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Holiday Food: Treat or Trouble for Your Pet?

Holiday Food: Treat or Trouble for Your Pet?

Hello friends, Tiberius here. Looks like it will soon be “the most wonderful time of the year.” Of course, every moment with me is wonderful, but according to my humans, the holidays are a wonderful time of the year to connect with family. Families all around the world come together for good food, trips down memory lane and presents. My family’s relatives also bring their furry friends along too so we can have a big feast together. With so much food to go around, we have to be careful of what we feed the four legged family members, because we do not want to end up sick and left out of all the fun. Here are a few tips to follow when making a holiday feast, so that you can include something for everyone:

  • Dry Kibble to Human food? – Be careful if dry kibble is what you feed your pet on a normal basis. Switching from dry kibble to regular food could be dangerous for their digestive system. Maybe you could try preparing a few meals or adding different foods to their meals, a few weeks in advance, so that you can gauge what their bodies can handle.
  • Simplicity goes a long way – Most pet food does not include any butter, oil, or trimmings such as different herbs and seasonings. If you want to make your pet’s plate as festive as possible, simple food, before it has been dipped in butter or seasoning, is probably the best way to go. An example would be a slice of turkey without any dressings.
  • Painful for your pets – These foods or any dishes that include these foods should definitely not be given to your pets.
    • Onions
    • Garlic
    • Nuts
    • Chocolate
    • Bread dough
    • Turkey bones – Bones are great chew toys for dogs, but they are very brittle and can easily splinter, harming your pet.
    • Alcohol
  • Winning Choices – Most of these foods are packed with fiber and vitamins that are good for pets. You can give these to your pets by themselves, or create a recipe with them to make things more interesting.
    • Apples
    • Pumpkin
    • Sweet potato
    • Baby carrots
    • Turkey

Here are a few recipes you can try out so your pets can join in on the fun.

Appetizers

Pumpkin Smoothies

Ingredients

  • ½ c. canned pumpkin puree
  • ½ c. plain non-fat yogurt

Directions

  • Place pumpkin and yogurt in a blender and blend on high until smooth.
  • Evenly pour mixture into 8 small paper cups. Either refrigerate or freeze overnight, or serve right away.
  • Yields – 8 servings

 

Peanut Crudités

  • 8 Baby Carrots
  • 8 Apple slices
  • 8 Celery sticks (no longer than 4 inches)
  • Natural unsalted creamy peanut butter

Directions

  • Spread peanut butter onto each carrot, apple and celery stick and arrange on a small plate.
  • Let pets sample one of each treat.
  • Yields – 8 servings

Sorbet

  • Ice cube tray
  • Diced banana, carrot, apple or blueberries
  • Water (or for cats, meat broth)
  • Yields – 14 servings

Directions

  • Fill tray about half full with water. Add banana, carrot, apple or blueberries and freeze.
  • For feline friends, simply fill the tray with meat broth and freeze.

 

Dinner Recipes

Roasted Turkey Medallions

  • 6 oz. white meat turkey
  • ½ c. chopped carrots
  • ½ c. ground quinoa or oatmeal

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Place turkey and carrots in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Add ground quinoa or oatmeal and blend until mixed.
  • Roll into 1-inch balls and place on a non-stick cooking sheet.
  • Bake 15 minutes.
  • Yields – 30 servings

 

Sweet Potato Cookies

  • 1 large cooked sweet potato
  • 1 banana
  • ½ c. quinoa flour
  • ½ tbs. vegetable oil

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a medium-size bowl, mix the sweet potato and banana until well blended.
  • Add the vegetable oil, then mix in the quinoa flour.
  • Drop dough by the teaspoon onto a non-stick baking sheet and lightly flatten each cookie.
  • Bake for 30 minutes and let cool before serving.
  • Yields – 8 servings

 

Of course, every four legged friend has a different tolerance as to what they can eat, but just to make sure there aren’t any party fouls, remind your guests not to feed pets of other guests. You could also get extra toys, and bones for your pets to chew on so they can keep busy.

 

Holidays are a great time to create some wonderful memories with your family and pets. If you are thinking about fostering a pet, this time of the year is one of the best times to do it, so that the pets can learn to feel completely at home with you.

 

If you have any holiday stories, or recipes to share, comment below and share with us!

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