Choosing Your Pet To Eat A Vegan Christmas Lunch

PET CHECK BLOG - Dog looking at a bowl of vegetables

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Traditional Christmas Lunch

In the UK we’ve been enjoying eating a turkey and ‘all the trimmings’ since it was introduced as a highlight of Christmas festivities more than 500 years ago by King Henry V111.

Turkeys arrived on our shores from the US and Christmas has never been the same since with surveys suggesting the majority of the population believe Christmas wouldn’t be the same without having a turkey meal, possibly the same thoughts in the USA for the special Thanksgiving meal enjoyed at the end of November.

Vegan Lifestyles Growing By The Million

A vegan lifestyle is growing rapidly in the UK according to with population numbers following a meat-free diet doubling in the past year and now all the major supermarkets recognising the growth offering dedicated prepared meals. Their survey suggests that 87% of the UK population currently eat meat in their diets. Of the non-meat diets, the vegetarian diet is the most common (7%), followed by the pescatarian diet (4%) and then the vegan diet (2%). This means more than 6.7 million British adults currently follow a meat-free diet.

Other forecasts suggest that more than 2 million of the population will be vegan as we end 2020 of a total estimated forecast of approximately 67 million.

Many vegans wish their pets to follow their lifestyles but veterinarians have been very vocal that their customers should consider all aspects before imposing this lifestyle on their pets, with major pet food companies researching into producing manufactured vegan meals for pets. Lily’s have produced a dedicated range.

What Is Our Traditional Christmas Lunch?

A traditional human UK Christmas lunch according to wikipedia may include turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes, sometimes mash potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce or redcurrant jelly, bread sauce, and winter vegetables including brussels sprouts and parsnips. Looking at supermarket offerings they include broccoli, carrots, and red cabbage – and more lately – popular ‘pigs in blanket’.

For choice, roast beef and ham may also appear on the menu for the majority rather than goose, pheasant or duck.

Desert includes Christmas pudding made primarily from dried fruits and served with brandy sauce, butter or cream, with mince pies also made of dried fruit to close.

What Happens When Your Vegan Friend And Vegan Dog Stay For Christmas Lunch?

Over the past ten years or so, vegan Christmas lunch has been promoted heavily as enjoying a nut roast in the UK.

The BBC Good Food provides a number of Christmas vegan recipes, such as –

  • nut roast
  • cranberry & lentil bake
  • sizzled sprouts and pistachios and pomegranate
  • chilli charred brussel sprouts
  • Christmas vegan pudding containing a selection of dried fruits
  • vegan mince pies containing dried fruits

Could Christmas Vegan Meals Be Served To A Vegan Pet?

Rabbits are herbivores and do not eat meat, only selected raw vegetables served as a treat alongside their stable quality hay and shop bought prepared and nutritional balanced pellet diet could be eaten. They could be given the smallest amount of raw broccoli, brussel sprouts, red cabbage, for example. Carrots are high in sugar content but a smallest amount as a treat can be given. No desserts.

Rabbits would not be suited to eating the vegan Christmas lunch BBC recipes.

Cats are carnivores, they eat meat to survive. Cats really are not suited to a vegan diet because they have not adapted to this. Christmas lunch for cats is most definitely turkey, ham (in very small pieces) or beef without seasoning and sauces, and no vegetables or desserts. Portion sizes served must be kept small and in conjunction with their normal daily balanced diet.

Cats would not be suited to eating the vegan Christmas lunch BBC recipes.

Dogs are omnivores, they eat both from meat and plant sources. Dogs can eat selected foods from a traditional lunch in moderation, such as turkey and beef without fat, seasoning and sauces. Ham is best not to be given to dogs. They can also eat selected vegetables such as brussel sprouts, mashed potato (no butter), and carrots. No desserts.

Likewise they can eat from selected vegan recipes on offer, but most recipes include at least two or three ingredients that are dangerous to dogs such as onions and garlic, nutmeg, (all highly toxic), in the nut roast.

  • Cranberry & lentil bake in itself should be good for a dog to eat but its the complimenting herbs, vegetables and peppers added that can be problematic to dogs especially onions in this recipe which are toxic.
  • A nut roast, again should be good for a dog to eat but contains some herbs and seasoning, garlic and onion that must be removed.
  • Sizzled sprouts and pistachios and pomegranate, where pomegranate can cause the dog tummy aches and diarrhea. Small amount of sprouts and a few pistachios should not be bothersome.
  • Christmas pudding and mince pies are definitely off the menu whether your pet is vegan or not as they contain a toxic selection of dried fruits.

Dogs would not be suited to eating the above vegan Christmas lunch BBC recipes.

\\\ Vegan Pet Lunch

Are There Any Christmas Vegan Pet Lunches Available?

We haven’t found any ranges of commercially produced Christmas lunches for a vegan pets this year. Todate, we’ve only found Veggie Pets offering Christmas stockings filled with vegan pet treats.

Have you come across anyone recently thats stated they’re increasing their meat consumption or their pets?

We haven’t at Pet Check. We’ve not come across either owners seeking to increase their diets or their pets meat consumption, unless being advised by their medics or vets.

The Economist provided a fascinating article, 2019, an insight to our world problems where giving up two-thirds of meat meals could cut food-related carbon emissions by 60% researched by Oxford University and the University of Minnesota.

Vegans are passionate people and have taken extraordinary steps and must be applauded. They have to ‘work hard’ at producing balanced menus 365 days of the year, and likewise, want the best for their pets, however, giving pets our human meals must be adjusted for the sake of the pet’s health.

  • Currently dogs cannot tolerate too much of any one vegetable or fruit, food should be moderately balanced and served with a manufactured balanced pet dogs diet.
  • Special ‘meals’ ideally should only be about 10% of the total days pet diet.
  • Seasoning, flavouring, herbs, sauces, liquids, creams, etc., are better not to be included in pet menus.

Overriding factor is that human food whether in a vegan diet or not must be closely scrutinised and adjusted before feeding to pets.

Read more about Veganism.

You may like to read other food blogs –

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