If you’ve ever owned a dog, you’ve likely seen the puppy dog eyes. It seems they are typically reserved for when you’re eating your supper, and Fido has his heart firmly set on enjoying a piece of your steak! While some owners allow their dogs to enjoy a little bit of people food now and again, others are dead set against it, believing that people food is harmful for their dog’s system. While care must be taken to not feed foods that are overly rich or toxic to dogs, a little bit of a human food as a treat really isn’t harmful.
Some Possible Problems
Some foods that are perfectly safe for human consumption are highly toxic to dogs, and they are often foods that you would be least likely to suspect such as grapes. Care must always be taken to consult your veterinarian before adding a human food into your dog’s treat regime to be sure the food is safe for him as well as to determine in what amounts it can be given.
Foods that are high in fat can cause pancreatitis in dogs. Pancreatitis can be acute or severe, but most typically does require a veterinary visit and overnight monitoring. While pancreatitis is rarely fatal, it can be serious, and thus, caution must be exercised when allowing your dog to have a treat that falls a little higher on the fat content spectrum.
Moderation is key when giving human food to a dog. It should never replace a dog’s regular balanced diet. Some families do like to home cook or feed raw. This is perfectly acceptable; however, in order for a diet to be healthful for dogs, it must be properly balanced with key vitamins and nutrients to help keep your dog healthy and strong. Balancers can be purchased from your veterinarian for this purpose.
Top Ten People Foods for Dogs
If you’re considering allowing your dog to enjoy a few human foods now and again, there are certainly some that are better for him than others. Here is a list of the top ten people foods to consider feeding your dog:
Yogurt is a powerhouse food for dogs. Many like to add it to their dog’s daily diet as a form of probiotic to promote intestinal health. Always choose an unsweetened yogurt, and if possible, one that contains active bacterial strains to obtain maximum health benefits. Yogurt is also a product that is rich in both protein and calcium.
Both salmon and salmon oil are extremely healthy for dogs. They are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids which enhance immunity and also improve coat and skin quality.
Dogs love sardines! The fishy smell might be what attracts them, but the taste keeps them coming back for more. Like salmon, sardines are high in Omega 3 fatty acids which encourages healthy skin and hair. But sardines are also a powerful help to dogs who struggle with allergies. Their natural oil helps to soothe dry and itchy skin. Many also say that sardines help reduce swelling from arthritis and improve and support cognitive function.
Just like many people, dogs can sometimes have a sweet tooth. And when the urge for sugar arrives, sweet potatoes are the perfect healthy snack to fit the bill. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber which improves digestion.
Many people like to hide medications in peanut butter to administer to their dogs because dogs just love it! Peanut butter is high in protein and contains good fats that will enrich your dog’s overall health. However, too much of a good thing can lead to a run in with pancreatitis, so care must be taken to limit peanut butter consumption to moderation.
Before giving your dog peanut butter, you must be diligent in reading labels. A peanut butter that contains xylitol, a substance which is highly toxic to dogs, must never be given to a dog. Even in very small amounts, xylitol is deadly and once ingested there is no remedy. Also, it is best to avoid peanut butters with excess sugars.
If you’re looking for a low calorie treat that dogs love, why not give Fido a few carrots to enjoy? Since carrots pack a satisfying crunch, they are a great way for your dog to enjoy a treat and keep his teeth clean as well. A treat that is low calorie and rich in fiber, carrots are also a great aid in proper digestion.
When it comes to berries, it’s a matter of personal preference; some dogs love them, and others don’t. But most berries contain antioxidants which help provide protection against various cancers incurred in the system through free radicals. Berries are also high in fiber content, making them a natural digestive aid. Some dogs prefer them frozen.
Though some dogs respond poorly to lactose-based products, many do love cheese. Cottage cheese is a fan favorite in many canine households, and it can easily be added to any dog’s diet to help boost calcium intake. But hard cheese will fit the bill just as well, and some dogs do prefer it. Since cheese is higher in fat content, it is better to limit it to an occasional treat.
Many dogs love rice, and it is perfectly acceptable to feed cooked rice to them. Rice will actually help to settle upset tummies. Flavor it with a little chicken broth and add some boiled chicken to nurse your dog back to better health if he is feeling a little under the weather.
Is it okay to give your dog people food? Absolutely! Just be careful to keep people food to moderation and to always choose foods that are safe for pet consumption. Fido will thank you for it!