Pets want holiday treats, too!

When you celebrate, your pets want to celebrate with you. You have cake, so they want cake. You have a tossed salad, and they think they want one, too! But they shouldn’t have sweet frosting or anything with Xylitol as a sweetener. Some things we might share aren’t healthy, such as raisins and nuts.

The good news is that while you are in the kitchen making goodies for Christmas, you can make your pets some healthy treats without much effort. You probably even have the ingredients in your kitchen!

Purchasing a dehydrator at an outdoor gear store can initially be a big expense, but it will save you as much as you spend, and you can control what your pets eat.

For dogs

Dried fruit, such as apples, are easy to make and last a long time in a container. Thinly slice apples after removing the core. You can peel them or not. Any apples will do, as long as they are firm. Both green and red apples dehydrate well. Place slices on the dehydrator shelves and lightly sprinkle with cinnamon (not cinnamon sugar). Cinnamon has many healthy effects, such as stabilizing blood sugar and fending off fleas and ticks. You can also dehydrate bananas, blueberries and sweet potatoes. Limit the number of banana and sweet potato pieces because too much potassium can dangerously speed heart rate. Remember that dehydrated foods expand when introduced to the stomach’s juices. So limit these treats more than you would others, and for more information about plant based diets for your dog, we recommend The Green Forks best Vegan dog food review.

Plain frozen yogurt is as tasty to dogs as it is to us! But be sure that you freeze sugar-free, plain yogurt in plastic ice cube trays. You might mix fruit or cinnamon into the yogurt before filling the ice tray pockets about half-full. Plain yogurt on dog food makes the food irresistible! And yogurt supports the digestive system.

Dogs love green beans and carrots. Our black lab string beans frozen, thawed or cooked. Vets recommend that green beans are a great way to fill a glutton’s tummy without adding many calories. If you serve canned green beans, look for low sodium options.

Most pulpy fruits, such as peaches, cantaloupe and watermelon are safe for dogs. Just remove the seeds and rinds. Citrus fruits can cause tummy upset.

For cats offers some great, simple recipes! Some are more extravagant, such as Super Salmon Smashers.

Catnip pancakes– Knead 4 oz. ground sirloin, 3 tablespoons of oatmeal, 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of catnip into a ball. Then flatten it on a cookie sheet. Broil at 425 degrees for 8 minutes (4 minutes on each side) or until crisp. Let cool for 30 minutes and cut into bite-size pieces.

Tuna balls – Combine 1 can of drained tuna, ½ cup cut turkey or chicken and 2/3 cup dry cat food with optional sliced vegetables such as carrots, broccoli or asparagus until well-mixed. Form into small balls and chill for about an hour. Roll the balls in bread crumbs or crushed cat food and serve.

Cats don’t generally like fruits and prefer moist proteins.

AVOID avocados, raisins, onions, garlic, nuts, yeast, chocolate, coffee, caffeine, milk and dairy. Also limit coconut or coconut oil to small amounts. The fats and oil can cause gastric distress.

Share the joy and tastes of the holiday with your pets. Plan ahead like you do for the rest of the family, and be careful to reduce their mealtime food to account for the treats. Healthy treats for both of you is a great new year’s resolution, too! You can enjoy many of the same healthy fruits and veggies, as well as lean meats and proteins. If you wonder if a particular food is safe for your dog, cat or rodent, simply search it online or visit our blog index on the right side of this page.

If you have other questions or topics for a blog post, leave us a comment below or contact us!

By Beth Crosby