Holiday gatherings bring together our loved ones AND their furry friends, which can mean lots of hungry pups!
If you think you have to sneak a snack to your dogs under the table, you don't have to! There are several foods on your holiday plate that dogs can eat safely, too.
However, please keep in mind that it is only safe to feed these ingredients before you add all the “yummy” stuff that us humans like to use for flavor. Make sure you set aside these foods while preparing your holiday dishes before adding any extras!
Let’s take a look at some of the top holiday foods you can share:
Ahh, one of the most popular meats of the season!
Did you know that turkey contains Vitamin B12 (which promotes brain function), choline (which prevents cognitive disease), and selenium (which cancer preventive and immune system support)? Not only does it taste good, but the meat itself has many benefits. As mentioned at the beginning of the article, don’t feed with seasoning or any of the “yummy human stuff” we add to our turkeys to make them tastier. Certain spices can be toxic for dogs, such as onion and too much garlic.
Also, don’t throw out those bones!
Raw turkey necks and turkey wings are a great chew for your pups to keep them busy during holiday festivities! Just remember that cooked bones can splinter and cause damage to the stomach or intestines and even break a tooth. Only give your dogs raw or air-dried bones.
I’m not talking about the cinnamon version with marshmallows. I’m talking about steamed or boiled plain sweet potato. Giving a small amount (varies on dogs size/diet) can have benefits such as Vitamin A (a powerful antioxidant) and are rich in fiber and iron. Bon Appétit!
Green Beans: This yummy veggie steamed or raw when given plain (no salt or seasonings) is a healthy, low calorie snack for your pup! The benefits of green beans include: Vitamin B6 (insulin stabilizer), Vitamin A (antioxidant), and fiber. If you don’t feed a salty foods regularly, it’s probably OK to give them a few already seasoned and cooked veggies once in a while! Keep in mind, although sodium is often a deficiency for raw fed dogs, the amount we use in our human food can be too much for your pup. Salt toxicity can be a serious issue.
Carrots: This orange veggie is another good low calorie snack for your dog. They contain potassium, fiber, Vitamin A, and promote vision health. Some recommend feeding only occasionally and in small amounts as carrots are high in natural sugar as opposed to broccoli or cucumbers and some dogs don’t digest them fully enough to get the benefits. Are they going to harm your dog? No, just make sure to give only a small amount for a special occasion!
Apple Cider (the Vinegar kind!)
Apple Cider Vinegar to be exact. A teaspoon in your pups water can be a healthy surprise! You can mix a little bit into plain yogurt and feed to their pup as a yummy treat. As far as dosing, some people add one teaspoon to one tablespoon of ACV for a 50-pound dog, but exact dosing isn’t known as far as what is recommended. A word of caution: small doses are best. One of the benefits of apple cider vinegar is that it can promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the dog’s digestive tract. It can also increase the body’s absorption of calcium and other minerals.
It can be overwhelming to know what is safe for your pup or not, especially if you are a new dog owner. With all the holidays coming up, we need to be prepared to know what is safe for our furry family members and steer clear of things that can be toxic such as alcohol, seasonings (like onion) and chocolate.
Now that you know what you can give from your holiday feast, you can focus on what really matters: eating.