So there you are spending a relaxing night in, happily munching away on a tasty bowl of amazing spaghetti bolognaise loaded with delicious sauce and topped with parmesan cheese. Lo and behold approach your faithful pet – staring at you with their adoring eyes, looking up at you pleadingly for a tidbit.
You try to ignore their piercing gaze for as long as you can but then you finally give up and offer them some of the scrumptious meatballs. You may think this is no big deal. You feed your pet a healthy balanced diet most of the time and giving them a random ‘human’ food every now and then (ok ok… daily!) shouldn’t cause a drastic issue to their diet… right? Well not exactly, you could be causing your pet serious health problems and we shall explore some of these issues below.
Think that chunk of cheese or piece of filet mignon is not a problem? Think again. Most human food we dish out to our pets are packed with calories. Furthermore, these sorts of foods do not contain the required nutrients and vitamins for your pet. Providing these morsels of food may even turn off your pet from eating their regular pet food! You may surely see your cherished pet pack on the pounds until they are unable to walk. Obesity could lead to other issues further down track like diabetes and heart disease.
If pets consume meals that are ‘rich’ such as a hearty steak then their pancreas are at risk of becoming irritated. For a bit of medical knowledge, the pancreas is situated right next to the stomach where it produces enzymes that aid the stomach to digest food. If pancreatitis occurs, then the stomach isn’t being provided with enough digestive enzymes which causes issues with pets. Pancreatitis could result in pets becoming dehydrated, nauseous and possibly even ending up at a vet clinic for at least a week strapped to a feeding tube! Not a nice occurrence for any pet owner.
There are foods that humans can eat without any issue but are dangerous or possibly fatal for your pets. Be sure to steer clear of: Onions and Garlic, Chocolate, Bones (Small and brittle ones), Grapes and raisins, Raw eggs, Caffeine, Fatty and oily food, Macademia nuts and Walnuts, Fruit pits or seeds and Sugary food. We will discuss the reasons these foods are potentially dangerous for your pets in a future post. If there is a type of food you are unsure of feeding your pet, best to discuss this with your local vet.
Although some food may not be necessary toxic for pets, it could be difficult for them to digest. This could lead to vomiting, bloody stools and diarrhoea .. not entertaining if you happen to step right in it!
If you feel the ultimate need to provide Fido the dog or Jester the cat with human food cause you cannot resistance that ‘look’… (a client of ours claimed that their cat would jump onto their head to get a piece of apple crumble!), ensure that it doesn’t constitute more than 10% of their daily dietary intake. In terms of what human food is fine to feed your pets, it is preferable to stick to plain food without butter, oils and sugar.