The holiday season is here! Family and friends gather to celebrate with decorating, singing, cooking, and who can forget, treats! Although this is a spectacular time of year, we have to be careful when it comes to our pets. A lot of our favorite holiday decorations and treats can be dangerous to our animal friends. Below are some tips to help keep your pets safe during the holidays.
- Keep human food out of the reach of your pet and ask your guests to do the same. Treats, especially those containing chocolate, Xylitol (a sweetening agent used in many chewing gums and some peanut butters), grapes/raisins, and onions, can be toxic to your pet.
- Do not to leave your pet alone in the room with candles lit, a decorated tree or potpourri.
- Secure your Christmas tree to keep it from falling over if your dog bumps it or your cat climbs it. Consider leaving the tinsel off your tree if you have a cat. Hanging lemon-scented car air fresheners in the tree may deter your cat from climbing in it.
- Keep holiday plants (especially holly, mistletoe and lilies) out of reach of your pets.
- Provide a safe place for your pet to escape the excitement if your entertaining guests. If your pet is excitable or scared, consider putting your pet in another room with some toys and a comfortable bed.
Just because our furry friends are not able to partake in human treats doesn’t mean they can’t have treats of their own. Here are some holly jolly recipes you can make just for them!
Cat and Dog Treat Recipes for the Holidays
PB & Ginger Snaps (PB&G)
2 Cups Almond Flour
1/2 Cup Coconut Flour
1/2 – 3/4 Cup Natural Peanut Butter
3 Tablespoons Ground Ginger
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Water
Preheat oven to 330 degrees F.
1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and form a ball with the dough.
2. Roll the dough out until flat and use a cookie cutter to cut out the individual treats. I didn’t have a miniature cookie cutter on hand, so I just used a jar cap as a makeshift cutter. Feel free to get creative!
3. Place your treats onto your baking tray and bake for 25 minutes.
4. Turn oven off after the 25 minutes are done and leave the treats in the oven for 45 more minutes, or until crisp.
* Makes approximately 20-30 treats (dependent on cookie cutter size).
* Store in your favorite glass jar
Peppermint Pup Bites
1 1/4 Cup Rice Flour
2 Tablespoons Coconut Cooking Oil
1 Tablespoon Honey
1/2 tsp Peppermint Extract
Few drops Food coloring
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, coconut oil, honey, peppermint extract, and your food coloring. Mix together until blended well.
Slowly add in your rice flour. You can start mixing with a spoon, but will eventually want to go to your hands. Form a firm dough, add more water if it’s to dry, and more flour if it’s to wet. Once you have the dough, roll it out on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into your preferred shapes. We use Christmas trees for our shapes!
Place cookies on a baking pan, and bake for 10 – 15 minutes. Then turn you oven off and leave them inside for about an hour to make sure they are nice and crunchy.
Cheesy Cat Cookies
Makes approximately 50 – 55 treats (depending on how big you cut the pieces).
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup plain yogurt, vanilla yogurt, or sour cream Note: We used vanilla yogurt.
3/4 cup flour Note: We used white whole wheat
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup water, more or less
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine the cheeses and the yogurt (or sour cream), then add the flour and cornmeal.
Add enough water to create workable dough.
Form the dough into a ball, and then roll out to a square or rectangle 1/4 inch thick.
Cut into one inch sized pieces and place on a greased cookie sheet.
Bake approximately 25 minutes.
5oz can of tuna
1/2 cup white cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup water
Mix all ingredients together until it forms a ball.
Break off tiny pieces and roll into a small bite size ball and place on baking sheet. Flatten ball with finger – just like your making thumbprint cookies. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Flip and bake an additional 5 minutes. Let cool and have your kitties enjoy
Step 1 – Spoon the contents of a 6-ounce container of yogurt into a food processor. You may use plain yogurt or any flavor you like, but keep in mind it is not a good idea to develop a sweet tooth in a dog. For the healthiest frosting, choose organic or natural yogurt that does not contain sugar or artificial sweeteners. You may also use low- or non-fat yogurt.
Step 2 – Add 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter (be sure it does not contain xylitol) to the food processor. Mix the ingredients until smooth.
Step 3 – Apply the yogurt frosting to homemade dog treats that have been baked and cooled completely. You may brush the frosting over the treats with a pastry brush, use a pastry bag to spread it, or dip the treats in the frosting. This recipe should frost about 30 dog treats.
Step 4 – Store the frosted dog treats in the refrigerator, because the yogurt mixture may not harden completely.
Do you include your pet in your holiday celebrations? Do they get presents? Do they have special outfits or apparel they wear? Let’s hear if our receptionists Pat and Tammy include furry friends in their holidays.
Pat: Yes, I do get my family member’s pets some special holiday treat bags. I make each one for there own pet’s favorites. They do enjoy getting their treat while the rest of us are having our treats. Also helps others from giving them human treats.
Tammy: Yes! I include my dog in our holiday traditions. He gets his own present and has a couple holiday scarves and hats he wears (although they don’t stay on for very long). I have other family members who have dogs and cats that are also included!
We would love to see photos of your pets in their holiday best! Please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
written by Pat Eckes and Tammy Novotny
Pat grew up near Mosinee, WI on a dairy farm, where her family had cows, chickens, rabbits, cats, dogs, ducks and all the extra wild animals that came around. She joined Oakview in 2009.
Pat and her husband have 2 children and six grandchildren. Pat enjoys cooking and gardening.
Tammy began working with us in April 2017. She was born and raised in Auburndale.
Tammy shares her life with her husband Derek and two children, Kendra and Devin. Her hobbies include volleyball, painting, and photography.