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Just look at that face.
You’re going to tell us you’re not going to hand over the bacon to that cute little mug? As dog parents ourselves, we know how difficult it is to not feed them people food. You want to share everything with them; but not so fast. Not only can it lead to some epic begging behavior; it can also lead to some serious health issues. From straight up discomfort to nausea, vomiting and sometimes even more serious implications can occur. Dogs can have a number of different human-style foods in moderation. Let’s take a look at a few of the “dos” and “don’ts”.
Let’s talk about protein first.
Dogs obviously dig on meat. Salmon, tuna, fish and shrimp are all great sources of protein. They provide omega-3 fatty acids which promote heart and eye health. The protein, good fats and amino acids boost joint and brain health and help out with their immune systems. Make sure to cook it thoroughly, refrain from adding salt and other spices and be absolutely certain to remove all those tiny fishy bones. We don’t want anyone choking.
If a piece of ham “accidentally falls” from the table at dinner time (yes, we know this trick), no big deal; but due to the salt and fat, don’t let it fall from the table too often. Say you find yourself with an extra few bites of pork tenderloin you just can’t finish. That’s perfectly fine to share with your dog. Pork is a good source of amino acids and is highly digestible. So, “yes” on pork. Turkey is another good meat for dogs. Like other meats, ensure it is fully cooked – without garlic and spices, all the bones are removed and trim the fat and skin from the meat before giving it to your pup to “gobble.”
Another good source of protein you can share with your dog is fully-cooked eggs.
Small amounts of low-fat cheese such as mozzarella and cottage cheese are OK as well – as long as your dog is not lactose intolerant. If that’s the case, then cut the cheese. Hahahahaha!
Speaking of dairy, plain yogurt is a fine snack for your dog, providing he can digest it OK. It aids in digestion with the probiotics that come in every snack pack.
Movin’ on. Peanut butter is another good dog snack. Here’s the caution: be sure it does NOT contain the sugar substitute, xylitol. It can be toxic for dogs. The best bet is the raw, unsalted version and the benefit is receiving healthy fats and vitamins B and E. We find this is a great way to hide a pill, too! While we’re on nuts:
Peanuts and cashews: Yes.
Almonds and macadamia nuts: No.
Coconut: Yes. In fact, this little miracle fruit can help with boosting the immune system, clearing up hot spots in the skin, itchy skin and even freshening up that doggy breath. This all goes for coconut milk and coconut oil, too. Lots of bennies here.
How about those carbs? Small amounts of plain bread are fine. Wheat, corn and other grains are OK for dogs to eat as they provide a good source of protein, fiber and essential fatty acids. Watch out for grain allergies, though, as some dogs react poorly to grain. Quinoa falls into this category as well. If you are still asking yourself, “what’s a quinoa?” you’re not alone. We just know it’s a good, healthy alternative to corn, wheat and soy if your dog has an allergy. Bonus content: It’s pronounced “keen-wah.” We really can’t vouch for the spelling.
Honey is another little goodie like the coconut. When dogs eat honey, they get the benefit of an alphabet of vitamins like A, B, C, D, E and K. Small amounts of honey in your dog’s diet can help with allergies as it introduces small amounts of pollen, building up their immunity. Plus, if they have a superficial cut or burn, honey can be used as a topical treatment.
Eating a balanced diet always includes fruits and veggies, right? Here are some goodies in which your dog can partake safely: sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, bananas, blueberries and pumpkin.
Now the tricky part: popcorn. That face is right in front of you. Watching. Every. Single. Kernel find its way to your pie hole. What’s a dog mom or dad to do? Popcorn can be OK for dogs. The best is unsalted, unbuttered, plain, air-popped corn. Watch out for unpopped kernels and sometimes those pesky husks can get stuck in their throats, just like ours.
Now the “No Way”, “Uh-Uh”, “Not Even” foods:
That’s the tip of the iceberg lettuce. There are plenty more “dos” and “don’ts” you can explore on the google machine or ask your vet. We also have some pretty rockin’ home-made dog food recipes on our Pinterest page. Check them out. Until next time, happy tails!