Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pet-Friendly Healthy Holiday Tips - Part of the Pet 'Net Safety Event 2009

The holidays are a time for family, fun and food. Elaborate meals filled with the most tempting of tastes and as the family sits down to eat, it’s hard to ignore those big puppy dog eyes hiding beneath the fancy tablecloth. As responsible pet-owners, we must look past those adorable faces and remember that people food is not always pet-friendly food no matter how hard Fido tries to convince us otherwise.

Lucky for hungry pups around the world, there are foods that are pet and people friendly. When using these foods as treats, always remember that they should be given in small amounts and should not make up a majority of your pets diet. Also keep in mind your pets food allergies. Always consult your veterinary if you have any questions.

  • Potatoes (cooked)
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Bananas
  • Cantaloupe
  • Watermelon
  • Grains
  • Yogurt (Plain, non-fat)
The holidays can also be an extremely dangerous time for your pets. With so much going on in your household, be on the lookout for items that should be placed out of reach. Also, instruct guests on what they can and cannot give your pet. Below are a few items to make sure to watch out for. Click here for a full list of ASPCA No No Foods.


  • Alcohol
  • Avocado (leaves, fruit, seeds & bark)
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Grapes & Raisins
  • Yeast Dough
  • Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs &Bones
  • Xylitol (sweetener found in gum, candy, baked goods & toothpaste)
  • Onions, Garlic, Chives
  • Milk
  • Salt (large amounts)

A great way to make your pet feel like part of the family during the holidays is to create your own pet-friendly treats. Find some of Polka Dot Pups favorite fun and tasty snacks for your favorite four legged friend to enjoy!


1 quart chicken broth
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup long-grain rice
3/4 cup pearl barley
Pinch of freshly grated or ground nutmeg
1/3 pound ground turkey or ground turkey breast
1 cup canned pumpkin puree

In a small pot, warm the chicken broth over low heat. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the rice and barley and toast for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season the grains with the nutmeg and stir in half of the warm broth. Cook until the broth bubbles, about 5 minutes. Then add the turkey, crumbling it as you drop it into the skillet, and cook until the liquid is absorbed by the grains, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, allowing the broth to be fully absorbed before adding more. Cook until the barley is tender, about 18 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin puree. Cook over medium heat until just heated through, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt. Makes 4 Servings, Prep 10 min, Cook 35 min

3 to 3 1/2 lbs of liver, beef or chicken
1 C whole wheat flour
2 C white flour
1/2 C corn meal
1 med shaker of grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover cookie sheet with foil, coat with cooking spray, sprinkle lightly with corn meal and set aside. Process liver in food processor or blender until it looks like milk chocolate. Pour into large mixing bowl and blend in the rest of the ingredients. Spread evenly onto cookie sheet (the mixture will be thick) and sprinkle lightly with corn meal. Bake until no pink is left. I usually bake them for about 30 min for one pan and then turn the oven off but leave the brownies inside until they are cool. Cut in pieces and be ready to be loved by your dogs.

3 cups barley flour
1/2 cup oatmeal (old fashioned oats or quick oats)
1 tablespoon oat bran
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
1 1/4 cups peanut butter

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the milk, peanut butter, molasses until smooth. You can use a mixer, blender or a whisk. Add the liquids to the dry ingredients. Mix, using the dough hook on your mixer. Or, you can mix the ingredients and then knead them by hand. Or, easiest of all, just put everything into your bread maker and let it do the work! Roll the dough out to ¼” thick. Cut into 3” bone shapes with a dog bone cookie cutter. If you want to make larger bones, roll the dough to ½” thick. Or, alternatively, you can use the little 1” dog bone cookie cutter. In this case, roll the dough to 1/8” thick. Bake the bones for 45-60 minutes for the larger bones (less cooking time for the 1” bones) or until they are lightly browned. Turn off the oven and let them finish drying overnight. They should be crisp and firm and not move when you press on them.

October 21, 2009 celebrates the 2nd Annual Pet 'Net Event. Help Polka Dot Pup along with Petside.com and other pet-friendly sites spread the word about pet safety. Check out more ways to keep your pets safe and happy during the holidays at www.petside.com/pet-net-2009.


smarts said...

nice of you to share these tips. it never really occured to me that pets, like humans, should watch their diet during the holiday season. the foods we may serve during the holidays may not be good for out pets after all.

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Dog Training Fort Collins said...

Great information. This one is very helpful to everyone. Thank you for sharing this one.

Crate Covers said...

What a great topic for an article. Many people don't realize that loving your dog does not mean giving them all the food they want.
They have an instinct to eat all they can and when they are in the wild they need that to survive but when they are getting fed every day it is important to regulate how much they get.
You should not "love" your dogs into obesity because they will live longer if they are not overweight.
On food I feel is important to NOT give your dogs is Chocolate. That can be poison to them.
Some of the doggie treat recipes you have on this article look like they may be good for humans to eat.
I may have to try one out.

Pet Beds said...

After reading about the recipes for dog treats I was hungry and you know what happens when you eat some turkey...you want to take a nap.
Thank god I finally got my dog to sleep in his own dog bed instead of mine.

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