With the holidays come a bounty of delicious foods, and it’s only natural to want to share them with your dog. The problem is that many favorite holiday foods contain ingredients that can make your pooch sick and lead to an emergency visit to the veterinarian. To keep the holidays merry for humans and dogs alike, keep these tips in mind.
Why Dogs Shouldn’t Receive Table Scraps
When you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, your pup may stare up at you, watching every bite you take. What could be the harm in giving them some? Tossing them a piece of meat occasionally likely won’t lead to problems, but in general, habitually giving scraps is not a good idea for several reasons:
- Weight Gain: Receiving table scraps in addition to regular meals will give your dog more calories than necessary, which can lead to weight gain.
- Illness: Many human foods contain ingredients that can cause diarrhea, vomiting, blood sugar problems, anemia, and even obstructions in a dog’s digestive tract.
- Behavioral Issues: When you feed your dog scraps from the table, they learn that begging is acceptable and may ultimately refuse to eat their food in favor of scraps.
What Foods Should You Never Give Your Dog?
If you decide to give some table scraps as a small treat, you still need to avoid some foods. Chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, and the artificial sweetener xylitol are toxic to dogs. Avoid letting your dog eat anything containing onions or garlic, which can result in anemia, or raisins or grapes, as they can lead to serious kidney problems. Ham can cause upset stomach as well.
Never give your dog turkey or chicken bones, as they can become lodged in their throat or damage their stomach and intestines.
If your dog eats any of these foods, call a veterinarian right away.
What Treats Can Your Dog Have?
Some human foods are good for your dog in moderation. Unseasoned cooked turkey, chicken, and pork as well as carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, and white rice are all fine for dogs.
Ask your veterinarian for a recipe for homemade dog treats using cranberries or blueberries, which are an excellent source of antioxidants, or sugar-free peanut butter.
Keep a close eye on your pets during the holidays to keep them from eating anything they shouldn’t. If they do nibble on something unhealthy, though, the veterinarians at Waipahu Waikele Pet Hospital on Oahu are ready to help. For over 40 years, their team of experienced experts has offered comprehensive animal care, including wellness visits and after-hours emergency treatments. Call (808) 671-7387 or visit their website to schedule an appointment.