Most pets can eat table food in moderation, as long as the food is not dangerous to them. Owners should carefully research potential foods before feeding, as many common foods are toxic to common house pets.
One of the most common problems associated with feeding pets table scraps is weight gain, which can lead to other health conditions. Owners must carefully monitor a pet's weight and adjust their diets as needed. A diet of mostly table scraps can lead to nutritional imbalance, especially in cats. In addition, a too-rich diet can cause digestive upset and potentially serious conditions such as colitis.
Sweet foods, chocolate, grapes and raisins, onions and green tomatoes, and potatoes can be harmful to both dogs and cats. Avocado is also mildly toxic and causes digestive upset. Although people often give milk to cats, they are unable to digest it, and it can cause diarrhea. Fruits with pits, such as peaches, should not be given unless the pit is removed. Dogs should not eat most cooked bones, as they tend to splinter and can cause internal injuries.
Rodents often do well with a diet supplemented by certain table foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, and unsweetened breakfast cereal can be a good addition to their diets. Ferrets are an exception, because they need a meat-based diet that is low in carbohydrates. Ferrets should not eat most fruits, vegetables or grains.