Click here to learn more.
We’re in the final stretch of that terrible trifecta of weight gain: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. The 39 days in between these holidays offer a multitude of meals for your family to gorge upon. The trouble is that we also share these food celebrations with our pets, resulting in the accumulation of unwanted pounds for all of us.
By the time the last bit of confetti has fallen, many of us are in desperate need of a fresh start — and a diet. So what's an animal lover to do? How can we share the holidays with our pets in a more healthful manner?
The good news is that, with a little planning, we can party with our pets without feeding them unhealthy and fattening foods. Here are some cardinal tips for keeping your pets in fighting shape this holiday season.
Let's get one thing clear: I know the majority of you are going to feed your pets from the table. Guess what? Me, too. Perhaps the biggest myth hoisted upon pet owners is that “people food” is bad for pets.
With very few exceptions — grapes, raisins, some nuts and chocolate come to mind — if you're eating healthy fare, chances are that you can share some of it with your pet. My no-no’s: anything fried, breaded, glazed or enhanced with extra fat and goodness, as well as bread, fatty meats and decadent sweets that tend to populate party plates.
Just bear in mind that any sudden change in a pet's diet can cause gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea. Fatty and rich foods can also lead to pancreatitis.
You don’t need to beat yourself up if you slip Scooter a sliver of salmon. In fact, for the most part, I encourage it. But notice that I said "sliver." This is my second bit of advice: portion control.
Our pets are often one-third to one-tenth our size, so treat accordingly. A one-ounce piece of meat for a 20-pound dog is the same as your entire 10-ounce steak. Sure, that tiny terrier could devour everything on your table, but you'd end up spending your holiday in the animal emergency room. Your choice.
Rule No. 3 is to choose foods carefully. Skip the butters and sauces. I'd prefer if you indulged your mutt with a mélange of crunchy vegetables, like broccoli, celery, carrots, asparagus and cauliflower.
When it comes to meat, salmon is preferred by most cats and dogs; tuna comes in a close second. Or select lean cuts of ideally free-range or organic beef, turkey and poultry.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
The U.S. Secret Service took to Twitter to
highlight its hero K9s, who stopped a man
who jumped the White House…
A 16-year-old boy who lost his right foot
immediately bonded with a Dachshund
mix who had to have his leg amputated.
In honor of this special day, we're
highlighting some of our favorite stories
about Pit Bulls from this past year.
Mikkel Becker shares five simple training
tactics for teaching your cat to tolerate (or
even like) being picked up…
Over-the-counter medications that seem
harmless to you can actually be harmful
or even deadly for your cat or dog.
Want a pet hedgehog? Dr. Laurie Hess
shares why the prickly creatures need
time, attention and care to thrive.
The Russian Blue won’t mind if you have to go to work (to earn money for cat toys), as long as you're back in time for…
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.