'Tis the Season: Planning Ahead for Your Dog's Holiday Health
By Dr. Ethan Romas-Hill, BVSc BVBiol
As the festive season approaches, it's crucial for dog owners to plan ahead to ensure their furry friends enjoy a healthy and joyous holiday. While we all love to indulge during Christmas, and it can be tempting to hand out extra dog treats too, it's essential to be mindful of foods that can pose serious health risks to our dogs, with pancreatitis topping the list of concerns.
Pancreatitis is inflammation of the dog's pancreas, and can be a major worry during the holidays, especially as some traditional Christmas foods can trigger this condition in dogs. Excessively fatty and sugary foods are the culprits, and unfortunately, these delights are very alluring to dogs and are often abundant during the festivities.
What NOT to feed your dog during the Christmas Season
To safeguard your dog's well-being, avoid sharing the following Christmas treats with your favourite canines:
Turkey and ham leftovers may be tempting doggy treats, but fatty cuts can be a pancreatitis trigger. Stick to lean portions or consider offering your pup a small serving of Digestive K9 powder, an easy-to-use additive that supports digestive enzymes, helping break down fats more efficiently in your dog's gut.
Keep chocolate, fruitcakes, and other rich desserts out of your dog's reach. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs and can lead to severe health issues. Fruitcakes and mince pies contain sultanas/raisins. Just like grapes, these can be toxic to dogs in combination with the richness of these treats, and can cause significant illness in in dogs.
Bones and Table Scraps:
Resist the urge to toss your dog a bone or feed them table scraps. Bones, especially cooked ones, can splinter and cause obstructions, while rich table scraps contribute to digestive distress in dogs.
Safe dog treats perfect for celebrations
Instead, opt for these safe and festive alternatives to share with your canine companion:
Lean Meat Treats:
Offer your dog small, lean meat portions free from excess fat. White chicken and turkey meat in small portions can be fantastic, as well as prawns. Always be mindful that novel foods are not ideal for a dog's gut health, and unknown allergies can present at any time, so it is best to stick to regular treats and those directed at gut health balance. Consider incorporating Digestive K9 Chews, beef-flavored gut health chews, into your dog's routine to support digestion during these indulgent times.
Share dog-friendly veggies like carrots, green beans, or sweet potatoes. These alternatives provide a satisfying crunch without the added risk. You’d be surprised how much your dog can enjoy these left-field treats! I know my own dog’s day is not complete without his evening carrot!
Special Canine Treats:
Treat your dog with specially formulated Stress K9 Chews if the holiday hustle and bustle are causing your canine stress. Designed to support our dogs gut health during periods of physiological or mental strain, these chews can be a comforting addition.
Prevention & Planning are key
Remember, prevention is the best gift you can give your dog this holiday season. While the Digestive K9 canine supplement can aid dogs' digestion, it's essential to be proactive in avoiding potential hazards. Secure trash bins, educate guests about dog-friendly treats, and keep a watchful eye on your pup during celebrations.
By planning ahead and choosing safe dog treat alternatives, you'll ensure a healthy and happy holiday season for your beloved furry friend. May your celebrations be filled with joy, love, and the wagging tails of contented dogs.