Holiday Foods: What are we really feeding our pets?

As loving pet owners we are all guilty (myself included) of sharing some sweet morsels with our animal companions.  As innocent as this sounds, it can lead to behavioral as well as health issues.  We fail to give credit to animal intellect as they observe the cellophane or foil wrapper these goodies come in.  They recognize the packaging as well as the appropriate storage areas in the home as to where the “stash” is kept.  If we look historically, the “dietary indiscretion” problem escalates during the holidays in October, November, and December.  Us humans go on a food and candy binge and this is passed down to the pet world.  The animal intestinal tract does not handle the sugar, chocolate, and caloric overload as humans do and consequently we see these gastrointestinal problems escalate.  This syndrome of indulgence continues until January 2 when we commit to exercise and dieting.  Let’s not forget, the animal population benefits from this practice as well.  I think the point should be taken to withhold temptation from our pets so we can prevent the expense of treating gastrointestinal disease and foreign body exploratory laparotomies.

Dr. Hackett