Fall is the perfect season to enjoy sweet treats and festive foods with your furry friend! Before you get carried away with pumpkin and apple recipes, it’s important to take a few precautions. Even though there are many safe foods for dogs with an autumn twist, some varieties are a no-go. Follow our dos and don’ts while preparing these seasonal classics.
DO give your dog unsweetened pumpkin.
The pumpkin craze is all it’s cracked up to be—for humans and pooches! When served plain, pumpkin is full of fiber and beta carotene. This low-calorie superfood also helps balance a healthy diet by promoting weight loss, according to The Dodo. Giving dogs pumpkin seeds is also healthy as long as these treats are unseasoned (i.e., no salt or artificial flavoring). It’s best to give one seed at a time as opposed to a handful. Toast or warm the seeds in the oven for a yummy snack your dog will love.
DON’T give your dog pumpkin pie.
Although giving dogs pumpkin pie may be tempting, it is often made with canned pumpkin pie filling. This ingredient may contain the artificial sweetener xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. Common pumpkin pie additives including salt, sugar, and spices can also irritate your dog’s stomach.
DO offer your dog cooked, skinless sweet potato.
Sweet potato provides an abundance of nutrients including vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber. Boil or bake this scrumptious food and serve it to your pooch mashed or in bite-size chunks—just make sure it’s plain and fed in moderation. Sweet potato also contains carbohydrates, making it a healthy snack to offer before walking your dog!
DON’T give your dog raw or candied sweet potato.
Avoid sweet potato with sugar, salt, or any toxins that could disrupt your dog’s digestive health. You should also steer clear of raw sweet potato because it can cause intestinal blockage, according to PetMD. If you are unsure whether a product is safe, feel free to purchase some delicious, dog-specific sweet potato steak fries instead.
DO feed your dog peanut butter.
Many dogs chow down on peanut butter like it’s candy, and who can blame them? This irresistible snack can add flavor to almost any food—just be sure to choose a variety that does not contain xylitol, which is harmful to dogs if ingested. Plus, peanut butter is packed with nutrients such as fiber and protein. Mix it with your dog’s treats and food for an extra-sweet taste!
DON’T let your dog eat chocolate or Halloween candy.
Chocolate disrupts dogs’ metabolic processes and contains toxic stimulants called methylxanthines that can be fatal to dogs, according to PetMD. When outdoors with your dog, be on the lookout for stray pieces of Halloween candy that may have been dropped by trick-or-treaters. If you have any candy lying around the house, make sure your dog can’t get to it.
DO share seedless apple slices with your furry friend.
Slice up a plain apple or dip it in peanut butter for added flavor! Giving apples to dogs helps freshen their breath, promotes overall health, and provides a high-fiber snack. This healthy treat is sure to get your dog’s tail wagging with its natural sweet flavor and crunchy texture.
DON’T let your dog eat caramel apples.
Although caramel apples are festive and delicious autumn treats for people, they are not suitable for dogs. Caramel contains sugar and other additives that will do more harm than good. Plus, we can’t even begin to imagine how tough it would be to remove caramel from a dog’s fur! Keep your four-legged friend away from all candy and other foods that contain sweeteners.
DO share some plain turkey meat with your dog.
You can serve turkey sliced or chopped up in small pieces. This safe food for dogs is rich in nutrients such as protein, riboflavin, and phosphorous. Cooking for your dog? Make their dinner separate from yours. Keep the delicious spices people love away from your dog’s food—such as garlic and onions—as they may be harmful to your pup. A healthy furry friend is definitely something to be thankful for!
DON’T pass the turkey bone.
Keep your dog’s turkey portion free of bones, as they can splinter and cause harm to your pup’s mouth, esophagus, stomach, or intestines.
Before you treat your pup to any snacks—even those that are supposed to be safe for dogs—make sure you are aware of any food allergies they may have. You can’t go wrong with kibble and veterinarian-approved treats.
Treating your pup to festive human foods for dogs is just one great way to enjoy the harvest together. Try some fun fall dog activities to get into the spirit of the season. Happy autumn!
Four Paws®, Magic Coat®, and Wee-Wee® products are available at major pet stores everywhere in the U.S. Please check with your local retailer for product availability near you.