The holidays are a time of joy, celebration, and, of course, delicious feasts!
While the festive spirit tends to encourage sharing, resisting the urge to include your pets in your holiday meals is crucial. Even a small amount of table scraps (especially the fatty ones!), like gravy or ham, can lead to pancreatitis.
What is Pancreatitis?
Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas, a vital gland behind the stomach that is responsible for releasing hormones, insulin, and digestive enzymes. In pets, it causes severe abdominal pain, reluctance to engage in normal activities, vomiting, and diarrhea. Cats may exhibit subtle signs such as lethargy and loss of appetite. Severe cases can be fatal and may lead to permanent damage, increasing the risk of diabetes and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI).
Treatment Challenges and Prevention
Treatment for pancreatitis varies based on severity, often requiring hospitalization, intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and pain control. Prevention is key, especially for pets prone to pancreatitis. Scraps from the table pose a significant risk, even in small amounts. Any pet with a history of pancreatitis is vulnerable to reoccurrence, emphasizing the need to resist sharing holiday leftovers.
Holiday Temptations and Risks
During the holidays, our homes are filled with tempting treats and decorations. While we enjoy our holiday meals, it's essential to understand the potential risks to our pets. Apart from pancreatitis, gastrointestinal upset is common. Symptoms include abdominal pain, grass eating, vomiting, diarrhea, and refusal to eat. Pets can be exposed to hazards like mistletoe, holly, poinsettias, and chocolates, leading to severe illnesses.
Avoiding Obstructions and Foreign Bodies
Pets are notorious for eating things they shouldn't, especially during the holidays when more items are within reach. Dogs may get obstructed with bones, corn cobs, BBQ brushes, and toys, while cats may ingest string, tinsel, ribbons, and ornament hooks. These obstructions often require surgical intervention, leading to costly procedures and hospitalization.
Foods Your Pet Can Eat
Our pets don't need to miss out on the holiday fun - or the feasts! - during the holiday season. Our complete and balanced gently cooked meals are perfect for pets, and can be served as a full diet, partial diet, topper, mix-in or treat. Our Turkey Gobbler meal is a festive dinner of ground turkey meat and chicken giblets (liver and heart), butternut squash, russet potatoes and spinach, and perfect for serving your pup at a holiday dinner. Other fan favourites include our Italian Beef Pasta, Classic Pork Stew, and for the pups who need a low-fat meal, our Rosemary Venison, Fisherman's Best Friend and Kangaroo meals offer a tasty treat. See all our meals for dogs here.
A Healthy and Happy Holiday for Your Pet
This holiday season, prioritize your pet's health by resisting the urge to share festive foods. Keep an eye on potential hazards, discourage guests from offering treats, and maintain your pet's diet. Let's ensure our furry friends have a safe, healthy, and joyful holiday season.
Wishing you and your pets a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season!