What Foods are Safe (and Unsafe) for My Pet During the Holidays?
The holidays are just around the corner! If you’re anything like us, one of the things you’re looking forward to the most are all those festive holiday treats. Your dog(s) would love for you to know that holiday treats aren’t just for humans.
Of course, when it comes to festive treats, keeping your dog healthy and safe is our top consideration. Nobody wants to be making a surprise trip to the vet because your dog swallowed a rawhide splinter.
Every holiday season veterinarians see pets admitted for swallowing large portions of festive dog bones or holiday chew toys. Rawhide chews can lead to intestinal blockage and possibly emergency surgery. The FDA recommends avoiding them all together.
Human food is also potentially hazardous for dogs. It’s important to remember to keep our human treats like chocolate candies and gingerbread houses out of reach from any curious pets.
If your pet does manage to get into something potentially hazardous and is behaving unusually, the best practice is to contact your vet immediately.
Healthy and Fun Treat Options for Dogs
When purchasing or baking your own dog treats, remember to avoid anything with a lot of fats, sugar, salt, or spices. Yes, your dog looks awesome in that autumnal sweater, but that doesn’t mean it needs a pumpkin spice latte.
Fresh, whole foods are a great way to supplement your pet’s diet and keep them happy and healthy. Not only can they help maintain a healthy weight for your dog, but they can provide many essential vitamins and minerals.
A small amount of yogurt or canned pumpkin as an occasional treat or topper for your dog’s kibble can add much needed fiber and probiotics. Apple slices and peanut butter can be a healthy snack or additive to a homemade recipe provided they are not too sweet.
Making your dog homemade treats can be a fun holiday activity with the added bonus of ensuring only the most wholesome and pet safe ingredients are used. The treats also make an excellent gift for the pet lovers in your life.
When considering store bought treats there are a few things to keep in mind, be sure to pay close attention to how much fat and calories are in each dog treat. Seek out treats that disclose nutrition facts and look for the AAFCO (Association of Feed Control Officials) label on the bag. Avoid any foods that may trigger any known allergens.
If you are unsure of what foods are safe to give your pet, the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has a list of foods which may be harmful. As always, please do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian with any questions
If you have any questions about what’s safe or unsafe for your pet, please call us at (865) 609-0311. From your family at Volunteer Veterinary Hospital, Happy Holidays!