The last thing you need during the holidays is a vet bill! Two of the most commonly seen conditions in pets during the holidays include pancreatitis and bowel obstructions. 

Pancreatitis is one of the most commonly treated conditions in pets during the holidays as pets raid bowls of sweets, rich gravies and meats, and generally anything they can beg or scavenge around the house (plentiful during the holidays). Pancreatitis is not only difficult to treat, but it can also result in lifelong damage and even death. Even worse, there is no “cure” for pancreatitis. Vets can only help you “manage” the conditions and attempt to “treat” the symptoms. This is why controlling your dog’s diet is so important. 

Good Holiday Meals For Pets & People

So, before you share that holiday meal with your dogs, make sure the foods are safe! These are some holiday meal-sharing tips that will help: 

✅Lean Meats  ❌ Processed or Fatty Meats 

Turkey, chicken, salmon, some beef and occasional pork are foods most dogs can tolerate during the holidays. Avoid any processed meats (especially ham, sausages or pastrami which are high in fat and sodium). Instead, focus on small amounts of lean cuts of meat. 

✅ Raw Bones ❌ Cooked Bones

Bowel obstructions are a huge problem during the holidays. Dogs (and even cats) tend to scavenge things that are not good for them, including Christmas decorations, garbage and more. Cooked bones are a huge risk to dogs as they can splinter and get caught in the intestinal tract, mouth or throat. If you do want to share some of that meaty holiday bounty, give them raw bones – such as the neck of a turkey.  

✅ Lean Foods ❌ Fatty Foods

Foods that are high in fat can cause a dizzying array of health problems for all of us, including pancreatitis and weight gain. This is why we recommend you avoid these as much as possible. A little gravy won’t hurt you, but a sudden amount given to your pet can definitely hurt them. 

✅ Cooked dough ❌ Uncooked Dough

A dog’s unique way of processing food makes them very sensitive to yeasts and flours. Uncooked dough is a special “no-no” as the dog’s digestive system causes further fermentation of the alcohol, triggering ethanol poisoning.  

✅ Low-sodium Broth ❌ Alcohol, Caffeine or Sports drinks

Each of these things can increase your dog’s blood pressure, cause hyperactivity, elevate heart rate and may even induce seizures. Avoid any heavy salts, caffeines or chemicals like xylitol. 

✅ Safe Fruits 

Safe vegetables include carrot sticks, cooked pumpkin and sweet potatoes (in moderation), coconut, apples, spinach, melon, banana, berries,

Unsafe Fruits include grapes, raisins, garlic, onions, grapes or raisins

✅ Vegetables: Most vegetables are considered to be safe, including green beans, peas, carrots (raw or cooked), spinach, squash, corn niblets. 

Unsafe Vegetables include garlic, onions, or scallions. These foods contain thiosulphate, which can damage your pet’s red blood cells. Remember to remove corn from corn on the cobs before giving to your pets – these can result in abdominal blockages. 

Sweets: Never give your pets any sweets that are high in sugars, fats, or that contain chocolate. These are very dangerous for dogs and cats can’t taste sweet anyway! 

We wish you all a very happy, healthy holiday! 

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