Christmas Treats For Dogs And Cats The Good And The Bad

Thursday, 1 November 2018  |  Kate

Do you know the difference between an unhealthy dog treat and a healthy one? Especially when you're buying your dog or cat a Christmas present? This short article shows you how to tell the difference.

The bad Christmas treats

Many stores are now stocking presents for dogs and cats, more and more of us buy them every year; Christmas stockings, advent calendars and treats all aimed at your pets.

Most popular Christmas gifts made for dogs and cats are terrible. The ingredients are shocking. The added sugar, cheap ingredients, colours, flavours and preservatives are a disgrace. They’re cheap – in price and ingredients, cynical and not at all good for your dog or cat.

Unhealthy Xmas dog treats can give your dog a bad tummy and that’s all. Others could set off your pet’s allergies or in the case of Christmas rawhide, choke them due to the small embellishments, also made of very thin hide.

Rawhide dog chews

Rawhide bones, candy canes and Christmas cards make up a large proportion of gifts for dogs and cats. The vast majority of rawhide products and treats are made in China.

Cheap rawhide chews are made from the hides of cattle or horses. They’re then soaked in potentially toxic sodium sulphide to remove the hair and fat. More chemicals are used in order to split the hide into layers. They’re then washed with a weak solution of hydrogen peroxide (just liked your bagged salad), which is okay as it removes harmful bacteria.

Now come the pretty festive colours and the glue to form enticing shapes; think Christmas trees and holly with berries. These can cause intestinal blockages, choking, and sickness from the chemical residue, especially the flavoured chews; smoked and/or brightly coloured.

On testing, these cheap rawhide chews have been shown to have traces of arsenic, mercury, chromium and formaldehyde.

Christmas treats and stockings

Advent calendars and seasonally branded dog treats contain some of the worst ingredients I have ever seen. Legally, only dog and cat food has to attain a certain standard of nutrition. Treats don’t carry the same obligation.

Have a look at these shockers:

Pets At Home own brand selection box for dogs include:

  • Oils and Fats
  • Cereals
  • Various Sugars
  • Milk and Milk Derivatives
  • Derivatives of Vegetable Origin
  • Meat and Animal Derivatives
  • Oils and Fats.
  • Rawhide
  • Rice Starch and
  • Rice Oil.

Pedigree Dog Treats have a Mixed Selection Christmas Stocking

They contain four packets of treats, all with the same ingredients including:

  • Derivatives of Vegetable Origin
  • Cereals
  • Meat and Animal Derivatives
  • Various Sugars
  • Minerals
  • Oils and Fats
  • Vegetable Protein

Bakers Christmas Tin

God help us, includes four of their favourite treats containing:

  • Cereals
  • Gycerol
  • Meat and Animal derivatives
  • Vegetable protein extracts
  • Various sugars
  • Oils and fats
  • Minerals
  • Milk and milk derivatives.

Whether you shop at Pets At Home, Fetch, your supermarket or local shop, leave them on the shelf.


The good healthy Christmas treats.

We won’t stock any of the above or anything like it and have been constantly frustrated at the lack of available healthy treats and chews. Luckily it’s slowly starting to get better but still accounts for less than 1% of the Xmas dog gift market in the UK. The only way to get that number up is for dog owners to start buying natural dog treats for Christmas. Buying healthy will also help to bring the price down too.

The gifts you will find at My Itchy Dog are healthy, won’t set off your dog’s allergies or food intolerance, and contain only great ingredients. They don’t cost the earth either.

This year we’ve made our own Christmas treats for dogs and cats. And found a healthy Advent calendar to stock. All are suitable for cats too, though probably not the veggie treat bauble, cats prefer meat or fish treats every time.

Our handmade baubles to hang from the Christmas tree are refillable and contain:

Our Christmas stockings are filled with:

  • Pure turkey sticks and a tripe bone or
  • Pure venison sticks and a tripe bone or
  • Soopa kale and apple sticks and three Whimzee Eurostar chew sticks.

Our advent calendars contain:

48 treats

  • 12 x White Fish & Potato Biscuits
  • 12 x Luxury White Fish Cubes
  • 12 x Salmon Cubes
  • 12 x Fish Skin Cubes

My Itchy Dog Christmas presents for your dogs and cats sell fast every year.

Order now