It’s just past Halloween, and the kids have returned home with bags bulging with candy and other treats. It’s fine for humans to indulge every now and then, but there are lots of things we put in our mouths that can sicken or even kill a pet. 

It can be hard to resist when they give us the “Please let me have some” face, but nothing is tasty enough to be worth your friend’s health. Keep candy out of your pet’s reach. They might be curious and tear the bag open, or eat an M&M that rolled under the table. Be careful what gets dropped on the floor, and make sure that everyone in the family knows what’s ok to give your pets and what can make them sick. It can be a good way to teach kids that are learning to share how to discern when it’s safer to say no, even to their dear kitty that they love so much. 

We’ll focus on cats and dogs today, but we always encourage our readers to check with their veterinarian, especially for pets like birds and reptiles that have different needs than our furry buddies. 

Here are some treats NOT to give your cat or dog: 

  • Chocolate is extremely toxic to the nervous and cardiovascular systems, and can lead to heart arrhythmia 
  • Anything with a lot of sugar, like caramels, that can cause severe diarrhea and dehydration
  • Xylitol, also known as birch sugar, is a common artificial sweetener that causes seizures and liver damage
  • Bread dough with yeast in it can cause severe gastrointestinal upset 

Hard, sticky candies are bad for your pet’s teeth, plus they are easily swallowed which can cause a pet to choke. Candy wrappers can be mistaken for food and cause bowel obstruction and infection. Xylitol is sneaky, so examine food labels closely. Peanut butter is a common treat for dogs but some kinds contain xylitol, particularly the sugar-free variety. 

Here are some treats that your cat or dog can safely enjoy: 

  • Cooked corn, all sweet and crunchy 
  • Unsweetened canned pumpkin, good for digestion
  • Unseasoned scrambled egg, full of protein 
  • Peeled apple chunks, crisp and full of vitamins 
  • Plain yogurt, which can be frozen for hot days 
  • Peeled, cooked sweet potato, a great source of fiber and Vitamin A

Even with healthy treats, watch the amount. For instance, carrots are good for humans, but if we ate a whole plate of raw carrots, we’d be in for a bellyache. Remember, always supervise your pet when giving them a new food. If they really like it, they might eat too quickly, so give a little bit at a time, and watch for any signs of reactions like stomach upset. The vet knows best. 
Want to know more about the Paw Pet Pantry community? Check out our stories on our website.  To donate, learn about our needs here.  We value whatever you can give, whether it’s money, pet food, driving services, waste bags, referrals to donors, and more.  Drop us a line anytime. Thank you for helping us show love to animals in need and their humans.

Sarah Wright, Paw Pet Pantry guest blogger


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