Holiday Safety Tips

Brogli, Lane, Weaver & Alexander Animal Hospital, Murfreesboro TN
November 2018

Christmas is fast approaching, and along with it comes family gatherings that usually include us indulging in our favorite foods. Our pets are part of the family and it’s often tempting to want to include them at dinner time. However, most of our favorite foods can pose a health threat to our pets. The last thing most families want for their Holiday is an emergency trip to the vet. Check out these Holiday feeding tips to know what foods to avoid and what you can give as a safe alternative.

1. Don’t feed: Table scraps

Fatty table scraps like ham, turkey skin and gravy can cause pancreatitis.

Alternative: Plain green beans (without pork fat or seasoning)
Green beans are a great healthy alternative that your pet will enjoy.

2. Don’t feed: Bones

Turkey, chicken and ham bones can cause an obstruction in your pet’s stomach which could require emergency surgery to remove.

Alternative: Dental chews
Dental chews keep your pet busy while cleaning their teeth at the same time.

3. Don’t feed: Chocolate

Chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea and even death in extreme cases. The amount of chocolate eaten determines the level of toxicity. The darker the chocolate the more dangerous it is.

Alternative: Peanut butter
Small amounts of unsalted unsweetened peanut butter are a good source of protein and a delicious treat at the same time.

4. Don’t feed: Grapes & Raisins

Grapes and raisins are toxic for dogs and cats and can cause kidney failure.

Alternative: Apple slices
Apple slices make healthy crunchy treats for your pet. Avoid giving your pet the core and seeds of the apple.

5. Don’t feed: Sugar free baked products

Some sugar free baked products contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol. Xylitol is very poisonous to pets. It causes blood sugar to drop to life threatening levels and also causes life threateningly low blood sugar levels and sever liver failure. Xylitol is also found in sugar free gum, mints, candies, toothpaste, mouthwashes, diabetic foods and much more.

Alternative: Pumpkin
Raw or canned pumpkin is tasty treat for your pet and also serves as a great source of fiber and vitamin A.

6. Don’t: Overfeed your pet during the winter

Due to less favorable weather, pets are typically less active during the winter months. Over feeding and less activity can lead to weight gain. Weight gain leads to health and joint problems and can ultimately decrease the longevity of your pet’s life.

Alternative: Consider cutting your pet’s food back 10%-15%
Cutting your pet’s food back just a small amount will help them maintain a healthy weight during the winter. If you’re feeling guilty about the cut back, plain green beans make an enjoyable and healthy treat for dogs without the high calories.