit of their normal food to even things out!

Christmas Dinner Guide For Cats


FISH: Cats too can tuck in to a fishy starter with small amounts of canned tuna, which is a great source of protein in moderation


MEAT: Small amounts of lean meats like skinless turkey breast can add some variety to their moggy menu

VEGETABLES: Sprouts, swede, carrot and parsnip mash add some colour to their festive feast, but just make sure they don’t contain butter, seasoning or anything toxic such as onions or garlic.


Sugar, spice and everything nice hold no interest for a cat, so don’t feel guilty when tucking in to your fourth dessert of the day – cats would much prefer to be eating savoury foods

TOP TIP: Don’t forget to remove a little bit of their normal food to even things out!

It’s not just the Christmas dinner our dogs and cats want to get involved with during the festive season. Andrew Moore’s veterinary team has recalled some funny tales from clients who had to “paws” the festive fun to deal with some pets who took it a step too far during the festive season…

‘I once pulled a very long string of tinsel out of a Labradors throat, which never seemed to end’.

‘A dog ate an entire Christmas cake (seconds after they had drizzled it with brandy and lit it on fire) while it was still engulfed in flames!’.

‘A very small sausage dog came in after eating an entire box of Twilight dark chocolate mints in their wrappers on Boxing Day…three years in a row – setting quite the Christmas tradition for the family’. 

John Ellenger, Head of Pet Insurance MORE TH>N, added: “Eating the Christmas dinner has to be one of the most exciting parts of the festive period, so we wanted to make sure the whole family, including those with four legs, could come together and join in this year. We are, however, aware that there are also a lot of don’ts when it comes to feeding pets over the merry season, so we have also developed guides online with information on what our pets should avoid to ensure trips to the vet are kept to a minimum!’

We can’t forget that there’s a number of festive no-no’s that need to be avoided on dogs and cats festive menus this Christmas – the main foods being grapes, raisins, nuts, onions and chocolate.

For guides on what not to feed your pet cat and dog this Christmas, please visit our advice pages on the MORE TH>N website.

MORE TH>N also gives its customers access to the VetFone service, which gives you 24/7 emergency vet access even when you think the surgery will be closed over Christmas. Anytime, day or night, VetFone allows you to speak to a professional in order to get the best care for your dog.

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