Whether it’s the leftover crumbs from a big dinner or a piece of cheese as you’re cutting from a wedge in the kitchen, most dog owners can’t resist sharing with their pet dogs. Some human foods can be used as a reward, as part of training, to “beef up” your dog’s diet, or to encourage a sluggish appetite. If you have a furry friend running around your home, chances are, you’ve been tempted to give him or her a little something extra to nibble on. Sometimes, you just run out of kibble and the pet store is closed. What foods are safe for a dog to eat, and what foods are toxic?
What Foods are Safe for Dogs?
Chicken and Turkey
Cooked meats like chicken and turkey are a good way to give your pup some protein in a delicious and perhaps novel way. Dogs are natural carnivores and most will relish the taste of some fresh meat. Just be sure to keep portions limited. Start with a few tiny bites at a time. If your dog starts to gain excess weight, cut back on how much you’re feeding.
A better alternative to white rice, brown rice is a healthy whole grain for your dog. It’s easy to mix into kibble and will help firm up any diarrhea in your four-legged friend. This is a fall favorite for most humans, and most dogs are fans all year long. Pumpkin is packed with fiber and has been shown to aid with digestion. Scoop a few teaspoons onto your pup’s food when he or she is having gastrointestinal issues and it will likely soothe the stomach.
Similar to pumpkin, yogurt is supposed to help remedy any GI issues with its active bacteria having a probiotic effect. As with humans, it’s best to avoid artificially sweetened varieties.
Crisp, delicious veggies like baby carrots and green beans are not only high in fiber and low in calories, they’re great for getting grime off of canine teeth. Toss a few in your dog’s food bowl to eat with a meal of hard kibble, or use as training lures.
Not all dogs love fruit, but see if yours takes to some fresh apple slices for the fiber and vitamins A and C. Remove all seeds and the core, which can both be choking hazards.
PB is packed with filling proteins and heart-healthy fats. Because it’s spreadable, your dog can burn some time and energy licking it off of toys or from within hollow vessels. You can also freeze it to make it last longer. Just be sure to select an all-natural, raw, unsalted option.
A great source of calcium, cheese is considered a wonderful treat by most pooches. That being said, some dogs are lactose intolerant. Give yours a little at a time and monitor how he or she tolerates it.
If you feel like spoiling your dog with some gourmet fish, salmon is a good, healthy option. The omega-3 fatty acids promote a shiny coat and can boost the immune system.
What Foods are Dangerous to Dogs?
Most people are aware that chocolate is a “no no” for dogs. It contains caffeine and theobromine, which are both harmful to pets. The darker chocolate varieties are more dangerous, so keep an eye out during holidays when sweets are in abundance.
A dog will become intoxicated by alcohol much more quickly than a human due to greater sensitivity. No amount is safe, so be especially careful at parties and large gatherings when someone might forget a drink that’s within your pooch’s reach.
Some dogs can eat grapes and be just fine. For others, grapes can cause kidney failure, which can lead to death. It’s a good idea to stay away from raisins too, of course.
The expansion of the dough once ingested is what makes yeast and raw bread dough so dangerous for pups. Keep it far away from their level if you’re baking breads.
This fruit is a favorite of many humans, but not a great idea for dogs. It can have a toxic principle called persin, so it’s better to keep away from Fido. Plus, the pit poses a serious choking hazard.
These nuts probably won’t kill your dog, but they can cause tremors, fever, and rear-leg weakness.
It’s unlikely that you’ll toss some breath-destroying onions into your dog’s food bowl, but keep in mind that onions and garlic can damage red blood cells if you ever think to feed table scraps directly from your plate. Even with the “safe” foods you should always monitor your dog and make sure he or she doesn’t develop an allergy. Call your vet if you suspect something is wrong.
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