Christmas – it’s a magical time for everyone, whether you’ve got two legs or four. We believe all animals deserve love and care this Christmas, and at every time of the year, which is why thortful has partnered with the RSPCA to support its winter rescue campaign.
As part of this, we’ve created a lovely little compendium of Christmas treats for dogs, cats, rabbits and more — so when you’re tucking into your second helping of pigs in blankets, you don’t have to feel bad for your sad-eyed furry friend, moping in the corner, staring longingly at the meal on the table.
Christmas is a time for joy and spending time together as a family, but we know that this year is going to be harder for a lot of families as they deal with the cost-of-living crisis. So why not get everyone into the kitchen and make some treats for your furry friend yourself? On the menu, we’ve got nibbles, tea time favourites, and plenty of yummy festive Christmas treats for dogs, cats, and other pets too.
Everyone knows that the snacking options around Christmas are next-level for us humans – but just because your pets won’t be chomping through a cheese board or munching on mince pies (because they’re toxic to cats and dogs), that doesn’t mean they should miss out.
Whether you’re after something to pop in your pet’s Christmas stocking or looking for some snacks for the local wildlife, we have festive recipes for every furry family member. Grab your ingredients and get baking to create some extra special homemade nibbles!
Want to make your dog feel extra special this festive season? Fill
their stocking with your very own homemade Doggy Stocking Filler
Biscuits – the perfect way to thank them for just being fabulous!
- 250ml of water
- 1 mashed banana
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 600g of whole-wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- Start by preheating your oven to 180°C and lightly grease two large baking sheets, making sure to get every nook and cranny
- Mash up your banana into a large bowl and combine your water, mashed banana, egg and honey.
- After that, it’s time to stir in the whole-wheat flour and baking powder, which should leave you with a dough.
- Beat the dough on medium speed in an electric mixer until you feel like all the ingredients are properly mixed together.
- Flour a nearby work surface and knead the dough until it’s not sticky.
- Roll out your dough around ¼-inch thick and then use your favourite cookie cutter to cut it into small shapes. For extra festive fun, go for something like Christmas trees or snowmen or there’s always the classic bone shape!
- Once you’ve used all the dough, place your shapes onto the baking sheets. Pop into the oven until they’re looking a lovely light brown in colour, normally about 20 minutes or so.
- Turn off the oven and leave them for another 30–40 minutes until they become dry and crisp.
- Carefully take the baking sheets out of the oven, letting them cool for 10 minutes before moving onto a wire rack to fully cool.
- Now your pooch can crunch on their new favourite biscuit!
Want to show your kitty just how much you adore them? Then
head on into your kitchen and whip up some of these tasty
treats. This super simple recipe for Candy Cane Gummies is
the perfect nibble for your cats to enjoy either on Christmas day
itself or throughout the festive period.
- Tin of tuna in spring water (not drained)
- 2 gelatine leaves
- Scoop out the tuna into a large bowl and blitz with a hand blender. Alternatively, if you don’t have a hand blender you could just scoop your tuna into a standard blender.
- In 50ml of boiling water, melt your gelatine leaves and add into the bowl with the tuna, making sure to stir well.
- Last but not least, spoon the mixture into a candy cane-shaped silicone mould (or any other mould you have lying around) and leave it to refrigerate for at least 6 hours until fully set.
- These gummies can last up to 4 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Deck the halls with our Festive Veggie Wreaths for your adorable
bunnies or guinea pigs to nibble on this Christmas! Packed with
nutrition from both fruit and veggies, they’re healthy and tasty
too. What’s more, they’re the official colours of Christmas too –
red and green!
- 1 courgette
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1 apple
- 1 strawberry
- Some mint leaves
- Some leafy greens
- Cut the bottom and the top off your courgette, and then chop it into two halves.
- Scoop out the soft middle of each half of the courgettes, to make hollow tubes – be sure to mind your fingers here.
- Carefully slice your yellow pepper and deseed it before slicing it up vertically into long, thin pieces.
