Good to Eat: Pet Safe Swaps for Your Fall Favorite Foods

By: Kate KaramUpdated:

Chewy Studios

Good to Eat: Pet Safe Swaps for Your Fall Favorite Foods

We wait all year for the delicious and oh, so decadent flavors of fall-iday (that's fall into winter!). From eggnog to apple pie, frozen hot chocolate to freshly roasted turkey, it's the season of richness which may be okay for you in moderation, but most of these treats are not healthy for our pets. So, what do you do if you want to share the flavors of the celebrations season, but still keep it good for them? 

We asked one of our resident veterinarians to compile a short list of some of common paws-off seasonal foods, and then came up with tasty alternatives (vet-approved) that you can swap in. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of holiday foods that are not good for cats and dogs, but rather some general guidance about the types of ingredients that can often make a human food a no-no for our pets. When in doubt, do not feed "human" foods to your pets and as always, treats are meant to be served in moderation to comprise not more than 10% of your pet's total daily recommended calories.

Download our cheat sheet for quick review and then read below for more on each of these seasonal foods and great swaps to make or to buy.

Click here to download the infographic.

Click here to download the infographic.
Photo: Chewy Studios

READY TO DIG IN? HERE'S WHERE TO START

This chart will provide all the links you need to make or buy seasonal treats for your pets. We've added items for dog and for cats; unless noted that it's good for both, please feed according to listed pets. (For even more easy, vet-approved, seasonal DIY recipes for pet treats, visit Chewy Eats.)
WHAT AND WHY NOT
GOOD RECIPES TO MAKE
SHOP FOR SWAPS
WHAT AND WHY NOT

Canned Cranberry Sauce: Fresh cranberries in moderation are a healthy treat, but not so much when made into a sauce loaded with sugar or alternative sweeteners.

GOOD RECIPES TO MAKE

Turkey-Cranberry Meatballs: Fresh and easy treat for dogs with dried, unsweetened cranberries for seasonal flavor. (Fine to serve to cats.)

WHAT AND WHY NOT

Pumpkin Spice Latte: Pumpkin is good for pets, but this famed drink is likely to contain caffeine, milk and nutmeg (none of which are healthy for dogs or cats).

GOOD RECIPES TO MAKE

3 Barista-Style Fall Drinks for Dogs: Serve any of this trio of lick-able, dog-safe and coffee-free drinks while you sip your PSL. 

SHOP FOR SWAPS

Greenies Pumpkin Spice Flavor Dental Dog Treats OR Nummy Tum-Tum Pure Organic Pumpkin Canned Dog & Cat Food Supplement

WHAT AND WHY NOT

Apple Pie: Apples are fine in lots of ways, but everything else that makes this fall fave yummy (sugar, buttery crust, nutmeg) is a pet no-go.

GOOD RECIPES TO MAKE

Frozen Apple Pie Treat: Super easy recipe for dogs that you can serve in a Kong toy or just dish up for dessert.

WHAT AND WHY NOT

Gingerbread: Ginger is a spice that's fine for cats and dogs (even good for them), but most gingerbread is sugary, fatty and contains nutmeg.

GOOD RECIPES TO MAKE

Dog-Friendly Gingerbread Cookies: Bake with panty-ready staples. Gingerbread Man Holiday Cat Treats are for the feline fam (but can also be served to dogs).

SHOP FOR SWAPS

Portland Pet Food Gingerbread Dog Treats OR Weruva Pumpkin Patch Up! Pumpkin With Ginger & Turmeric Dog & Cat Wet Food Supplement

WHAT AND WHY NOT

Frozen Hot Chocolate: Sorry, but chocolate is a non-negotiable when it comes to pets, however carob (made from dried, roasted carob tree pods and looks a lot like cocoa powder) is not a problem.

GOOD RECIPES TO MAKE

Dog-Safe Hot Chocolate Alternative Beverage: Exclusive recipe for a dog-friendly hot chocolate. It’s sweet, safe and delicious (and humans can enjoy it too.)

SHOP FOR SWAPS

Pooch Creamery Carob Flavor Ice Cream Mix Dog Treat OR The Petz Kitchen Carob Powder Dog & Cat Supplement

WHAT AND WHY NOT

Imitation Maple Syrup: Hidden in lots of prepared foods, this often contains Xylitol which is extremely toxic to dogs and cats. Pure maple syrup in small amounts can be fine for pets, but check with your vet if they have underlying medical or weight issues.

GOOD RECIPES TO MAKE

Pumpkin Mini Muffins for Cats: Look just like the pumpkin muffins you’d see at your local café—crumbly top and made with real maple syrup. (Fine to serve to dogs.)

SHOP FOR SWAPS

Rachael Ray Nutrish Chicken 'N Waffle Bites Dog Treats OR Because Animals Pumpkin Noochies with Vermont Maple Syrup

WHAT AND WHY NOT

Bagels and Lox: While some grains are fine for dogs, when made into yeasty doughs such as in bagels, they can cause all kinds of digestive upsets. Lox? So much salt!

GOOD RECIPES TO MAKE

"Lox-and-Bagel" with Schmear: Features cat-safe handmade mini “bagels” and Fancy Feast filets for a festive feline treat. (Fine to serve to dogs.)

SHOP FOR SWAPS

Fieldcrest Farms Nothin' To Hide Bagels Rawhide Alternative OR Inaba Churu Grain-Free Tuna with Salmon Puree Lickable Cat Treat

WHAT AND WHY NOT

Eggnog: Eggs are not an issue for dogs or for most cats, but when they get nogged-up with cream, booze and a dust of nutmeg, they're off the menu. 

GOOD RECIPES TO MAKE

Egg-Free Dog Nog: Thick and cold and sweet from dates with a hint of cinnamon, it's egg-free. (So, it could be good for you, too.)

WHAT AND WHY NOT

Roasted Meats: This one may surprise you, but between bones that can lodge in your pet's digestive system and fat and cholesterol from rich meat and skin, best to go light here and seek alternatives.

GOOD RECIPES TO MAKE

Homemade Cat Treats, Turkey Triangles: Cats (and dogs) love meat and some lean ground turkey has good protein without the fat. This is four ingredients and done!

SHOP FOR SWAPS

Tylee's Human-Grade Turkey Recipe Frozen Dog Food OR Stella & Chewy's Tummy Ticklin' Turkey Dinner Morsels Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

So, as we all get ready to enjoy all that fall and early winter have to offer (and that of course includes the foods!), we hope this provides some guidance on how to include your furry family in the celebration.

All listed recipes were reviewed by a veterinarian. It is intended as a treat or snack. Treats should only constitute a small percentage of your pet’s daily food. Feeding too many treats can lead to nutrient deficiencies. If your pet has health issues (including sensitivities to fats) or if you have any concerns, consult your pet’s veterinarian before offering this food item.

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By: Kate KaramUpdated:

BeWell