Reasons not to feed your pet human food

Discover the health and behavioural implications of feeding your pet human food, as it can be quite easy to give in to their begging and miaows.

7th April 2019

When it comes to our pets, it’s hard not to give in to their puppy eyes and prowling purrs, but with some foods, it’s a must. Some of our food and ingredients are poisonous or just unhealthy for our cats and dogs so any scraps should go straight into the bin instead of into the bowls of our pets.

It’s a topic we often cover, what foods to avoid giving your pet so that you get to avoid an unnecessary visit to the vet but even when you think your leftovers or titbits are okay for your cat or dog, you might be causing more harm than good.

Teaching bad habits

We train our pets to behave how we want them to, from sitting, lying down, meowing to let us know they want to go out or scratching at the door be let back in. When we start to feed our pets from the dining table, or emptying the scraps into their bowls at the end of the meal we are introducing habits that are difficult to break.

Your dog might start to beg while you prep your food or at the dining table, expecting a taste of your dinner. To stop their whining or annoying behaviour it might be tempting to give them some of your food, but don’t give in as that will only encourage their begging behaviour.

Dogs regularly beg to be given scraps from the table

Health problems

We have to remember that our pets have a completely different digestive system to us, so they’re not able to eat everything we can. So, there might be hidden dangers on your plate that could cause some issues for your cat or dog, even if they’re one of our five a day as humans.

Leeks, onions and grapes should never be given to our pets, so that includes plenty of gravies often dished up with Sunday lunches that usually has some onion in it.

By giving them scraps and human treats their daily calorie intake also increases, without you noticing. Some of the food you might end up feeding them will be full of salt and bad fats that your pet might not be able to handle, depending on their daily exercise and activities, meaning they might end up piling on the pounds.

Becoming a picky eater

If you feed your pet too much of your yummy food, they might start ignoring the food you put in their bowl, as it’s not as nice as yours.

It can be quite worrying if your cat or dog won’t eat their food and you might be tempted to give them more of what they’re guaranteed to eat, which will only add to their stubbornness with their normal food.

Hidden dangers

Apart from any toxic ingredients, there are other dangers that could be lurking on your plate. Pet shops often sell bones as treats for our pets, especially dogs, but there’s a big difference between those and the ones left over from your dinner.

Cooked bones are dangerous, especially poultry or pork bones, as they can shatter or splinter into shards and cause choking or serious damage to your pet’s mouth, throat and intestines which would result in a visit to the vet.

You’re better off sticking to your cat or dog’s usual food, and if you want to treat them why not make your own pet treats?

What can I feed my cat when I’ve run out of cat food?

Learn how to feed your cat with the food you already have in your fridge or cupboard!

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