Did you Know?
The holidays are all about giving, and we want to give to our dogs as well as to our human friends, and often our animals like nothing better than special food and treats! However, it’s important when sharing special treats that we do so carefully. No one wants to turn what’s meant to be a fun experience into a bout of diarrhea and vomiting.
If your dog has been eating the same kibble day in and out, be careful about how much turkey, butter, and grease you give them. If we ate the same breakfast cereal every day for every meal, then ate a hamburger, we would get sick too. Dog’s bodies adapt to what they are fed, meaning their own digestive enzymes will slow production when there are no fats or animal protein to digest. I wouldn’t be surprised if more than a few dogs have landed in the animal hospital the day after a holiday with pancreatitis or other problems caused by eating too many food high in fat, such as turkey with all the trimmings. Our animal friends can’t properly digest large amounts of cooked fats, especially if they’re used to eating carbohydrates-based diet such as kibble.
Here are some treat-giving guidelines:
- Avoid chocolate, grapes and raisins, onions, and a new one, ZYLITOL. Zylitol is a great natural sugar replacement for humans and is found in everything from gum and candy to baked goods, but it is NOT FOR DOGS! Many dogs have become very sick or even died from renal failure due to ingesting zylitol.
- To avoid the holiday-feast doggie hangover, vary your dog’s diet. Give a variety of healthy foods, commercial or homemade, cooked or raw. It makes a huge difference in their ability to handle an unusual variation from the normal.
- A treat for a dog can be a whiff, a taste, or a morsel. Their senses are much more heightened than ours. We are mistaken to give an entire biscuit. That is a small meal for a small dog. Break it up into small pieces. They will still love it just as much.
- Remember, meat for carnivores. There are meat treats for dogs on the market that are lower in carbs or contain no carbs. You can even buy meat jerky for dogs. There are great treats in rolls you cut into tiny pieces. Read the ingredients and make sure it starts with ANIMAL PROTEIN.
- This year, as stocking stuffers, try some meaty treats. Just say NO to carbohydrates based treats. Your dogs will love you for it.