Nothing says “the holidays are here” like a gathering of family and friends around a table full of mouth-watering foods and sweet treats. And while you’re indulging yourself in all your traditional favorites, it’s only natural to want to indulge your pets, too. But before you slip a bite of honey baked ham to your canine or feline companion, it’s important to know that some people foods can actually be poisonous to pets.
This holiday season, the team at True Care Veterinary Hospital reminds all pet families of the importance of practicing holiday pet safety, especially when it comes to food. With our tips below, you can start a new holiday dinner tradition just for your pets!
Style Points for Presentation
Charcuterie boards are all the rage, so why not create an aesthetically pleasing platter of safe holidays foods for your pets?
Many foods are safe for pets when served in their purest form—without spices, salt, butter, sugar, or fatty sauces and gravies—so set aside some samples before pouring on the toppings. Keep portions for your pets small, and if you have any doubt about the safety of a food, don’t share it with your pets.
Delicious Holiday Foods for Pets
Meats: Your pet can enjoy small bites of skinless, boneless white meat turkey breast (Cats can tolerate tiny portions of dark meat). If a holiday ham is the centerpiece of your meal, offer small pieces only—without glaze.
Gravy: The gravy we eat is a dietary no-no for cats and dogs, but the pet food aisle contains a selection of soups, broths, sauces, and gravies made just for cats and dogs.
Veggies: Add color and texture to your pet’s holiday dinner with healthy and delicious veggies. Try steamed carrots, Brussels sprouts, green beans, mashed potatoes (dogs only), steamed and mashed sweet potatoes, and peas.
Dessert: Plain pumpkin puree tastes great, and it’s healthy! Pumpkin provides important minerals like iron and potassium, plus it’s loaded with vitamins and fiber. Serve a dollop of pumpkin alongside colorful, fresh fruit, such as cranberries, blueberries, or strawberries.
Unsafe Holiday Foods for Pets
There are plenty of healthy holiday foods for pets, but there are some definite don’ts that are harmful, including:
- Greasy, fatty foods such as poultry skin or butter can cause pancreatitis.
- Bulb vegetables like leeks, onions, and garlic can cause hemolytic anemia.
- Raisins and grapes are extremely toxic to cats and dogs.
- The artificial sweetener xylitol is highly poisonous.
- Chocolate is extremely toxic, especially baker’s grade and dark.
- Sweet treats like pies, cookies, and other desserts can lead to stomach problems.
The team at True Care Veterinary Hospital is here to help you keep your pets healthy year-round with wellness appointments that include nutritional guidance. Please contact us if you have questions about holiday foods that are safe for your pets.
When my parents’ dog Kya died very suddenly a few years ago‚ their regular vet was not at work that day. But thankfully‚ Dr. Tullio was and treated my parents and their dog as if he was their doctor for the past 15 years—doing everything he could to try and revive Kya and by being so compassionate to my parents in the waiting room after having to deliver the sad news. We truly can’t say enough nice things about Dr. Tullio and can’t wait for him to open his new facility! Thank you.
—Lori Forrest & Bob Leahy
Doctor Tullio is a kind, caring gentleman who has cared for my cocker spaniels for many years now. He has always been helpful‚ honest‚ and understanding with my pets and me. He is a man I trust completely and have and do refer others to him. Any pet owner can feel safe and secure in trusting their beloved pets to his skilled hands.
—Margaret Rowe‚ Howell‚ NJ
Molly and Oscar have been patients of Dr. Tullio for several years. I have been very pleased with his care‚ his expertise‚ and his understanding with my two Wheatens. Dr. Tullio has been quick to diagnose any issues and remedy all of the problems we’ve had. I look forward to many more years working with Dr. Tullio. I wish him well in his venture.
Dr. Tullio has always treated our dogs with great knowledge‚ care‚ and compassion‚ and we have grown to know him quite well. We have been so completely impressed with Dr. Tullio’s consistent excellence in care and services that we wanted to share our experience with others. We are pleased to recommend as the place to go for both quality treatment and compassionate care for your furry family members.