Pet Friendly Holiday Foods can help reduce the need for an emergency veterinarian

Food is a big deal, especially during the holiday season when the opportunities for feasting and overindulging seem nearly endless. For many pet owners, a holiday meal just isn’t complete until our four-legged family members have been allowed to sample the seasonal delights. Unfortunately, these table scraps could be endangering their health and their lives.

Luckily, there are plenty of safe (and tasty!) treats you can share with your pet. The team at Harris Parkway Animal Hospital has put together a list of pet friendly holiday foods that are both healthy and delicious that will be sure to please even the pickiest pet!

When to Say No

No discussion of pet friendly holiday foods would be complete without first tackling the issue of your pet’s health and safety. Plenty of traditional holiday fare can cause major problems, including chocolate, xylitol (a common sugar substitute), alcohol, onions/garlic, grapes/raisins, macadamia nuts, and more.

Non-toxic people foods can also present serious problems for pets. For example, even small amounts of fatty or greasy foods can lead to gastrointestinal distress or pancreatitis, a painful and dangerous inflammatory condition. Bring your pet in for immediate medical attention if they exhibit any of the following symptoms of pancreatitis:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Lethargy
  • Decreased appetite

Supervise your pet at all times around food, and clean up leftovers immediately.

Pet Friendly Holiday Foods

Now for the fun part! There are plenty of traditional holiday foods that are not only safe for pets, but can also provide valuable vitamins and minerals. Cooked or steamed veggies (no butter or salt) and peeled/deseeded fruits are often a big hit. Try the following:

  • Green beans
  • Squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Carrots
  • Corn (kernels only)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Peas
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Bananas
  • Melon
  • Berries

Your pet will also go crazy for these foods (serve in small amounts due to high calorie content):

  • Skinless, boneless poultry
  • Fish
  • Peanut butter or other nut butters (xylitol-free only)
  • Low fat cheese
  • Plain yogurt
  • Cooked eggs

The Best Part of the Meal

There’s no reason pets can’t partake in holiday leftovers, as long as their owners do a little bit of planning beforehand. Keep in mind that a pet’s high-quality, commercial pet food should always constitute the bulk of their diet. People food and other treats should only be offered in small amounts. If you have any additional questions regarding pet friendly holiday foods, please don’t hesitate to contact our staff.