Ongoing updates for your pet. Brought to you by Central Houston Animal Hospital.
Every day we are faced with those desperate puppy dog eyes as we finish up dinner. But it is important to understand that we have manipulated canine foods over decades to have trained our pet’s digestive tracts to adapt to a very standardized diet. Reputable dog food brands like Purina, Hill’s, Royal Canin, Iams (to name a few) are tested and guaranteed to provide healthy and balanced nutrition, but we all feel guilty not rewarding them with the pleasures we enjoy on a daily basis. Imagine eating chicken and rice every day of your life, and then being offered a carton of Ben & Jerry’s. Of course, we’d jump at the occasion and savor every bite, but that momentary pleasure can wreak havoc on your intestinal tract. Dogs are uniquely sensitive to these dietary changes in the same way that human baby may be. Acute loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea (individually or in combination) can result from giving your pet a novel snack. Additionally, the pancreas, a gland that works in concert with the GI tract, can become acutely inflamed when a dog ingests a high fat, spicy or unusual snack. This condition known as pancreatitis can range from mild to severe regardless of the amount of food that was eaten. Symptoms include vomiting abdominal pain, dehydration, diarrhea and inappetance. Hospitalization is often required to ameliorate this condition and response to therapy can vary based on age, breed and severity of symptoms.
The upcoming holidays present unique opportunities for our little “counter surfers”, so please be judicious about treat choices and take extra precaustion when leaving food out in the open.
Central Houston Animal Hospital recognized the need to maintain your pet’s healthy diet while infusing some diverse treat choices. Healthy treat options include: unseasoned popcorn, baby carrots, celery, broccoli, chick peas, canned green beans, and apple slices. For a commercially prepared treat, we recommend Purina “Lite Snackers” and “Gentle Snackers” and CET dental chews.