Is It Safe to Give My Pet Table Scraps?
We never recommend feeding human food or table scraps to your pets. Their store-bought diet has been specifically formulated for pets’ nutritional needs, which may be quite different from humans’ needs. In addition to promoting annoying habits, the feeding of more than tiny amounts of table scraps and other foods can seriously compromise their nutritional health.
Who can resist those big puppy eyes begging for a bit of your meal?
You love to spoil your pet, but you want to make sure you won’t hurt them. If you are thinking about feeding your dog table scraps, it is important to first review what human foods are safe and unsafe.
Feeding your pet fresh foods can actually benefit them, provided they are the right kinds. Here are some general guidelines for what is OK and what to avoid:
Avoid Foods High in Fat & Salt
Obesity is a growing epidemic (no pun intended) in pets today. While you may enjoy the occasional order of fries or slice of pizza, they can wreak havoc on your pet’s stomach and health.
Foods that are too rich can result in diarrhea, vomiting, and even pancreatitis. Best to leave fried foods and the like out of your pet’s diet.
Steer Clear of Packaged Foods
Many packaged foods contain large amounts of sugar, which is not good for your pet. They can also hide toxic ingredients, such as xylitol.
It’s hard to know what exactly is in packaged snacks and if the amount of any ingredient could be lethal.
If your pet is giving you “the look” while you are enjoying your cookies, consider keeping a stash of pet-safe treats to give instead. Many varieties can be found at your local pet store.
Stick to Whole Foods
Just like with humans, the best rule of thumb is to stick to whole foods. Your pet can enjoy most fruits and vegetables, as well as cooked meats.
If you are offering meat scraps, be sure to take out any bones, as they can be a choking hazard. It’s also best to avoid anything overly seasoned, especially with onion and garlic powders, as they can make your pet very sick. This goes for all alliums, including chives and leeks. You can always boil a small amount of plain meat while cooking your meal to set aside for your pet.
Fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids which is good for overall health. Just make sure it is deboned and cooked. No sushi dates with your furry pal!
Whole grains are found in most pet foods and are totally safe to give your pet. Want to share some of your morning oatmeal? Go ahead! Just be sure to give a portion of plain cooked oats to your pet before you add any other ingredients for flavor.
Berries are a great sweet treat for both cats and dogs. They are tasty and, as a bonus, are low in sugar and high in antioxidants.
Let’s not forget all of the veggie options! Your pet will love to munch on a carrot stick, celery, zucchini, steamed broccoli, and more! Just make sure that whatever you choose is pet-friendly, and check whether it needs to be cooked or not for safety.
Which Foods Are Toxic?
They say sharing is caring, but sharing the wrong things could be dangerous – and even lethal – for your pet. Some foods to avoid completely are:
- Grapes and raisins
- Onions, garlic, and other alliums
- Macadamia nuts
- Foods containing xylitol
- Raw yeast doughs
If you are still unsure if a food is safe to share with your pet, it is best to err on the side of caution. Give some affection, and direct them to their own food.
Veterinary Hospital in Frederick, MD
Accidents can happen, even with the most attentive of pet owners. When they do, you want to get your pet the most reliable care possible.
At Old Farm Veterinary Hospital, we are here to help keep your pets safe and healthy. If you think your pet is in need of emergency care, don’t hesitate to bring them in right away!
If your pet experiences an emergency outside of our normal hours, there are several 24-hour pet hospitals in the area we would be happy to recommend. Contact us today!