eat it, don’t share it

For pets, the holidays have always been a mixed bag. The people they love most usually spend more time at home, which is pretty sweet. In some parts of the country, there might be fresh snow to frolic in. And colder weather also means more cuddling, for those who enjoy that sort of thing.

On the other hand, there are some challenges. Christmas trees, wreaths, and other holiday plants can be seriously toxic to animals. In some cases, pets might get stressed out by holiday activities and even changes in the regular routine.

And then there’s the food.

What we eat vs. what they eat

Your oven’s on. Every counter in the kitchen is stacked high with ingredients. You’re putting a feast together for your loved ones. But not for your loved pets. Even though the holidays are about giving, don’t be tempted to give in to their whines and wishes for people food and treats.

You can provide extra snuggles, more playtime, a healthy walk outside, even a confidently-sung holiday tune (if your pet likes your oh-so-smooth singing voice). But keep the human food to the humans.

3 facts about food + pets

Hide the bones and drippings. If you’re eating birds this year, keep the bones away from pets. They can become lodged in many places along the GI tract and cause serious, life threatening problems. Drippings and fatty leftovers can also cause real issues, so do not offer them to pets at all.

Chocolate can be lethal. It contains theobromine, which is toxic to pets. Keep all chocolate for you and the sweet people in your life, not your dogs or cats.

Keep these veggies and fruits to yourself. Garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, chives, and shallots are highly toxic to dogs and cats, and can even be lethal. Many fruits, including grapes and raisins, are also a no-no for your pets.

See, treats for humans can be tempting to a pet, but might be dangerous. While we’re on the subject, you should watch out for food packaging, which can be a choking hazard, and caffeine, which is definitely for humans, not pets, since it’s toxic for them. You can find more holiday safety tips on the ASPCA’s website, too.

Oh, and if you’ve got pressing pet questions during the holidays and you've got an Optimum Wellness Plan® from Banfield Pet Hospital, schedule an appointment with your veterinary team, or get general petcare advice and support 24/7 with Vet Chat™. Log in to MyBanfield or register for an account now to get started.

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