Is People Food Always Bad For My Pet?
We get great questions about using people food as treats for dogs. Most owners know not to give high fat treats, so they turn to foods that are healthy for humans like fruits and vegetables or lean, grilled chicken breast. And many pet owners are on the right track with this line of thinking, but let’s explore.
People Food No-No’s
First step: make sure the food isn’t toxic to your pet.
Moderation Moderation Moderation
If they aren’t on the list of toxic foods (see above), many of our healthier human foods can be fine for your pet—in moderation. Say it with us…moderation.
And rethink portions! This is good advice for many of us, but it goes double for food and treats for your pet.
Stop and think about how much your dog weighs. What you might be able to share with a 15-pound Shih Tzu is vastly different from what you could offer a 120-pound Newfoundland. For you a handful of baby carrots is great, but that is too much for a small dog who could eat one baby carrot.
Remember to keep portions small (or cut up the food into smaller bites).
Calories count, and you might be surprised how even small treats add up.
Watch The Sugar
Some vegetables and fruits are high in sugar. Too much sugar—even if it is from a good source, can be hard on the pancreas. If your dog is prone to pancreas issues or has high lipase levels, then stick to unsalted green beans from a can. For any pet, really, unsalted green beans are a fabulous treat.
Insider tip: unsalted green beans from a can are a go-to staple for many of our own pets.
Here are handy charts on nutritional values for fruits and veggies so you can see the range of sugar in each.
Healthy Treat Options
Here’s a few ideas of our own:
Be sure to check with your vet about what is safe for your pet’s health. You want the best for your pet and so do we.
Watch how much and how often you are using treats of any kind. Those extra calories really add up. If you want to reward your pet, try play time, going for a walk, getting a new toy, or just simply quiet time together with a little scratch in all the right spots.
Finally, moderation, moderation, moderation.