Good Eats: Delicious and Healthful Food for Your Pets
The foods that you feed yourself and your family are important, and the same is true for our pets. After all, they’re members of the family too. For all animals – human, canine, or feline – we eat to stay alive, but if we eat well we can also stay healthy. Here’s a handy list of foods that will keep your pet healthy – ones that are full of the nutrients they need, and foods to avoid.
How Are You Eating?
We spend a lot of time thinking about the food we eat – visiting farmers markets, reading labels, buying local as much as possible. As you would with your own meals, it’s wise to know how the food you’re giving your pet is grown, raised, or caught.
Just as organic food is better for you, it’s better for your pet. Castor & Pollux® America’s #1 organic pet food says, “Many pet parents are looking for reassurance that what they are feeding their pets is 100 percent safe and seek third-party certifications like the USDA Organic seal on their pet food. That’s what makes a healthy diet full of organic ingredients so desirable for dogs and cats -- there's no chemical pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, the ingredients are free of antibiotics and added growth hormones, and organic is always non-GMO.”
Okay to Share: People Food for Dogs & Cats
You can feel good about your dogs and cats eating these foods.
Organic Meats. Your dogs and cats love chicken, turkey, lamb, and beef. Look for meat from animals that were treated responsibly, with access to space, natural light, and a healthy diet free of hormones and antibiotics.
Sustainable Fish. Salmon, tuna, and whitefish are good options. Find wild-caught fish that have been swimming free in natural oceans, rivers, or lakes.
Organic Grains & Legumes. Pets don’t need corn, wheat, and soy fillers. There are, however, whole grains that are good for your pet like oatmeal, barley, and quinoa. Chickpeas and lentils are on the list of healthy legumes, too.
Organic Fruits & Vegetables. Dogs and cats benefit from the nutrition in fruits and vegetables. Here are some of the most nutritious, safe ones.
- Sweet Potatoes are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin A, potassium, and B6
- Spinach and carrots provide a good dose of vitamin A and potassium
- Green Peas are an excellent source of fiber, iron, magnesium, and B6
- Bananas bring potassium, fiber, and copper, but are also high in sugar, and are best used as a treat.
- Apples and cranberries deliver just the right amount of fiber and vitamin C
- Blueberries pack in the potassium and fiber
As with all grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, they’re safest when they’re grown organically, free of synthetic fertilizers or chemical pesticides.
Avoid These Foods for the Safety of Your Pet
Of course, knowing what not to eat is equally important. Not all plants are safe for your pet to eat; some are highly toxic. Put these on the Avoid list, and keep them away from your pets.
- Grapes and raisins can cause sudden kidney failure in some pets, especially dogs.
- Any kind of chocolate or cocoa is toxic to cats and dogs. Theobromine is poisonous chemical to your pets, and the naturally-occurring caffeine is also dangerous.
- Xylitol causes a rapid drop in blood sugar in pets, and can lead to sudden, serious complications.
- Garlic & onions of all types (shallots, leeks, chives, and scallions) are indigestible to dogs and cats, and can damage their red blood cells.
If you think your pet as eaten any of these – even if they’re acting normal – contact your veterinarian immediately.
Edible Communities Pets is sponsored by Castor & Pollux®.