The best Christmas pet gift - safety
It is Christmas time and big dinners and scraps
for the dogs and cats. Sometimes those tidbits are "accidently"
dropped from the table. You don't want to ruin a great day with
an emergency trip to the vet. Read on for expert advise on just
what special treats your pets can tolerate.
Is It Okay to Spoil Your Cat and Pamper Your
Pooch?by Dr. Larry Siegler
One of the questions I always ask of new clients that come
to see me is "Where does Fido/Fluffy sleep?" I typically ask
this amongst a variety of other more health related questions
about diet, supplements, exercise, etc. so the client is caught
a bit off guard. I smile to myself when almost all of them
sheepishly answer "In my bed with me." Many new clients are
hesitant at first to tell me how pampered their companions
truly are, but once they get to know me, they begin to almost
boast about it. I encourage the practice of "spoiling"
companion animals - "healthy spoiling" that is.
Do you have an entire closet dedicated to cat or dog toys?
Do you spend so much time at dog parks that it has become a
major part of your social life? Do your friends raise their
eyebrows when you mention that you have to pick your cat up at
the groomer?s? Do you hide the receipts for your companion's
food before your Mother comes over? Your Mother may not
approve, but your veterinarian will! Play, exercise, proper
grooming and top quality food are all good for any animal's
health and well-being. And believe it or not, you are in good
company. "Spoiling" our animal companions has risen to new
heights in recent years.
So what is healthy and what is, well, going overboard? If
it's good for the cat or dog, and doesn't bust your budget or
cause you stress, it's probably healthy. If you find yourself
annoyed by behaviors that have been encouraged by spoiling -
like begging - then it's probably not healthy.
One client recently confessed she spent over $600 installing
a cat enclosure so her cats could go outside safely. Is this
overboard? Well, that depends on what you can afford. For many
cat lovers, a one time expense of this sort is an easy decision
when they know they are improving their cats' long term mental
and physical well being by giving them access to fresh air and
playful romps in the yard. Fresh air helps prevent respiratory
illness and outdoor time gives cats hours of pleasure in
watching the comings and goings of the birds, squirrels, and
Many people spend up to $200 per month (or more) on doggy
daycare. Not too long ago there was typically one household
member (usually Mom) home with the dog most of the day. Our
society has changed and there are more single people with dogs
and couples in which both members of the household work. That
leaves the dog home alone - bored, lonely and with too little
exercise - a perfect setup for "mischief." Doggy daycare is not
only healthy for the dog, it relieves all that heavy guilt from
leaving your friend behind every day, so it's good for you,
When it comes to treats for our dogs and cats we have a
thousand different ways to spoil our companions. There are
gourmet treats, hypoallergenic treats, designer health treats
with herbs or joint support supplements added, and, of course,
cookbooks for home-made treats. I love feeding my "clients"
treats. I keep biscuits handy for dogs and freeze-dried meats
for the cats. I also recommend healthy leftovers from your own
meals as treats or even part of the diet.
Healthy leftovers include lean meats or fish for both dogs
and cats. In addition, dogs may enjoy steamed veggies, tofu,
tempe and fruit. Many cats love cantaloupe. (Onions, grapes, raisins and
chocolate are to be avoided.)
Healthy leftovers are different from "table scraps" which
usually include the fat trimmed from meat, poultry skin and the
potatoes with gravy left on someone's plate. Give them healthy,
nutritious leftovers, not fatty scraps or lots of
carbohydrates. Obesity is one of the worst problems our animal
companions face. It is our responsibility to help our pets stay
fit and healthy. When you give lots of treats or leftovers, cut
back on their regular meal to compensate for the added
calories. And to avoid the begging behavior, never feed your
cat or dog from your plate or from the table. Wait until the
meal is over and the dishes are done, then put the leftovers in
your companion's own dish for them to enjoy.
So go ahead, indulge your friend this holiday season. A new
leash, a fancy bowl, a cushy bed (for when he's not sharing
yours), gourmet treats - whatever fits your budget and makes
you both happy! And if your Mom sees the receipt, tell her a
veterinarian recommended it.
Happy holidays to you and all your furry friends!
This information brought to you by Only Natural Pet Store