Happy Holiday Pets
By Andrea Moyer
Every so often my coworker sends me pictures much like the one above and I truly delight in receiving them. We are not a dog or a cat household, but rather a guinea pig household. We have two female guinea pigs living with us at the moment and we just adore them. They know it, too! They squeak – and are rewarded – at every opportunity with bushels of veggie treats, especially just before dinner when they hear chopping going on! Spinach is their all-time favorite treat and because their bodies do not naturally produce Vitamin C, they get this treat as often as they like, which is pretty much all the time!
Until quite recently, we had been feeding our furry friends celery. Though they received it only occasionally, they gobbled it immediately. What we did not know was that the stringy stalks can get caught up and tangled in the guinea pigs’ digestive tracts, making their lives a misery. We now only feed them the celery leaves, which they love every bit as much as the stalks, and which is perfectly safe for them to enjoy. We especially look forward to spoiling them at Christmas, but we have learned over the years to exclude many of the treats that are available for pets.
Unfortunately, there are many items that we enjoy eating and may be tempted to share with our pets, but which are in fact dangerous for them to consume.
Treats NOT to give to your dog
- Macadamia nuts
- Ice cream
- Grapes and raisins
- Salty food
Treats NOT to give your cat
- Onions and garlic
- Grapes, raisins and currants
- Raw meat, dough, seafood, liver or eggs
- Cooked tuna
- Dog food
If you happen to be a guinea pig parent, resist the temptation to give them any snack that contains large amounts of sugar, such as yogurt or mixed berry treats. It is best to give them fresh fruits and veggies, but there are restrictions even within those parameters.
Treats NOT to give guinea pigs
- Iceberg or any of the lighter lettuces
- Onions, leeks, chives or shallots
- Tomato leaves or stalks (tomato flesh minus the seeds is perfectly fine)
Looking for gift suggestions? I always nominate Timothy hay as a gift suggestion for our piggies. Not only do they love it and consume it daily, but they also need the nutrients found in this type of grass.
Aside from all of the foodie treats, the greatest gift you can give your pets is to cherish them. This can be especially difficult during the hectic pace of the holiday season, but it is well worth the effort. Allow some extra time in your holiday schedule for your beloved animals and they will be happy and content.
Don’t forget to treat yourself this holiday season, too! Contact our Perkasie 215-257-9171 or Harleysville 215-723-9805 location and ask our agents about home, auto, life or commercial insurance.
Happy Holidays from The Weimer Group!