Hanford Veterinary Hospital Blog
How to Treat Your Pet During the Holidays (Without Overfeeding Them)
Few things escape the notice of our pets. This is especially true when we’re in the kitchen. Sure, they may not understand why you’re baking up a storm or stirring tasty ingredients into a frenzy, but they know they want to be there in case you drop something on the floor. During the holidays, it’s understandable that you want to treat your pet. To do this safely (and in a way that only supports their health and wellness), we have some recommendations on where to start.
The Weight of the Matter
Pet obesity is a serious health concern that affects millions of pets. Overfeeding is the primary cause of weight gain and may lead to chronic conditions like osteoarthritis or diabetes. The good news is that obesity is entirely preventable through an age-appropriate diet, daily exercise, and, of course, limiting treats.
A Friendly Reminder
Most pet owners know which holiday foods are strictly off-limits for their pets, but as a friendly reminder the following should never be left out or offered to our furry friends:
- Xylitol (found in sugar-free baked goods)
- Fatty foods (like chicken skin, gravy, butter)
- Garlic or onion
- Macadamia nuts
- Raw meat
- Uncooked bread dough
Fortunately, there are many things you can make in order to safely treat your pet this holiday season.
Show Your Love
It’s so easy to use treats to show our love to our pets. They love crunchy or chewy goodness and it makes us feel good to treat them. However, showing your love through treats can come at a cost to their long-term health.
You can make your pet feel special by creating your own pet treats. You’ll know exactly what’s in them, and you can feel good about offering them some yummy goodness. Scale back their meal portions if they enjoy one too many treats.
Treat Your Pet
Your dog will feel pretty great when you create your own special treat just for them using:
- 2 ½ cups flour (whole wheat or oat)
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup unsweetened pureed pumpkin
- 2 Tablespoons (Xylitol-free) peanut butter (anything marked sugar free or reduced sugar often contains Xylitol)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
Mix together, roll into a log, and cut into ½ inch pieces. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes (less time if your pup likes chewy treats).
Cats enjoy treats with:
- 1 can of tuna
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 egg
- 2 Tablespoons of water
Roll out, cut with a cute cookie cutter and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. A word of advice: keep your kitty in a separate room while you’re baking these!
Enjoy the Time Together
Above all, treat your pet to some extra snuggle time together, or go for a long walk.