Is It OK to Feed Our Pets Cantaloupe?

Cantaloupe
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Q. Both our dog and cat like to eat cantaloupe. Is it safe?

A. Although there are notable exceptions (such as raisins, onions and some nuts, among others), most foods that are unprocessed or minimally processed and are considered healthy for people to eat are also fine for pets. In fact, I recommend treats such as carrot sticks and apple slices for dogs, especially those who need to lose weight.

While most dogs will take any handout they’re offered, from pizza crusts and chocolate chip cookies (not recommended) to many raw fruits and vegetables and cooked bits of lean meat (just fine), many cats turn up their noses at anything but their regular fare. There are a couple of reasons for this, including the tendency of cats to “imprint” on a particular food format, shape, texture or brand as well as the fact that cats lack a “sweet tooth.”

You are not the first person to tell me of a cat who loves melon slices, though, so there must be something feline-approved to that fruit — perhaps the texture? Who knows?

All things in moderation, of course. While cantaloupe is just fine as a treat, don’t let either animal eat so much of it that it takes the space of foods with more species-specific nutrition, or that it contributes to excess weight.

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