Nutritious Halloween Treats for Pets

Halloween black catHalloween is a time for trick-or-treating, scary stories, illuminated jack-o-lanterns, and of course, LOTS of candy and snacks. While our young ghouls and goblins get to enjoy the usual kaleidoscope of candy confections, many of these treats pose a danger to our pets. As a precaution, we recommend that you might want to keep your pet safely tucked away from the events of the evening.

But, our fur kids don’t need to miss out on all of the fun. Many pet lovers get into the Howl-o-ween spirit by including their pooches and kitties in the festivities, dressing them up in cute, pet-friendly costumes and participating in parades and other activities.

But, what about the snacks?

Thankfully, there are numerous options for nutritious pet-safe food your friend can munch on while you enjoy the holiday together.

Eat Your Veggies

To our pets, any tasty food item is a treat. If you want to maintain your pet’s weight AND diversify your buddy’s diet with some vitamin- and antioxidant-rich superfoods, consider a dollop or portion of the following in the evening kibble bowl.

  • Cooked, pureed pumpkin or sweet potato – These delicious and seasonal superfoods provide a cornucopia of nutrition, rich in vitamins A, E, and C. When selecting from canned vegetables, make sure you choose no sugar added sweet potatoes and pumpkin pulp.
  • Green beans – Canned or fresh, cooked green beans are delicious to your dog and are a great source of protein and vitamins A and K. Some cats have even been known to like cooked green beans.
  • Carrot sticks or baby carrots – Not only are these fun to eat (dogs like the crunch!), but they are also great for keeping those peepers healthy with their high levels of vitamin A.
  • Fruit Snacks

    Not many people think about adding berries to their usual pet food routine. But, berries like blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are loaded with antioxidants and are a healthy, natural source of sweet tastiness.  Other great options for fruit treats include bananas, cantaloupe, mango, and seedless watermelon.

    Seasonal Pet Treats

    If you have been to your local pet food retailer around a holiday, you have probably noticed that manufacturers love to play up the season too with holiday-themed snacks. While it is tempting to shovel those cookies and other treats into the cart, keep in mind that the quality of these food items is generally poorer than what you might elect to feed Ralph or Mittens meal-wise. Check the label and opt for low-calorie snacks with minimal additives and preservatives.

    Homemade Treats

    If you are the DIY kind who likes to bake, you may already have a plethora of healthy cat and dog treat recipes bookmarked. For the Halloween lover, there are even recipes for cookies and other treats made into the shapes of bats, ghosts, pumpkins… wow!

    If you are choosing to make your own treats, consider the ingredients you are using and – if possible – go light on food stuffs like cheese and white flour.  Also, avoid these ingredients that are commonly used in baking our favorite pastry but which can make our pets sick or even present a serious health threat.

    Avoid the following:

  • Grapes and raisins
  • Xylitol, a very toxic sugar substitute
  • Sugar and salt
  • Onions, garlic, and powders containing these
  • Yeast-based dough
  • Chocolate
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Fruit with pits (pits fragments can sometimes be found in the pulp)
  • Of course, if you need any Halloween treat tips for your pet, give us a call. And, from all of us at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital, have a safe, happy (and nutritious) Howl-o-ween!