As pet lovers, we’re all tempted to treat our pets with ‘people food’ once in a while. According to Dr. Chip, our Chief Veterinary Officer, an occasional pre-planned treat can be okay, and is far better than feeding table scraps.
While we strongly encourage all owners abide by a vet approved diet, these are some examples of human food for pets that could be okay in moderation:
Yogurt is full of protein and calcium and can make a delicious snack provided it doesn’t have additional sugars or sweeteners. Try letting your pet lick your bowl after you’ve finished eating. This way, they don’t get too much, and you get to feel good sharing with them. Avoid having your pet eat directly out of the yogurt container as it could result in them ingesting the plastic.
Peanut Butter –
Not only is peanut butter a popular treat among dogs, it also contains many vitamins and healthy fats that are extremely beneficial to their diet. To make your dog work for it, try stuffing peanut butter into a Kong. It can also be used to disguise medication - just crush the pill between 2 spoons and then work it into a small amount of peanut butter. Serving peanut butter on a spoon that’s placed face up on the floor can also be stimulating for them and entertaining for you!
Try scrambling a few eggs or making a mini omelet with some spinach and a little cheese. Not only is this a healthy option, but it’s great for the shine of their coat too. Use the cheese in moderation as many pets experience gas from dairy.
An apple a day keeps the veterinarian away? After coring and seeding them, they’ll not only provide added nutrients and vitamins, but act as a breath freshener by taking away plaque and residue on your dog’s teeth. Carrots are also popular with some pets.
Fresh or canned salmon can strengthen your pet’s immune system and provide them with the fatty acids needed to keep their coat and joints healthy. Try making ‘salmon chips’ by adding extra cooking time to the fish skin only. Or, try chopping up the skin and leftover bits to add flavour, texture and appeal to a pet’s regular dry pet food.
Pumpkin can help improve digestion and is a common ingredient in homemade pet treats. Mash it into dry or wet food to add interest and give your pet a healthy sweet treat.
Remember, just like humans, dogs and cats can develop allergies. Start with small snacks first and watch for changes in their behaviour and body in case they have an adverse reaction to any new food.
In addition, although a lot of ‘people food’ is safe for pets, some food and household items can be toxic if ingested by your cat or dog. For a list of potentially hazardous items in your home, read our recent article on Fall pet poisons.
As always, ask your vet before trying new foods or treats and consider protection your pet with pet insurance from Pets Plus Us.