Chances are, you never look at your four-legged friend’s food with hungry eyes and beads of salvia running down your mouth. Yet we’re sure that’s not the case when they look at yours! Like most pet owners, we’re sure you can testify to the all-too-familiar sensation of someone watching you while tucking into your evening meal or a snack on the couch while you watch television.
Then, glancing down, you spot a face full of fur and glistening, beady, black eyes watching you as you take every bite. So, you tear off a piece of whatever you’re eating and watch as your furry friend devours it with gusto, only to resume watching you five seconds later as though nothing ever happened.
While very few of us can resist a pleading pooch or feline, some of the foods in our fridges and cupboards aren’t as safe as they might seem and can even be harmful to dogs’ and cats’ delicate tums. At the same time, other human foods are safe for pets to eat and can even provide them with health benefits and essential nutrients.
So long as you aren’t overfeeding your pet, sharing a little of your food with them from time to time isn’t a big deal – but if you’re planning on doing so, it is essential to know which foods are safe and which ones to avoid. Below we share a few guilt-free human foods you can share with your canine or feline companion and the signs to watch out for to ensure you don’t make them sick while treating them!
Signs Your Pet Ingested Something Potentially Harmful
Before we go on listing the human foods that are entirely safe for your beloved pooch or kitty to consume in moderation, it pays to be able to recognise the signs and symptoms your pet might experience should they ingest something harmful. Try as hard as we might; we can’t speak the same language as our pets. So, it can be challenging to understand when your pet may need medical assistance.
Depending on what your pet got their paws (and jaws!) on and the amount they managed to consume before you managed to shoo them away, the signs of poisoning can differ tremendously. Some of the most common symptoms of poisoning in pets are as follows:
- A difference in behaviour
- Slow or difficulty breathing
- Exhaustion or collapse
- Increase or decrease in body temperature
- Tremors or seizures
Recognising these symptoms is essential to get your pet the help it needs quickly. Whether you think it’s severe or not, if you spot your pet displaying any of the symptoms above, it is always best to consult a veterinary expert for further clarification, even if it turns out to be a false alarm.
Some pet insurance providers, like Purely Pets, even include unlimited video calls with qualified vets in their policies. Meaning customers can rest easy knowing that they can contact a veterinary professional whenever the need may arise without having to leave the comfort of their living rooms.
If you’ve been searching for a pet insurance provider in the UK that covers your pet against potential poisoning, consider visiting their website to learn more about their policies and the benefits they could provide you and your pet.
Whether you’re a canine or feline owner, on their site, you can browse their pet insurance cover levels, read customer testimonials, or follow their blog to stay up to date with pet-related news and much more. Or contact them directly for specific inquiries.
Cooked, Deboned, Unsalted Chicken
There are few words aside from ‘walk’ that dog owners must avoid saying in the presence of their four-legged friend, but undoubtedly, another is chicken. As you’re sure to know, dogs and cats go wild for the taste of chicken since it’s one of the main ingredients in canned pet food and dog/cat cookbooks for those owners that opt to make their pet’s dinners by hand.
However, despite how hard they salivate at the mouth for your roast dinner covered in copious amounts of gravy, the best option for their sensitive stomachs is cooked, deboned, unsalted chicken. It’s also okay if bits of skin, cartilage, and other tissues find their way into your pet’s jaws, so long that it hasn’t been cooked in a ton of butter or non-healthy fats.
If you plan to incorporate chicken into your pet’s diet, ensure that you cook it properly. You can use any method you’d like, but the best is probably boiling or baking since these methods avoid using oils and seasonings that could cause digestive difficulties for your pooch or feline. As well as being tasty, chicken offers many benefits for dogs and cats, from soothing upset stomachs to being low in calories – making it an excellent source of human food for pets.
Often used as an incentive to get your canine or feline companion into the bath when it isn’t being licked off your bathroom wall, peanut butter is another excellent treat for pets in moderation. A common sight in most UK homeowner’s cupboards, peanut butter is a condiment of choice for spreading, swirling and stirring into or onto other human foods to amplify their taste.
Yet, despite being easy for human stomachs to digest regardless of the brand you choose to stock your pantry with. Some additives in specific peanut butter brands can be toxic for your furry friend, especially ones containing added sugar or a sweetener named xylitol, which, if your pet ingests even the tiniest bit, can cause serious problems.
Once you’ve found pet-friendly peanut butter, you can feed your four-legged companion in moderation by spreading it inside hollow bones or toys or letting them lick it straight off the spoon like the pampered pet they are! However, ensure you don’t let them eat this sweet yet salty treat too often; otherwise, it could lead to obesity issues further down the line.
The sound of a block of cheese getting unwrapped can send your pet flying into the kitchen, with them rubbing around your ankles or staring up at you in anticipation. For the most part, your feline or canine companion can eat cheese – but only in small amounts, as it can wreak havoc on their digestive system if given in large quantities.
But if given in small quantities, cheese can be a good way of rewarding dogs for good behaviour or disguising tablets for cats. Yet, be weary of giving too much cheese to felines as their stomachs are much more sensitive to lactose than dogs, which makes it much more challenging to digest. Plus, if your pet has a dairy allergy or lactose intolerance, under no circumstances should they be given cheese.
But provided that your pet has no allergies, a little cube of cheese can be part of a balanced, healthy diet since it contains calcium, protein, vitamin A, b-complex vitamins, and essential fatty acids. However, remember that your pet should be getting all the above from their regular diet anyway, so there is no urgency to add cheese to their diet (but it can be fun!).