- Peel your apple and slice it up into long, thin pieces.
- Cut off the top of your strawberry and then chop it into long thin slices, like the yellow pepper and apple.
- Grab your mint leaves and leafy greens and slice these up lengthwise.
- Finally, pack all your sliced-up ingredients into your hollow courgette halfs and then cut them into circular slices. And voila! You’ve made festive veggie wreaths.
From rosy robins to colourful blue tits, your local wildlife also
deserves some treats at Christmas time! If you’ve got birds who
often gather in your garden, our Winter Wildlife Sprinkle Dust will
be a nice nibble for them in the colder months.
- A scattering of wild bird seeds
- A handful of rolled oats
- Dried fruit
- Dried insects
- Grated cheese
- A pinch of mild chilli powder
- Get a hold of some wild bird seeds whether that’s black sunflower seeds, yellow millet or sunflower hearts.
- Throw in some rolled oats for that added texture and flavour along with some dried fruit and insects. (Warning! If you’re a dog owner then don’t use grapes, raisins, sultanas and currants as these can be poisonous to them.)
- Add your grated cheese, and then sprinkle in a dash of mild chilli powder to help discourage rodents.
- Once that’s all mixed together you can either sprinkle your Winter Wildlife Dust on your grass in the garden or leave it in a higher place such as on a bird table.
Onto tea time – AKA the main course! If you ever feel even just a little bit guilty about not being able to share your favourite Christmas foods with your pet, then we’re here to save the day. Discover all sorts of yummy pet-friendly recipes that you can prepare yourself such as Oaty Banana Stars, Kitty Christmas Bites, and Festive Hay Wreaths – plus, find out which bits of your Christmas Dinner Leftovers are safe for pets to eat.
There’s no better way to get into the true Christmas spirit and celebrate as a family, pets and all, than dining on some tasty festive foods. Plus, it gives everyone the perfect excuse to get into the kitchen and try out our recipes together.
As most dog owners will know, it’s hard to sit around and enjoy
your Christmas dinner without sneaking them something under
the table. To make sure your dog isn’t being left out while you’re
busy tucking into your Christmas dinner, prepare your very own
Oaty Banana Stars as yummy Christmas dog treats.
- 2 tablespoons of flax seeds
- 100g of rolled oats
- 240g of whole-wheat flour
- 1 large mashed banana
- 35ml of vegetable, sunflower or olive oil
- 60ml of water
- Preheat your oven to 175°
- Add your flax seeds, rolled oats, and flour into a large mixing bowl making sure it’s all combined really well.
- Once you think all your dry ingredients are fully combined, add in the mashed bananas, oil, and water and stir.
- Once the mixture is thick, roll it out on a chopping board with a rolling pin then use your star-shaped cookie cutter to create your Oaty Banana Stars.
- Place each star onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Once baked through take them out and place onto a wire rack to cool, then when fully cool you can let your pooch dig in.
While salmon might not be your typical Christmas food, our Kitty Christmas Bites will make a perfect treat for your feline friend this festive season. What’s more, this recipe is super easy and only requires three ingredients!
- 2 cups of whole-wheat flour
- 270g of chopped salmon
- 1 large egg
- First of all, preheat your oven to 180°
- Next put your 2 cups of whole-wheat flour, chopped salmon, and large egg into a large bowl.
- Stir the ingredients until everything is properly combined and starting to form a dough-like consistency.
- Once you’re happy with your dough mixture, flour a nearby work surface and mould your dough into a ball.
- Use a rolling pin to evenly roll out your dough until it’s roughly ¼-inch in thickness.
- Cut out shapes using your preferred little cookie cutter. For those extra festive vibes, we recommend using a tiny Christmas tree or snowflake cookie cutter.
- Once you’ve made as many shapes as you can out of your dough, place them onto an ungreased baking tray.
- Pop the tray into the oven and bake for around 20 minutes until your cookie bites are looking a lovely golden brown.
