Cooking Up Healthy Snacks for Your Pets During the Holiday Season
With the holidays just around the corner, everyone is looking forward to indulging in a number of tasty treats. Naturally, you want your pets to share some of these goodies.
However, it is important to keep your pet’s health in mind-even during the holidays. If you plan on purchasing special doggie treats for your pets, look for treats that are made from all-natural ingredients and are low in calories. Avoid treats with artificial coloring or flavors. Too many artificial ingredients can cause your dog to become hyperactive or obese. “If I could identify the biggest contributor to the current pet obesity epidemic it would definitely be treats,” said Dr. Ernie Ward, founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. “Today’s treats are pumped full of fat and sugar, making them highly desirable but extremely unhealthy. Many indoor dogs may consume over half of their required calories each day in the form of goodies.”
Melissa Morrison, owner of Fur Fitness, a Rialto-based pet sitting & fitness service, recommends creating healthy treats for your pets from scratch. “It is extremely easy to make wholesome treats for your dog or cat using regular food,” Morrison said. “White meat, fresh veggies and lean gravy can serve as a delicious and healthy snack.” One of Morrison’s favorite recipes is the Paw-Lickin Liver Treats, which she makes for her clients. These delicacies are made from organic chicken or liver and topped with fresh oregano, rosemary and minced fresh garlic. Simply bake the mixture at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes. Then cut into one inch cubes. Another favorite recipe is Puppy Dog Eggnog, which contains plain yogurt, evaporated milk, eggs, water and a jar of baby food.
No matter how healthy these treats may sound, Morrison cautions pet owners to observe the rule, “everything in moderation.” In order to prevent weight gain or digestive upsets, treats should be given in small portions. In addition, it is important for pet owners to maintain their dog’s regular exercise program during the holidays. “Be sure to take your dog for a 30-45 minute walk before your holiday festivities begin,” Morrison said. “The fresh air and exercise will keep your pet feeling calm and relaxed.” According to Dr. Ernie Ward, “The simplest way to keep your dog fit is to walk it daily for a total of 30 minutes. Walking not only benefits your dog but you’ll gain health benefits as well.” If you are too busy to exercise your pet, consider hiring a pet sitter or dog walker. Fur Fitness will be taking appointments over Christmas and New Years. For more information or to make a reservation visit www.furfitness.net
Fur Fitness is a pet sitting & fitness service that is committed to increasing the health and longevity of pets through proper exercise. Other services include out-of-town care, overnight care, dog walking, pet taxi and dog training. Fur Fitness currently serves the Inland Empire and San Gabriel Valley areas of Southern California. For more information visit www.furfitness.net