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5 Ways to Keep Pets Healthy During the Holiday Season

5 Ways to Keep Pets Healthy During the Holiday Season

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By    |   Friday, 18 November 2016 12:53 PM

Santa Claus isn’t the only one who rocks a little extra weight during the holidays. With Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's rapidly approaching, many people will gain at least a few pounds between now and January.

Although a few pounds won’t drastically impact the health of many pet owners, if they let their furry friends in on the fun, it might be bad news for Fido or Fluffy.

“If people get a bit too relaxed and overeat during the holidays, they often do the same with their dogs,” says Will Post, founder and CEO of Hound & Gatos Pet Foods.

“The problem with that is that it can be quite detrimental for dogs if we relax too much and let our guard down about taking care of them in a healthy manner.”

And weight gain isn’t the only holiday-related threat to pets. Certain foods can be especially harmful for cats and dogs.

Here are five tips to keep your pets healthy and happy throughout the holiday season this year:

Say no to begging. During the holidays, many people find themselves disregarding their diet so that they can enjoy all that the dinner table has to offer. Unfortunately, including your pets in this holiday binge may pose serious threats to their health.

Foods like chocolate, nuts, grapes, raisins, and onions are especially harmful to dogs, for instance, so it’s important to keep the scraps and leftovers of holiday dinners on the table or in the refrigerator — not in your dog’s bowl.

Xylitol, an artificial sweetener commonly found in many foods and consumer products — gum, mints, baked goods, cough syrup, chewable vitamins, mouthwash, and toothpaste — can also lead to poisoning or even death in canines.

Throw bones away. In movies and television, it seems like a dog is the happiest when given a bone from the Thanksgiving turkey to chew on. While in theory it’s a great idea, it can be pretty dangerous to your pet:

Pets can easily choke on the bone, or it might lacerate their intestines. It’s better to put your leftover turkey legs in the trash instead.

Do your research. Plenty of people like to give their entire family holiday gifts, and this often includes their pets. Before buying special treats for your animal, check the ingredients.

Lots of treats on the market are produced overseas, where safety standards may be lacking, and contain potentially harmful components. Experts recommend opting for treats that are made in the U.S. because they are less likely to contain things that would hurt your dog, cat, or other pet.

Keep them moving. During winter, plenty of people follow in the footsteps of bears, finding themselves in a state of human hibernation. We stop working out, going for walks, and getting exercise because it’s cold outside and the hustle and bustle of the holidays limit workout time.

Pets, however, need to stay active to maintain their health. It’s important to continue to give your pets opportunities to play and get exercise so that they don’t gain any weight.

Make the switch. Low-quality foods might have a more appealing price tag, but if you want to make sure your pet is healthy, make it your (early) New Year's resolution to switch over to a higher-quality food, especially those that come from the United States.

Making this switch will minimize your pet’s exposure to potentially dangerous ingredients that may be found in foods made overseas.

“We know how important pets are to their human families, so we do our best to ensure that people have the best quality ingredients in order to feed them well, feel proud, and keep them vibrant,” says Post, who notes Hound & Gatos Pet Foods use all-natural ingredients made and processed in the U.S.


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Most Americans gain at least a few pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year's. But the same is true for our furry friends, who face increased risks for weight gain and from foods that can harm their health. Here are five ways to keep your pets safe.
healthy, pet, holiday, tips, risk, danger, dogs, cats
Friday, 18 November 2016 12:53 PM
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