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Top 3 table scraps to avoid feeding your pet

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

table scraps pet

1. Meaty scraps

At the top of the list of table scraps pets receive are meaty trimmings, for many these would seem appropriate food for their cat or dog, after all its tasty meat scraps. Unfortunately the trimmings are very high in fat and low in protein, both of which are cooked which further adds to the issues. Cooking destroys the beneficial enzymes and other nutrients as well as denaturing protein; the denatured molecules may trigger an adverse response from the immune system and even be carcinogenic with various ailments as a result including renal failure[1]. In the case of fats, cooking can produce carcinogens such as acrolein, nitrosamines, hydrocarbons and benzopyrine[2].

2. Vege scraps

Leftover chips or other starchy vegetable scraps are a likely treat, more so for your dogs that’ll eat anything than for your fussy cats but issues can arise with even small amounts for cats. The feeding of high starch carbohydrates can easily unbalance the diet and lead to obesity related health issues such as diabetes or pancreatic insufficiency due to the high starch component[3]. With the addition of salt and other seasonings both during the cooking process and on the table additional strain is placed on the pets kidneys, heart and other organs to flush out these 'toxins' or excesses.

3. Gravy

Perhaps the biggest concern on the table is the gravy or other sauces or toppings. The basis of any gravy or other topping is generally thickening, a flour, essentially a starchy carbohydrate adding to the burden the vegetable scraps place on the body. Then there's salt, the excess which can't be flushed from the body results in increased blood pressure and hypertension with kidney disease as a result [3]. Then of greatest risk are the added flavorings such as onion which contain a compound which damages hemoglobin and causes anemia, in large enough amounts can lead to organ failure and death [4].


[1] Syme, B. 2011. Scientific Guide to Natural Nutrition. Southbank, Australia: Vets All Natural Pty Ltd.

[2] Sure4PetsLtd. 2019. Raw vs Commercial Diet. Retrieved May 10th, 2020, from Sure 4 Pets Ltd:

[3] Billinghurst, I. 1993. Give Your Dog a Bone. Bathurst, New South Wales: Warrigal Publishing.

[4] Ultimo, C. 2016). Are Onions and Garlic Bad For Your Dog? Retrieved October 22nd, 2020, from PetMD web site:

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