Written by Pet Expert, Travis Brorsen for OKC Pet's Magazine
Holiday season is here and the safety of our pets should be at the top of the priority list. Mainly because the holiday season means guests; family members, neighbors, parties and lots of yummy food. There are many ways to show our pups how much we love them. Although many owners show love with food and I would like to encourage you to know what is safe and what is not. There is just something about sneaking a tasty treat from the table that makes owners feel like they are showing their dogs extra love.
If you feel like I”m speaking to you, and even if you’re not, here is a list of my top five items your dog can and can’t eat or drink.
I feel like this would be an obvious one, but you would be surprised how many times I hear about dogs getting into their owners' drinks. Alcohol can cause serious damage and research shows it can lead to tremors, respiratory distress and even death. Good news is, you get the rum cake all to yourself this year… and every year after!
Items like green tea ice cream, brownies and any items containing chocolate. Caffeine can be fatal to your pup.
3. Nuts, raisens and grapes
The holidays lend an opportunity for snacks on the coffee table, new concoctions from the latest and greatest cooking book and many include these three ingredients. Particularly, macadamia nuts can be especially dangerous causing paralysis, rapid heartbeat and vomitting. Remember that fruit cake that seems to accompany all good bake sales? Well, they are typically stuffed with raisens and grapes which are highly toxic to your pups system.
Eggnog can include milk, sugar, alcohol, raw eggs and loaded with fat, this is a big one you want to keep clear of your pooch.
5. Garlic, onions and chives
These ingredients can be found in many holiday dishes. If your dog’s nose is as strong as my dogs, then the smell of mashed potatoes or grandma’s casserole will catch their attention. Unfortunately, if eaten by a dog, it can lead to damaged blood cells and anemia.
1. Green bean treats
Start with 16oz of frozen or canned green beans and one tablespoon of olive oil. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Toss the green beans and olive oil in a bowl and then spread them on a non-stick baking sheet. Dry the beans in the oven for eight hours or until they are crunchy. Let them cool before treating your pup or storing them in a container.
Pumkin can actually ease digestion for dogs. Many veterinarians recommend pumpkin puree for dogs with upset stomachs. The fiber fermentation can produce fatty acids that can stimulate intestinal sodium and lower the PH level of the large intestines.
First off, the crunchy factor is good for your dog’s teeth. Carrots are also a low calorie treat that is high in fiber and beta carotene, which produces vitamin A.
Similar to carrots, spinach is a great source of vitamin A, B, C and K. Spinach is roughage, so it can also stimulate the digestive tract. It contains beta carotene, antioxidants and iron. It worked for Popeye, it can work for your dog. Boiled spinach can cause it to lose nutrients and raw is difficult for them to digest. My recommendation is to steam the spinach and do not add any spices or seasonings. If your pup has had kidney issues in the past, check with your vet before giving them spinach.
5. Visit your local dog bakery
If you are worried about what your dog can and can’t eat around the holidays, visit your local pet food store or dog bakery for a healthy snack. Three Dog Bakery in Edmond and Stillwater offers seasonal, decorative dog approved treats that are sure to make your dog a happy one.
Even healthy, dog approved snacks can be dangerous for your dog if not eaten in moderation. Just like humans, too much of anything can upset your dog's tummy. If you are ever concerned that your dog has eaten something dangerous, call your veterinarian immediately.
When it’s all said and done, once your dog has eaten something they shouldn’t, it could be too late. Show them you love them this holiday season with an after meal walk, back scratch, massage or snuggle. Almost 60% of household dogs and cats are overweight or obese, so the next time you want to sneak them a bite of your dinner, think twice. A dog at a healthy weight can live up to two years longer than an overweight or obese dog. Giving them purpose will pay dividends for your relationship versus sneaking the yummy snack under the table. They count on us for their health and safety, knowing what your dog can and can’t eat could save their life.