Just One Bite: Understanding Pet Safe Foods and Avoiding Toxins

Slice of lemon with vitamin C - strange food for young dogYou are in the kitchen and suddenly glance over to see “the look” – the one that just begs for a bite of your sandwich or a dollop of those cheesy potatoes. Our pets are experts at begging, and we often feel compelled to give in. But, what people foods are pet safe foods?

Because of the health complications associated with pet obesity, many pet owners have become wary of feeding their pets the occasional people food items. In general, this is a wise approach. Many foods we eat can be toxic to pets and cause other problems, such as pancreatitis, to arise.

However, not all foods we eat are bad for our pets. Many actually are nutritious options, consistent with ingredients in healthy pet foods.

A Simple List of Pet Safe Foods

Just like us, our pets have preferences in what they enjoy eating. This list is not a comprehensive one, and many of these items may not go over with Princess the cat or Rolly the dog.

Keep in mind, too, that moderation is the key to any type of diet. Many pets become overweight simply because they have been fed more than the recommended daily portions of pet food.

Consider these items an occasional treat or snack, and limit how much is given based on the size of your pet and recommendations from your pet’s nutritional consultation (which we offer here at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates).

  • Steamed or raw baby carrots
  • Cooked green beans (no sodium)
  • Unseasoned, boneless chopped meat (skin removed)
  • Strawberries, blueberries, banana chunks, apple slices (cored, no seeds)
  • Sweet potato
  • Canned pumpkin pulp (no sugar or sweeteners added)
  • Peanut butter (be sure there’s no Xylitol!)
  • Unsweetened yogurt
  • Cooked, unsweetened oatmeal

A Word About Xylitol

Many pet owners avoid feeding their animal companions sugary treats, understanding that sugar is a no-no for pets. However, artificial sweeteners are being used in more products these days and can oftentimes go unnoticed.

For example, peanut butter is a staple treat for a lot of doggies, often used in Kong and other fillable chew toys. What we have come to learn is that artificial sweeteners are now more commonly being added to peanut butter, including the very toxic sugar substitute, Xylitol.

Xylitol is poisonous to pets because of the way it is metabolized, causing irreversible, life-threatening liver damage.

Since artificial sweeteners are used in many canned and packaged products, we advise you to always read the label before making any assumptions about pet safety. When in doubt, stick with natural, unseasoned, fresh foods like those mentioned above.

Nutrition and weight management play integral roles in the health of your pet. With more than half of all cats and dogs in the United States considered overweight or obese, it’s clear that there is a lot of confusion around healthy weight and diet for our fur friends.

It’s understandable why we want to indulge our pets, but equally important to limit treats and people food for their wellbeing and longevity.

To schedule a nutritional assessment for your pet, please phone us today.