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Christmas Treats for Your Dog

Christmas is approaching, and no matter how you feel about the music of the season playing through shopping malls everywhere, you can’t help but get caught up in the holiday season anyway. Your dogs are no different, and Christmas is always a great excuse to do something special for your pets. Why not give your dogs some super-special treats this Christmas to brighten their day?

Here’s our rundown of the best Christmas treats to give your dog this December – including some you can make at home yourself!

The Best Homemade Dog Treats

You can easily make some homemade dog treats for your dog at home, and it’s often a whole lot cheaper than what you buy in stores – sometimes you can even put a healthier spin on these by including some natural ingredients or spices like cinnamon.

Simple Christmas Cookies for Dogs: The easiest recipes have only three or four ingredients, and this is true for both human and dog recipes! For really simple three-ingredient dog cookies, combine peanut butter, mashed bananas and flour together in a bowl, chill the mixture in the fridge and shape into appropriate forms. Stick these in the oven just enough to cook the flour and you’ll have a fun, tasty dog treat.

Alternate Recipe for Christmas Cookies: Again, the best recipes are usually the easiest ones. For an alternate spin on Christmas cookies, try mixing (cooked and mashed) pumpkin, oil, water and molasses, then add flour and baking soda – you can also add some spices like cinnamon or turmeric to this for an added, healthy boost. Mix the ingredients to a consistency you’re happy with, and stick it in the oven for five to ten minutes.

Health Conscious Cookies: If you’re after a more health-conscious option for your pets, you can also make some great cookies with flour, oatmeal, oil, carrots and aniseed – if you didn’t know this, aniseed can be like catnip for dogs and makes for an excellent treat.


Use some of these tricks to make treats for your dogs easier for you.

  • Cookie cutters are available in almost every shape you can think of, and it’ll make your job a lot easier – especially for themed-treats like these.
  • If your dog is gluten-intolerant, replace flour with a sprinkling of maize meal, a gluten-free flour or even almond flour.
  • Not happy with consistency yet? Add a little more of the ingredients: If it’s too wet, add dry things and the other way around. It’s really that easy.
  • Not everything is good for your pets. See the below list for ingredients that are best avoided.

Avoid These Ingredients:

Some of the ingredients below are known to be poisonous to dogs, while others just don’t work well with their systems and can lead to nausea, upset stomachs and discomfort. Especially when you’re making treats at home for your dogs, avoid the following ingredients.

For a more comprehensive list of what to avoid, visit the ASPCA or Pet Poison Helpline.

  • Alcohol:  May be present as a preservative in some products (including preserved cherries).
  • Avocado: Considered poisonous for both dogs and cats, best avoided entirely.
  • Bones: Bones, especially sharp ones, are considered a choking hazard and can even cause bowel obstructions that will need surgery to remove.
  • Caffeine: Caffeine is too hectic to be processed by dogs’ systems, and is also best avoided entirely.
  • Chocolate or Cocoa: Chocolate, especially high in cocoa, is outright poisonous to dogs; there are many safe and dog-friendly products for your dogs instead.
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): This is most often used as a flavour enhancer, present in human treats; also not processed well by dogs, and best avoided entirely. Of course, you don’t want to add too much salt to your pooch’s treats either for the same reason.
  • Fat Trimmings: Fat trimmings can cause an upset stomach, vomiting spells and might even cause conditions like cholesterol in your dogs – avoid, avoid, avoid!
  • Onions: Onions also hold the potential to wreak havoc on your dog’s digestive health, and is best avoided both in raw or cooked form.
  • Potatoes: When cooked properly, potatoes are just fine for your dogs – but green and raw ones should be best avoided; they’re part of the nightshade family, and just as bad for dogs as they are for humans.
  • Sugar: Sugar on its own isn’t too great for your dogs either, and you can actually give your dog diabetes with too many sugary treats – be careful, and see your vet if your dog has been getting a little weighty lately.
  • Xylitol or Other Artificial Sweeteners: Xylitol or artificial sweeteners are common ingredients in human foods – and the good-and-bad aspects can be endlessly debated, except when it comes to your animals.

Gifts for Dogs

No idea how to make anything yourself? That’s just fine! Here are some more suggestions for the coolest gifts for pets that you can buy instead of having to make it.

Stockings for Christmas

Stockings are an exceptionally great gift idea for when you need somewhere to store the gifts, though remember that a dog’s Christmas stocking is best hidden high up – especially when it’s filled with tasty stuff!

Advent Calendar for Dogs

Counting down the days until Christmas? Get your dog a fun advent calendar so they can do it with you! We simply love these calendars by Gingerpaws, and support them every year! Best of all? They also give back to animal charities like we do 😉

Eatsies Handmade Dog Treats

Need something that has that homemade feel? Eatsies makes these great homemade dog treats for your pets.

Christmas Gift Boxes for Dogs!

Buying for someone else, or want a special treat for your own pets? There are many gift-boxes for dogs available containing several different types of treats, including Lucky Dog, Boxie and Ginger Paws. A new one on the market is Dog Meet Girl’s box, which now also supports charity!

Want to support doggies in need? Then do look at supporting through another one of our favourites: Santa Cause for Paws. You can make your own or select a pre-made box to drop off at various shelters around SA for doggies & cats that don’t have homes of their own. There is also a store where you can buy other goodies that also support the charity. We’ve previously bought custom Christmas tree baubles – which are awesome, and go on the tree each year. I put on each of our furkids names, so they are also represented on the tree.

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