The holidays are officially over. For many of us, December is a time to let go of our diets, and enjoy some yummy seasonal foods. Then, come January, it’s back on the wagon. Of course, our animal companions also enjoy having special snacks. There’s no reason not to indulge Fluffy and Fido a bit, but you do need to take care to stick with safe options. Here, a local San Diego, CA vet offers some advice on giving your furry friend treats.
Choose Healthy Options
Many of our four-legged pals get extra cute when they notice that we have bacon, sausage, or other fatty meats. It’s fine to offer Fido and Fluffy small amounts of these snacks now and then, but you definitely don’t want to go overboard. Most types of plain, cooked meat, fish, or poultry are fine, though you’ll need to remove the skin, bones and fat. Limit organ meat: it’s only safe to eat occasionally.
Don’t Go Crazy
It’s easy to go overboard when giving your furry best friend treats. Fido and Fluffy are both very, very good at getting us to pamper them. Treats should only make up about 5-10 percent of their daily caloric intake. Steel yourself against that adorably sad stare and those plaintive meows!
Make Fido Work
This one is for the dogs, though if you can get Fluffy to do tricks, go for it. Having your canine buddy perform for his snacks. This can be a great confidence booster!
Portion It Out
It’s important to track calories. Even giving your furry pal ten calories too much a day can add up to a pound a year. 100 extra calories a day would be a pound a month. That’s a lot for Fido and Fluffy! Use small portions, such as training treats.
Avoid Unsafe Foods
Never give your pet chocolate; alcohol; caffeine; meat on the bone; garlic and onions; grapes or raisins; avocado; nuts; fruit seeds or pips; raw dough; or anything that contains xylitol. Keep in mind that some things are more dangerous than others. For instance, if your canine buddy eats a piece of onion off the floor, he may just get a tummyache. If he eats a grape or raisin, he could go into kidney failure! Ask your vet for more information.
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