- Take your Kitty Christmas Cookie Bites out of the oven and leave them to cool down for a while before letting your cat tuck in.
Give your small furry friend the perfect gift this Christmas and make the festive season extra fun thanks to our Festive Hay Wreaths. A super easy craft to do over the Christmas break or on a cold winter night, your pet will love you even more for taking the time to make them their own toy!
- Brown paper
- Pet-safe string
- Roll out your brown paper and cut a long strip about an inch or two wide.
- Shape your hay into a circle – leave a hole in the middle, since this is a wreath, after all!
- Wrap your paper around the hay under and over until you’ve reached where you started.
- Attach some string to secure both ends of the paper, leaving enough spare so you can hang it.
- Cut off any excess hay so that it looks all neat and tidy.
Everyone loves Christmas dinner, and that goes for animals too. But what can and can’t animals eat? Keep your pets and local wildlife safe and well-fed this Christmas and make the most of your leftovers by learning which parts of your Christmas dinner are safe for them to eat.
- Turkey – The staple and centrepiece of a Christmas dinner, you can feed a little leftover turkey to your dogs and cats as long as it has been de-boned, and no gravy has been poured over it.
- Pig in blankets – While you might think pigs in blankets are safe for pets, being made from processed meats means they’re not suitable for animals as they have high salt and fat content.
- Stuffing – Unfortunately, due to being high in salt and other artificial ingredients, stuffing isn’t animal friendly. Any leftovers should be eaten by yourself (that’s what leftover sandwiches on Boxing Day are for).
- Brussels sprouts – Love them or hate them, Brussels sprouts are a quintessential part of a traditional Christmas dinner – but if you’re not a fan, you can leave any unwanted sprouts out for badgers and foxes to enjoy.
- Carrots – Leftover carrots can be fed to dogs, and foxes and badgers also enjoy nibbling on carrots. Maybe that’s why these critters can see in the dark so well!
- Peas – If you’ve got any leftover peas on your plate, these can be left out for badgers and foxes.
- Potatoes – Whether you prefer your potatoes boiled, roasted, baked or mashed, birds and badgers will also enjoy feasting on them around Christmas day too.
And of course, no Christmas dinner is complete without a little something for afterwards, but which of our favourite post-Christmas dinner snacks and leftovers can be given to our pets or other animals?
- Christmas cake and mince pies – So long as your Christmas cake or mince pies are made with unsweetened pastry then there’s no problem in crushing them into crumbs and leaving in the garden, out of reach of dogs, for birds to peck at.
- Unsalted nuts and savoury snacks – Savoury nuts are a popular snack around Christmas, but if you happened to stock up a bit too much then you can always crush them up a bit and put them outside in the garden for birds to enjoy.
- Cheese board – A giant cheese board is a staple for many households at Christmas, but if you bought a bit too much then you can grate up any leftover cheese for birds and badgers.
Like any festive feast, you’ve got to have something for afterwards. From safe Mini Festive puddings that the dog will love to Rudolph’s Favourite Cookies, we’ve got a selection of pet-friendly treats and recipes.
While treats might typically be reserved for after you’ve finished your Christmas dinner, there’s nothing stopping you from giving your beloved pet an extra sweet treat here and there, especially over the jolly festive period. After all, Christmas comes but once a year!
No Christmas dinner is complete without dessert, and that’s exactly where our Mini Festive Puddings come in. Spoil your pooch this festive season and give our recipe a go! Plus, you’ll definitely be their favourite after giving them a tasty treat – what more could you want?
- 60g of peanut butter (Warning! make sure it’s xylitol-free so it’s dog safe)
- 7 tablespoons of whole-wheat flour
- 1 egg
- 1 pot of coconut or soy yoghurt
- 1 handful of dried cranberries
- Start off by preheating your oven to 175°
- In a small pan, slowly soften up the peanut butter. Make sure not to overdo it otherwise you’ll end up with burnt peanut butter… yuck!
