During Thanksgiving when all of your family is together, it can be tempting for you and others to treat the dog or cat to some table scraps. While overeating has always seemed to be the goal of Thanksgiving dinner, it’s not a healthy behavior for your pets at any time of the year. Some foods are poisonous to animals like chocolate, which might be one of the ingredients in your holiday cookies. Instead of letting your pet slip into a Thanksgiving coma, you should be thankful for their health and take the steps to help them live a long life.
Tinks, a 13-year-old cat living in Britain, is currently going through a weight loss program called the Pet Fit Club. Tinks weighs over 30 pounds and is 96 percent overweight. Pet obesity has increasingly become a problem in Britain, so Tinks along with seven other dogs will be competing to lose the most weight and be crowned the PDSA (People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals) Pet Fit Club Champ. According to the Warrington Guardian, half of the dogs and cats in the U.S. are estimated to be clinically overweight.
Obviously, exercise is imperative for any animal, especially those that are usually cooped up indoors. Even if you take 15 minutes out of every day to play fetch with your dog or use yarn to play with your cat, you will help them to become more active pets. When pets get the exercise they need, they are less likely to overindulge and beg for more food.
Because it’s challenging to prevent children and other family members from feeding your pets, make it a rule to put the pets in a separate room or in their kennel while you are eating. After you are done eating and the food is put away, you can bring the pets out and suggest that family members walk the dog or entertain the cat while you clean the dishes. It’s hard to find extra time during the holidays, but your children, nieces, nephews or cousins will probably prefer to exercise your pet than clean up in the kitchen.
Although pets should not be fed table scraps, it doesn’t mean that you can’t surprise them with a pet-friendly treat every once in a while. Petside.com has compiled a list of healthy snacks that you can give your dog that mimic some of the dishes you will be cooking for Thanksgiving dinner.
Feeding your pet holiday food can start them on a downward spiral of unhealthy behavior when it comes to eating, so save the Thanksgiving coma for yourself (if you can’t resist stuffing yourself) and spare your pet.