Can Your Dog Enjoy a St. Patrick’s Day Meal?
The United States has embraced St. Patrick’s Day—but can your dog join the festivities?
Chicago dyes the river green. Many cities have large parades in honor of the day. Some people claim that everyone is a little bit Irish on St. Paddy’s Day. You see a lot of green and tons of Shamrocks that day.
And then there’s the food. Corned beef and cabbage, potatoes fixed in a couple of traditional Irish ways, and Irish soda breads are common. Add a pint of Guinness or a green-dyed beer and you’re all fixed.
How much of the holiday spirit can you share with your dog? You can paint her nails green with dog-friendly nail polish. Maybe get her a little hat, a green collar or bow, or get a headband with some shamrocks on it.
But what about the food? You know she can’t have beer, but what about the other foods? Is there a dog-friendly St. Patrick’s Day meal? Yes, there is! Let’s look at what your dog can indulge in on St. Paddy’s Day.
Corned Beef: Yes, if unseasoned and in moderation.
One of the mainstays of the typical St. Paddy’s Day meal in the United States is corned beef. The beef is prepared in a brine solution. A layer of fat is left on the meat for flavor as it cures and cooks. As a result, it is high in sodium and fat—neither are particularly good for your dog. For that matter, most nutritionists would probably agree it’s not the best food for humans, either.
Some people prepare corned beef with onions and garlic. Both of these foods can be dangerous to dogs and should never be given to them.
But if you prepared your corned beef without garlic or onions, you can probably give your dog a bit of the beef. It’s not the best thing for her, but it won’t hurt her. Just make sure you feed a very small portion and only on very rare occasions.
Cabbage: Yes, if unseasoned and in moderation.
Dogs can eat cabbage. Cooked cabbage is best: too much raw cabbage can cause thyroid issues. Leave the butter and salt off—dogs will like the flavor just the same. And again, make sure it wasn’t cooked with onions or garlic. Cabbage can cause gas in dogs the same as it does in humans, so bear that in mind if your dog has problems with flatulence.
Potatoes: Yes, if cooked and unseasoned.
Dogs should not eat raw potato, but cooked potatoes are just fine. If you plan to prepare mashed potatoes, champ (mashed potatoes with green onions) or colcannon (mashed potatoes with sautéed onions and kale), give your dog some plain cooked potatoes before you add the milk, cream, salt, butter, and whatever else.
Carrots: Yes, if unseasoned.
Carrots are often served with corned beef and cabbage. Dogs can eat carrots, either raw or cooked. Dogs enjoy both the crunch and sweetness of carrots. If they’re cooked, get your dog’s portion of the carrots before adding any seasoning.
Just as a note, a cold carrot or cold carrot sticks can be a great treat for your furry friend on a hot summer’s day. Just make sure you wash the carrots first to get any residual pesticides off.
Irish Soda Bread: Yes, if no raisins.
Irish Soda Bread is a bread that is also often served with a traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal. The bread itself, which is similar to a biscuit, shouldn’t hurt your dog except for the calories.
The probably is, the soda bread is often made with raisins or currants. Neither of these are good for dogs. Although one errant raisin in a piece of soda bread probably will not cause your dog any problems, it’s best if you just make a bit of bread with no raisins for her.
Stews and Pies: Yes, if no onions or garlic (but we have better options).
There are other foods like Irish Stew and Shepherd’s Pie that are common Irish foods for St. Patrick’s Day. The biggest offenders in these foods are onions. Onions and garlic can cause red blood cell damage in dogs, so you really don’t want to give these foods to your dog.
If you want to make your dog’s St. Patrick’s Day meal as exceptional as your own, but without running the risk of accidently feeding her something that could upset her stomach, use a Superfood Pour Over on her regular food, just the vegetables from your St. Patrick’s Day meal, or a small portion of the whole meal. Or mix in some LID Fish Recipe for a flavorful, but healthy, option.
So enjoy St. Paddy’s Day with your dog. Even if you’re not Irish and your dog isn’t an Irish Setter, Irish Wolfhound, or Irish Water Spaniel—you can still partake in (most) of the festivities together!