If you have ever owned a pet, you would understand the deep desire to include your animal friend in every aspect of your life. From your bed to your favourite leisure activity and, most commonly, your meals, love often compels you to share them with your pet.
But their tender tummies are not often made for people food. So, in the name of responsible pet care, here is a list of things from your dining table you can offer your pet when you can no longer resist their big brown eyes when they beg.
1. Egg Them On
The next time you sit down to a breakfast of eggs and sausages, you don’t have to feel guilty because eggs are not only good for humans, it is a power food for many pets as well.
Scrambled or hard-boiled, they are an excellent source of protein, riboflavin and selenium. Add them to your dog or cat’s meal or give them as treats. They are good particularly for canine tummy upsets, too.
In fact, eggs are such versatile foods they can be given to hamsters and when hard-boiled and crumbled with just the yolk alone, fed to fish as well, in moderation, of course.
2. Let’s Meat at Dinner
It is common knowledge that dogs love meat. The question is, what kinds are good for them? Cooked lean chicken, beef, and pork with no added seasoning, sauces, or oil provides an excellent source of amino acids required for building muscles. Meat also has plenty of B vitamins like Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Pyridoxine, and Cobalamine that provide the needed boost of energy.
What is less known is that cats love meat, too. Felines are ferocious carnivores so kitty will surely appreciate some lean, cooked beef. Deli turkey, ham, and chicken without additives or preservatives in small amounts may be offered to your cat but only as a snack and not a main meal.
Here’s an interesting factoid. Some fish eat beef, too. Angelfish, for example, do enjoy a little chopped beef now and then.
3. Say Cheese!
Cheese is a good source of protein for dogs and cats. Be careful though, some of your furry friends (cats in particular) can be lactose intolerant. So, try them out in small portions. Even your hamster can be fed cottage cheese. Cottage cheese is good to start with because they are less rich and are high in protein and calcium. Bulla has plain low fat cottage cheese (S$4.85). So, stock up.
4. Fishing for Salmon
Cats love fish. Salmon, tuna, and sardines from a can in small quantities can spice up their meals. While you are at it, you can feed Fido some cooked salmon as well. The omega 3 fatty acids in them will keep his coat healthy and shiny and aide his immune system.
5. Peanut Butter is Better
Peanut butter is not just a tasty choice for people, it is good for doggy as well. A good source of protein, it also contains healthy fats, Vitamin B, niacin, and Vitamin E. Smear unsalted peanut butter on his favourite chewy toy and it will keep your dog happily occupied.
6. Popcorn and Movie Night, Here We Come
Movie nights at home can be extra fun because popcorn is a treat many pets can enjoy. Air-popped, unsalted , and without any butter, they can be given to birds, hamsters, and dogs. In fact, birds can be fed unpopped kernels as well. Just soften them in a little plain water.
Popcorn are not just empty calories, either. They contain potassium as well as phosphorous, magnesium, and calcium, all the minerals necessary for building strong bones. Jolly Time Popcorn Light Crispy and White (S$6.95) and Orville Popcorn Natural (S$5.80) make good starts.
7. An Apple a Day
An apple a day keeps the doctor away for people, dogs, hamsters, rabbits, and birds, too. Sliced apples have fibre and Vitamin A and C, and, as a bonus, is a natural breath freshener to get rid of that doggy breath.
8. It Ought to be Oatmeal
When your dog gets older and requires a softer diet, oatmeal is a good option. It is a great source of soluble fibre which can help regulate the bowels of your ageing pet. Quaker has a selection of oatmeal.
Hamsters also appreciate some oatmeal whether dry or soaked in skimmed or low fat milk.
These foods can add a whole lot of healthy variety to your pet’s diet but as with all things that come from your table, make sure they do not form the bulk of your pet’s meals. Then, you can go ahead and have a cosy meal for two with your favourite animal.
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