Healthy Eating Habits for Your Pet

healthyeating

You might have made some resolutions this month about healthy eating habits, but did you take any time to think about what you’re feeding the furry members of your family? In addition to picking a healthy dog or cat food option, it’s important to make sure you know what human foods are safe to pass on to your pets. Here’s a quick overview of what’s okay to give to your dog or cat and what’s not, as well as a few pet-friendly recipes.

Drinks

Really, all your pet needs to drink is water. However, you should definitely avoid giving Fido and Fluffy any beverage that contains alcohol, caffeine, or milk. Drinks that contain these ingredients can all make your pet very sick. Yes, that includes giving your cat a bowl of milk. Adult cats and dogs don’t make enough of the enzyme that is required to break down the lactose in milk and dairy products, so it can make them sick.

If you are worried that your pet might not be getting enough to drink, check out these WebMD articles about dehydration in cats and dogs.

Meat

ASPCA recommends that you don’t give your pets raw or under cooked meat or eggs since these foods can contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli. And while it might seem natural give your dog a leftover bone, it can also be dangerous because bone splinters can injure your pet’s throat or digestive tract.

So, if you want to share some table scrapes with your pet, just make sure they are cooked and boneless.

Fruits and Vegetables

Avocados, grapes and raisins, coconut, onions, garlic, and chives are some of the fruits and vegetables that are best avoided when passing human food on to animals. Some others, such as citrus fruits, are generally safe in small amounts, but can cause problems if your pet eats too much.

Fruits and veggies that are safe to give your dog include apples, bananas, broccoli, and cucumbers. You can find out more here.

Nuts

Nuts are best avoided as they contain high amounts of oils and fats that aren’t good for your pets and could even cause pancreatitis. Macadamia nuts are especially dangerous for animals and can cause symptoms such as weakness, vomiting, and hyperthermia.

ASPCA suggests steering clear of nuts entirely, although other sources suggest some kinds are okay. You can read more about the issue in this article.

Snacks

When it comes to human snack foods, you should avoid giving your pet anything with a high salt content, such as chips or pretzels. A little salt probably won’t hurt them, but too much can cause serious problems. As for sweet snacks, be careful not to give your animal pal anything that contains xylitol, which is commonly used as a sweetener in many human snacks but can cause a dangerous increase of insulin in animals and even lead to liver failure.

While some human food is safe to pass on to your pets, if you’re looking for a special treat, consider making them one of these just-for-pets recipes:

Dogs

Cats

Make sure that your pet stays healthy this year by keeping in mind which foods are or are not safe for them to eat. What’s your pet’s favorite healthy treat?

Title image via Pexels.

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