Whether you are eating dinner at the table or munching on a snack while sitting on the couch, it will inevitably happen. Your furry friend will look at you with those sweet and gentle eyes hoping to get a peck at whatever you’re snacking on – or maybe you just prefer to add whole foods to your pet’s food dish. Whatever the case, it is essential to know which foods you and your companion can both enjoy and which ones you shouldn’t share.
Even if you find a certain kind of food to be healthy and delicious, the truth is that our pets’ bodies are not the same as ours. Some of the foods that nourish and delight humans can be harmful and, in some cases, incredibly harmful for your pet to digest. While you are unlikely to toss a chip or piece of fruit into your fish tank, humans tend to share their food with pets that are more present in our environments – cats, dogs, rabbits, etc.
So, which foods do you need to keep far away from your furry friend? Let’s find out!
What Kinds Of Foods Can Dogs Eat?
Dogs are the genetic descendants of wolves, so it should be no surprise that they like their meats. However, when it comes to packaged dog food, some brands are better than others and provide quality proteins, vitamins, and other essential nutrients – other brands, not so much. So it comes as no surprise that people feed their dogs the occasional or regular “human” food.
We all know dogs enjoy their peanut butter, which is safe, but they can also enjoy treats like honey, coconut, and popcorn! Here are the other foods that are safe for your dog.
Meat, fish, and eggs each provide a safe and nutritious means of protein for your dog. While it is important to remember that some dogs are allergic or intolerant of certain foods like cheese if your dog does not have any dietary restrictions, they can safely consume:
- Lean beef (red meats)
- Cooked eggs
- Cheese (in moderation)
Some sources (primarily online) urge dog owners to steer clear of grains. However, grains provide the necessary fiber to most dogs. Those who are young and still developing may need to avoid foods that are too high in fiber, so it is important to discuss this with your vet. For dogs who are mature and otherwise healthy, they can enjoy grains in moderation, including:
- Bread (on occasion)
Veggies And Fruits
Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and other nutritional necessities. Although fruits are often high in sugar, your dog can enjoy them occasionally. Safe fruits and vegetables for dogs to consume include:
- Watermelon (seedless)
- Sweet potatoes
- Green beans
Harmful Foods For Dogs
Even foods that you would consider healthy can be unsafe for your dog. So when eating these foods, it is best to keep them to yourself.
- Macadamia nuts
What Foods Are Safe For Cats?
Like dogs, cats can enjoy a wide variety of human foods, both regularly and in moderation. Similarly, it is essential to know which human foods are safe and which ones can cause harm to your cat.
Protein is a critical component of feline diets. Like any other animal, different species have unique dietary requirements, so it is best to consult with your vet before changing or adding to your cat’s diet. Here are the protein sources that are safe for cats.
- Red meat
- Yogurt in small amounts
Unlike people, cats don’t need carbohydrates, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have nutritional value. Grains provide cats with fiber, minerals, and essential fatty acids. Safe grains for cats include:
Fruits And Vegetables
Likes dogs, cats can eat fruits in small amounts – too much sugar isn’t optimal for your cat’s health. It is also important to remove choking hazards such as seeds and skins. With this in mind, your cat can safely enjoy
- Most berries
- Green beans
Foods To Keep Away From Your Cat
Specific foods can act like poison when consumed by your cat. Here is what you should steer clear of when sharing human foods with your feline.
- Canned tuna
- Raw potatoes
- Yeast dough
Rabbits And Other Small Rodents
Even though rodents and smaller pets are less commonly found in households than cats and dogs, they still have specific dietary needs and restrictions. For example, unlike dogs and cats, rodents are typically herbivores, so there is no need to try and feed them meat (they likely won’t show much interest anyway).
Safe Food For Rabbits And Small Pets
All human foods should be fed to these kinds of pets in addition to their specially formulated pet food.
- Leafy greens
- Wild plants
- Green beans
- Citrus fruits
- Iceberg lettuce
Keeping Your Pets Happy And Healthy
Introducing and regularly adding the food we eat to your pet’s diet is not only enjoyable but can also provide supplemental nutrition to their respective pet food. Most importantly, you want to ensure your pet’s diet contributes to a healthy and long life rather than causing them any harm. If you are unsure or prone to forgetting which foods are safe for your pet, keep a list handy, so you can always rest assured they are happy and healthy!