- Don't Supersize Them. Please do not feed your pet human food. But, if you do, avoid giving large amounts of cooked turkey or ham during the holidays. Humans are much larger and heavier than dogs and cats and can handle bigger food servings; our pets cannot. During the holidays, it's very easy to forget this and overfeed pets, thus upsetting their digestive system and compromising their health. Should you feed your pet human food, also avoid food that has been out of the refrigerator for a long period of time. Pets need to be protected against food that is undercooked or subject to spoilage because of lack of refrigeration.
- Watch the Richness. Certain foods can be filled with spices and seasonings, which can cause health problems in pets. Try to keep you pets on their regular schedule with their regular food.
- Ain't To Proud to Beg. As pets become accustomed to human food, they can learn irritating begging habits that can be rude to family members and guests during mealtimes. Try to keep pet meals in a separate room with designated pet food rather than human leftovers.
- No Bones About It. Do not feed pets bones, particularly chicken, turkey, and other poultry bones. Bones can break apart cause intestinal pain, and sometimes choking, in pets.
- Sweet Are Not Treats. Candy and highly sugary items can wreak havoc on a pet's diet. Also, candy wrappers can be eaten by dogs and cats and can result in choking or digestive pain.
- Treat Dogs and Cats As Individuals. If you have both dogs and cats, remember that they might have different dietary preferences, and that they need different portion sizes. Use discretion and don't hand out holiday leftovers blindly.
"Mealtimes throughout the year are special family moments, but they can be a problem for pets," noted SEAACA Executive Director, Dan Morrison. "If we remember to prevent overfeeding and to use discretion when feeding our animals, everyone will benefit," he added.