Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Keep Your Pets Safe From Holiday Overeating

A clever, agile dog can help themselves to holiday treats leading to overating
Bailey can easily help herself to this loaf of pumpkin bread! (photo by Emily Simon)

Overeating is not limited to humans, according to the LA Department of Animal Services — our pets are also at risk for overeating on Thanksgiving. Families gather around and want to share their feasts with our four-legged friends, which can lead to overeating. And even if we don’t purposefully include them, a deft cat or creative dog and easily capture a delicious smelling treat from the kitchen counter or trash from the trash can in the chaos of preparing a meal and entertaining guests.

“Thanksgiving weekend is also a busy time for emergency veterinary clinics. Dogs and cats suffer very serious and sometimes fatal consequences from turkey bones, too much rich and fatty foods and just plain overeating. If your pet is not acting like himself or herself, consult your veterinarian. Your best friend could be seriously ill,” advises LA Animal Services. 

Here are some suggestions about giving treats to your pets: Consider the relative size of their body compared to yours. If you weigh 150 pounds and your dog weighs 25 pounds, he or she is only 1/6th of your total weight. If you visualize yourself as a whole pie, comparatively your dog is only one slice of pie. Consequently, sharing an unfinished plate that still holds a generous serving of mashed potatoes with gravy, a side of very rich dressing, a few bites of turkey and a small slice of pumpkin pie with your furry friend can make him or her feel miserable.

Instead of giving your companion animal leftovers, you could also stop by a pet food store and purchase some new dog biscuits or cat treats. Then, reduce the amount of their regular meal to accommodate the treats they will be getting throughout the day. Remember, biscuits and treats are usually much higher in calories than regular pet food, so having them skip dinner may be a prudent choice if they have been snacking all day. Your pet will be thankful and they will enjoy the holiday much more.

If you are planning a quiet holiday at home without a lot of company and chaos, and you don’t already have a dog or cat to share your life with, this could also be the perfect time to visit one of six Los Angeles City Shelters and consider adoption. To find the shelter closest to you, visit or call (888) 452-7381.

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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the co-editor and publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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