Sharing the Holidays with Your Pets

By Emma Koeniger, SPCAI Staff

The holiday season is upon us, a time for families and friends to get together to share some cheer and good food. Our furry friends are never hard to find during this time of year, usually sitting right by our feet to catch any delicious treat that might hit the floor. While we may have a second helping of apple pie or sweet potato casserole our dogs and cats should steer clear of these and other ingredients found in holiday treats.  

Onions: Found in many dishes during the holiday season, onions, garlic, leeks and scallions should not be fed to your pets. Ingesting these in large quantities can lead to toxic anemia.

Xylitol: An artificial sweetener, which can be found in pies and cranberry sauce, can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure, and even death in dogs.

Turkey: While you can feed your pet cooked turkey, make sure it is boneless. If your pet does not regularly receive turkey only give them a small amount as large amounts can cause pancreatitis. Avoid offering the bones of the turkey to your pet, poultry and other soft bones can easily splinter.

Grapes: Found in stuffing, cakes and cookies this fruit (including raisins) can cause acute liver failure if ingested.

There are many ways to make your pets part of the celebration, and while they may act like they want these foods they will thank you for keeping them happy and healthy. Try this recipe so your dog can have a festive (and healthy) treat!

Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Dog Treat
-2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
-2 eggs
-1/2 canned pumpkin (ensure that it is 100% pumpkin, no other ingredients like sugar)
-2 tablespoons peanut butter (check the label for xylitol, many peanut butters have changed their recipes to include this toxic sweetener)
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1.    Preheat your oven to 350F
2.    Mix together all ingredients. The dough should be dry and stiff, if needed you can add water to make it more workable.
3.    Roll dough into a ½ inch thick roll and slice into ½ inch pieces
4.    Bake for 40min or until hard.