October 30th is Treat Your Pet Day! Of course, for many of you, every day is Treat Your Pet Day! Fluffy and Fido may not agree about everything, but they definitely are on the same page when it comes to treats. For the most part, our canine and feline friends have similar tastes, as well as roughly similar options. A Roanoke, VA vet offers some advice on giving your four-legged friend their snacks below.
Both dogs and cats need diets that are mostly based on meat. Fido and Fluffy can both have plain, cooked meat, fish, or poultry, without the skin, bones, or fat. Some safe options include beef, steak, rib meat, chicken, turkey, duck, and quail. There are a few caveats here, though. You’ll want to limit organ meats, such as liver or kidney. A little here and there is fine, but too much can cause Vitamin A toxicity. Processed foods, like bacon and sausage, should also be doled out sparingly.
Cats and dogs do behave a bit differently here. Fido will eat, well, pretty much anything, while Fluffy is a bit pickier about her snacks. You may need to experiment with different brands and flavors, to find out what your feline friend likes best. Many kitties enjoy a little bit of deli meat or canned tuna in water.
While cats like treats, they’re really just an extra for Fluffy. This is a bit different for our canine pals. Treats are crucial for good dog care: they’re a great help when training Fido, and for rewarding good behavior. Use small snacks when training. Don’t let your pooch get spoiled by begging: that’s bad manners, and can actually lead to aggressive behavior.
There are really two major mistakes to offering your pet snacks: offering too many and giving unsafe foods. As for the former, stick to the recommended serving sizes. As a general rule of thumb, treats should only make up about 5 to 10 percent of your pet’s daily caloric intake. You’ll also need to be careful not to give your furry pal anything that isn’t safe for them. That list includes chocolate, caffeine, meat on the bone, avocado, anything with seeds or pips, raw dough or yeast, and anything that contains xylitol, which is sometimes labeled as birch sugar. Ask your vet for more information.
Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Roanoke, VA animal clinic, today!