Adding fresh to the bowl

Let’s be honest, we all love to share some of our food with our cats and dogs (and other pets too)!

But there’s so much conflicting information out there. Is it ok to share? And if so, what’s safe?

To cut it short:

Of course it’s safe to add some of our food to our pets’ meals.

It’s just food!

And it can be a healthy and tasty addition to their diet.

I’m talking real, fresh foods here though.

And this is about adding a little to your pet’s usual, balanced food, not instead of.

(You can also home cook their entire food or DIY a raw diet with added extras for them – but both of those options require some knowledge on how to do it right).

Most foods that are healthy for us, are healthy for our pets, too

There are a few exceptions:

  • Never feed raisins or grapes
  • Definitely no corn on the cob (the corn kernels themselves are fine, it’s the whole cob that very often gets stuck in dogs’ intestines and causes serious obstructions)
  • No onions, garlic, leeks or chives (more on garlic and dogs in a different blog soon)
  • No macadamia nuts
  • Never feed cooked bones

And obviously no such thing as chocolate, alcohol, sweeteners, bread dough, mouldy foods or large amounts of blue cheese.

(Remember, we’re talking about adding healthy foods, and I don’t think anybody would class any of these as healthy, would they?)

And of course, some pets can’t tolerate certain foods, or have specific dietary needs.

Ok, with that out of the way, what are some good things to add as toppers and additions to our pets’ meals?

Here are some of the foods I give mine.

This list is not exhaustive, and of course all pets are different- yours might not like some of these foods or might not tolerate them well.

Adjust to suit your own pets’ needs and preferences

If your pet is not used to eating a certain food, start with a small amount, and see how that goes.

  1. Pieces of lean meat, cooked or raw (NO cooked bones!)
  2. Pieces of cooked fish, including skin, also cooked mussels and prawns
  3. Eggs, raw or soft boiled
  4. Small amounts of raw or gently cooked veggies: some of my favourites are spinach, kale, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, courgettes, green beans, squash, cucumber and peppers
  5. Mushrooms: all edible cooking mushrooms are great for dogs too
  6. Herbs: parsley, coriander, basil, dill, fennel tops
  7. Nuts: hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts etc. NOT macadamia nuts. If you’re worried your dog will eat them whole and they might get stuck, chop them first
  8. Seeds: sunflower, sesame, pumpkin etc
  9. Berries: blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries (careful, the stalks can be irritating to some dogs- limit those, or remove entirely)
  10. Other fruits: apples, pears, oranges, pineapples etc

When it comes to berries and other fruits, a little goes a long way: they are packed with health giving nutrients, but they’re also high in sugar. Don’t overdo it here.

Cats can have all of these too, but the vast majority will probably draw the line at anything that’s not meat or fish (though my Filou loves chickpeas!)

Are you sharing some foods with your pets?

What’s their favourite?