Healthy Fall Treats For Pets

A golden retriever jumped up onto a counterPet parents the world over are intimately familiar with their furry friend’s passionate love of treats. Unfortunately most of the commercially available pet treats are high in fat and calories and low in nutrition.

It’s no secret that we care about your pet’s health at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital, and with that in mind we have created a list of healthy fall treats for pets ideas that are sure to induce a frenzy of tail wagging or purring, without the guilt.

Fall Cornucopia

Fall is the perfect time to take advantage of the wonderful local produce found at farmer’s markets all over Placer county. Pets love cooked vegetables, and the good news is that most fall produce is not only packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants but low in calories as well. Try offering the following fruits and vegetables to your pets in lieu of treats this fall:

Pumpkin/squash – Slice a pumpkin or squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and bake at 350 until soft. Most pets enjoy cubed, cooked pumpkin or squash either as treats or added in small amounts to their dry food.

Apples – Baked or steamed apples make a wonderful dessert for people and pets alike!

Broccoli/cauliflower – Broccoli, cauliflower, and other cruciferous vegetables thrive in cooler growing conditions. Steam a few stalks and feed to your dog any time he or she throws those “puppy dog eyes” your way.

Root Vegetables – Carrots, parsnip, turnip, celery root, and their various below-ground relatives are in abundance this time of year. Steam, roast, boil, or bake these veggies for a delectable tidbit your pet is sure to enjoy.

DIY goodies, such as these peanut butter and pumpkin dog treats and peanut butter cat treats can be whipped up using ingredients most of us already have in our pantries. Be sure, however, that the peanut butter is Xylitol free!

Please remember that not all people food is good for pets, and some is actually toxic. Always do your research before feeding a new food to your pet, and give us a call immediately if you suspect that your pet has ingested something poisonous.

Not All Treats Are Food

As much as pets love food, chances are good that what your dog or cat really craves is more of your time and attention. You’ll never regret spending a little extra time bonding with your pet, and he or she will love you all the more for it:

Exercise – Take the time every day to exercise with your pet, whether it’s walking, running, dog parks, swimming, or agility courses.

Play – Engage a cat’s hunting instincts with games of chase using laser pointers or dangly cat toys. Both dogs and cats enjoy “hunting” for pieces of kibble that you’ve hidden around the house.

Touch – Petting, stroking, or grooming your pet lets them know you care. Give that dog a good scratch behind the ears, or gently stroke your purring kitty (until he or she leaps off your lap and races out of the room, that is).

Talking – Praise, kind words, or just general conversation is more beneficial to your pet than you think. Our companion animals love attention from their humans in any form.

Have a safe and happy fall, from your friends at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital!