18 Sep Should Pets Receive Human Food?
The begging eyes from your dog peer up at you from underneath the dining room table. You might even get an eyebrow wiggle or two while the pup tries to work some magic. Do you eventually relent by offering a few table scraps to enjoy?
Most pet parents don’t give the idea of offering table scraps a second thought. Dogs (and some cats) enjoy the day when you clean out the refrigerator, can’t finish your plate, or leave a table unattended.
Until companies produced commercial pet food, most dogs and cats lived off of table scraps anyway. Are we that different now in the 21st century?
Some Human Foods Are Not Safe to Offer
The trend to return to human foods started in 2007 after reports of melamine contamination came from Chinese production factories. Hundreds of pets lost their lives after being poisoned by these items.
Although you can give your pet some human food without worry, some ingredients are toxic to animals. Before you decide to give your dog or cat a few leftovers to enjoy, you’ll want to consider these basic facts.
Foods That Your Pets Should Never Heat
Dogs and cats should never consume the following items.
• Grapes (raisins)
• Chewing Gum
• Macadamia Nuts
• Yeast-infused Dough
Anything that contains high levels of sodium should not be part of your pet’s diet. Unfortunately, that means you shouldn’t feed them bacon, salt pork, or anything salt-cured.
Foods That Your Pets Can Eat Successfully
When you want to feed your pet some human food, these items should be at the top of your list. Although they are generally considered safe, some animals have allergies that may require you to avoid some things.
• Hard Cheese
• Dairy Products (Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, Sour Cream)
• Peanut Butter
The list of safe foods is extensive. What most pet parents forget about when feeding these items to their animals involves the preparation methods used. If you use garlic oil to fry salmon, your dog or cat shouldn’t eat that item.
How to Transition to Human Foods
If you decide that human foods are what you want to feed your pet, it is essential to remember to make this change gradually. Going from commercialized pet food to something from the grocery store can upset their stomach. Start with bland items, such as unseasoned vegetables or chicken, reducing the amount of kibble offered each time.
It helps to keep sugar and fat content levels low when feeding pets some human food. Butter, chicken skin, and fatty meats should be considered treats instead of a part of the daily routine.
Then there is the final rule: if you wouldn’t eat something, don’t force your pet to do so. Your leftover items are likely as bad for them as they are for you.