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Healthy & Homemade: Ingredients that are Safe for Pet Recipes

Reading Time: 4 MIN

Best to Err on the Side of Unsafe

Choking Hazards

Any animal can choke on anything at any time. It doesn’t matter if the food is safe; anything can happen. It’s best practice to supervise your pet when giving any treats or chews. Another treat to always avoid giving is any type of human bone, such as chicken bones, as these are cooked at high temps that make the bones brittle. This can lead to the bones splintering and becoming lodged in your pet’s stomach.

If your pet is a “counter surfer”, make sure your pet does not inhale any packaging as these will cause blockages and a trip to the vet.

Digestive Upset

When feeding your pet anything new, watch out for vomiting and diarrhea. Pets and humans both have allergies and intolerances, so your pet can have a reaction to a new ingredient that can cause digestive upset. The best way to introduce a new ingredient without causing stomach issues for your pets is to feed a small amount over a longer period.


When feeding something new, specifically if it is labeled for pets, make sure to consider if it is toxic to your pet. Different species of animals can metabolize and tolerate different foods, medicines, and chemicals. For example, dogs and cats cannot metabolize caffeine, and in large doses it can be fatal.

Weight Gain

The feeding recommendation on your pet’s food does not include any extra treats. Excess feeding of any kind may lead to obesity, so be sure to factor in your pet’s treats to their daily caloric intake.

Cats Versus Dogs

In general, cats are lactose intolerant, so you want to make sure to avoid dairy items. Cats are known to struggle with certain seasonings, like garlic, mint, and oregano. Cats are more sensitive to chemicals and drugs because they have less liver enzymes than dogs. Also, cats have sensitivities to the following essential oils: wintergreen, cinnamon oil, pine oils, all of sweet birch, clove oil, eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, and tea tree oil.

Unsafe Foods

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There are a lot of household foods that should never be given to pets. If there are children in your home with dogs, this list should be reiterated to them to avoid them giving any of these foods to your pet.

  1. Grapes and Raisins – Can cause renal failure
  2. Onions & Chives – Allium found in onions and chives is toxic
  3. Macadamia Nuts – Toxic and can cause vomiting
  4. Chocolate & Tea – Dogs and cats cannot metabolize caffeine which can lead to cardiac arrest
  5. Chocolate – Caffeine and theobromine in chocolate can be lethal
  6. Fast Food – Can cause digestive upset because of the grease
  7. Cherries – Cherry plants are toxic to dogs because they contain cyanide
  8. Avocado – All parts of an avocado contain persin, a toxin. The flesh contains slightly less, but is still considered unsafe. Persin in known to cause diarrhea and vomiting.
  9. Alcohol – Beer contains hops. Hops can be fatal to pets and has been linked to hyperthermia. Various forms of alcohol contain ethanol. Ethanol has been found to lead to severe respiratory depression.
  10. Processed Meats – Processed meats like hot dogs and sausages tend to have hidden ingredients. Hot dogs can be known to contain garlic, onion, MSG and high levels of sodium. High levels of sodium can lead to dehydration and high blood pressure.

Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners

Always watch out for xylitol/birch sugar (often found in peanut butter), chocolate, sprinkles, and yogurt chips. Xylitol/birch sugar is toxic to pets. Instead, stick to sweeteners like honey and maple syrup as these are fine in moderation.

Safe Foods

Natural dog food Hungry brown dog lying near its bowl full of meat food looking at camera, top view

There’s a long list of foods that are considered safe and healthy for your pets.

-Apples & Pears (no seeds)


-Blueberries, Strawberries, & Raspberries



-Cheese (in moderation)


-Eggs (fully cooked)

-Plain, unsweetened Greek Yoghurt

-Lettuce & Spinach





-Popcorn (unsalted & unbuttered)

-Tomatoes (fully ripe)

Tune in to the recording of this class to follow along with our hosts and make some delicious, fun, and safe homemade treats for your pets! Recipes for healthy & homemade treats for your pets, and everything you need to make them included below!

Enjoy cooking!


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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Jackie Griffin

    Thank you so much for all the information. It was great.

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