The whole family, including our 4-legged family, is gathered for Christmas Holidays, laughing, joking, sharing time together and, of course, sharing food! Lots and lots of food! How do we keep track of our pets and what is being shared with them?
It’s Paw-ty Time!
If your family is like mine, Christmastime means not just a gathering of the 2-legged, but it’s also an awesome paw-ty time for our 4-legged family members as well. Everyone from the oldest to the youngest gather for food and fun, and our pets are no different. They are right there in the middle of all the action!
With so many people around, it can be hard to keep an eye on your pet and ensure they are not eating anything which will make them sick later. With so many loving hands around, many think oh, this one little treat will be fine, except too many little treats can end up with one big stomach ache for your pet.
Avoid the “hand-outs” and overindulging by letting everyone know that the pets have their own paw-ty plates. This year, plan a plate for your family’s pets who are arriving for Christmas dinner, and you can be sure they will be part of the paw-ty and receive a plate with safe and tasty treats! Check ahead of time with family members to make sure everyone is ok with a paw-ty plate and double-check for allergies.
Safe foods for Pets
We have a list of safe foods for your pet which you will usually find around the table during special occasions. Some you may need to put aside before cooking and save for later.
Pumpkins – Canned pumpkin, and not to be mixed up with pumpkin pie filling, is a good source of fibre and excellent for the stomach.
Green Beans – Low calorie, full of fibre, iron, calcium, and vitamin B6. Save some of your raw beans for your pet.
Broccoli – A small amount only as too much can cause painful gas. Serve raw or cooked. Remember to keep all spices and butter away from the cooked broccoli for pets.
Cauliflower – Also a small amount only as cauliflower will also create painful gas when your pet eats too much. A good source of antioxidants. This is good served both cooked and raw.
Carrots – High in fibre and beta-carotene. You can serve cooked plain, or when served raw, make a good crunch snack which is healthy for teeth.
Apples – Serve apple only, no seeds or core. Apples are a delicious snack which keeps teeth clean and freshens breath!
Spinach – Serve steamed, 1 or 2 tablespoons only with no butter or spices.
Sweet potato – High in fibre and beta-carotenes, which are good antioxidants.
Turkey Meat – Plain white meat and no skin is best. Avoid fatty pieces like dark meat and skin, which may have spices such as onion and garlic, which are harmful to pets.
Frozen yogurt – Loaded with beneficial gut bacteria and tastes so good!
No go on these ho ho ho foods
Remember last time when you ate too much, and your poor stomach paid the price for your fun? Well, imagine eating just one item and feeling the same way! Our no go for ho ho foods below is just that for your pet, only many of these items are not just upsetting for their stomach, but can cause serious health issues.
Stuffing – Bread should be limited, and stuffing generally contains many unsafe ingredients, such as onions, garlic, raisins, and excess fat.
Mashed potato – While plain potatoes are ok, mashed potatoes can also be made with spices and butter, which can be harmful to your pet.
Chocolate – We all know about giving chocolate to pets; it is very harmful and has even been known to cause death!
Raisins and grapes – Both of these are highly toxic. While scientists do not know the exact nature of why they are toxic, we do know that many pets who have ingested either grapes or raisins, even just one, have caused severe vomiting and diarrhea.
Onions, scallions, and garlic – All three of these seasonings are ok in very small amounts. Try to limit when and how much your pet receives.
Bread – A small taste of white or brown bread for pets is generally ok, but holiday bread can contain nuts or even fruits that pets should not have. It is best to stay away from bread altogether during the holidays.
Fatty foods – Your pet does not eat a rich diet every day, so fatty foods can give your pet a bad stomach, not something they or you want on Christmas Day!
Any food with spices – Many spices, such as onion, garlic, nutmeg, and cocoa powder are toxic. Stay away from all just to be safe.
Baked goods – Like fatty foods and spices, your pet is not used to eating much sugar, and a sudden intake can cause illness.
Trash – We include trash here because, on days when there is lots of cooking going on, even the best-behaved pet can be tempted by all the lovely smells coming from the trash during the holidays. Keep an eye on your trash to keep pets away from it!
Drooling for Dessert
Every home will serve a different meal for special occasions, but when we think about Christmas, the traditional turkey dinner is on many of our minds. Using the example of a traditional turkey dinner, we have made up a handy menu for your pets’ special dinner to share with the family! It’s so good you may have to make an extra plate for yourself!
Steamed spinach with raw green beans.
Warm turkey breast mashed plain sweet potato, with one piece each of steamed broccoli and cauliflower. Raw carrot sticks on the side.
Pumpkin puree mixed with plain frozen yogurt with apple slices on the side.