You know the LOOK: those sweet, longing eyes pleading for something that must be tasty, because you’re eating it. Maybe it’s the gentle prodding of a cat’s paw on your knee at the dinner table, or maybe just the puddle of drool under the kitchen cutting board. Our pets would like some of our food, and they’re very good at telling us so! With the holidays approaching, pets have ample opportunity to convey this message, and many of us will be moved to share the bounty of our tables with our canine or feline companions.
Whether you’re the indulgent table-scrap feeder who lets the dog “do the dishes,” or a no-begging, no human food die-hard, you should know that some human foods are harmful to pets. Many of them are holiday staples, so PugetPets has compiled a list of 12 of the most common human foods that are harmful to pets as well as a few nutritional concerns associated with human food.
If treating your pet to some holiday human-chow, it’s worth keeping a few things in mind. Dogs are susceptible to pancreatitis from ingesting too much fat. Resist the urge to give your dog a lot of fat scraps. Be mindful of the fat content when treating with peanut butter, and avoid peanut butter with added sugar and hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, as these are not good for your pet or for you. Both dogs and cats do not metabolize dairy well. If your pet seems gassy or uncomfortable, then cheese may not be the best treat. If s/he tolerates cheese, a lower-fat variety is a better option, especially for dogs. In general, the types of things that we know we should exercise moderation with when feeding ourselves (sugar, fat, salt) are worse for our pets than for us, so use extra restraint when sharing. Finally, avoid giving cooked bones and any pork and poultry bones to your dog or cat, as they are small and brittle. Splintered bones are a serious choking hazard.
Remembering the special nutritional needs of your dog, cat, bird, bunny, or back yard goat when sharing human treats will ensure their immediate and long-term well-being. If you think your animal companion has been poisoned, contact your emergency vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. Your dog walkers and pet sitters at PugetPets wish safe and happy holiday feasting to your whole famenagerie!