Holiday Leftovers — dos and don’ts

Holidays are for splurging. We heap our plates with rich and delicious dishes, and eat until we can barely move!

Keep in mind that the high fat content in turkey, goose, duck, and many gravy recipes, can cause a variety of intestinal issues for dogs. They can even cause pancreatitis.

According to Dr. Beverly Jogan of WAG (Whole Animal Gym) in Philadelphia, a little goes a long way. Special treats should not make up more than 25% of your dog’s normal food intake. And when you feed leftovers, make sure to cut down proportionally on regular food. So if your dog normally eats four cups of pet food per day and you give one cup of leftovers, feed no more than three cups of regular food. In the long run, you aren’t doing your pet any favors by overfeeding.

Skip the gravy. It promotes overeating and, because it tends to be fatty, can upset the digestive system.

The best part of the bird to share with Fido is white meat, which is lower in fat than dark meat. And no fat, no skin, no bones. None!

Stuffing and mashed potatoes are fine in very small amounts, and raw or steamed veggies are always great. Green beans, Brussels sprouts, carrots, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes that have been steamed and mashed, are tasty and nutritious additions to any meal. Don’t forget that grapes and raisins can be extremely toxic to dogs. Make sure they aren’t hiding in that leftover stuffing. If you’re not sure, don’t share!

Adapted from an article by Stephanie Valentino, published in The Wag Times, the monthly newsletter of Whole Animal Gym (WAG), with their permission.

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