Holidays with Pets

Dr. Larry Mangum


Appalachian Animal Hospital

The holidays are fast approaching and with them comes a wide variety of delicious treats, of both sweet and savory varieties.

And while those treats, in moderation, are perfectly acceptable for humans, they can have a serious impact on the family pet who sneaks a treat or is given something from the human table.

Here are some tips to keep your pet healthy during the holidays.

Be diligent about the sweets: Most people know not feed pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol but enterprising pets can be creative when motivated to snarf some illicit fare. Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.

People food is for people: Believe it or not, what we eat isn’t healthy for pets. Fatty, spicy foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your pets.

Careful with Cocktails: Many holiday celebrations include adult holiday beverages, as with sweets be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If alcohol is ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.

Spread the word: With guests in your home, they may not have pets or have different rules for their pets. If your pets are going to be mingling with your guests, a few polite words about not feeding pets people food, even if they beg, might be in order.

Pet treats for pets: There are a number of high-quality, healthy treats available for pets year round. If you want your pet to partake in the holiday celebration, can we suggest you get something made specifically to benefit them? You may not find pet flavors all that appetizing but they do. And they will be as happy munching on a chew toy or a specially made treat as you are enjoying a hearty holiday meal.