We want everyone to be part of the holiday celebrations, even our pets. However, while it may be tempting to slip your pet a treat from the dinner table, many of the foods we eat may be harmful to pets.
Below is some information on how to keep your pet healthy during the holidays, while still letting them enjoy the fun.
Some human foods are toxic to cats and dogs. Foods such as grapes and raisins, garlic, onions and other plants from the Allium family, and theobromine (the chemical compound found in cocoa) are among the common human foods that are toxic to pets. The consumption of these foods can seriously harm pets, resulting in symptoms such as vomiting, anemia, irregular heart rhythm and seizures. An in-depth list of foods to avoid can be found here.
Beyond the risk of toxicity, the increased calories and fat in table scraps can lead to other health problems, such as obesity or pancreatitis in dogs. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) notes that pancreatitis, resulting from a high-fat diet, can result in diabetes, organ damage or even death. Similarly, obesity can lead to serious health concerns for both dogs and cats, and our blog post looks at some of the ways that pet lovers can help to keep their pet’s weight in check.
If you are looking to give your pet a special treat, whether during the holidays or any time of year, treats and chews made specifically for dogs or cats can be a fun way to spoil your pet when provided responsibly. Treats and chews should make up no more than 10 percent of a pet’s daily calories and should be fed alongside a complete and balanced diet. When feeding long-lasting chews such as bone treats or chew products that contain rawhide, which are specifically made for dogs, help keep your pet safe by always supervising and look for a chew recommended for his or her size. When we treat responsibly and keep an eye on table scraps, we can help our pets remain happy and healthy year-round.