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Thanksgiving and Winter Holiday gatherings are right around the corner! We all plan and shop to make the most amazing meal for our friends and family. We spend several days cooking and prepping for the day. Then, the meal day comes, and we spend all day cooking so that we can share a few hours of fun and friendship with our closest loved ones. But, what about our pets, our favorite furry family members? Can they have some of our feast and treats? It can’t hurt for them to eat a little of this or that and clean a child’s plate at the end of the meal.

Well, it is actually a bad thing for our furry family members. Some of the food is fine but much of it has some issues that could be dangerous for our pets. One thing that can be hurtful is Xylitol and it is in unsuspecting foods like peanut butter. So even though we might think it’s safe, it is best to check out the foods that we are sharing. Many meats are fine but make sure to keep bones away from your pets just in case they might be too small and cause choking. As well, you already know to avoid chocolate, but you’ll also want to watch for grapes and raisins in your cookies and cakes.

You will also need to pay attention to bows and ribbons from any gifts or surprises at these holiday events. Pets often find them sparkly and attractive to play with and even eat. This is most definitely not the best snack to be had in the house. However, our pets find these fun to play with. Visiting guests may also have jackets or coats with medications or candy that pets shouldn’t have access to. So, make sure that they are in a place that is safe from snooping noses!

Eating too much is usually only a problem for us but overeating can also be a problem for our pets at these holiday times. We must be careful to watch how much snacking they are getting in addition to their regular food. Some warning signs can be vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, dehydration and decreased appetite.

Some foods that are safe at the holidays and well into anytime of the year are pumpkin, green beans, peas, carrots, apples (without the core or seeds), spinach, melon, berries and bananas. You can also give them plain yogurt and cooked eggs as well as low fat cheese but these in limited amounts. It is honestly just best to keep them on as regular a diet as possible to lower the risk of them feeling poorly and having a bad holiday experience. That will lead to a rough day for their owner and family as well. No one wants to feel bad at the holidays! Enjoy every member of your family!