Holiday food reminders for your pets

Christmas is here again. So much can happen in a year that it may be important to re-educate ourselves on the animal do's and don'ts for the holidays. You may be a new pet owner or have a new puppy where this information can be very helpful. Not only is food safety important, but also that of gatherings and unfamiliar people and possibly even boarding situations.

As much as we love our pets and want to include them as part of the family, they are still different species than we are. Their bodies and digestive systems are not created the same. Therefore they do not eat the same. Sharing food from the table can be risky. Often times, people are bringing foods that we are not 100 percent sure what all the ingredients are. It is not worth the risk of digestive upset for that moment of gratification. Grapes, onions and raisins are highly toxic and should be avoided altogether. Other foods that may not dangerous may still lead to pancreatitis and upset stomach that leads to colitis. There are also indications that foods can have an adverse reaction in animals that suffer from kidney, liver or undetected medical issues.

Are you the type to feel guilty that your pets are not getting to partake in the festivities? There is a reasonable solution. You can make homemade “dog” cakes or cookies that will make all your pets feel special. This is a great way to get kids involved in learning proper animal care, too. You can choose foods that are good for boosting the immune system and preventing tummy ache. Great choices would be blueberries, carrots and pumpkin. Many great recipes can be found online to address the specific dietary needs of your pet. ASPCA.org has a full list of foods that are both recommended and not recommended for our furry friends. My motto has always been that I won’t eat their food if they won’t eat mine.

Dottie Childers
Executive Director and Founder
TLC Pals 4 Paaws Inc.
"The righteous care for the needs of their animals..."  Proverbs 12:10