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Healthy People Treats for Dogs and Cats

By PetcoBlogger on Oct. 4, 2017

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The holiday season is a time of togetherness, celebration and delicious food. When we enjoy holiday meals with family and friends, it’s natural to want to include our pets in the culinary festivities. But are table scraps an appropriate dietary addition for dogs and cats? If so, which ones? Let’s take a look:

Fruits and Vegetables
Your pet might not jump up and down with excitement over a stray broccoli floret, but small amounts of fruits and vegetables rank among some of the best types of table scraps for your pet. Experiment to find what your pet enjoys most, and be sure to thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables first. If your dog turns up his nose at peas, see if he has an affinity for green beans. Many pets enjoy sweet potatoes, blueberries, watermelon, pumpkin and apples. By offering fresh produce as occasional treats, you’re providing a healthy addition to your pet’s diet, rather than simply filling him up with less nutritious treats.

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Meats and Fish
While some types of meat are generally recognized as safe for pets in small amounts, bear in mind a couple of important criteria: you’ll want to ensure that the portions are small and free of bones that can pose a dangerous choking hazard and you’ll also want to be sure that your meat doesn’t contain onion or garlic. Avoid spicy and fatty meats, and resist feeding the skin to your pet, as it is high in fat. Salmon is a great source of omega 3 fatty acid, which can be beneficial to your pet’s skin and coat.

Grains
Rice and pasta are pet-friendly favorites, but, again, watch the ingredients and opt for plain versions that don’t include ingredients that could be toxic to your pet. Cooked oatmeal is a great form of soluble fiber that can be especially helpful for older dogs or dogs with a wheat allergy.

Dairy
Cheese, yogurt and cooked eggs are appropriate to feed your pet, with a few restrictions. As long as your pet isn’t lactose intolerant, most cheeses are okay to feed your pet in small amounts. Cottage cheese is a good choice, as well as small pieces of reduced fat cheeses. Yogurt that contains active bacteria, with no artificial sweeteners or added sugars, is high in calcium and protein. Serve scrambled eggs as a healthy snack, but never serve raw eggs.

Foods to Avoid

Some people foods can be harmful, or even deadly, to your dog or cat. These include:

  • Chocolate: Bottom line: chocolate is toxic. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is to your pet due to the high levels of a substance called methylxanthines. Anything containing caffeine, including coffee and tea, can also be harmful to your pet.
  • Xylitol: Many sugar-free products, such as candy, gum, diet foods and baked goods (as well as toothpaste) contain this sweetener. It’s toxic to pets and can negatively affect blood sugar levels or potentially cause liver failure. 
  • Onions and garlic: Don’t overlook onion powder (found in some baby food) and garlic powder, common ingredients in many foods. Onions and garlic can cause damage to red blood cells in pets.
  • Grapes and raisins: Both can cause vomiting, loss of appetite, kidney failure or even death. 
  • Nuts: Macademia nuts can be fatal to your pet, and other nuts can be a choking hazard. However, peanut butter is OK. A favorite of many canines, it contains healthy fats and is high in protein.
  • Alcohol and yeast dough: Both contain an ingredient called ethanol that can make your pet very sick.

Avoid feeding desserts to pets. Not only do desserts often contain chocolate, they also frequently contain nuts or xylitol. Desserts are also high in calories (not a good choice for overweight pets) and don’t represent a health benefit to your pet. Other foods to avoid include spicy, fried or fatty foods, as these can cause digestive problems for pets.  

It is best for your pet to eat foods and treats formulated specifically for his nutritional needs. However, if you find it too difficult to deny your dog or cat, remember the rule that table scraps and healthy treats should make up less than 10% of their total diet. Learn more about how giving your pet people food can add up to weight gain.

Shop a variety of treats for dogs or cats.

1 Comments
Comments
by K-9crazy
‎10-11-2017 11:00 AM - edited ‎10-11-2017 11:03 AM

Wow! Great list. My dog actually had some raisins once... and chocolate, and walnuts, a plum, pizza, and even a muffin! (I have a lot of younger sibblings that are champs at spilling food!) Smiley Wink  As you can imagen each time I panicked!! Smiley Surprised But thankfully she turned out okay!

Wow! Great list. My dog actually had some raisins once... and chocolate, and walnuts, a plum, pizza, and even a muffin! (I have a lot of younger sibblings that are champs at spilling food!) Smiley Wink  As you can imagen each time I panicked!! Smiley Surprised But thankfully she turned out okay!

Posted on Oct. 11, 2017
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