Every pet owner should know by now that dogs and cats can’t have chocolate and shouldn’t eat any sort of candy. However, that doesn’t mean they have to miss out entirely on Halloween! Some fall treats are great for pets.
Pumpkin’s not just a yummy snack; it’s also a great source of fiber to help regulate the digestive tract. Fresh pumpkin is great, but canned pumpkin won’t hurt pets, so long as there’s nothing else added. You could make your pets a no-sugar-added pumpkin pie, or just let the dogs chew up the Jack-o-Lantern when Halloween is over, provided it hasn’t begun to mold. Small pumpkins can be given whole to dogs for use as an edible chew toy. If you prefer to cook the pumpkin before feeding it to your pets (it’s not necessary), cut a whole pumpkin into fourths and bake it in the oven. Scoop off the flesh, allow it to cool, and serve it plain or with kibble.
Okay, so popcorn isn’t exactly a classic Halloween treat, but any parent of a child whose sugar intake must be limited will tell you it can be a lifesaver for those who can’t have candy. Unbuttered, unsalted popcorn is a tasty treat for your dog, and healthful when fed as part of a varied diet. If you buy kernels and a popper and pop your own, you can salt and butter your portion, and leave a portion plain for the pets. Just watch out: If you give popcorn as a treat, you can expect that any popcorn strands strung on your Christmas tree will disappear!
Pets can’t eat chocolate peanut butter cups, but there’s no reason they can’t have peanut butter. Spread a dog biscuit with a thin layer of peanut butter for a special holiday treat. You could even make your own peanut butter cups by buying soft dog treats with pockets for stuffing with pills, and stuffing them with peanut butter instead.
If you’re concerned about health, buy organic no-sugar-added peanut butter for the pets. Peanut butter isn’t a suitable ingredient for a staple food, but it’s a healthful addition to a varied diet which includes no more than 10% treats. Your pets should also be at least occasionally eating fresh, raw meats and sometimes vegetables or fruits for optimal health.
Of course, if none of these options appeals to your pet on Halloween, feel free to cheat and skip to the next holiday by offering some turkey!