Nothing says Christmas cheer like festive food, but did you know that there are some no-nos to consider about what you should and shouldn’t feed your pets? While it’s tempting to want to let your pet in on the fun holiday food, unfortunately, not all of these foods are safe for your furry friends. In this blog, we will walk you through a list of Christmas do’s and don’ts when it comes to what you can feed your pets during the holidays.
First up though, this is a quick reminder that the very best “plate” that you can give your pets this holiday season is Florida Animal Friend specialty license plate, which directly supports our mission to help “fix” pet overpopulation! Not only can you outfit your vehicles with one of our snazzy spay and neuter license plates, but you can also easily gift a license plate to your loved ones as well. Alright, let’s dig into the food-based plate discussion!
Do: Treat Your Pets with Special, Pet-Friendly Treats
Just because your pet isn’t allowed to eat everything around the Christmas dinner table doesn’t mean they have to miss out on all the fun. Pet stores and e-commerce websites like Chewy or Amazon now have plenty of treats specifically made with pets in mind. Show your pets you love them and give them a special Christmas treat that won’t make them sick – they’ll thank you later.
Don’t: Feed Your Pets Table Scraps
Your pet might give you those puppy eyes and beg for a piece of turkey or steak, but avoid giving in to temptation. Table scraps are too rich and salty for a pet’s stomach and can cause them to experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea. It’s best to avoid feeding your pets table scraps altogether. A good rule of thumb: If it was prepared for a human, don’t feed it to a pet.
Do: Cook them their own meals.
While table scraps aren’t recommended due to the high amount of sodium, you could prepare your pets a special meal, sans salt. Choose plain meats, vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, and green beans, and even canned pumpkin to make a delicious, healthy, and safe dish. Cooking for your pet ensures that they get the right amount of nutrients and that they do not indulge in food that may be harmful to them.
Don’t: Feed your pets chocolate or other sugary treats.
Chocolate and other sugary treats are a big no-no for your pets. It has a chemical known as methylxanthine, which affects a pet’s ability to process it. Even small amounts can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures, making your pet quickly sick. Chocolate also contains theobromine, which can cause high blood pressure or heart failure. So, keep all the chocolate, cakes, and pies away from your pet to be sure you don’t risk a holiday trip to the emergency vet!
Do: Offer Safe Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables make great snacks for pets, as long as they’re not toxic to them. Vegetables that we mentioned above such as carrots, green beans, and sweet potatoes are excellent sources of essential nutrients. An apple slice or pear slice is also fine for cats and dogs — just remember to remove the seeds and core, as they contain traces of cyanide.
Don’t: Feed Your Pets Raisins or Grapes
Most fruits and vegetables are okay, but avoid these two. The raisins and grapes commonly found in fruitcake or mince pies can be fatal for dogs and cats if ingested in large amounts.
Do: Give Your Pets Access to Plenty of Fresh Water
With all the treats your pets will enjoy during the festive season, make sure they have access to plenty of fresh water to stay hydrated. You may need to set reminders for extra refills of their water bowl, and remind your guests to keep their drinks out of your pets’ reach.
Don’t: Let Your Pets Get Into the Trash
Christmas leftovers can pile up quickly, and it can be tempting to leave the boxes and wrappings out in the open. However (as most pet owners have likely learned the hard way!), your pets can quickly get into the trash and eat things they shouldn’t. Make sure to dispose of the waste properly and keep it securely away from your pets.
As you enjoy the festive season with your loved ones, please keep these key points in mind so that your furry friends fully and safely enjoy the festivities, too! By following our list of Christmas do’s and don’ts regarding what you can feed your pets, you can help keep your pets happy, healthy, and safe. And, when in doubt, always consult with your veterinarian to make sure your pets stay healthy this holiday season.
If you know any pet owners who would appreciate this blog’s content, feel free to share this blog, and please spread the word that when someone purchases one of our specialty license plates, they also save a pet! What could make for a better gift than that? Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone — give your pets some extra love for us today.
We consulted the following sources while writing this blog: