Pet Nutrition: What to Watch Out for During the Holidays

As you all know, I have a zoo: cats and an old-man of a hound dog. I am totally the person with fur children and I want to do everything I can to keep them healthy....especially when it comes to nutrition (duh). Earlier this year the husband and I put a TON of research into what was the healthiest diet to feed the pets and it definitely surprised me. While nutrition needs are different for every pet, what I really want to cover is why you need to pay extra special attention to your dogs this holiday season. Or more importantly, what your holiday guests SHOULDN'T BE feeding your pets but probably are. 

Kobe, the hound dog, came into our life post college graduation after the in-laws decided to make a move to the sandy beaches of somewhere tropical where there were no dogs allowed. So of course, we scooped up the husband's childhood hound to join the zoo! Subsequently, as we house hunted, we were with my parents and their dogs who have stomachs of steel. And my Dad likes to feed the doggies human food treats....which apparently not all dogs can handle. The big black lab mixes they have can literally eat anything. Deer parts. Ham. Questionably moldy squash. But the hound dog has a tender tummy and as we now know, is especially sensitive to people food. Fat, of any kind is not tolerated which always makes me wary during the holidays.

Even though Kobe is 15 or 16 years old at this point, he's pretty healthy. But after a few weeks on the extra treat human food treat diet, something was definitely wrong. There was major digestive distress happening. He couldn't keep anything down. And finally, after a trip to the vet, we found out he had pancreatitis, just like a human. Digestive issues are a big red flag for dogs and that's your cue to head to the dog doctor. In human nutrition, we treat pancreatitis basically the same way it's treated for dogs: rest, IV fluids and a low fat diet (yes, they make low fat dog food). Totally treatable but very, very scary when you feel helpless before you know what's happening.

During the holidays we have to be extra careful with Kobe. With parties (he's a social dog), people and kids, guests like to make the dog happy with human food. But as we now know: the hound dog is extra sensitive to any elevated amounts of fat. So during this crazy social season, remember to keep human food high on the table, ask guests to please not feed the dog and watch for any unusual dog behavior! For more pet health nutrition information questions, check out this website or do some reading on what food is right for your dog's breed to get them holiday healthy today! Side note: Everyone asks so to answer your question we are pretty sure he's a basset hound golden retriever mix!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.