Holiday Nutrition for Your Pets

It’s that time of year again. The time when everyone indulges their sweet-tooth, carb cravings, overindulging at the office parties, big family meals, etc.. You know how it goes. And there is a tendency among pet owners to over-indulge their pets too, feeding them lots of extra treats or, even worse, human foods full of sugar or fats.

We get it, you want your pet to participate in the holiday festivities and you think it’s a way to show Buddy and Buttons that you love them by letting them drink some of your eggnog, or have a few bites of that chocolate yule log.  However, those are not the best choices you could make, and your pet may end up getting sick instead of being jolly.

If you’ve ever tasted pet food, or treats, you know they are made without a lot of extra salts or sugars. That’s because our pets don’t need those additives to make the foods more flavorful to their taste buds. Most dogs and cats will eat most anything, so their food doesn’t need to be enhanced in that way.  It’s not wise to feed your pet sweets, starches or salty things because they don’t provide nutritional value and you should cut those types of human foods out of your pet’s treat menu year round.

When it comes to special holiday treats that are appropriate for Buddy and Buttons, stick with good whole foods that already appear on your dining table, so your pet will think and feel a party of the festivities.

Some holiday staples that you can feed to your pets without guilt would be:

  • Turkey  (skip the skin)
  • Cranberries
  • Carrots
  • Green beans (without the mushroom gravy)
  • Squash
  • Pumpkin
These holiday treats should be skipped and not given to your pets:
  • Stuffing
  • Chocolate
  • Grapes
  • Corn
  • Alcohol
  • Nuts
  • Onion, garlic
  • Anything processed or containing sugar
You should keep a close eye on your guests and make sure they don’t bend the rules and stuff Buddy with food items that might be harmful.

I know it’s commonplace for folks to gain a few pounds over the holiday season, but it’s not good for your pet. If you’re going to feed them some extra treats, be sure and cut back on their regular food, or increase their exercise.

Happy Holidays!

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