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Paws for Thought: Avoiding “ruff” consequences – What to feed your pet this Holiday Season

Mars Petcare 3 mins read
Ruby McGuinness with her family dog Stella

As the festive season and warmer weather approaches, it can be tempting to extend our indulgences to our furry friends, but your diet choices could lead to “ruff” consequences!


The holiday season comes with delicious food, gatherings with family and friends, and warm Aussie summer days. These factors can all contribute to us not keeping track of what we’re feeding our pets. Whether you’re sneaking your pup a piece of Christmas ham under the table or adding the salad leftovers on top of their usual dinner, this might be causing your furry friend more harm than good.

Ruby McGuinness from Queensland knows all too well the dangers overfeeding can have on your pet. Ruby’s family dog Stella was at one point over 5kg overweight due to being overfed and having human food incorporated into her diet. Ruby’s family were feeding her Toy Cavoodle, Stella, all kinds of snacks including cheese, chips, and chicken and this was causing Stella to become unfit and obese. Through the help of her vet and some advice from credible online resources, Ruby was able to help Stella lose weight and get her furry friend back to doing the things she loved.

Ruby understands just how prevalent this issue is amongst pet owners during the Christmas period: “It’s so easy with those puppy eyes to take something off your plate and give it to them, but a lot of things in our Christmas lunch are toxic to dogs,” said Ruby.

Stella is happier than ever on her new diet and Ruby is spreading awareness about the importance of maintaining strict, good quality feeding habits with your pets, especially as we approach the festive season and countdown to Christmas.

To ensure your four-legged friends can enjoy the festive season just as much as you, Dr Fiona Patterson, Veterinary Advisor at Mars Petcare, has some tips and tricks on how to ensure you’re feeding your pets good quality, nutritional food over the holiday period.

Tip one: Just because you love it – doesn’t mean your pet will too!

Dogs, like humans, are sensitive to certain foods. Something you may love to snack on could be toxic for your pet. Feeding your pet leftovers can also lead to digestive upset due to the sudden change in diet. In addition, if the tidbits are high in fat, this can contribute to disease such as pancreatitis as well as weight gain and obesity.  

Tip two: Don’t dismiss the importance of preservatives.

Additives and preservatives play an important role in ensuring that pet food remains safe and nutritious for our beloved animals to consume. Additionally, commercially produced dog food is generally better for our fur-babies. An extensive research and development process is behind all good pet food products – this ensures that you are feeding your pet the best possible product to suit their unique needs.

Tip three: Do your research.

There are a variety of experts and sources online to help you find a prescribed diet for your pet. Checking in with your vet or checking that the pet food you use is a member of the PFIAA – formally known as the Pet Food Industry Association of Australia – is a great way to ensure your pet is getting the most from their diet.

Look after your furry friend this Christmas. Carefully consider what they can and can’t eat and contact your vet to discuss the best diet for them moving forward!

Dr Fiona recommends speaking with your vet if you have any concerns about what to feed your pet this holiday season.

Contact details:

Edelman for Mars Petcare:

Emma Hopgood | | 0435 671 617


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