We love our pets! My husband often jokes about how I pay more attention to them than him. They’re family members. They sit on my lap as I watch TV. We hang their Christmas Stockings beside ours on the mantel. Wherever I am in the house, they are not far behind. As I write this, Sophie is resting her nose on my keyboard. As the saying goes “You are what you eat” and that goes for our four-legged loved ones as well. There are certain people foods that just don’t pair well with your pet do we turned to Lucy Postins, founder of The Honest Kitchen pet food company to get the ‘dish’ on dog dining do’s and don’t during the holidays.
Top recommendations to share with your pets this year around the dining table:
· Turkey, Ham, Prime Rib and other meats. These can all be added in moderation; the key thing to remember is to never feed pets any type of cooked bones because they can splinter and damage the GI tract. Also avoid too much fat and gristle, which can potentially be dangerous. Whenever possible, choose free-range, natural and grass-fed meats, which are healthier for you and your pets.
· Green Bean Casserole. Most pets love the sweet taste of green bean casserole, just do not include the onion topping and serve to pets in small amounts. As an alternative, you can share fresh, raw or cooked green beans to your pets as well.
· Sweet Potatoes. These are an excellent source of beta carotene and make a highly nutritious meal addition for dogs. Steamed or baked sweet potatoes are ideal, especially since raw root vegetables can be difficult to digest. Avoid giving your pet the holiday-themed sweet potato side dishes that contain marshmallows, syrup or nuts.
· Cranberries. These are a great addition to your pets’ meals any time of the year, but be wary of the sauce and jelly side dishes. Cranberries contain natural compounds that can help prevent bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall, so they are an excellent choice for cats and dogs who are prone to urinary tract infections.
· Winter Vegetables. Winter vegetables like pumpkin, squash, chard and kale are loaded with vitamins, antioxidants and fiber, and are great gently cooked for pets. Avoid serving your pets large amounts of vegetables, however, that contain added salt, wine, soy sauce or butter.
In addition, Lucy Postins warns pet owners of these foods for their pets.
· Stuffing and Corn Pudding. These products tend to contain onions and raisins, as well as bread and cornmeal, which can lead to ear infections and skin problems.
· Desserts and Cheeses. When eaten in excess, these can cause stomach problems for pets.
· Relishes, Pickles and Sauces. These condiments tend to contain heavy spices, sugar, onion and other ingredients that can cause disruption in their GI tract.
· Toxic Foods to Pets. The following list of ingredients are toxic to pets and should not be fed to pets in any form:
o Macadamia nuts
o Artificial candies containing xylitol