One of the best parts of Christmas (besides sharing the day with family/ friends) is Christmas leftovers. The days after Christmas in homes across Australia are usually spent feasting on leftovers, playing backyard cricket and enjoying each other’s company without the manic energy of Christmas Day. Sometimes it’s fun to kick it up a notch and do something creative with leftovers.
And of course, those sad puppy/cat eyes begging for crumbs at your feet can’t be left out either. But a lot of our Christmas favourites are classified as toxic foods for dogs and unsafe for our beloved pets.
Here’s what every pet owner needs to know about safe and toxic foods for dogs, especially during the festive season when our fridges are full of Christmas leftovers just begging to be dropped in the backyard.
The Naughty List – Toxic foods for dogs
Foods that pets CAN NOT eat:
- Bones: Never give cooked bones to pets, as they can splinter and cause choking or digestive issues.
- Meat: Pork, bacon, ham and any undercooked meat products are unsafe for pets.
- Onions and Garlic: These can be toxic to pets and should be avoided.
- Fatty Foods: Avoid giving pets fatty leftovers, as they can lead to pancreatitis.
- Chocolate: Keep all chocolate out of reach, as it is toxic to pets.
- Raisins, sultanas, currants and grapes are bad for pets.
- Citrus fruits are not a good idea because of the citric acid.
- Some stone fruits can be shared with your pets, but ensure all stems, pits, seeds, leaves and in some cases, skins are removed.
- Milk and other dairy
The Nice List – Christmas leftovers that are okay for pets
Foods your pet CAN eat:
- Meat: Plain, cooked beef, turkey or chicken without bones or seasoning can be a treat for your pet.
- Vegetables: Plain, cooked vegetables like carrots, green beans, pumpkin, zucchini, and sweet potatoes are usually safe in moderation.
- Fruits: Watermelon, apple, banana, blueberries, and pear are all fruits your furry family member can
enjoy safely. Remove all seeds.
- Grains: Plain cooked wheat pasta, brown rice, and oats are a good source of carbohydrates for dogs.
If you want to share things like yoghurt with your pet, it needs to be both lactose and xylitol-free. Woolworths and Coles have Golp Dog yoghurt available if you want to treat your pet.
If ever in doubt, give your vet a shout.
What about the hoomans?
Now that you know what’s okay and what’s toxic for dogs in terms of Christmas leftovers, it’s time to think about what you can do with ALL that extra yummy goodness in your fridge! Here are 10 easy Christmas Leftovers ideas for humans:
- Ham and Chicken or Turkey Sandwiches: Use leftover ham and chicken or turkey to make delicious sandwiches with fresh bread, lettuce, and a bit of sauce.
- Pavlova Mess (a take on Eton Mess): Break up leftover pavlova into small pieces and mix it with fresh fruits like berries or passionfruit with cream or cold custard for a delightful dessert.
- Prawn Fried Rice: Combine leftover prawns with rice, vegetables, and soy sauce for a quick and tasty prawn-fried rice.
- Christmas Pizza: Use leftover roast vegetables, ham, and turkey as toppings for a festive Christmas pizza.
- Bubble and Squeak: Mash up leftover roast potatoes and vegetables, mix them together, and pan-fry for a classic finger food.
- Seafood Salad: Combine leftover prawns, crab, or other seafood with fresh salad greens, cherry tomatoes, and a zesty dressing for a light and refreshing seafood salad.
- Leftover Roast Pie: Use leftover roast meats, vegetables, and gravy to create a delicious meat pie. Simply fill a pie crust with the leftovers, cover with another layer of pastry, and bake until golden brown.
- Lamb Kebabs: Transform leftover lamb into tasty kebabs by threading the meat onto skewers with colorful vegetables. Grill or barbecue for a delicious and easy meal.
- Mango and Ham Salsa: Dice leftover ham and combine it with fresh mango, red onion, coriander, and lime juice to create a tropical salsa. Serve it as a topping for grilled chicken or as a dip with corn chips.
- Leftover Trifle Parfait: Layer leftover Christmas trifle components, such as sponge cake, custard, and berries, in a glass to create a delightful parfait. Top it with whipped cream for an elegant dessert.
What to read next
- Food Safety Matters: How to Safely Store and Consume Christmas Leftovers
- 9 Clever (and Delicious) Ways to Serve Leftovers
- 50 Easy Ways to Use Up Leftover Christmas Ham
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