Avoid sharing human food during the festive season for a happy, healthy holiday

Christmas is around the corner which means it won?t be long before homes across the country are filled with the delicious smell of roast turkey with all the trimmings. This won?t only cause family members to start drooling with delight but your pets will also want to join in on the festive feast.

With the UK home to an astonishing 15 million pets1 it comes as no surprise that we see our cats and dogs as part of the family. This can mean that sometimes we give into their pestering and share our human food. However, it?s important to remember that what pets eat isn?t always what pets need. Feeding them with human food can lead to an increase in weight, which can have a negative impact on health. According to the PDSA a shocking one quarter of cats in the UK are now overweight2, leading to bladder disease, kidney and liver disease, hypertension, diabetes, and arthritis.

IAMS Veterinary Training Manager Kellie Ceccarelli comments, ?Pets have a huge impact on our lives and are seen more and more as an extension of the family so it?s only natural that we would want to include them as much as we can this Christmas. However, that doesn?t mean we need to share our food. Cats especially can be fussy eaters which is why it?s not only important to offer them a diet which is tasty but also caters to all of their nutritional needs. If you want to enjoy some quality time with your pet during the holidays why not spend time playing with them with a new toy which will help keep them active and encourage their natural instincts.?

To help keep your pet healthy this Christmas don?t give in and share your food as, although your pet might enjoy it at the time, they?ll thank you later on for being strong. In particular, avoid giving your pet any of the following ?treats?:

  • Alcohol can cause severe liver and brain damage with as little as a tablespoon.
  • Chocolate will not only add to your pet?s waistline but it can be toxic as it contains
    ?theobromine?. When eaten in large quantities chocolate, in particular, contains high cocoa levels which can be life threatening.
  • Dairy products such as cream can be dangerous as some pets are lactose intolerant and if they eat dairy products it can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
  • Fat trimmings and raw meat can cause vomiting, diarrhoea or a painful condition called
    pancreatitis (from excessive fat) and there is also a risk of Salmonella or E. coli associated with these foods.

If you really want to treat your pet this Christmas why not give them the nutrition they need to enjoy life?s little adventures. This means providing them with high-quality animal protein to maintain strong muscles and a tailored blend of fibre and prebiotics to support cats? ability to absorb key nutrients. This is why IAMS Proactive Health includes chicken as its number one ingredient, with succulent roast chicken as an additional ingredient within exclusive varieties of IAMS Proactive; providing pets with a tasty dinner which is 100% complete and balanced with the essential nutrients they need for a healthy heart and eyes has never been easier. To top it off, pets can enjoy a great taste without any added flavours, colours or preservatives and you can rest assured that you are providing a healthy diet to support their wellbeing and happiness.

And remember, if you are worried about keeping your pet in shape why not:

  • Weigh their food to make sure you are feeding them the right amount based on their weight and activity levels.
  • Increase meals ? little and often works just as well for pets as it does for us.
  • Make eating challenging and fun by using food balls which also encourage exercise.
  • Take the time to play with your pet to get them running around.
Cat waiting for food sitting like man at table
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