Ringing in the new year often means gathering with friends and family to eat tasty snacks while you wait for midnight to approach. But while appetizer-style foods are delicious for humans, they aren’t always safe for our pets to eat.
Foods that are high in fat, salty, or full of toxic ingredients are too dangerous to feed your pets, but that doesn’t mean that all snacks have to be off-limits. If you want to share some festive foods with your pets, read on for safe New Year’s Eve snacks that your furry friends will love.
1. Raw Vegetables
Crudité platters are a staple at any party or family get together, and they’re full of great snacks that you can share with your pets. Raw celery, carrots, and other vegetables make great low-calorie snacks that are full of vitamins and nutrients.
Carrots, for example, are excellent sources of fiber and beta-carotene, while celery is full of vitamins A, B, and C. Both of these crunchy vegetables are also great for your pet’s teeth.
Vegetables like broccoli still make a good occasional treat for your dog, but too many can also cause gastric irritation, so feed only in moderation.
While the vegetables in the platter are delicious for your pet, you should avoid giving them any ranch or other dips, as they can be full of toxic ingredients like onions and garlic that can lead to anemia, liver damage, and other health concerns.
2. Plain Popcorn
If you’re looking for a fun, festive snack that’s also safe for your pets, plain, air-popped popcorn is a fantastic option.
The crunchy texture makes popcorn fun for your pets to snack on, and it also contains a few minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc that can be helpful to your pet’s nutrition.
Popcorn should only be an occasional treat, however, as too much can lead to intestinal upset. The popcorn should also always be served plain and air-popped. Butter, oils, salt, and other popular popcorn toppings can all upset your dog’s stomach, and the high fat content can also lead to pancreatitis in large amounts.
3. String Cheese
While you may be enjoying a delicious charcuterie board of various cheeses to celebrate the new year, many cheese options are too high in fat and sodium for your pet to be able to enjoy.
Instead, offer your pet a low-fat cheese option like mozzarella string cheese. These string cheeses are convenient to rip apart, and the lower sodium makes them easier on your pet’s digestive system.
Cottage cheese is also a great option because it’s lower in lactose, which can also be tough on your pet’s gastrointestinal system.
4. Hard-Boiled Eggs
While your pet can’t enjoy a plate of deviled eggs, they can enjoy snacking on a few hard-boiled eggs. In fact, hard-boiled is the safest way for your pet to consume eggs, and most love the taste and added health benefits.
Eggs are great sources of calcium and fatty acids that can benefit your pet’s bones and help make their coat healthy and shiny. Eggs have also been known to help settle an upset stomach.
Always serve hard-boiled eggs plain with no added salt, butter, or seasonings, as they can be toxic to your pets. Eggs should also only be served as an occasional snack because of their high fat content – they can contribute to obesity.
5. Fruit Salad
Like the classic vegetable tray, fruit salads and fruit trays can make excellent, low-calorie snacks for your pets. Fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, and strawberries are delicious fruits that your pet will love to enjoy in moderation.
Many of these fruits are rich in vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin C, and they contain helpful nutrients like potassium and carbohydrates. However, most fruits are also high in sugar, so they should only be fed to your pet in moderation.
While many fruits are great for your pet, there are a few that you should avoid. Never feed your pet grapes, raisins, or cherries.
6. Small Amounts of Unseasoned Meat
If you’re preparing appetizers with chicken, turkey, or other meats, you can prepare small amounts of meat on the side for your pet to enjoy.
Any meat that you give your pet should be free of bones, skin, and seasonings to prevent potential toxicity or choking hazards. It should also be prepared without any oil or butter, as high amounts of fat can contribute to pancreatitis and obesity.
If the meat is unseasoned and plain, small amounts can be delicious snacks for your pet. And they also make great high-value treats if you’re planning on training in the new year.
7. Plain Shrimp
Like meats and poultry, shrimp can also make a great occasional treat as long as it’s fed to your pets unseasoned and prepared without oil and butter.
Shrimp is full of many beneficial nutrients for your pet, including vitamin B12, vitamin B3, and phosphorus. Shrimp is also low in fat and calories, which can make them a great choice for pets that are already overweight.
Shrimp are, however, high in cholesterol, so they should still only be fed to your pet in moderation.
New Year’s Eve Snacks to Avoid Giving Your Pet
While there are many tasty snacks you can share with your pets, there are also a few popular treats that can be dangerous for animals. During your New Year’s party, avoid feeding your pet:
- Alcohol in any form
- Macadamia Nuts, which are toxic, as well as other nuts that are high in fat
- Onions and garlic
- Fatty foods
- Xylitol and other artificial sweeteners
Are You Ready to Ring in the New Year with Your Pet?
New Year’s Eve is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the year you’ve had and celebrate all of the wonderful memories the year has brought, especially those you’ve made with your furry friends.
By keeping a few pet-safe snacks on the menu for your New Year’s Eve party, you can help your pets have fun while they ring in the new year with you.
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