As winter edges closer on the calendar, it means the holidays will soon be here as well. Many people will loosen their belt, get comfortable, eat more and be merry. While people realize they may gain 10 pounds during the holidays because of these seasonal habits, if they do the same with their pets it can lead to long-lasting health problems. Especially during the holidays, it’s a good time to take steps toward helping to keep pets healthy.
“If people get a bit too relaxed and overeat during the holidays, they often do the same with their dogs,” explains Will Post, founder and CEO of Hound & Gatos Pet Foods Corporation. “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.”
Here are five ways to help keep pets healthy through the holiday season:
- Scratch the scraps. Many people like to get their dog in on the holiday food craze, but there are things they shouldn’t be eating. It’s important that dogs don’t consume things like chocolate, nuts or onions. These things can be toxic to their nervous system or even lead to anemia.
- No bones about it. That big turkey leg may look appetizing to your furry friend, but handing them the bones can prove dangerous. Dogs can choke on bones or they can also lacerate their intestines. Skip giving them the bones, as it’s not a risk worth taking.
- Investigate treats. Most people purchase their pooch a gift at some point during the holidays. Those who will purchase special treats will want to give due diligence to their quality. Opt for ones that have ingredients only from the U.S. to help minimize the exposure to potentially harmful ingredients.
- Keep exercising. Although people tend to get a little lazy during the holiday season, and especially as it gets colder outside, it’s important that pets still get plenty of exercise. Make a goal to ensure they keep moving and get daily exercise so they stay healthy and don’t pack on the pounds over the winter.
- Commit to high quality. After the holiday comes the new resolutions that everyone makes. Start early, but resolve to feed your pets only high quality food that has been made with ingredients sourced in the U.S. This will help keep them healthier and reduce exposure to potentially harmful ingredients that may be imported from places such as China.
“We take keeping pets healthy serious, which is why we have won so many awards for our natural pet foods,” Post said. “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.”