At this time of year it is not only humans that are prone to over-indulge in festive food. There are also plenty of tempting treats around that are attractive to our pet companions but over-indulgence can not only lead to pet obesity, but also a host of digestive disorders.
Some foods which are popular around Christmas can also be harmful to cats and dogs. A healthy microbiome is crucial for your pet’s overall health, from nutrient absorption to mental health. When bacteria become out of balance, disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), digestive issues, immune system reactions, diabetes, and even depression can result.
Make sure that you feed your cat and dog a balanced diet that contains all the vitamins and minerals that are required for a health and wellbeing and avoid any ingredients that are likely to cause an allergy or intolerance such as fillers, artificial colourings and preservatives or protein sources that your pet may be allergic to.
If you feed your cats and dogs commercial pet treats over Christmas, make sure that they are fed as part of an overall balanced diet and reduce other food intake to prevent any pet obesity issues. If you want to feed your cats and dogs Christmas dinner or scraps off your plate then turkey is fine but avoid any darker bits and remove any bones. Only feed the lean white meat. Cooked potato in small amounts is fine either mashed or cut up. With regard to other vegetables, some peas, carrots sweet potato and broccoli are okay but be sure to avoid onions, leeks and corn on the cob and any vegetables cooked in fat, butter or oil.
Foods that you must not feed your pets over Christmas include:
Avoid pouring gravy over your dog’s portion of dinner as it’s not only high in fats and salts but can also contain onions which can be toxic for dogs.
Foods like bacon, cheese, pigs in blanket and cranberry sauce should be avoided as foods like these can lead to pet obesity.
While a favourite amongst most humans, dogs shouldn’t be given stuffing as they often contain onions and garlic.
Chocolate is toxic to dogs and must never be given as a treat or snack as even the smallest amounts can sometimes prove fatal. Over Christmas, chocolate seems to be everywhere so things like advent calendars, tree decorations, and selection boxes must be kept away from our canine friends.
Mince pies and other puddings
Mincemeat, currants, raisins, and sultanas are also toxic to dogs so they shouldn’t be given a mince pie over the Christmas period. You’ll also want to avoid Christmas puddings, fruit cakes and stollen as they have a mixture of dangerous dried fruits and sometimes alcohol.
Avoid feeding cheese, ice cream and other dairy products that contain lactose.
We also suggest that you give your pet a natural supplement over the Christmas period to help with their digestive system. Probiotic Soft Chew Supplement for Dogs from Overby Farm provides optimal utilisation of nutrients for sensitive stomachs and help support diet change and a healthy digestive tract.
This veterinarian formulated digestive probiotic supplement provides a healthy level of probiotics and essential enzymes to help your dog break down food and avoid flatulence. The chews are a great source of alpha-Amylase which can hydrolyze starch. A source of protease which can hydrolyze proteins. A source of cellulase which can break down cellulose. A source of lipase which can hydrolyze triglycerides.
Your dog will love these soft tasty chews which are safe for all dogs over the age of 6 weeks. There is also an Advanced Formula available for dogs that need that extra support.
Overby Farm is offering a 20% discount off these products during December. Quote the code DECEMBER20 at the checkout.