Prevent Holiday Weight Gain in Pets
By Dr. Ernie Ward via Vetstreet
We're in the final stretch of that terrible trifecta of weight gain: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. The 39 days in between these holidays offer a multitude of meals for your family to gorge upon. The trouble is that we also share these food celebrations with our pets, resulting in the accumulation of unwanted pounds for all of us.
By the time the last bit of confetti has fallen, many of us are in desperate need of a fresh start - and a diet. So what's an animal lover to do? How can we share the holidays with our pets in a more healthful manner?
SEE ALSO: Few Cat Lovers Know Risks of Obese Felines
The good news is that, with a little planning, we can party with our pets without feeding them unhealthy and fattening foods. Here are some cardinal tips for keeping your pets in fighting shape this holiday season.
1. Obey People Food Rules
Let's get one thing clear: I know the majority of you are going to feed your pets from the table. Guess what? Me, too. Perhaps the biggest myth hoisted upon pet owners is that "people food" is bad for pets.
With very few exceptions - grapes, raisins, some nuts and chocolate come to mind - if you're eating healthy fare, chances are that you can share some of it with your pet. My no-no's: anything fried, breaded, glazed or enhanced with extra fat and goodness, as well as bread, fatty meats and decadent sweets that tend to populate party plates.
Just bear in mind that any sudden change in a pet's diet can cause gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea. Fatty and rich foods can also lead to pancreatitis.