The caring act of giving your dog a sample of the holiday fare could cause serious harm to your pet, although it was done with the best of intentions. This is the season where we celebrate our good fortunes with family and friends at the dinner table with a plethora of food, drink and dessert. However, many pet owners want to spoil their pets with treats humans love to eat, but there are some things you should consider before offering your pooch some samples:
Don’t break your pets’ diets if they eat special foods for medical conditions. If you aren’t certain if it’s safe for a particular pet to have treats, consult your family veterinarian first. Also, make sure the food is properly cooked (this includes meat and dough for breads products).
- All things in moderation. Don’t overdo it with Thanksgiving meal treats. For a small dog, one piece of pumpkin pie may have an entire day’s worth of calories, and will have significantly less sustenance than their regular food. For a small cat, did you know only one ounce of cheese will make your cat lay out flat meowing in the pain of overindulgence? That amount of cheese is the equivalent in calories to a human eating two large sized fast food hamburgers.
Make sure the food you give to your pets is at room temperature. Hot food can cause oral or esophageal burns.
- Break foods into bite-sized pieces to avoid choking. Fully cooked vegetables are softer and safer for your pet to swallow than raw vegetables.
- Don’t feed your pets foods on toothpicks or skewers! Never assume your pet will nibble the food off and leave the toothpick or skewer behind.
- Avoid decorative food. Keep in mind that decorative food, such as holiday corn, can be harmful if eaten by your dog or cat, especially if it is made of plastic. There are some decorative flowers that are highly toxic to your pets if consumed as well. Keep Lilies, Azalea, Oleander, Poinsettia and Chrysanthemum away from your animals.
It is hard to resist the soft eyes of a well behaved dog when you’re in the spirit of giving, but your four legged friend will be just as happy with treats made specifically for them.
Written by John Robertson