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.
READY TO DIG IN? HERE'S WHERE TO START
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.
Turkey-Cranberry Meatballs: Fresh and easy treat for dogs with dried, unsweetened cranberries for seasonal flavor. (Fine to serve to cats.)
Fruitables Pumpkin & Cranberry Flavor Crunchy Dog Treats OR Side By Side Turkey Cranberry Dog & Cat Freeze-Dried Treats
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).
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.
Greenies Pumpkin Spice Flavor Dental Dog Treats OR Nummy Tum-Tum Pure Organic Pumpkin Canned Dog & Cat Food Supplement
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.
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.
Portland Pet Food Gingerbread Dog Treats OR Weruva Pumpkin Patch Up! Pumpkin With Ginger & Turmeric Dog & Cat Wet Food Supplement
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.
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.)
Pooch Creamery Carob Flavor Ice Cream Mix Dog Treat OR The Petz Kitchen Carob Powder Dog & Cat Supplement
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.
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.)
Rachael Ray Nutrish Chicken 'N Waffle Bites Dog Treats OR Because Animals Pumpkin Noochies with Vermont Maple Syrup
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!
Fieldcrest Farms Nothin' To Hide Bagels Rawhide Alternative OR Inaba Churu Grain-Free Tuna with Salmon Puree Lickable Cat Treat
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.
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.)
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.
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!
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.