Did you know that there’s a special doggy holiday coming up? February 23rd is National Dog Biscuit Day! While our canine buddies are definitely very enthusiastic about treats, cats and smaller pets also love snacks. Choosing healthy treats for your animal companion is very important! Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses picking suitable snacks for your furry pal.
You can find prepackaged treats in grocery markets and pet food stores. However, choosing the right product can be tricky. Get into the habit of reading labels, and choose the ones with ingredients you can actually identify. You may also want to keep an eye on recalls. You can get updated information at several sites, including the FDA website.
The list of what your pet can and can’t eat will vary, depending on what sort of animal you have. Dogs and cats can both enjoy plain, cooked meat, fish, or poultry, without the skin, bones, or fat; sodium-free broth; deli meat; and/or canned fish or chicken in water. Certain fruits and veggies are also safe for dogs and cats, though Fido is probably more likely to eat them than Fluffy. As for smaller pets, many pocket pets can enjoy safe produce, such as carrots. Bunnies have a bit of a sweet tooth, and often like berries, such as strawberries. Hamsters may prefer some cheese or a dog biscuit, while gerbils may like pears or apples. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.
As it turns out, different types of pets have more unsafe foods in common than they do safe ones. Never give your four-legged buddy anything that contains chocolate; caffeine; grapes; xylitol; garlic, onions, scallions, or chives; or pitted fruits. Nuts are also on the no-no list for many of our furry pals, as are dairy products; raw meat, dough, or yeast; meat on the bone; and anything high in sugar or fat. Tomato and potato leaves are also unsafe for many pets. Ask your vet for advice.
Always research new foods before giving them to your pet, to make sure they are safe. Introduce new foods slowly. Watch your furry buddy closely afterwards, and keep an eye out for digestive issues. Ask your vet for more information.
Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO pet hospital, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!