Can I Give my Dog Holiday Food at Thanksgiving?
Holiday Food Calories and the Exercise Your Dog Will Need to Burn it Off
Holiday season is once again upon us. In the U.S., we will be celebrating our Thanksgiving holiday in less than two weeks and will soon follow this up with Christmas/Hanukkah, and New Year celebrations. Most people will tend to overindulge and likely will pack on a few pounds. The same can be true for our dogs, so it is the perfect time to present (again) the calorie amounts and exercise equivalents of several popular holiday dishes.
If you are like me, you probably enjoy sharing some of the Thanksgiving and other holiday food with your dogs. Turkey, ham, sweet potatoes are all delicious treats that we and our dogs love. However, extra treating can lead to extra pounds on our bodies and our dog’s bodies.
It is perfectly fine to give your dog a holiday plate of food. Just don’t overdo it and make sure that other family members don’t also give the dog a holiday food plate as well. To make sure that your dog doesn’t take in too many extra calories, account for the extra calories by cutting back on their regular food and treats and/or adding a little more exercise to burn some more calories. Just how much exercise will you need to burn off those extra holiday calories? Well, in some cases, probably more than you will have time for.
Calories in Popular Holiday Food
We compiled a sampling of popular holiday foods along with their calorie amounts for a small one ounce serving. We then calculated how long an average 15 lb. dog would need to walk or run to burn off that extra food. The results are shown below.
|Food||Calories Per Oz||Minutes Walking* (2.5 MPH)||Minutes Running* (6 MPH)|
|Ham, Honey Baked||34||100||30|
|Sweet Potato, Candied||40||110||34|
* Number of minutes a 15 lb. dog would need to exercise to burn off 1 oz. of each food
The calorie values listed above are for one ounce portions of each of those holiday dishes. To put this all into perspective and into a common serving basis, a one-half cup serving would mean 4 times the values in the table.
What Should I do if My Dog Gets too Much Holiday Food Scraps?
If your family does over indulge your dog with holiday food, then besides some extra exercise that day, simply cut back on their regular food for their normal dinner. Remember not to exercise your dog right after they have eaten. We like to wait at least an hour.
Depending on how much holiday food you give them, it is also OK to cut back on their next few day’s meals as well. After all, a plump turkey is cool and festive. A plump dog is not.
Happy Thanksgiving from the folks and dogs at Slimdoggy.com