Turkey. Brisket. Latkes. Pumpkin pie. Chocolate. Nuts. These are some of the foods we love to indulge in during the holidays. And it’s tempting for us to want to share them with our pets. But many of these foods can cause digestive problems such as pancreatitis and gastroenteritis. And they can even kill our furry friends.
Dr. Naugler and Dr. Wiles with RPG Innovation’s Vet Council offer the following tips on what foods are acceptable—and what’s not—to feed to pets during the holidays.
As far as turkey goes, a VERY SMALL piece of white meat turkey with no skin or bones is an appropriate snack for a dog or a cat. Just make sure it’s cooked properly. Both vets discourage feeding pets very much, as some pet parents think if they have the green light, they can feed their pet the entire carcass!
Most vegetables and fruits are okay to give pets as long as they are not in a casserole. Vegetables and fruits to avoid include onions, garlic, grapes, raisins and avocado. Preferred vegetables include green beans (frozen are better than canned if you’re not using fresh ones), asparagus, green peppers and cucumber. However, always start with a small piece and see if your pet’s GI tract can tolerate it.
On their list of items to never, ever feed your pets: chocolate, nuts, milk, spices such as nutmeg, cookie dough—and definitely no alcohol.
Also, if you’re having guests over for a holiday meal, ask them not to give your pets any table scraps or snacks so you can control what your pooch or kitty eats outside its regular mealtime. If this makes you feel a bit like a scrooge, especially when you’re cooking and your dog or cat is looking at you with sad eyes, don’t give in. Keep TINY pieces of one of the foods on the approved list in a bowl nearby to give them. You can even just feed them a few pieces of their regular kibble.
If you follow these tips, not only will you avoid having to rush your pet to the animal hospital —you’ll also stop them from putting on weight over the holidays.