The holiday season is my favorite time of year as much as it is yours. There’s always something exciting going on: beautiful snow to run around and play in, new toys under the Christmas tree, and of course, holiday treats. As you are celebrating the holidays with me, please remember that there are certain holiday treats that I may like, but that should not be fed to me. Human foods for example can be toxic for my system which is so much different from yours! Some of these dangerous foods may include:
• Sweet treats like candy, cookies (especially those containing macadamia nuts) and chocolate, or even sugar-free candy that contains a toxin called xylitol
• Savory ingredients such as garlic and onion
• Fresh foods like grapes, avocadoes, and raisins
• Meats that are fatty (beef or pork) or that contain bones (turkey and chicken)
If I get a hold of any of these foods, watch for signs of illness, including vomiting and diarrhea, and make sure I get medical attention right away. Eating dangerous human foods puts me at risk for toxicity, pancreatitis, and more.
Most people and pets will be less active during the winter months because of the chilly weather. Because of this, remember to feed me and my friends 5-10 % less from December through February or March to ensure that we do not gain too much extra weight.
While many people will suggest feeding me treats that are pet-safe instead of table scraps, keep in mind that excessive treats of any kind will make me pack on the pounds, especially in winter where all of us gain a little weight for warmth. Whenever possible, please don’t skip my daily walk so both you and I can get a little exercise. If we can’t do that, I don’t mind catching the ball in the yard or playing a game of tug-of-war in the living room. Exercise keeps me healthy!
As we settle in for the long, cold winter months, remember to keep me safe. I depend on you to protect me from all kinds of dangers! If I’m safe, we can all have a happy holiday!