Top tips for dinner Petiquette.
Dogs and cats are complex creatures. As well as feeding their stomachs, you also need to feed their minds to keep them stimulated and happy. Alice Potter, Companion Animal Behaviour Expert at the RSPCA, has a quick-fire foodie guide to keeping your pet happy with the odd pet treat plus a list of things you should never give dogs or cats to eat.
Play with your food
There are lots of ways to encourage your pets to play using the lure of lovely pet snacks, including...
Hide and seek
Pop small amounts of recommended pet food or treats in different places so your dog or cat has to 'hunt' for them. This makes them use their mind as well as their body and keeps them occupied for longer.
Puzzle it out
Cats and dogs will enjoy the challenge of getting food out of a 'parcel'. For dogs, pop some kibble into a kitchen roll tube with the ends turned over; for cats, hide treats inside a piece of scrunched-up paper.
5 things you should never feed your pet
There are lots of foods that really aren't good for them whatever time of year it is. Be especially vigilant over Christmas when guests may not know the foodie petiquette like you.
It contains a chemical called theobromine, which is toxic to cats and dogs. Dark chocolate has the highest amounts.
2 Grapes and raisins
These are poisonous and can cause sudden kidney failure, especially in dogs, so keep out of reach.
Steer clear from all members of the onion family, including garlic, as these can damage your pet's red blood cells.
This is an obvious one but both cats and dogs are far more sensitive to ethanol than us humans.
5 Cooked bones
Particularly poultry bones as these can splinter and are a choking hazard.
If you have any concerns about your pet, you should contact your vet immediately.
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