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Sharing Leftovers with Pets

Sharing Leftovers with Pets

One thing I miss about my family’s three dogs (besides their unconditional love and zealous sweetness, of course) is their unswerving ability to vacuum food from the floor and to make haste with leftovers that no one else would claim. I never realized, at all, how much I relied on them for these tasks until they were gone–and now I wonder how much food I was unconsciously passing off to them on a daily basis. As happy an arrangement for all parties concerned, was it in their best interest?

With leftover season officially here, it seems like a good time to take a closer look at feeding pets human food. As it turns out, some foods that are fine for us to eat aren’t such a great fit for our pets. The list below, from the Humane Society of the United States highlights some of the most common foods that can be dangerous to animals. They also remind us that this is not an exhaustive list and any decision to provide your pet with food not specifically intended for animals should be discussed with your veterinarian or pet nutritionist.

The following foods may be dangerous to your pet:
Alcoholic beverages
Apple seeds
Apricot pits
Avocados (toxic to birds, mice, rabbits, horses, cattle and dairy goats)
Cherry pits
Candy (particularly chocolate, which is toxic to dogs, cats and ferrets, and any candy containing the sweetener Xylitol)
Coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans)
Grapes
Hops (used in home beer brewing)
Macadamia nuts
Moldy foods
Mushroom plants
Mustard seeds
Onions and onion powder
Peach pits
Potato leaves and stems (green parts)
Raisins
Rhubarb leaves
Salt
Tea (caffeine)
Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
Walnuts
Yeast dough

For more information about what not to let your pet eat, visit the American Animal Hospital Association.

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

27 comments

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6:45PM PST on Mar 12, 2011

Canned salmon meant only for human consumption is bad for cats. Apparently mercury levels are measured for the size of a human body and the salt content is too high for cats, can cause crystallization in the urinary tract or something like that, correct me if i'm wrong lol but my cat had it!

6:07AM PST on Jan 25, 2011

Thank you for this information.
Fortunately I never gave my pets these foods.
I have learned in all these years the best bet is to let them have their own food and not to go crazy with the treats,.


10:57AM PST on Jan 22, 2011

Darn it! I am having a bad spelling day! I keep not placing the "o" before the "h". I am so sad, I correct my own spelling in posts.

10:54AM PST on Jan 22, 2011

Whoops! Now I am the stupid person. I didn't spell alcholic right in my last post.

10:52AM PST on Jan 22, 2011

Wait..... I only skimmed the list the first time I read this. I am sorry, but who the heck would be stupid enough to give alcholic bevarages to their pet! I understand why not everyone is fit to be a pet owner now.

10:49AM PST on Jan 22, 2011

Thanks!

4:17PM PST on Jan 20, 2011

noted....

4:50PM PDT on May 19, 2010

thanks

6:04PM PST on Mar 13, 2010

it's best not to give dogs anything but their own food i know...but it's so hard to resist those pleading eyes!

11:26AM PST on Mar 4, 2010

thank you for the information!
but i dont give my dogs in any of the mention above.!
thanks again!
more power!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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