Pet-Friendly Summer Treats
Scrumptious seasonal foods fresh from the garden.
It seems we're always hearing about human foods that are dangerous for our pets, and for good reason -- there's nothing more heartbreaking than seeing a family pet suffer due to someone offering a well-intentioned but toxic treat. But you know, not all people food is bad for pets. In fact, there are plenty of tasty treats you could grow in your own garden!
To get the dirt on which garden goodies are good for your furry friends, Zootoo talked to Dr. Susan Wynn, veterinary nutritionist and, as luck would have it, avid gardener. She was enthusiastic about the subject, saying, "Obesity is the most common nutritional problem seen in dogs and cats; I believe the problem is in part due to the idea people have that a 'treat' must come in a bag or a box and be labeled as a 'treat.' If your dog likes it, it's a treat! So vegetables like green beans, carrots, bell peppers, summer squash, broccoli and cucumbers [are good options]."
Not a veggie lover? That's okay -- lots of fruits are excellent choices, so, if you're lucky enough to have fruit trees, Wynn suggests, "apples, plums, and peaches. Blueberries are excellent -- they are the perfect size treat, even for big dogs."
Now, kitties can be a bit trickier, as any of us in the employ of a feline can attest. If she turns up her nose at fancy wet cat food and unfamiliar meaty treats, can we really expect Precious to purr about something from our garden?
Absolutely, says Wynn, citing cats' notorious inclination toward catnip, and noting that many also love lemongrass. She recalls knowing cats who've enjoyed melon and broccoli, and says, "My own cat loves mushrooms, and you can buy logs on which to grow your own edible mushrooms if you're a fan as well," but cautions that no one should ever harvest wild mushrooms without being personally trained by a mushroom expert.
Now that you're caught up on what you can feed your pet, you might want to brush up on your knowledge of people foods that are harmful to animals -- you can read the ASPCA Poison Control Center's list here.
Does your pet enjoy any of the foods listed above? Which pet-safe human food is your four-legged friend's favorite? Tell us below!
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