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3 pup-friendly Christmas dishes

Following this post on what not to feed your dog, in this article, Lisa Melvin, head of marketing at Webbox, suggests three pup-friendly Christmas dishes.  

Every owner’s priority is keeping their pet as happy and healthy as possible.

Any festive treats you make your pup should, therefore, be made with dog-friendly ingredients to avoid any unwanted trips to the vet on Christmas Day.

When in doubt, you cannot go wrong with keeping it simple: avoid any dishes that contain chocolate, sweeteners, dairy, garlic, onions, or are high in carbohydrates, and stick to seasonal classics like turkey, sweet potato, and other root vegetables instead.

While your guests may have the best intentions, it is often best to make an agreement that no one feeds your pooch during a dinner party.

Knowing exactly what your dog has eaten will help you avoid any allergy scares or digestive problems, so you can let your pup in on the festive fun with peace of mind.

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Christmas Meatballs

A simple yet very effective recipe, these meatballs are healthy and full of classic festive flavours your pooch is sure to love.

Not only this, but they only use a few ingredients and can even be made with any leftovers on Boxing Day.

This makes them the perfect meal for your pup to enjoy while you serve up Christmas dinner for the whole family.

To make a batch of festive meatballs, combine 50g of lean turkey mince with one large egg, 100g of grated carrot, and 50g of chopped Brussels sprouts in a large mixing bowl.

Add half a teaspoon of cinnamon and sage to the bowl and mix thoroughly until everything is well combined.

Avoid adding standard seasonings like salt and pepper, as food with a high salt content is not healthy for your pup and pepper can be too strong.

Spoon out small portions of the mixture and shape them into meatballs. Bake in an oven for 25 minutes at 180⁰C, ensuring that they are fully cooked through.

Be sure to let the meatballs cool before serving them to your pup, and they’re guaranteed to be a hit.

Not only are these lean meatballs healthy, but making your pup their own special meal means your guests are less tempted to sneak them a bite of turkey that could contain seasonings, bone, or skin (all of which are bad for dogs).

Healthy Festive Biscuits

Not only is turkey a Christmas staple, but it is also a brilliant lean meat that your dog will love.

However, if you want to make some lighter snacks for your pup to have in between meals, give these veggie biscuits a try.

Packed with vitamins and minerals that are great for your pooch’s overall health, these use seasonal ingredients like pumpkin and carrot for a deliciously festive treat.

Start by preheating your oven to 180⁰C and lining a baking tray with parchment paper.

Then, add a cup of pumpkin puree, a quarter cup of peanut butter, and two large eggs to an electric mixer and beat for a few minutes until well combined.

Be sure to check that your peanut butter is free from sweeteners, as artificial sweeteners like xylitol can be toxic for dogs.

Gradually add two cups of wholewheat flour and half a cup of whole oats to the wet ingredients in your mixer, and beat on a medium setting until the dough is no longer sticky.

Once your dough is almost ready, mix in one carrot and one courgette (peeled and shredded) along with a handful of chopped spinach.

You can then knead your dough on a floured surface, rolling it out to around a quarter-inch thick.

Use cookie cutters to create a full tray of biscuits and then bake in the oven until the edges are golden brown (around 20–25 minutes).

For extra presentation points, use a bone-shaped cookie cutter, or opt for festive shapes like Christmas trees or snowmen!

Mini Pup-kin Pies

While you and the family tuck into your Christmas pudding, why not give your pooch a little something sweet too?

These bite-sized treats are made with a dog-friendly pie crust containing no butter or refined wheat flour, so they’re safe as well as delicious.

After preheating your oven to 190⁰C, mix 120g of rice flour, one medium egg, and two tablespoons of apple sauce in a food processor until it blends into a dough.

Roll your dough out in between two layers of parchment paper, and then use a glass tumbler to cut out circles.

Lay these circles in the wells of a mini muffin tin and bake for 6–8 minutes until golden.

To make the filling, lower your oven temperature to 175⁰C and start whisking 185g of pumpkin puree with another medium egg and half a teaspoon of cinnamon.

Spoon this mixture into your pastry cases and bake for another 40 minutes until firm, allowing them to cool before serving.

With this dog-friendly pastry recipe, you can also get creative with different fillings.

For example, as your pup cannot eat raisins or dried fruit, you could add a literal twist to a classic mince pie and fill the pastry cases with savoury cooked mincemeat.

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