As the holiday season starts to wind down (can you believe Christmas is next week??), we wanted to send out a friendly reminder to make sure and include your furry family members in the celebration! From pet stockings filled with toys, to a new leash, a fuzzy sweater and much more, there are a million ways to spoil your pooch. BUT, if your dogs are like ours, the way to their heart is through their stomach!
Here are some healthy (and tasty!) treat ideas:
*Squash and Sweet Potato Mash:
This is not only yummy (for both humans and dogs) but is easy for your pooch to digest and is full of beta carotene. Either roast or microwave the potatoes and squash (we love Kabocha & Acorn), then mix together in a large bowl. Be sure to set aside a portion for Fido before you add all of the extra goodies like butter, cream and seasoning.
Once you’ve roasted your main course to perfection, carve a few small pieces (minus the seasonings, fat and/or skin) for your dog’s enjoyment. Just remember to feed snacks like this in moderation!
It isn’t a proper holiday meal unless all food groups are represented. Some of our office dog’s favorite treats include fresh, crunchy carrots. They also enjoy green beans, peas and asparagus all of which are packed with healthy vitamins and antioxidants.
*Peanut Butter & Yogurt Pupsicles: If you’re having dessert, don’t leave out the dog! Just mix one 32 oz container of low-fat vanilla yogurt with a cup of melted peanut butter. Pour into small, lined muffin tins or these cute paw shaped molds and freeze.
And finally, no matter how hard your pooch begs, there are a few things to avoid:
*Onions & Garlic: Bad breath aside, both of these can lead to anemia in dogs if given in large quantities or over an extended period of time.
*Cooked bones: Although most dogs love a meaty raw bone, once they’ve been cooked the bones become brittle and can shatter causing painful splinters or something even more serious such as an obstruction. Please note: Supervision is a good thing here!
*Yeast/Bread Dough: ‘Tis the season for baking…and dogs whose sense of smell get them into trouble. If you are going to be baking with yeast, be sure to keep the dough well out of reach so it can rise safely on the counter (or up on top of the fridge for hungry giant breeds), and not in their bellies.
*Gravy, and other items with a high fat content: High fat intake can lead to pancreatitis, a painful and sometimes fatal inflammation of the pancreas. If you’d like to treat your dog to some gravy, a good principle is to keep the quantity small. A tablespoon or so watered down before adding it to their kibble can be a tasty and much healthier option, as can some low sodium stock or broth. Less is more…and their noses are so good, they won’t know the difference!
From all of us at Dog-ON-It-Parks, have a wonderful holiday!