If you’ve been developing the perfect menu for your beloved canine, you’re probably looking to check exactly what qualifies as safe human food for dogs. Don’t worry — we’ve put together an extensive list of the best homemade tasty treats. Additionally, we’ve put together a handy list to help pet owners avoid feeding anything other than pet food that could harm your doggy. Read on to learn about exactly what’s a dog treat and what’s a potential hazard.
Is Dog Food Appetizing for Your Pet?
The first thing a dog owner might be wondering is whether their dog actually enjoys the food they put in its bowl. Dogs often seem so keen for table scraps that it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that they’re not keen on their own meals — especially considering how unappealing it looks to us. Luckily, dog food is a source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates and fiber to satisfy your pet’s cravings and keep it healthy.
Dogs are natural food lovers, for the most part, so don’t worry that their enthusiasm for human food is a sign that they don’t like theirs. Some prefer canned food to kibble, but be mindful of your dog’s teeth if it’s on a wet food-only diet. Most vets recommend feeding a mixture of high-quality kibble and canned food so your pup gets the perfect combination of crunch, moisture and flavor.
Is It Safe to Add People Foods to Your Dog’s Diet?
It’s safe to add human food to your dog’s diet — however, if you intend to mostly give it store-bought food, it should make up no more than 10% of the overall diet. While you can feed your dog an entirely homemade diet, it’s expensive and time-consuming, so you need to be fully prepared.
Many human foods and foods intended for other pets contain ingredients that are toxic or poisonous to canines. Every species of animal breaks down nutrients in foods differently, so it’s crucial that you stick to foods your pet is capable of digesting.
Most people are content to include certain human foods as a healthy treat while mainly feeding their pet store-bought food. If you’re interested in feeding your dog a raw diet, check out the healthiest way to do it in this article from the American Kennel Club.
Which Human Food Is Safe for Dogs?
What your dog eats is one of the most important aspects of its health — and it’s almost entirely within your control. Along with making sure it gets plenty of exercise, feeding your dog a carefully planned diet with all the nutrients it needs helps fight off an array of diseases.
The right food boosts your dog’s digestive system, nervous system and immune system while staving off diseases such as obesity, anemia, kidney failure, blood sugar issues, pancreatitis and more. Bear in mind that you need to deploy portion control; even with healthy foods, large amounts can be harmful.
Lean meat is any animal product that doesn’t contain bones or lots of fat. Turkey and chicken have particularly fatty skin, so you should remove this before feeding it to your doggy. Dogs have very specific needs when it comes to healthy fats. Not only is meat a great source of protein, but it also satisfies your pet’s evolutionary desires.
Provided your pet isn’t lactose intolerant, cottage cheese can be an excellent way of treating your pooch and adding extra calcium into its diet. Low-calorie options are recommended so you avoid overfeeding. Blue cheese and other types of aged cheese aren’t easily digested and could cause an upset stomach.
Sweet potatoes are excellent low-calorie snacks that can satisfy your dog’s sweet tooth without added sugar.
Seedless watermelons are better human foods for dogs because fruit seeds contain arsenic in tiny amounts. While our bodies are able to process this without issue in most instances, your dog’s isn’t.
Canned green beans might contain additives and preservatives that could harm your pet, so always opt for fresh.
Unsalted Peanut Butter
Peanut butter that doesn’t contain xylitol or any other artificial sweeteners is perfectly safe for your dog. Peanuts are one of the few nuts that dogs are usually okay to eat — but they’re a choking hazard, so we’d only recommend feeding them in butter form.
While you should avoid raw egg due to the risk of salmonella and biotin deficiency, scrambled eggs can be a delicious, high-protein treat. You don’t need to add any extras like milk, salt or butter, as these could negatively impact the dog’s health.
Carrots are a great source of vitamin C, beta carotene, fiber and vitamin A — so they make a great human food snack or treat for your pup. You can feed your pet cooked or raw carrots; just make sure they’re the right size to avoid any choking hazards.
Vets usually recommend cooked white rice to dogs with upset tummies, but it can also be a nutritious addition to any meal. If your dog is struggling with sickness or diarrhea, boiled chicken and white rice is a perfect meal for providing essential nutrients.
Pups love apple slices; they taste delicious, can help keep your dog’s teeth clean and contain lots of fiber, vitamin C and vitamin A. Just like melon and stone fruit, you need to ensure the pips are removed.
Your dog can enjoy several other vegetables, including:
- Sweet corn removed from the cob
- Small portions of cucumber
- Celery without the leaves
Small amounts of fruit are perfect as a healthy treat for your dog because they’re high in antioxidants. The best ones to feed pups include:
- Banana flesh
- Pear slices
Never Include These Foods in Your Dog’s Diet
- Fruit seeds
- Baby food
- Human vitamins
- Celery leaves
- Corn on the cob
- Peaches, persimmons and plums
- Xylitol and other artificial sweeteners
- Tomato and rhubarb leaves
- Grapes or raisins
- Cat food
- Fat trimmings
- Citrus oil
- Old human foods
- Onions and chives
- Macadamia nuts
- Raw fish
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