Natural ‘Human Food’ that Dogs Can Eat – And is Good for Them Too!
Dogs can eat, and will eat, anything that is given to them. It is hard to resist giving those big brown eyes a piece of your pizza when at the dinner table. Try as hard as we can, but sometimes our dog’s begging prevails. Human food is often given to dogs as a reward and reinforcement of good behaviour. Many owners will even use human food as that “VERY good dog” treat. The problem is, that a lot of the foods we eat can have a negative effect on our dogs. Weight gain, stomach issues, or digestive problems can occur when they get the wrong foods or too much of them, and these can often lead to further health problems (ex. Joint pain). So, what are the safest human foods for dogs?
Here is a list of natural human foods that can benefit your dog, so when Fido is on his best behaviour, you can feel good about treating him!
Coconut oil has beneficial effects for both humans and dogs. It is a great snack that can make your dog’s coat shiny, improve her digestion, prevent infection, improve oral health, and may even reduce the risk of cancer! The list of positive health effects for your pet is long when it comes to coconut oil. This “super food” is perfect to use inside of a Kong (instead of peanut butter). It is suggested that dogs can tolerate about 1 tsp of coconut oil per 10 lbs. of body weight. In addition to feeding your dog coconut oil, you can also rub it on their coat to prevent fleas and ticks.
Chicken is a food often used when training. The smell and taste drives dogs crazy and they will do almost anything for a nibble. Cooked or boiled chicken is very good for your dog, and is a great way to add protein as well as other nutrients into his diet. Be sure to never feed your dog chicken with bones though. Dogs can ingest the chicken bones which is extremely dangerous as the bones can splinter (possibly piercing or causing harm to intestines and other organs). Also ensure that that the cooked chicken is not seasoned. Plain, boiled chicken is suggested by vets (along with boiled plain rice) for when your fur-baby won’t eat anything else, or is feeling sick (after their tummy has had a bit of a break). Chicken is a great human food for dogs to encourage good behaviour when training!
Low or Reduced Fat Cheese
Like us, dogs love cheese! Although the cheese you normally purchase may not be the best treat to give your dog, alternative cheeses are an option for them. Many types of cheese are high in fat and are harder to digest for some dogs. Selecting cheese that is low or reduced fat (ex. Mozzarella and cottage cheese) is better for your dog’s digestive system. These types of cheese can provide protein, calcium, Vitamin A, fatty acids, and B-complex vitamins to your dog’s diet. However, just because dogs can eat lowered fat cheese, you still need to be careful with the amounts you give them. Too much can bother their stomachs and cause rapid weight gain (which can lead to a multitude of problems including joint pain). It is always a good idea to monitor your dog when you give them something new in his diet. If your dog shows any strange side effects be sure to contact your vet as some dogs may not tolerate cheese as well as others.
Looking for a safe vegetable to grow in your garden this summer? Something that is good for you and something dogs can eat too? Plant carrots! Carrots have lots of Vitamin A that works to promote eye health in our dogs (as well as our own eyes). This delicious treat is a great thing for pups to munch on, keeping their teeth busy and their palate sated. Carrots also contain fibre that works to keep your dog regular and are a common ingredient in many natural dog treats. So, if you want to start making your own treats, be sure to add some carrots to the recipe!
Of course, apples would seem like a safe and healthy choice for our dog as they are filled with vitamins and nutrients (“an apple a day keeps the doctor away”). But did you know that apples will also improve your dog’s teeth? Chewing on an apple slice cleans residue found on your dog’s teeth. With that and the added fibre, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C, there is no doubt that apples are a delicious treat that can benefit your pet! When feeding your dog apples, be sure to cut them up into slices and remove those seeds. Dogs can eat these seeds and choke, so be sure their snack is safe! An apple a day (but not actually every day) keeps the vet away!
Looking for a different way to introduce more protein into your dog’s diet? Add eggs! Dogs can safely eat eggs and they are an easy source of protein that can also aid to calm an upset stomach. Be sure that when giving your dog eggs that they are fully cooked. If a dog eats raw egg it can give them biotin deficiency, which can result in skin problems and excessive shedding. Dogs love the taste and texture of this human food and you can feel confident that it benefits your dog!