‘People food’ isn’t just for people! Dogs also enjoy the variety that comes from foods off of your plate. But if you’re worried you might accidentally poison your pooch, read on to learn about some healthy ‘people foods’ that can be safely given to your dog for added variety and nutrition.
With so many pet food options out there, it’s easy to think that your pet can maintain a healthy diet with just his daily kibble. While this may be true, who doesn’t want to provide his dog with healthy, delicious treats or provide a bit more variety to its diet?
Unfortunately, those treats can also be quite expensive, and the idea of varying an already established diet can be a bit unnerving. But take heart! There are many people foods out there that are indeed safe and healthy to feed your dog. Just be sure to follow some basic guidelines and avoid toxic foods, and you’ll be surprised how much fun you can have finding creative ways to incorporate people foods into your dog’s diet!
Safe People Foods For Dogs
When feeding the following foods to your dog, always make sure that they are in easily digestible portions. This may mean processing the food before feeding or something as simple as making sure that the food is cut into bite-sized pieces. Also, make sure the food is prepared properly.
Apples cut up in slices are good for dogs, but make sure not to mix in any seeds, which contain small amounts of cyanide. Leave the skins on as they are loaded with phytonutrients.
Green Beans, cooked fresh or served frozen, give your dog an extra boost of fiber, Vitamins C and K, and manganese.
Bread can be an occasional good snack, but steer clear of white bread or varieties that are loaded with sugar.
Brewer’s Yeast is an excellent source of B-Vitamins and can help boost your pet’s appetite when sprinkled on top of its food.
Carrots are a great, crunchy snack. Keep in mind, however, that carrots have too much sugar for dogs with cancer.
Cheese slices and string cheese are great treats, just take care not to feed your dog too much dairy. It may be worthwhile to consider dairy alternatives, like goat cheese.
Cottage cheese, fed in small amounts, can provide your dog with extra protein and calcium.
Eggs served cooked; all of it can be a good sources of digestible protein for your dog as well as providing selenium and riboflavin.
Ground flaxseed or flax seed oil makes a great food-topper. Both are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which help maintain a healthy coat and skin, and they are also good sources of fiber.
Lean meat like boneless, skinless chicken breast will give your dog added amino acids and B Vitamins. Turkey should be fed less often, and always avoid giving your dog dark meat.
Marrow bones are an excellent snack for your dog. Regular bones can cause obstruction or even tear the lining of the digestive tract, but marrow bones can be safely given to your pet. Make sure that they are at least two inches in length so that they will not split.
Oatmeal is good for dogs too! Always serve it cooked- and don’t pile on sugar or other sweeteners when serving.
Frozen pineapple is a great treat for some dogs. Just keep in mind that while this fruit contains calcium and potassium, it’s also pretty high in sugar, so feed in moderation.
Parsley isn’t technically a dog ‘treat,’ but it’s a great breath freshener and also contains calcium, potassium, and beta carotene.
Peanut butter is a high-protein snack that dogs love.
Green Peas can be given to your dog either frozen or thawed and serve as a great source of thiamin, phosphorous, and potassium.
Popcorn can be a healthy snack for dogs as well as humans. It provides your pet with potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, and calcium. Just follow the general rules for a healthy snack- air pop and don’t saturate it with butter and salt!
Rice is especially good for dogs suffering from an upset stomach. Brown rice is higher in protein and lowers in fat, while white rice will give your dog a good energy boost.
Salmon is a great source of Omega-3s, whether from the meat itself or from salmon oil. As with all meats, make sure that the fish is well-cooked before giving it to your dog.
Sweet potatoes or yams can be cut into small pieces and cooked or mashed. Frozen slices are also good summertime treats. In the same general family are pumpkin and squash. All of these vegetables are great sources of fiber and beta carotene. Another great preparation method is dehydrating seeded slices. Voila! You now have healthy vegetable chews for your dog!
Yogurt is an excellent source of both calcium and protein. Look for yogurt that contains live bacteria and is free from added sugars or sweeteners.
So go ahead. Don’t be afraid to try adding a little variety to your dog’s diet by topping his food with one of these items at mealtime, or surprise him with a new treat! The result will be one happy dog.
You may also be interested in Can You Feed Your Dog Eggs? Find Out What’s Safe.