Healthy Treats vs. Table Scraps for Your Pet


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Are you a treat giving pet owner or do you give more of the table scrap brand of love? This is the time when this question is the most relevant. Guests are visiting and feeding our pets plenty of table scraps. Actually, the majority of us sneak a morsel or two to our pets during meals and though there is nothing really wrong with this, we want to be cautious about starting the wrong kind of trends.

For example, when you reward begging with table scraps, expect to start seeing those same yearning eyes night after night from then on. It is quite hard to “untrain" pets from expecting such a treat. And who can actually blame them? Do you want a dog that sings the “No Food Blues" at your feet and a cat that uses the meal table as a trampoline every night? Here are a few more reasons why you might just want to reconsider table scrap giving:

Table scraps can be the gateway to weight issues. Our pets often end up with the fat from our plates that we did not want.

Scraps do not necessarily offer the same level of nutrition that quality treats may provide. Much of table scraps are in fact empty calories.

Table scraps are a major cause of digestive disorders. The richness and/or fattiness of our foods can sometimes harm your animal's digestive tract.

Mary Shelley created a monster, you may have create a thief. If a pet is used to getting food from the table, do not be surprised if you catch him or her eating the leftover turkey that you left on the kitchen table. A head in the garbage can is not all that uncommon either.

You may also create a picky eater. If you get your pet too used to human type food, he or she may not even want to eat their own food.

But if you must give your pet table scraps,

try to remember that they should be used as treats and not the main course. The best scraps are probably: meat (without the bones), cooked or even raw vegetables, cooked grains, eggs and brown rice. Let us not forget dairy products. You know that cats in particular adore milk. Luckily lactose intolerance is usually not found in pets.

But try to avoid these particular ones: Chocolate, fatty meats, stuffing with raisins, raw eggs when baking (cats really like them), cooked and raw bones (much too dangerous).

This article initially appeared in the December 2005 issue of the Healthy Pet Net newsletter.

Ryan Joseph is a writer/researcher of pet and other issues. More info. and healthy, holistic pet products such as Life's Abundance Food and Treats can be found at and


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