You sit down to a meal and are about to dig in when you hear a heavy sigh or a slight whimper. Or maybe it’s a little nudge in the elbow. Sometimes it’s just a look. We’ve all been there, ready to eat when suddenly someone is feeling left out. It’s so tempting to share our food with our canine friends but are you sharing food that is good for your dog? There are lots of “people foods” that are safe for you to share with your dog the next time he starts giving you that face.
Meat You Can Share With Your Dog
Many people assume that just because it’s meat, it’s safe. There are certain meats that are better if you want to share with your pup. Avoid fatty cuts, gristle, or processed meats like sausage and salami. You should never serve your dog meat that has been overly seasoned, as most seasoning is not safe for their delicate tummies. You should also never serve your dog anything you wouldn’t eat; if it’s too raw or undercooked, or even spoiled, toss it out.
If you’re looking to give your dog some extra protein, try a scrambled egg. Scrambled eggs (with no butter, or salt) are great protein-filled snacks for pooches. They’re particularly kind to dogs who are prone to upset stomach.
Doggies Love Veggies
There are many different vegetables that dogs can enjoy. The simplest tasty vegetable snack is carrots. Carrots are high in fiber and vitamins. Frozen baby carrots also make great teething treats for puppies. Speaking of frozen veggies, many dogs also enjoy frozen green beans. Fresh green beans are high in iron and vitamins. Canned green beans are also okay as long as they have no added salt. And don’t forget sweet potatoes! Sweet potatoes are a totally underrated puppy snack. Sweet potatoes are delicious and full of fiber, vitamin b6, vitamin c, and beta-carotene.
Dogs Can Eat Fruits Too!
Most fruits are safe to share with your dog. Dogs love to snack on blueberries, watermelon, orange slices with no rind or seeds, and melons such as honeydew and cantaloupe. Bananas also make great doggy treats. Apple slices (make sure you take out the seeds and core) are tasty, and they help clean your dog’s teeth. Both bananas and apples also make great treats combined with some unsalted peanut butter. Your dog will say thanks! Dogs also love pumpkin! Raw or canned pumpkin (not pie filling with all that extra sugar and spice) is a good source of fiber and vitamin A, and can even aid digestion.
Can Dogs Have Carbs?
Absolutely. There are some carbs that are healthy to share. Plain pasta without any sauce, brown rice, and bite size pieces of bread or pretzel are A-O-K, as long as they do not have extra salt. You should not give your dog an excess of bread, as too much isn’t good for them.
Dogs also seem to have a ‘thing’ for brewer’s yeast. Try sprinkling it on their food for a little extra oomph in taste. Oatmeal is also on the “yes” list for dogs, as long as it’s cooked and served completely plain. Oatmeal can be a good source of fiber for an older dog.
Planning a movie night? Pop some popcorn for your pooch. Plain (unsalted, no butter) popcorn has minerals suchas magnesium and calcium that helps build strong bones. Remember to pick out any unpopped kernels, as they are a potential choking hazard.
Dogs and Dairy
Not all dogs handle dairy well. It can cause gas and other stomach upset. But if your dog does digest dairy well, a little cheese can be a tasty reward he will thank you for! Cheese is another snack that dogs should only have in moderation. Low-fat cheeses such as cottage cheese can be an extra source of both protein and calcium. Yogurt (without any artificial sweeteners) is also just fine to share.
When you’re giving your dog “human food”, remember that these food items should not make up more than 5-10% of your dog’s diet. Dogs also should never have excessive amounts of salt. They are even more prone to dehydration, and they do not need it. If the food tastes bland to you, it’s about right for the dog. Also be mindful of any sweeteners in your food. Dogs should not eat any artificial sweeteners. As with any new food you give your dog, you should always monitor them to make sure they are handling it well. Always have plenty of fresh water available, discontinue feeding if he has stomach problems, and consult your vet.