We’ve always been told- “Don’t feed the dog from the table”. But, times are most certainly changing. With attention and concern for our dog’s health and nutrition on the rise, it’s safe to say that human food is making an appearance in our dogs bowls now more than ever.
But how do you know what foods are good for your canine companions? Not everything we eat is safe for them. Read on to discover the do’s and don’ts of feeding your pup human food.
Healthiest Human Food for Dogs
The Doggy Do's
Blueberries: Blueberries provide a lot of the same benefits for our dogs as they do for us humans! These little berries provide a high dose of antioxidants and fiber perfect for digestion and the immune system. Pro tip: try freezing them for a tasty and cool treat on a hot summer day!
Green Beans: Green beans are packed with vitamins and nutrients that are essential to a healthy eating plan for your dog. They contain vitamins A, C, and K as well as on and calcium. Dogs love green beans almost as much as humans do. Replacing higher calorie baked treats with green beans can also help your best buddy lose weight if paired with a consistent exercise schedule and otherwise healthy diet plan.
Pumpkin: Adding pumpkin to your dog’s diet is a simple and easy way to increase fiber and regulate digestion. Pumpkin naturally soothes the stomach and is also shown to support urinary health. Pumpkin is naturally low calorie so it’s a great way to “treat” your pup without the guilt. Because of its digestive benefits, pumpkin is also a good way to keep your senior dog healthy.
Apples: Just like many other fruits, apples can be a nice, healthy, and low calorie treat for your doggo. Be sure to remove the core and seeds before adding apples to their bowl as they can potentially harm your dog over time or be a potential choking hazard.
Bananas: A high potassium snack perfect for your pup! Bananas should be fed in moderation because of their high sugar content, but are generally a healthy alternative to fatty, pre-packaged treats. If your dog isn’t a fan, try freezing them! This changes the texture making them a more interesting snack.
Carrots: Low in calories and low in fat, carrots can be a wonderful veggie to incorporate into Fido’s diet. Packed with vitamin A and beta-carotene, there are great benefits of letting your dog snack on carrots. If you have a small dog, make sure to cut each carrot up to avoid choking. Frozen carrots are also great for teething puppies.
Lean Meats and Fish: Lean means and proteins are great for dogs. Things like beef, lamb, pork, chicken and salmon all provide dogs with added benefits like good fats and amino acids. Lean meats and fish are also a healthy way to add more calories to your pups diet. Just be sure to prepare these properly, avoid using oils or seasoning. Steaming or boiling in water in best.
Sweet Potato: Another low fat and high fiber way to support your dog's digestive system is with sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are shown to have a positive impact on your dogs health, including reducing the risk of certain types of cancer and adding a protective line of defense against heart disease.
Food Dogs Shouldn't Eat
The Doggy Don'ts
Chocolate: If you know anything about dogs, this is most likely the one food item that consistently is a no no. Chocolate can cause vomiting and diarrhea for your pup as well as seizure or even death. Staying away from all products with chocolate is the safest way to ensure your dog isn’t harmed by its effects.
Grapes: They may seem small, but grapes can cause serious issues. Grapes and raisins (their dried form) can cause an upset stomach and in serious cases, sudden kidney failure. Grapes can be highly toxic to dogs, so it’s best to contact your veterinarian if they accidentally ingest a large amount.
Onions & Garlic: Onions and garlic are both part of the Allium family which damage the hemoglobin in our dogs red blood cells. Onions and garlic may cause digestive or intestinal discomfort when ingested. Your pup can also develop anemia if these items are consumed over a long period of time. It’s worthwhile to be watchful of those stray chopped onions falling to the floor while you are cooking dinner- a quick pickup and toss into the trash is best for your canine companion.
Xylitol: This can be found in many sugar free baked or artificially sweetened products, including dog favorite, peanut butter. Xylitol can be extremely toxic to dogs causing seizures, weakness, and vomiting. The best way to prevent ingestion of Xylitol is by reading labels carefully to ensure it’s exclusion from the things you feed your pup. With reports of Xylitol poisoning on the rise, it’s important to be vigilant in avoiding this ingredient.
Caffeine: Humans may run on coffee, but our dogs certainly do not. Dogs (and cats too!) are much more sensitive to caffeine than we are. Caffeine can cause heart arrhythmias, tremors, and seizures in dogs as well as fever and weakness. Avoiding caffeine altogether is the best option for pups.
There are many human foods that have shown to provide lots of added benefits for your pup. Like any new addition to your own diet, make sure you monitor how your dog is responding to the changes of adding new foods. Introducing these new foods to their bowls slowly is the best way to reduce the risk of an upset stomach and other adverse reactions. These healthy items can make a big impact on your dog’s health, they just require a little extra effort! Now that you’ve learned the do’s and don’ts of incorporating human foods into your dogs diet- will you be pulling up a seat for them at the family dinner table anytime soon?
Do you want to find the best supplement plan for your pup? Take our quiz and find out how you can start incorporating more healthy vitamins and minerals into their diets today!