If you're watching your weight, you know that the holidays are notorious for making you overeat. Not only do you have all the dinner parties to attend, but you also have all the treats to prepare for your own dinner parties. It's enough to sabotage the diets of even the most health-conscious. While you're busy worrying about your own overeating, it's important to remember your canine family members. You may not realize this, but overeating can be devastating for your dogs. In fact, overeating can lead to canine obesity, and even bloat. If you're worried that your dogs will overeat during the holidays – especially with all the house guests providing them with extra treats – it's time to come up with a game plan. Here are three tips that will help stop your dog from overeating, or being overfed, during the holidays.
Send Your Dog Away at Meal Time
It can be tempting to share food with your dogs during mealtime, especially if they're in the same room. Your dogs will smell the delightful food that's set out, and guests will instinctively offer nibbles off their plates. You might even be guilty of the habit, particularly while you're preparing the meals. Not only will this lead to overeating, especially if everyone is providing samples of food, but it can also have other devastating consequences, such as accidental poisoning. If everyone is giving bites of food to your dogs, someone could accidentally give them something that's toxic, such as chocolate or onions. You can prevent the overeating, and the accidental poisonings, by sending your dogs away during mealtime. Take their beds and their favorite toys to another room in the house until mealtime is over.
Leave Healthy Snacks Out
If your guests just can resist sneaking a tasty treat to your dogs, provide them with healthy options to choose from. Leave a bowl of healthy dog snacks out on a table for guests to grab from. Your dogs will appreciate being remembered, and your guests will enjoy having something tasty to share with your dogs. This is actually a great idea to utilize all year round. You'll know that healthy treats are always within reach when you want to reward your dogs, or just share a treat with them.
Make Gentle Reminders
Guests don't always realize that overeating is a problem for dogs, especially if they don't have dogs of their own. To make sure that your guests don't overfeed your dogs, try to make gentle reminders. This doesn't need to be in the form of verbal reminders. Instead, you can leave friendly notes around the house, reminding guests not to feed the animals.
Now that the holidays are here, it's time to protect your dogs against overeating. Since dogs will continue to eat long after their appetite has been satisfied, it's up to you to control their input. If your dog does happen to overeat during the holidays, remove their food and have them rest for a bit. If they develop an enlarged stomach, acts anxious, or tries to vomit with no success, it's time for a trip to the pet hospital. They could be suffering from a severe case of bloat.