- Take off the heat and slowly stir in your flour until there are no lumps or visible flour.
- Crack in the egg and mix together to form a dough.
- Sprinkle a dusting of flour on a nearby surface and roll the dough into small bite-sized balls using your hands. Place them onto a baking sheet as you go.
- Bake in the oven for around 25 minutes or until you think they look golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and leave them to cool.
- When you’re ready to dish up, pour some yoghurt on top along with a handful of dried cranberries.
Do you know what’s better than one giant cake? Loads of little mini ones, of course! Our Jolly Pupcakes are a great option if you want some pre-portioned treats to give to your pooch while everyone else is enjoying a sweet treat over the Christmas period.
- 2 large bananas
- ½ cup of peanut butter (Warning! make sure it’s xylitol-free so it’s dog safe)
- 1 egg
- ½ cup of finely grated carrots
- 3 cups of finely ground oat flour
- Set your oven to 180°C and line a cupcake tray with cases.
- Mash up the bananas in a large bowl and add in the pet-friendly peanut butter, making sure to stir well.
- Crack your egg into the bowl, try your best not to get any unwanted eggshells in there.
- Next, add in your grated carrots and oat flour and give it a good stir.
- Scoop out some mixture to fill each of your cupcake cases and pop them into the oven for 20—25 minutes until they look nice and golden on top.
- The final step is completely optional, but to really top things off you could decorate your Jolly Pupcakes by sprinkling some oat flour on top to create a snowy frosting.
Maybe you’re the sort of person who still loves a good frozen sweet treat over the Christmas period… Well, you can’t exactly just leave the dog out of that now, can you? Luckily, our Icicle Pup Pops are just the thing you (and your dog) can enjoy together.
- 3 tablespoons of peanut butter (Warning! make sure it’s xylitol-free so it’s dog safe)
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- Combine all your ingredients in one go and mush it all up until it’s all smooth.
- Pour your mixture into ice lolly moulds and pop them into the freezer overnight (although they should be good to go after 3—4 hours).
- And that’s all, now you’ve got some yummy Icicle Pup Pops to share with your pooch as you dig into your own favourite ice cream flavour.
Spoil your feline this year with a tasty Kitty Christmas Cake – perfect as a super special snack during the most wonderful time of year. Of course, it’s worth bearing in mind that like with any other cake, this is extremely indulgent so it’s best to cut this into smaller slices.
- 50g of mashed sweet potato
- Half a tin of tuna in spring water (drained)
- 1 teaspoon of plain flour
- 1 mashed potato
- Start by peeling and chopping up your sweet potato before boiling in water until soft, normally around 10—15 minutes. Once fully cooked, leave to cool and then mash until there are no lumps to be found.
- Add your tuna into a large bowl along with the mashed sweet potato and flour, mixing together until well combined.
- Pour your mixture into a lined baking tin and spread it out evenly then pop into the fridge to set for 10 minutes or so.
- Onto the frosting. Peel, cook and mash up your potato then leave to cool before loosening with a little water and put into a piping bag.
- Remove from the fridge and tin then pipe on your cooled mash however you like.
- If you can find a festive feline treat to put on top then that would just be the cherry on top, or you could try to make your own with one of our other recipes.
Got plenty of ideas for making some extra special Christmas pet treats this year?
Once that’s sorted, if you feel like doing an extra good deed to make it onto Santa’s nice list in time for the big day, check out our charity card collaboration with the RSPCA! Every time you buy one of our RSPCA Christmas cards, we’ll be giving £1 to the RSPCA – and we’ll also donate 5p for every other standard A5 Christmas card purchase too!
Disclaimer: While our recipes are super tasty, it’s important to remember that these are special Christmas treats for the most wonderful time of the year – not a replacement for your pet’s everyday meals! These treats should be fed in moderation, and they must be taken into account when measuring your pet’s daily food intake. Always check with your vet if you’re worried about your pet or have concerns about food allergies or intolerances.