It’s a common experience for animal lovers: We’re about to take our first bite of a meal and notice a dog sitting ever-so-politely next to us, possibly drooling, with eyes focused like tractor beams, willing us to share our food. “Aww, how cute!” we think, and give the pooch a little morsel.
It’s hard to withstand those puppy dog eyes any time of year, and can seem next to impossible at holiday meals during the season of giving. But for the good of our dogs, we need to resist the temptation to feed them table scraps—and so do our guests.
AAHA board member Adam Hechko, DVM, owner and medical director of the 2015 AAHA-Accredited Practice of the Year, North Royalton Animal Hospital in North Royalton, Ohio, said his practice sees an influx of dogs with gastrointestinal upset after any holiday.
“We tend to think food is love for our pets, and that is not always the case,” Hechko said. “Abrupt changes in diet or feeding little scraps of food, particularly when they're not used to getting those types of food, can really create a lot of problems for the gastrointestinal tract.”
One common and potentially serious issue is pancreatitis, which causes inflammation of the pancreas, the...