We pet owners think of our dogs (and cats) as members of the family and, for some, they may be our only companion. There is no way we would want harm to befall any member of our family including our pets and, for that reason alone, we should pay attention to what our pets ingest during the holidays. Dogs have intensely expressive eyes and one of the most difficult struggles dog owners face is not giving in to their pup begging for table scraps.
There are several reasons why it’s critical to refrain from feeding your human food to your pet. Many human foods can be dangerous – even deadly – to dogs’ systems. Another possible issue is that it can cause your dog to refuse to eat their regular kibble. Dogs with food allergies, to begin with, require a specific type of nutrition. Feeding your dog these commercial foods can help resolve food allergy and other issues. If your dog isn’t on any dietary restrictions, it’s fine to give them some human food, but only in moderation.
6 Holiday Foods That Are Safe For Dogs
The holidays are a time to get together and show people how much they mean to us. Many families include their dog in holiday festivities, including meals. However, it’s essential to inform yourself and your guests which human foods are safe to share with dogs.
Bread, cheese, many vegetables, and most fruits are safe for dogs. However, seasonings and spices often include salt, something that is not good for dogs. Butter or other foods high in fat content should also be avoided.
Sharing the following foods with your dog is acceptable, as long as they are free from seasoning and butter.
- Pumpkin – Pumpkin is excellent for dogs’ digestive systems. The tasty pie filling is often recommended by vets if a dog is suffering from minor digestive issues. However, it’s essential to check the label for excessive sugar content. You can add a few tablespoons of pumpkin to your pup’s regular food as a daily treat that is also beneficial.
- Green Beans – Green beans are one of the best veggies for dogs. They are high in fiber content but low in calories, which makes them perfect for humans, too. The fiber can convince the stomach that its full, preventing overeating. Many dogs enjoy the crunchy exterior of the bean.
- Cooked Turkey – Plain, cooked turkey can be given to dogs as long as the skin is removed and there is no added salt. The white meat of turkey can help muscle build in dogs. However, skip as it is high in salt and fat. Excessive salt can cause dogs to become dehydrated and, in some cases, gravely ill.
- Carrots – Carrots are another favorite vegetables that owners can feed to their dogs guilt-free. The orange root veggie is full of healthy vitamins that can improve your dog’s overall health. Carrots are rich in soluble fiber, which can assist your dog’s digestion.
- Sweet Potatoes – The fiber in sweet potatoes can aid a dog’s digestive system. The tuberous veggie is low in fat and high in vitamin content. They are particularly rich in betacarotene, which is known to improve vision.
- Chicken – Like turkey, any chicken shared with your pup should be cooked and free of seasonings, including salt. The lean meat is an excellent source of protein for your dog. And the Omega-3 helps maintain your dog’s healthy skin and coat.
Keep Your Pets Safe During the Holidays
You may notice one holiday centerpiece that isn’t on the list of safe foods. Ham. Deli hams are full of salt and sugar, both of which are on the list of foods to avoid feeding dogs.
Other holiday staples that are bad for dogs include nuts, raisins, and chocolate. Also, do not give your dog candy, as many contain the sweetener xylitol, known to be fatal to dogs.
You may think cooked bones are a special treat for your dog, but you should never feed your dog bones of any kind. The bones can splinter and cause a blockage in the dog’s stomach. Even the safety of rawhide treats often thought to be safe is questionable.
Holidays can be an exciting but stressful time for humans and pets alike. If you must give in to your dog’s soulful, begging eyes, only feed them table scraps that are safe for dogs.