Is it alright to give pets human food?

It can be tough to say no to your dog when he’s eyeing your food with “puppy eyes.” Similarly, it’s hard not to be amused when your cat hops onto the counter and mischievously snatches what was supposed to be your afternoon snack. But is it really alright to let a dog or cat eat your food? At Chico, we care about the health of your pets. In this article, we tell what you need to know about the effects of human food on dogs and cats.

Health effects

While table scraps aren’t always bad for your pet, many human foods are difficult for them to digest, and certain kinds are in fact dangerous for them to eat.

Deli meats, dairy products and sweets, for example, can have adverse health effects (diarrhea, obesity, allergic reactions, diabetes and more) because of their high levels of salt, fat, lactose and sugar. If you give your pet these types your foods, it should be in small quantities. However, the best policy is to keep pets away from human foods altogether.

Chocolate, small bones, raw or cooked potatoes, nuts and certain fruits and vegetables (grapes, raisins, onions and mushrooms, to name a few) are among the long list of foods that can be toxic for dogs or cats to eat. For example, small chicken bones can snap and cause your pet to suffer internal injuries.

Additional considerations

Even if certain human foods aren’t harmful to your four-legged friend, keep in mind that his nutritional needs differ from yours. It’s important that pets get the right amount of nutrients every day, according to their breed and age. This can’t be accomplished if you serve leftovers from the table. Human food should be, at most, an occasional treat for pets. Additionally, it should be mixed into their pet food so that they don’t become overweight and don’t start turning their nose up at their kibble.

Another reason to avoid feeding your pet from the table is that it can instill bad habits. It’s a big nuisance if your dog is always begging for a bit of what you’re eating. This can be a particular nuisance when you have guests over.

Are you looking for food that will satisfy the nutritional needs of your dog or cat without provoking food allergies? At Chico, we’re attentive to your pet’s needs and offer a wide selection of quality pet food. For personalized advice and service, visit the Chico pet store closest to you.