by: Josie Noecker, Pet Foods Buyer
The holidays are a wonderful time to get together with loved ones. These gatherings usually include meals with wonderful smells that saturate your home. Sounds of merriment fill rooms; decorations and food take center stage with the celebrations. One thing is for sure, you probably love to share some of this with your four-legged companion. But beware. There is a right and wrong way to go about this because some of our favorite holiday dishes may pose hidden health risks to your dog or cat.
Keep these items off the floor
– Coffee, Alcohol, Avocado, Yeast Dough, Xylitol, Milk and Salt
– Onion and Garlic – Foods cooked with onion or garlic can damage a cat’s blood cells and cause anemia. Some books do mention homemade pet food recipes containing garlic, but I err on the side of caution as I can’t seem to find a solid yes/no answer.
– Cooked Bones – These are a big “NO” for both dogs and cats. Cooked poultry bones can shatter and potentially perforate the digestive tract. If you want to give your animal any sort of bone, anything that is not cooked would be acceptable. Some cats love to chew on chicken necks; any poultry neck would probably do. This also helps them with cleaning their teeth!
– Nuts – Be careful of nuts; both dogs and cats can develop muscular issues and tremors if they have consumed macadamia nuts.
– Chocolate – And what holiday is complete without chocolate? This is probably the most important thing to keep an eye out for. Chocolate is quite toxic to dogs and cats; it can cause heart issues, stomach upset, tremors, and increased body temperature. Vomiting, panting, and seizures are also a possibility if your pet has consumed chocolate. Milk chocolate is not as toxic as the darker chocolates; all chocolate should be out of reach at all times.
– Raisins – This includes consumption in their natural state as grapes. Ingestion can lead to kidney failure and even death.
Delights you can share with your furry friends
Pretty much any meat and vegetable that is not seasoned in any way would be fine to give your pet. Some of you might already feed raw meat to your pets; otherwise lightly boiling the meat will keep some nutrients within and make handling the meat more tolerable for some. Unseasoned veggies are acceptable as well; you can choose to lightly boil them to make them more palatable for picky eaters. Take your pet’s favorites and create a unique holiday meal all their own! You could also add a few choice ingredients to your pet’s regular diet; a few chunks of boiled turkey to moist or dry food would be a great way to introduce meat to their diet.
Spice up Fido or Tabby’s meal with these spices listed in last year’s holiday Animal Wellness Magazine. Remember if you want to add anything new to your animal’s diet, start out small to prevent digestive upset.
– Cinnamon is beneficial for gastrointestinal issues, nausea, or gas. Also it is noted for its antibacterial and antifungal properties.
– Cayenne is full of calcium, vitamins A, B, and C, and contains iron, zinc, and phosphorus as well. Known to help with blood flow regulation and beneficial for arthritis.
– Cardamom is helpful for the lungs, kidneys, and digestive ailments. Also may be helpful in ridding Fido of his doggy breath!
– Cloves are said to help with ringworm, indigestion, diarrhea, and other fungal infections.
– Ginger is known as a common digestive aid and also has anti-inflammatory properties; also helps the kidneys, skin, and respiratory systems.
– Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and helps the cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems as well.
Here is to healthy and happy pets for this holiday season.