This is the time of year where most people indulge in the delights of the festive season. Ham, turkey, stuffing, gravy, pudding and chocolate are tempting treats for pets and people alike. Some of our favourite festive foods can be very harmful to our pets.
It is common for pet parents and their friends to want to share their food with family pets. Make sure you know which foods are safe and which foods are dangerous to feed to your dog.
Why shouldn’t I feed my pet Christmas treats?
The main reason human foods are potentially dangerous for your pet’s health is their high-fat content. Pancreatitis is a condition in which the pancreas becomes severely inflamed. It can be very painful and even life-threatening. Pancreatitis is often a sudden, severe and painful illness that can come from your pet eating fatty foods or eating something they shouldn’t have. Keep your bins well sealed and out of reach. High-fat meats are particularly dangerous for dogs – so the Christmas trimmings, gravy and fat are definitely off the menu.
Treating our pets at Christmas can be tempting. Instead of feeding them food scraps, have some delicious pet treats on hand. Don’t overfeed them, but use them as a Christmas treat for your pet to replace cooked bones, fatty roast chicken, and other human foods that should be avoided. Explain to your guests the importance of not feeding your pet food scraps, provide some pet-friendly treats for them to spoil your pet with instead.
What about pet cats?
Our feline friends often pose a different type of problem at Christmas time. Christmas ornaments and the Christmas tree can be an alluring playground for your pet cat. Keep breakable ornaments out of reach, or choose decorations that don’t attract their attention too much.
How can I prevent begging?
Christmas is a busy time of year for everybody. If you have children, it’s important you talk to them about the dangers of feeding dogs fatty food scraps and human treats. The best thing that owners can do for their pets is to exercise them and give them lots of love and attention. By decreasing their boredom, they’ll be less interested in what’s going on at the dinner table. Consider feeding your pet before guests arrive so they are already well-fed.
Encourage your cat to play with their favourite toys and provide lots of attention. This will limit their energy for running up the Christmas tree and ingesting the decorations and tinsel.
To ensure your pet has a safe and healthy holiday season, remember to offer your furry family member pet treats, and spend some active quality time with them. If your pet has stolen the Christmas ham or toppled the tree and you’re worried they’re injured or sick, contact your local Greencross Vets immediately for advice.