House animals always seem to want to have a bite of whatever you're eating. There are obvious things, such as hot peppers, that might not be appropriate for them. But, what about spices or herbs that are used in homemade bread or other foods that might be inappropriate for a cat or dog?
Of course they want a bite of what you're eating, because you're eating it. Dogs and cats should not be fed humans foods, even if they look up at you with those longing irresistable eyes. People don't (usually) eat their pet's food, so why should pets eat their people's food?
Pet foods are nutritionally balanced for pets. Pets will get overweight if constantly fed treats including table food.
There are many spices and flavourings that we eat that are toxic to cats and dogs. For instance:
- Chives, garlic or onion powder (or anything derived from the Allium family)
- Salt in large quantities
- Cocoa powder (or any chocolate product)
Sugars are generally as bad for pets as they are for us. They don't need the large amounts of carbohydrates (such as that contained in bread). Many commercial food products contain the artificial sweetener, xylitol, which is very toxic to dogs. Everyone knows about chocolate, raisins, certain nuts being very toxic for dogs.
Pet Poison Helpline has a list of many known toxins in cats and dogs. Be aware that there are not extensive studies of many of these toxins, because there is little funding available for such research.
It is true that small amounts of these compounds are not likely to cause more than an upset stomach, but why take the risk? Resist the puppy eyes and feed an appropriate food to your pet.