10 Human Foods you Can Feed Dogs
Dogs can be fussy eaters and sometimes they want what the food you are eating, but this can have dangerous consequences. We covered foods not to feed your dog in our article “Foods to Never Feed your Dog – Top 10“. Having published this we decided to write something that balanced up the other side of the scale.
As a responsible and informed dog-lover, you probably know that too much “people food” can make your dog ill and/or overweight, but there are some human foods that can be safely added to your dog’s diet in moderation to provide variety and a nutritional boost to your dogs food bowl. Please remember: any additions to your dog’s meals shouldn’t exceed more than 25 percent of their weekly caloric requirement.
So here are 10 foods you can feed your dog in moderation.
Yogurt (live active bacteria with no sugars)
This is a good source of available calcium and protein. When choosing yogurt, pick one that has live active bacteria and no sugars or artificial sweeteners.
The active bacteria may act as probiotics. If your pooch is pudgy, make sure that you pick fat-free yogurt but not one that contains fat substitutes (e.g., Simplesse or Olestra). Frozen yogurt is a nice summer treat for dogs.
Flax seed (ground or oil) is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential fatty acids that are good for skin and coat. Whole flax seeds are best if ground right before feeding as this type of fat can go rancid quickly. Flax seed can also be added to your dog’s diet as a source of fibre. Flax oil is a more concentrated form of omega-3 fatty acids without the fibre. Make sure you store the oil or seeds in the fridge in an air tight container.
Salmon is a fatty fish which is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. These fats support the immune system and can be beneficial for skin and coat health. There has also been some indication that they may benefit dogs with allergies.
You can feed salmon or salmon oil. If feeding salmon, make sure it’s cooked before serving, as raw salmon can carry a parasite that can make your dog sick.
Pumpkin is a good source of fibre and beta carotene (a source of vitamin A). Dogs need fibre in their diet. The current trend is towards highly digestible diets that lower stool volume and this is not necessarily a good thing. Keeping the GI tract moving helps keep the cells lining the gut healthy. Tapeworms and other intestinal parasites become paralyzed by cucurbitin, an amino acid in pumpkin seeds that acts as a natural de-worming agent.
One of nature’s nearly perfect foods, sweet potatoes are so healthy they should be fed to your dog daily! Health benefits include 1) source of potent antioxidant to aid in healing, cancer prevention, and fighting the effects of aging; 2) Vitamins A, C and B6; 3) contains the mineralsmanganese, copper, and iron; and 4) source of dietary fiber to help with loose stools. May be fed whole after baking (microwave works great and saves time!)
Nutritious and low in calories, green beans are a good source of plant fibre, vitamin K, vitamin C, and manganese. Make sure to feed your dog only fresh beans or canned ones with no added salt. If your dog has a tendency to put on weight, then replacing some of her regular food with green beans is a great low calorie way to fill her up and help her maintain a healthy weight. Many dogs enjoy green beans frozen. Black beans, soybeans, and garbanzo beans are also good super foods for dogs.
Eggs are a great source of very digestible protein, riboflavin, and selenium. For some dogs that are prone to digestive upset, eggs can give them a little protein boost. Adding eggs to your dog’s food is a healthy treat. Make sure to use cooked whole egg, as raw egg whites can cause biotin deficiency. If you do a lot of training with your dog, consider taking cooked eggs to your next class as training treats. Hard-boiled eggs are preferable because ingredients such as butter are not needed to prevent eggs from sticking to the pan.
This is the yeast that’s left over from making alcohol. Dogs seem to really enjoy the tangy taste of brewer’s yeast. It’s full of B vitamins which are good for skin, coat, and carbohydrate metabolism. Make sure you’re using brewer’s yeast (available at health food stores), not baking yeast which will make your dog sick. Brewer’s yeast can spice up your dog’s appetite. Just sprinkle a little on the food of a picky eater and watch her dive into her food.
Apples are wonderful crunchy treats for your dog. Apples with the skin on are full of plant chemicals (phytonutrients) that are thought to be protective against some types of cancer in humans. They are a source of vitamins A and C and fibre. Apple seeds, however, contain cyanide so your dog should not be allowed to eat the core. Though the effects of a few apple seeds will likely not harm your dog, the effects can accumulate over time if allowed to eat apple seeds regularly.
Oatmeal is a good source of soluble fibre. This can be beneficial for some older dogs that may have trouble maintaining bowel regularity. Oatmeal is also an alternative source of grain for dogs that are allergic to wheat. It can be fed in conjunction with probiotics to enhance their function. Keep in mind oatmeal should always be fed cooked and plain with no sugar or flavouring.
In summary, always, check with your veterinarian before making any major changes to your dog’s diet, especially if they are on any medications. Upsetting the vitamin and mineral balances in your dog’s diet can have negative effects on your dog’s health and some medications interact badly with some nutrients. The aim of most dog owners is to give their dogs the best diet possible. Good nutrition coupled with a health care program may result in extending your dog’s life by as much as 15 percent. The suggestions above are not meant to replace your dog’s normal, balanced diet. Rather, they are ideas for alternative treats or for adding a little variety to your dog’s meals.
Here are 10 more human foods you can feed your dog…
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