Pet parents who feed their four-legged companions human food mean well. However, they often don't realize that these tasty human treats are filled with dangerous calories and fat. While some pet parents pamper their furry friends with tasty human food, some treats can cause your dog's waistline to expand at an alarming rate. From cookies to hot dogs, these are some of the most common treats that you should avoid feeding your pet:
1. Oatmeal Cookies
An oatmeal cookie may be a tasty treat for humans, but it's a calorie-packed gut bomb for dogs. One small oatmeal cookie for a small dog is the same as an entire, fatty hamburger for a person. While your pup may love the salty sweetness of a homemade oatmeal cookie, save him the calories and offer a carrot instead.
2. Hot Dogs
Hot dogs pack way more fat than you would assume. At around 175 calories, they make up about 1/3 of a 20 lb. dog's recommended daily calorie intake. While dogs will happily consume a hot dog if you offer it to them, this tasty treat can quickly cause rapid weight gain, which can lead to problems like diabetes, arthritis and heart disease for your beloved pet.
Many pet parents use cheese to get their pups to consume pills. However, cheese packs plenty of dangerous calories and saturated fat. Generally, one ounce of cheese constitutes 1/3 of a dog's daily-recommended calorie intake. The effect is even worse for cats. Because of this, pet parents who need to get a fussy dog to eat a pill should reach for Pill Pockets treats instead that are designed for animals.
4. Potato Chips
Potato chips may be salty, dense, and tasty for cats and dogs, but they're also packed with fat and sodium. Since the calories contained in potato chips are not the same as a cat or dog would eat in a natural diet, they can expand your pet's waistline quite quickly. Instead of reaching for the Pringles the next time you want to reward your pet, offer a couple of nutritious kibble.
Old books and wives' tales would have us believe that cats love milk and cream, but a cup of milk is the same amount of calories for a small cat as five chocolate bars would be for a human. Additionally, milk can easily upset a pet's stomach and cause complications like vomiting or diarrhea. Instead of offering milk for your pet, just give them water. If you are worried that they aren't drinking enough, reach for some wet food.
In order to keep pets healthy, happy, and slim, pet parents who want to offer something special for their pets should reach for vet-sanctioned treats or harmless fruits and vegetables instead… but be sure to research which ones are safe. In addition to keeping your furry friends at a healthy weight, these treats will also reduce the risk that they will have a bad reaction to human foods.
Content reviewed by a veterinarian.