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Can puppy have some people food?

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Dear Dr. John,

With the holidays upon  us, I need help in the debate with my family about what we can give to our new Havanese puppy. He has been with us for almost two months, mostly eats just his regular dry dog food but several family members have taken to giving him all sorts of treats from their plates. He has had some eggs, bacon, French toast and different meat cuts at dinner. There have been a few cases of diarrhea. I have heard of all sorts of do’s and don’ts over the years so what do you recommend as safe to give him over the next few weeks of the holiday season? Thanks. F.S.

Dear F.S.,

This letter will likely be published a few days after Thanksgiving but with the possible consumption of leftovers by all, it is worth covering the topic. Turkey in small amounts can be safe provided that it is not seasoned and has no skin on it. The fatty skin tastes great but can trigger pancreatitis. Plain items are OK to give such as apples, green beans, pumpkin, sweet potato, and carrots. Just be sure that all cooked foods are not seasoned as the salts and spices can cause problems. Avoid desserts and sweets especially if they have xylitol in them or anything with chocolate.

Onions and garlic can trigger anemia and raisins and grapes have tartaric acid that can trigger vomiting, diarrhea, and kidney damage or even failure. Avoiding stuffing and casseroles that might contain these ingredients would be prudent. Some families choose hams or beef. Ham can be salty causing issues whereas beef, if too fatty, can as well. Bones are to be avoided.

With a small dog like yours, very small pieces of the safe foods might be fine but make sure all in the household know what has been given to the dog, so people don’t double up. Also be mindful of leaving things out where the puppy might access them. As for what he has already been given, eggs and small cuts of meats with little fat are probably acceptable. Bacon is too fatty and the French toast might be OK provided there is little spices and syrup. I wish you, your family, and the puppy a happy holiday season!

Dr. John de Jong owns and operates the Boston Mobile Veterinary Clinic.He can be reached at 781-899-9994

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