Money Matters Team

What to feed your pet to keep them happy

By Money Matters Team 19/11/2015

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.

1 Chocolate

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.

3 Onions

Steer clear from all members of the onion family, including garlic, as these can damage your pet's red blood cells.

4 Alcohol

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.

This Money Matters post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.