Spike’s spills his wuff-kept secrets on how to navigate food traps during the holidays answering Dexters plea for help with over indulging at Christmas
Chocolate is toxic for dogs but Dexter just can’t help himself. Spike gives his advice on how to avoid ending up with an embarrassing trip to the Vet this holiday, thus letting the cat get prime spot by the fire.
Christmas is just around the corner and to be frank I’m feeling pretty bah wuffbug about it all. What should to be a time of celebration in our house always ends up with me sat in a cold car park. I’ll explain. Every year the cat gets all the oohs and ahhs from the hoomans when she plays with the tree decorations while I get carted off to the vet. It’s so unfair. My small hoomans are very thoughtful and leave out their chocolate goodies on low lying tables for me to nibble. So I don’t understand why the pawrents get in such a frazzle when I indulge in a few treats. It’s not like I leave a mess, I always eat most of the wrapping (including the foil which makes my teeth tingle) and lick up every scrap of chocolate from the floor. Last year I had the indignity of spending Christmas afternoon in a state of induced vomiting outside. What can I do to enjoy the festive season by spending the afternoon asleep in front of the fire with a full happy belly in place of the cat.
Yours Dexter Dog
Yours Spike the Vizsla
Epic food thief thanks to long legs and tongue
A (serious) word for pawrents from fur mom and Sami Trillo-Blanco expert in creating the most delicious dog treats at Harley Bear’s Coco Bites
I can confirm to you that once again Spike has forgotten his food antics last Christmas. He too shares the experience of humiliating induced vomiting in the vet car park after discovering and eating 2 large bars of continental dark chocolate (yes, the EXPENSIVE kind ahem Spike). What he didn’t realise is that chocolate, and especially dark chocolate, is toxic and can be fatal for dogs. Yup, you heard that right doggos. Fatal. Even when he ate a whole bar of Toblerone the year before, which is milk chocolate, he had to visit the vet.
As for stealing food from work surfaces I won’t even go there with the parsnips. All I will say is we know who ate them. As they re-emerged in the same form as they went in and I was present. Christmas is a time when homes are filled with chocolate, both in stockings and often on the tree. It’s important that dogs can still enjoy the holidays and not be tempted by food which is harmful.
With a sense of smell significantly more powerful than humans dogs will naturally search for and eat food, especially if it is in easy reach.
Thankfully there are some specialist dog foodies out there who can advise us on alternatives for our pets. Trotting Dog spoke to Sami Trillo-Blanco who cooks up the most delicious dog treats at Harley Bear’s Coco Bites to get her expert advice this Christmas.
(and Santa’s best friend who also loves cats)
If dogs can’t eat chocolate is there a safe alternative?
Yes! Coconut oil is particularly delicious for dogs and has lots of health benefits. We began making coconut oil based treats for our rescue Staffy Harley whose coat was not in great condition. Our vet recommended it so we experimented with different dog biscuits and treats, eventually creating our original flavour Harley Bear Coco Bites.
Do your treats include a special ‘dog chocolate’ flavouring?
We only use Brewer’s Yeast for flavouring. This is also rich in protein and nutrients, an ideal supplement to help to improve and maintain your animal’s health. One of the main constituents is protein which is in a form that is easily digestible to any animals and can help with growth and recovery. The prebiotic nature of brewer’s yeast can also help to improve gut flora and this will have a beneficial effect on any digestive ailments and can help to relieve anxiety caused by poor digestion. Brewer’s yeast also contains many of the B complex vitamins as well as being a rich source of chromium. These enable our pup to breakdown and more easily digest the proteins, fats and carbohydrates in its diet thereby giving you more nutrition from the same amount of food. Brewer’s yeast is often recommended by holistic vets to help strengthen dogs’ immune systems.
How many treats can I give my dog?
Small dogs such as Chihuahuas, French Bulldogs, Yorkshire Terriers, Boston Terriers, Miniature Poodles and Dachshunds should be given around a 1/4 of a teaspoon of coconut oil daily. The mini hearts and tiny teddies are perfect for these size of dogs. Larger dogs should be given a teaspoon of coconut oil per 10lbs of weight. One teaspoon equates to one of the regular size paw treats. Is there a sell or eat by date on your treats? There is nothing scarier than looking at a bag of treats in the supermarket and seeing a “treat by” date on them over a year in the future. At Harley Bear’s our treats are made to order and have a treat by date of 6 months or 2 months if you have the dried fruit coins. We do make seasonal treats like our Howl-o-ween Howlers which had fresh pumpkin in them and they had an immediate treat by date.
Can I give coconut treats to my other pets?
You can give our treats to other pets – including that darn cat! Our customers are mostly puppas but we also have kitty-kats, guinea pigs, ferrets and rats who enjoy their Coco Bites.
What should I look out for when buying chocolate dog ‘treats’ in general?
The main thing to remember with chocolate treats is that they are just that – a treat! Carob is the best alternative for dogs but most of the “choccy drops” on the market are OK as long as they are given in moderation. Always make sure they are free from theobromine – this is a bitter alkaloid found in the cacao plant which is lethal to dogs.
What are your tips to keep dogs safe from chocolate poisoning at Christmas?
– Always keep chocolate away from curious pets by storing it in tins, especially if you have children.
– Remember not to wrap up chocolate and put it under the tree, as a gift. Dogs can still sniff it out and they are adept at opening presents!
– Don’t add any food treats to your tree as decorations. Even if you choose non-chocolate
treats your dog may pull down the tree injuring himself or others or causing more serious electrical damage if you use lights.
– If you love a bit of internet shopping, be sure not to order any chocolate products that can fit through the letterbox – Sainsbury’s recently came under fire for sending out free samples of chocolate to homes they knew had dogs!
– Be sure to teach any little ones the dangers of sharing their Christmas chocolate with their furry friend.