Food is all around us, and if you have a dog, you’ll know that they can become shadows when you're eating or preparing your tasty, tasty, human food!
Many of us give-in to their puppy eyes, and sneak a human food treat now and then, but did you know that there are healthy foods in your refrigerator and pantry you can share with your dog?
We’ve taken a look at some of the most popular human foods you can give your pup right now with what you have in your kitchen. Let’s begin!
Oranges- In moderation dogs can also enjoy this sweet fruit that's high in dietary fiber and vitamin C. Makes a great low calorie treat vs. some doggie biscuits. Helps dogs that cannot produce their own vitamin C. Get more sweet facts about how oranges are good for dogs.
Carrots- Great low calorie snacks suitable for training treats. Carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin K and potassium. Be sure to cut them into manageable pieces before serving to prevent choking. Learn more about whether dogs can eat carrots.
Coconuts- In moderation, coconuts offer vitamins, minerals and a great source of fiber. Not only does the coconut meat offer a great chew, coconut water is filled with vitamins and is lower in sugar. Don't try to feed your dog the husk, it's not good for their teeth or digestive system. Continue reading about- can dogs eat coconuts?
Spinach- Depending on your dog, there are benefits of adding a few leaves to your dog's meal. It's a controversial ingredient that some owners shy away from completely due to the amount of oxalic acid contained in the plant. They may not want to, but can dogs eat spinach?
Honey- If appropriate for your dog, a touch of honey can sweeten your pup's day. Honey adds vitamins C, B, E, D, K as well as antioxidants to your dog's diet- but portions are everything! Learn more about whether dogs can eat honey.
Apples- A sweet treat best served without it’s core or seeds. Best eaten fresh sliced, they add fiber to your dogs diet, potassium and vitamins A and C. Always avoid applesauce, juices and some dried treats as they may have added sugar and ingredients not suitable for your dog. Most dogs will gladly eat apples, but can dogs have apples?
Chickpeas- Sometimes used as a grain replacement in commercial dog food, chickpeas are packed with fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. Serve cooked and cooled without any seasonings and keep portions small to prevent gassiness. Looking at you Milos. Learn about whether dogs can eat chickpeas.
Rice- A human food staple the world over; great for settling upset stomachs when served with plain boiled chicken, as directed. Contains many essential vitamins and minerals. It can cause rises in blood sugar levels, so dogs with diabetes need to be fed rice with care. Get the full low-down- is rice good for dogs?
Remember to check with your veterinarian to confirm if any diet changes are suitable for your dog. Your pup may have an underlying condition that may make some of these common foods less healthy than others.
So we’ve covered what are some good human food options for your dog. Here are the top 9 common human foods dogs must avoid:
Artificial Sweeteners- (XYLITOL)- Many of the items in our pantry that are considered low-sugar or diet are often laced with an artificial sweetener named Xylitol. When dogs consume xylitol, it leads to a plummet in their blood sugar (hypoglycemia) which can lead to seizures, liver failure and even death in dogs. Some varieties of peanut butter contain Xylitol, so always check the label.
Avocado- A healthy ingredient for humans, but every part of this fruit contains a strain of fatty acid known as persin, which is extremely toxic to your dog in large amounts. Avocado may be great in most things, but it isn’t good for your dog.
Caffeine- A stimulant that is toxic to dogs. While you may enjoy a morning cup of coffee or tea, your dog should stick to fresh clean water. Be sure to keep your dog out of any garbage that contains coffee grounds or other sources of caffeine.
Chocolate- Methylxanthines are toxic substances found in chocolate that can stop a dog’s metabolism. Even just a little chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can cause diarrhea and vomiting. A large amount can lead to seizures, irregular heart function and even death.
Grapes and Raisins. Take a hard pass at grapes in any form as they can cause kidney failure in dogs. Not good!
Onions and Garlic- Beloved by humans, anything from the onion family (onion, garlic & chives) need to be avoided. These veggies can cause gastrointestinal upset and anemia in your dog by killing red blood cells. Even a little bit can be detrimental to their health, and symptoms may not be apparent for days.
Macadamia Nuts. We don't know what it is about these types of nuts that make them poisonous to dogs, but they are. Be sure to keep fido away from anything with macadamia nuts in them.
Milk and other Dairy Products. While dogs can have milk from their mothers, any other type of dairy could make them ill. There are sugars and fatty acids in milk that dogs aren't equipped to digest properly.
Salt- Too much salt can quickly lead to dehydration and even sodium ion poisoning. While a little bit of salt is okay, be aware of how much your dog consumes. It's best to make home cooked food or treats without any added sodium.
The biggest factor with serving human foods to dogs, is your own dog's compatibility with that food item. If your dog has pre-existing conditions, or if you are not sure whether a food will benefit your dog- consult with your veterinarian and be sure.
Otherwise, adding fresh, healthy foods to your dog's diet is a great way to keep you pup in top shape! Happy snack sharing!