How to “Treat” Your Dog This Holiday Season

Maltese PuppyWhen you think of the holidays, you cannot help but salivate over the scrumptious starters, festive feasts, and decedent desserts that go hand in hand with the season. These are of course, the pleasures that humans enjoy during this time. For dogs, the holidays may mean a new bone, or a sweater.

There are ways to help your furry friend enjoy culinary benefits comparable to your own, at no extra cost to you. Scraps of your own holiday treats can become your dog’s gourmet. It should be noted, that it is discouraged to feed your pup scraps from the table. It encourages both aggressive behavior and bad habits, like begging. When fed to your pet in his or her own food dish, however, holiday scraps can increase the enjoyment of the holidays for everyone.

No-nos
First off, it is important for you to know what is unsafe for your pooch. Fatty or greasy foods, like gravy, can cause everything from an upset stomach to a severe illness. Alcohol in any amount, from beer or champagne to harder alcohol, like eggnog, can make your pup very sick. Chocolate, coffee, tea, and all other forms of caffeine are very harmful as well, causing hyperventilation and shock. Chocolate, we all know by now, can cause seizures and even death in dogs. Bones from fish or poultry can splinter can get lodged in your dog’s digestive system. To ensure that no emergency vet visits are necessary during your holidays, keep your canine away from these hazards.

Meats
Now, onto the things you pet can enjoy. If ham is a holiday tradition for your family, the bone could become a tradition for your pet. Try to ensure that it is not such a small piece that it can be swallowed hole. Also, be sure to give your dog the bone only after the meat has been cooked. Consuming raw meat and eggs is just as dangerous for you dog as it is for you.

If ham isn’t your thing, lean bits of turkey or chicken minus the skin are also a delicious treat for your pet to enjoy. The skin adds fat and can be dangerous depending on what it was seasoned with. Garlic and onion are of course toxic to dogs.

Side Dishes
Rice is also a safe doggie favorite. If you really want to treat your pooch, cook the rice in low sodium beef or chicken broth to give it some extra flavor. Vegetable broth is not a safe idea, depending on how the broth is seasoned. It could contain extracts of certain vegetables like broccoli, which have a harmful effect on your dog.

Potatoes, without the skin can be good. If you are serving your pooch your famous mashed potatoes, watch the salt content, as well as the dairy. Your dog’s system cannot handle dairy the way yours can. Depending on the recipe, they may also contain garlic and onions. It may be best to avoid mashed potatoes altogether. Yams and sweet potatoes are also a no-no.

Desserts
Dessert type foods like candies, cookies, cakes, and pies, fruit pies specifically, must absolutely be avoided. There are some fruits that can be toxic to your pup. Some of these include peaches, plums, nectarines, olives and dates. If your pie dough contains yeast, be sure that your dog doesn’t get any of the unbaked dough. It can expand in your dog’s digestive system and cause extensive internal damage.

The most surprising holiday treat that your dog can enjoy is canned pumpkin filling. It is not only enjoyable, but also healthy for your pooch. It aids with digestion, and even can calm your dog’s upset stomach.

Although it may take some ‘policing’ on your part, if you are careful, your pup can enjoy all sorts of holiday treats alongside you, making your season that much more joyous and filled with love.

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