It can be tough to resist those puppy dog eyes when they’re begging for a bite of your breakfast, but stay strong. While plenty of people foods are perfectly fine to share with dogs and cats, others could make them sick. Take note of 10 common foods around your home that can be dangerous for pets, plus a few healthy ones they can enjoy.
People foods that are unsafe for pets
Before adding anything new into your pet’s diet, it’s a good idea to check with your vet or local pet store to make sure it’ll be safe for them to eat. But in the meantime, keep these 10 known “poisons” away from Fido and Fluffy:
- Alcohol. This might go without saying, but alcohol can make cats and dogs sick. Keep all products that contain alcohol — not just wine and liquor — securely closed and out of your pet’s reach.
- Chocolate, coffee, and other products that contain caffeine. These can be very harmful to animals. Be sure to store all chocolate, coffee, and other caffeinated products (even used coffee grounds and tea bags) where your pet can’t get at them.
- Xylitol. If you’ve never heard of xylitol, you’re probably not alone. This sweet substance occurs naturally in some fruits and vegetables and is added to many foods as a sugar substitute. Read labels carefully before sharing snacks with your pets, as xylitol can lead to issues like low blood sugar and seizures.
- Milk and other dairy. While dairy products might be safe for some pets, others are lactose intolerant, so milk can give them upset tummies and diarrhea.
- Salty snack foods like chips and pretzels. Too much salt can cause vomiting, fevers, seizures, and even sodium ion poisoning. It’s best to stick to vet-approved snacks when your pet has the munchies.
- Grapes and raisins. These are known to be especially toxic for pets, even in small amounts, so it’s best to keep them away from your furry friend.
- Sweet foods like baked goods and candy. Baked goods and candy generally contain lots of sugar (and they often contain xylitol, too), so it’s best to keep them out of your pet’s diet. Consider picking up some pet-friendly cookies or cupcakes from your local pet store instead.
- Raw meat, eggs, and bones (sometimes). There are two schools of thought on raw meat for pets. While some pet owners keep all raw meat products away from their pets, others choose diets consisting only of raw meats. If you do choose to go raw, be sure to follow safe raw food handling guidelines to avoid salmonella and other bacteria that could make your pet sick. Never ever feed spoiled or improperly handled meat to your pet.
- Onions, garlic, and chives. You might eat these every day, but they can cause anemia and other health issues in animals (especially dogs).
- Nuts. Many nuts (like macadamia nuts, pistachios, and pecans) can upset your pet’s stomach and cause gastrointestinal issues — or even more severe problems like tremors and dizziness, depending on the type of nut. While you should generally try to steer clear of nuts, peanut butter (the unsalted, unsweetened kind) should be fine for your pup.
People foods that are safe for pets
So, now you know what not to feed your pet. But what people foods can you feed them when you feel like sharing? Ask your vet about these options:
Dog-friendly people foods
- Unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter
- Cooked (but unseasoned) fish and lean meats
- Pumpkin chunks
- Cooked eggs
- Apple slices
Cat-friendly people foods
- Cooked eggs
- Cooked or canned meat and fish
- Cooked whole grains
Sometimes your furry friend gets sick…even when you feed him safe foods, take all the right steps to pet-proof your home, and visit the vet for regular check-ups. Did you know that pet health insurance can cover unexpected vet bills — plus dental care and pet-owner benefits for you, too? Learn what’s covered by pet insurance or get a free quote from Petsecure today.