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Dogs and Christmas Dinner

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Q.    My ten-year-old retriever enjoys a Christmas dinner with us every year.  However, my friend recently told me that she never allows her dog any festive treats as her vet advised against it.  Why is this so?

A.    Different dogs have very different abilities to cope with variation in diet.  A few will cope with large variation and apparently enjoy the variety but the majority will suffer with diarrhoea if their diet is varied too much.  In most cases we would therefore recommend a very consistent good quality, commercial diet with slight variation for interest and your vet can advise you on the most suitable diet for your dog.  Some dogs will have problems if their diet is changed at all such as, for instance, those with auto-immune gut problems, allergies to food ingredients or who are prone to colitis.  In these animals, a single complete food or a prescription food may be required.  

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