March is National Pet Nutrition Month. As a pet owner, providing the best nutrition for your dog, cat, or other animal is one of the most important things you can do.
Many people give their leftover food scraps to their pets, while others are home cooking their pets entire meals. Though we mean no harm, the reality is some human foods aren’t good for cats or dogs to eat. Some foods can even be toxic to animals. Before giving any food to your pet you should have a solid foundation on your pet’s dietary needs and which foods are safe and more importantly, unsafe, for your pet to eat.
Healthy Foods for Pets
Most healthy foods that are good for humans are relatively good for pets. However, it is important to do your research before giving anything to your pet. What started out as something healthy can instantly become toxic with the addition of certain oils, seasonings, or other ingredients.
Sweet red peppers
Low Fat Meat Options
Cooked ground turkey
Baked chicken breast
Harmful Foods for Pets
Many human foods are very high in calories or salt, which your pet may not be able to tolerate. Other foods are simply utilized differently and can be toxic to pets.
Toxic Foods for Pets
Onions/Chives and Onion Powder
Xylitol (artificial sweetener found in most sugar-free gum and other products)
High Salt Foods to Avoid
Most bread products
Any new food should be gradually introduced into your pet’s diet to avoid upsetting their stomach. As always, check with your veterinarian to know which specific foods are okay for your pet, especially if they have any medical conditions.