Can a pet have too many treats?
Our pets’ little bodies aren’t used to being overloaded. I don’t recommend changing any habits too much during the holidays – just because you’re eating more, doesn’t mean your pet should eat more. Don’t give them anything that they’re not used to having. Stick to small quantities of nutritious treats that are made for animals. You won’t kill them with a small amount of leftover chicken or turkey, but you should avoid feeding them differently.
We see too many problems post-Christmas, like stomach issues, vomiting, pancreatitis and problems with cooked bones. It’s best to prevent these kind of problems!
How much is too much?
People know their own pets, and know if they have sensitive bellies, but I recommend not changing their routine because it’s a holiday – your pets don’t know it’s a holiday and by spoiling them you can cause problems. A little extra isn’t a problem, but when you have family and friends over, everyone likes to give them a little bit and that adds up quickly.
What are the symptoms of overfeeding?
Vomiting, nausea, sore or rumbling bellies, not wanting to eat their next meal, being a bit funny the next day or on their walk, not wanting to exercise and sleeping more than usual. They will probably be a tired from all the festivities, but these symptoms mean they’re trying to let everything settle back down. We often push them into their normal routine again. If they’re going off food, vomiting, changing in overall demeanour is a good indicator that something would be going on.
What if I notice this in my pet?
If your pet seems a little bit sad and sorry, and are eating a bit less, stick to bland meals that are easy for them to digest. Don’t tempt them with tasty treats to get them to eat because that’s part of the problem in the first place – they will eat that food and it could make things worse. If they’re vomiting they need to be seen by a vet, because they can get dehydrated quickly. Pet owners often wait two or three days, because they know they’ve given something wrong to the pet, who has vomited, and they think it’ll settle down. But that’s when things tend to get worse and the pet needs to be treated.