It’s happened to all of us. One minute you’re minding your own business, enjoying a nice tasty meal and the next they appear from below- the big, pleading eyes of your four-legged fur-baby.
Immediately they communicate that it doesn’t matter so much what exactly you’re eating, just that they need a bite of it... and they need it now. What’s a good dog-mom to do?
On the one hand, you know that sneaking your favorite little low-rider table scraps can encourage bad habits down the line. Not to mention that some human food can range from bad to poisonous for dogs. On the other hand….those eyes though. So what’s a pet owner to do and is there such a thing as a healthy compromise?
As it turns out, there is indeed! Though you should always consult your vet before drastically changing your dog’s diet, there are some human foods that it’s okay to feed your canine companion.
Whether you’re considering making your own dog food or merely know that the likelihood is strong that you'll succumb to slip your dog a treat every now and then, here are some suggestions of foods to leans towards.
In general, if you're going to use the following suggestions as treats or supplements to your dog's meals, you should keep them at no more than 5-10% of their overall diet.
1. Lean Meat
To the joy of hungry pooches everywhere, rest assured that meat is indeed at the top of the list due to the fact that it’s where dogs get a great deal of their protein and consequent energy. Lean meats such as chicken, pork, and turkey are especially good for your canine companion, just make sure that everything is always thoroughly cooked and never served raw. A few more guidelines to follow when it comes to meat are:
Make sure you remove excess fat and skin from any meat before serving it to your dog and avoid fatty choices such as bacon and ground meat.
Beware of seasoned meats, as some spices or seasonings such as garlic can be toxic to dogs.
Make sure to check for bones. While raw chicken bones are okay for dogs, cooked ones can splinter and cause digestive problems.
Never give you dog old or spoiled meats.
Cut up meat into easy-to-chew bites before serving it to your pooch, least their enthusiasm get the best of them and cause chocking to ensue!
2. Carrots and Peas and Vegetables, Oh My!
You know that look of bliss that seems to cross your dog’s face when she bites down on a nice, crunchy bone? Believe it or not, you may be able to give her the same sensation with certain vegetables. Veggies like carrots are not only great for your little guy or gal due to all the vitamins they contain, but also because they are great for their teeth! Due to their crunchiness, such vegetables can help scrap off plaque if your pooch is a little on the skeptical side when it comes to regular teeth brushing.
Another vegetable that it may surprise you to learn dogs love is none other than…peas! By simply adding a few spoonfuls to your dog’s bowl, you can give her a great shot of potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin B. Other raw vegetables to try include cucumbers, zucchini, bell peppers, and celery. Don’t be afraid to give your dog a taste of your steamed vegetables either, such as green beans, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, or winter squash.
3. Salmon and Tuna
Next time you break out the fish, you may be surprised that it’s not just your kitty companions who are interested in sampling a bite. Not only do many dogs enjoy the taste of fish, it also has great health benefits for them when given in limited servings no more than twice a week.
Fish like salmon and sardines are packed with vitamins and protein and tuna is a great source of omega-3 fatty acid. Such nutrients can help promote a shiny coat, as well as heart and eye health. Just make sure to serve fish thoroughly cooked and, with the exception of sardines, to make sure to pick out any tiny bones.
If your dog doesn’t seem into the taste of fish, you can also give them the same benefits by adding fish oil to their food.
When it comes to vitamins A, B, and K, liver is where it’s at. It actually contains more essential nutrients your dog needs than muscle meat and is a great source of iron. Just be sure not to go overboard with your servings, as too much Vitamin A can be a bad thing.
Keep serving sizes at no more than an ounce for medium or larger pooches and half an ounce for little guys.
If your dog has been having digestion issues, try giving them some oatmeal mixed with lean meat and/or broth. Oatmeal is actually found in many dog foods because of the fact that it contains lots of great vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It’s also easy on the stomach and digests very smoothly. Last but not least, it’s a whole rather than refined grain and is great for dogs with wheat allergies.
6. Apples, Coconuts, and Other Fruits
If your dog has a sweet tooth like this MyOodle puppy, you’ll be happy to hear that with the exception of grapes and raisins, most fruits are perfectly okay to feed your pup. Try slices of apples, bananas, watermelon, blueberries, or even oranges.
Another food that’s incredible for your dog is coconut! The super fruit is high in Lauric, which is awesome for the immune system and can even help clear up everything from skin conditions and allergies to bad breath. Additionally it’s packed with protein and monoglyceride monolaurin, which has antibacterial and antiviral properties. If your dog doesn’t seem to love the taste of the fruit, try serving it in the form of coconut milk, oil, or even flakes, which can be added to their meals.
7. Peanut Butter
As you may already know if you’ve ever had to hide your dog’s pills in her food, peanut butter can be a Godsend when it comes to medication time! It’s also a great treat to put in your dog’s Kong toy, as it contains plenty of protein, heart-healthy fats, vitamins B and E and niacin. Just make sure the peanut butter you give your pooch doesn’t contain xylitol, a sugar substitute that can be harmful to dogs.
If you’ve ever wished you could sweeten the breath that comes along with your dog’s sweet smile, then parsley may be the answer for you. Just chop up a few table spoons and sneak it into your dog’s food. Not only will it freshen his breath, it also contains potassium and calcium.
9. Yogurt Or Cottage Cheese
Such dairy products are a good idea for your dog for the same reasons that you may already be a fan of them yourself. The calcium they contain promotes strong bones and teeth and yogurt has the added benefit of probiotics which help promote digestive health.
Just make sure to look for low fat varieties of both yogurt and cheeses and take it easy on the first few serving sizes to make sure they aren’t lactose intolerant!
Not only is honey packed with vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K, potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, and antioxidants, it can even safeguard your dog to allergies. By giving your dog two tablespoons of local honey a day, you can help build their immunity to area allergies by introducing a small amount of pollen into their system.
SHARE this list with your friends!