We hear a lot about what human foods we shouldn’t feed our pets. But what about the human foods that are actually good for your dog or cat? Some foods, especially those that are less processed, can be healthy for your pet. However, you may want to check with your vet first to be sure that the food is safe to feed them before giving them anything new.
What Are the Healthiest Human Food for Pets?
If you’re curious to feed your animals some healthy human foods, this list is a good place to start. We’ll help you understand the health benefits of these different food items so you can improve the nutrition intake of your pets.
Pumpkin is a popular food item to give pets, especially pets that may have trouble with digestion. Pumpkin skin, flesh, and seeds are all full of fiber. As fiber is essential to the health of the digestive tract, pets need to have a regular intake of whole foods like pumpkin.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin
Along with pumpkin being high in fiber, it also contains other minerals and added nutritional value such as:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K
As a root vegetable, carrots are beneficial to any pet’s diet. Carrots can improve digestion with its fibrous skin and also boost a pet’s immune system and prevent them from picking up unwanted infections. Carrots can even improve eyesight, making them a valuable addition to any meal.
Health Benefits of Carrots
The nutritional value of carrots is what gives them the added benefits of an improved immune system or better eyesight. Nutrients in carrots that can improve the health of your pet include:
- Beta Carotene
- Vitamin K1
Cooked chicken can be an excellent addition to a pet’s diet to improve their everyday protein intake. Adequate protein can help strengthen an animal’s bone density and also give your pet energy. As long as the chicken isn’t served overly seasoned, raw, or served with bones, it should be safe for pets to eat. Always be mindful of any potential chocking hazards or freshness when serving meat to pets to avoid choking or food-borne illnesses.
Health Benefits of Chicken
Chicken is not only packed with protein, but it also has added vitamins and minerals that pets can benefit from such as:
Apples can be a tasty treat for pets. They are one of the most widely consumed fruits on the planet. Many pets enjoy them for the sweet taste of the fruit and the crunchiness of the apple skin. There’s the old saying that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and this could also be applied to pets. The high fiber intake available with the fruit is sure to keep the digestion of pets regular.
Health Benefits of Apples
Apples are not only an excellent source of fiber. They are also packed with vitamins and nutrients for pets such as:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
Oatmeal is so much more than just a source of carbohydrates. As a whole grain, oatmeal has soluble fiber that can ease symptoms of constipation in pets. Oatmeal can also even improve skin conditions. Unlike chicken, oatmeal is much cheaper, so it may be easier to feed your pets oatmeal more regularly than whole pieces of chicken.
Health Benefits of Oatmeal
The vitamins and minerals inside oatmeal that help make them a healthy staple to your pet’s diet include:
- Vitamin B5
- Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Cooked eggs may not be the first thing you think of to feed your pet, but they can be a simple way to add more protein to your pet’s diet without breaking the bank. As long as the eggs are fully cooked, without seasoning or additives, they can be safe to include for your pet’s breakfast or dinner.
Health Benefits of Eggs
Eggs have several crucial vitamin and nutrient components that pets need day-to-day for a balanced diet. These vitamins are rich in antioxidants and healthy fats for full-body function, such as:
- Omega-3 fatty acides
Salmon is sometimes used as an ingredient in canned pet food. However, when served whole and fresh, the nutrients of the fish can become more bioavailable for your pet (and even be tastier, too). Salmon is packed with protein and healthy fat to enhance a pet's brain and whole body functioning. However, just make sure the fish is fully cooked before serving it to avoid unwanted bacterial infections.
Health Benefits of Salmon
The best health benefit outside of protein in salmon is the healthy fatty acids. Fatty acids can be found in many fish sources and are vital to a mammal’s cell membrane communication. Vitamins noticeably found in salmon include:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B3, B5, B6, B12
A favorite of many pets, especially in the summer, is watermelon. Watermelon can be beneficial to your pets; even the skin of a watermelon holds many health benefits. With the fruit being sweet and hydrating on a hot day, it can be the perfect afternoon snack. Just be sure to avoid giving your pet fruit with too many seeds, as this can be a choking hazard.
Health Benefits of Seedless Watermelon
On top of being hydrating for pets, seedless watermelon also has a host of beneficial vitamins including:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin A
What Should I Do if I’m Unsure a Food Is Safe for My Pet?
If you’re unsure about food safety, be sure to follow these steps.
Schedule an Appointment With Your Vet
If the food items you’d like to feed your pet are not on our list, always schedule an appointment with a vet to discuss dietary options. A vet can walk you through what food items would be safe and healthy to incorporate into your feeding routine.
Call Animal Poison Control if Your Pet Eats Anything Harmful
If your pet ever eats any harmful food items or substances, always call animal poison control. Animal poison control can assess the situation and guide you through any necessary emergency rescue steps.
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