A dog waiting patiently for food

Can you resist puppy dog eyes? We didn’t think so. We have a hard time with that one, too. And as much as we all know and respect the dangers of certain human foods – like chocolate, Xylitol, onions, and grapes – for pets, we still love to show our love to our pets by sharing the gift of food.

So this begs the question: is there any human food that is safe for pets? Conrad Weiser Animal Hospital explores.

First, A Word About Treats

Wanting to treat your pet with food is only natural, and if your pet is healthy, well, and at a proper weight, by all means feel free to give a nutritionally complete dog or cat treat to your pet. Everything in moderation! Please consider each treat for your pet as equivalent to a candy bar for a person. How many candy bars should we eat per day?

That said, substituting fresh vegetables for your adult pet’s store-bought, high calorie treats can be a great way to help her lose weight or satisfy hunger.

Puppies and kittens, like human infants, should always get the very best nutrition possible. This means an excellent puppy or kitten food for the first year of life, and no treats to dilute out this nourishment during this important time in their lives.

Lastly, outside food should never be a substitution for an age-appropriate, nutritionally formulated diet. Pets have very specific and complex nutritional needs. It’s never advisable to give your pet a “home cooked diet” without consulting with your veterinarian.

Human Food That Is Safe for Pets

Here are some human food ideas that we believe are safe for most pets. Any vegetables should be served either raw or steamed in water with no oil, salt or sugar added. Stay away from fatty foods or any new foods, as either may predispose to pancreatitis.

Meats – we are not a fan of cooking any meat for your pet, as it will add calories, but be deficient in proper minerals and vitamins.

Green beans – many dogs enjoy the crunchy texture of this vegetable served raw or lightly steamed.

Baby Carrots – these crunchy treats are a favorite for many dogs, however, they are not digested and either need to be chewed or cut into small pieces so it will pass through the intestinal tract.

Broccoli – best when served steamed or cooked.

Thin Sliced Apples – many pets love the crunchy sweet texture. Remove the seeds, as they contain cyanide.

Bananas – high in potassium and fiber, but also calories, so give sparingly.

Peanut butter – most brands contain Xylitol (it’s toxic to pets), whether it’s on the label or not, so it should be given very sparingly.

Remember that pets have sensitive GI tracts, so keep changes to a minimum by trying one new thing per week at the most.

If you have any questions about your pet’s diet or general health, please don’t hesitate to call us. We are always happy to answer any pet related health questions. Together, we can keep your pet healthy and well!