While it might be tempting to share your holiday treats with your pets. But before doing so, you should ask yourself, “Can my pet eat that?”
It’s generally not a great idea to give your pet table scraps. There are some foods and spices that are toxic for them. And feeding them table scraps can also lead to some undesirable behaviors like begging or countersurfing during meal prep and dinner time for your family. And it could turn your pet into a picky eater, with them ignoring their dog food, hoping for something off the table instead. This isn’t healthy for them.
Some things are ok, in moderation
There are some foods that your pet can safely consume in moderation, as a treat or part of their regular meal, but not to replace a meal. Some foods that are okay for your pet:
- Boneless, skinless chicken or turkey is safe in moderation. For your dog, you can add a little bit to their kibble and they will love it. For cats, stick to the white meat and mix a little in with their regular food.
- Plain carrots or other vegetables (consult your vet; some vegetables are fine for dogs but not cats, and vice versa) – no butter or sauces. Mix some sliced carrots in your dogs kibble(no more than 1/8 cup), or whole baby carrots (no more than three).
- Hot dogs are high in sodium, so go sparingly with these when giving to your pet as a special treat.
- Some cheeses are fine for pets to eat, but may cause issues if your pet is lactose intolerant.
- Canned pure pumpkin (NOT pie filling)
There are things you should definitely avoid
These things are toxic to pets – they can make your pet very sick or possibly even cause death:
- Pumpkin pie/pumpkin pie filling
- Xylitol (a sweetner found in chewing gum and some sugar-free candies and foods)
- Fried, fatty foods
- Salty snacks
The American Kennel Club has published a blog article with FDA guidelines about what foods pose a risk of toxicity for pets.
Check with your vet
Generally speaking, it’s better to be safe and stick to your pet’s regular diet and treats made especially for them. But if you really want to share your holiday dinner with your pet, consult your vet to find out what’s safe for them and what to avoid. That way, you and your pets can all have a safe and fun holiday season.
*For more information about safe and healthy holiday food options for your pets, consult your vet or contact the Jackson County Animal Protection Society.