The bounty of rich, tempting foods at Thanksgiving can pose health hazards to our four-legged friends, making Thanksgiving a busy time for emergency veterinary clinics. Keep your pets healthy and safe this holiday season!
Seattle Humane urges pet guardians to follow five common sense tips to keep pets healthy and happy during the holiday fun and festivities:
- Keep the feast out of reach! Agile and creative dogs or cats can capture a special treat from the kitchen counter, trash or even the dining room table.
- Resist offering your leftovers. Rich and fatty foods like dressing, pie, and gravy can lead to serious and painful pancreatitis.
- No turkey bones! Turkey bones can cause very serious and sometimes fatal consequences for your pet.
- Plan ahead for pets. Stop by a pet food store and purchase some new dog biscuits or cat treats and then reduce the amount of his regular meal to accommodate the treats he will be getting throughout the day. Remember, biscuits and treats are usually much higher in calories than regular pet food, so having him skip dinner may be a prudent choice if he has been snacking all day.
- Make a special treat. Some people enjoy cooking for their dog and cat while they are cooking for the rest of the family. Pick up a recipe book just for companion animals at the bookstore, or just type “homemade pet treat recipes” into your favorite web search engine for lots of interesting choices.
Here are popular recipes for homemade goodies for your dogs to enjoy:
Healthy pumpkin balls
This snack is not only delicious but is also filled with fiber, vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium, and iron.
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 4 tbsp molasses
- 4 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Mix pumpkin, molasses, vegetable oil, and water together in a bowl
- Add the whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon to the mixture and stir until dough softens
- Scoop out small spoonfuls of dough and roll into balls on your hands (wet hands work best)
- Set the balls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and flatten with a fork
- Bake approximately 25 minutes until dough is hardened
Apple crunch pupcakes
A fruity treat your dog will adore!
- 2 ¾ cups water
- ¼ cup applesauce (unsweetened)
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/8 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 medium egg
- 4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup dried apple chips (unsweetened)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Mix water, applesauce, honey, egg, and vanilla together in a bowl
- Add remaining ingredients and mix until well blended
- Pour into lightly greased muffin pans
- Bake 1 ¼ hours
Important to note:
- Account for any allergies your dog has to specific ingredients
- Store your homemade dog treats in an airtight container and place them in the freezer
- Allow them to thaw for 10-20 minutes before serving to your dog
- Treats can last for up to 6 months in the freezer
- When using peanut butter in your recipes, use products that only contain peanuts and not artificial sweeteners like Xylitol that can be toxic and life-threatening to your pet.