Family feasts, abundant desserts, and dog-loving children can make it very difficult to control what your pets eat over the holiday season. Follow these pointers to avoid any pet-related digestive upsets this winter.
Avoid feeding your pet any high fat foods such as meat trimmings, gravy, grease, etc.
These foods can predispose dogs and cats to developing pancreatitis, a severe gastrointestinal disease that requires immediate veterinary attention.
Clinical signs of pancreatitis include anorexia, vomiting, weakness, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
If you feel the need to offer your pets table scraps, try to stick to foods such as vegetables or small amounts of meats without fat.
Never feed your dog or cat grapes, raisins, macademia nuts, chocolate, moldy foods, or onions.
If your dog develops a mild digestive upset such as vomiting or diarrhea, stop all food intake for the next 12-24 hours and offer small amounts of water frequently. Slowly re-introduce a bland diet in small quantities several times daily for the next few days before gradually returning your pet to his/her original diet. If the vomiting or diarrhea persists or is severe, your pet should be seen by a veterinarian.
Other Winter Tips to Remember
If your dog is spending time outside in cold weather, his/her caloric needs will increase and the requirement for water will increase as well.
Dogs and cats can be susceptible to frost bite just as people can. Be aware of the amount of time your pet spends outside when the thermometer dips.
Salted sidewalks can irritate your dog's paws during walks. Inspect your dog's foot pads after walks to ensure they are not being damaged.