Can my dog eat that? Apples, salmon, pumpkin, beans, yogurt… people foods that are safe for your dog to eat. As a responsible and informed dog lover, you probably know that too much “people food” can make your dog ill or overweight, but there are some human foods that can be safely added to your dog’s meals in moderation to give a nutritional boost to Queenie’s diet and add a bit of variety to her food bowl. Just remember: any additions to your dog’s meals shouldn’t comprise more than 25 percent of her weekly caloric requirement.
What dog’s nose doesn’t go on alert when there’s meat around? Chicken, turkey, lean ground beef and chuck steak or roast are animal-based proteins, which help dogs grow up strong. A few rules apply:
- Always cook meat well. Never serve it raw or undercooked.
- Avoid fatty cuts, including bacon.
- Cut meat — and any human food — into easy-to-chew chunks. Ground meat is fine, too.
- Old, moldy, or spoiled meats are not OK
Yogurt is a good source of available calcium and protein. When choosing yogurt, pick one that has lived active bacteria and no sugars or artificial sweeteners. The active bacteria may act as probiotics. If your pooch is pudgy, make sure that you pick fat-free yogurt but not one that contains fat substitutes (e.g., Simplesse or Olestra). Frozen yogurt is a nice summer treat for dogs.
Vegetables give your pup vitamins, fiber, and some canine crunch. Try these raw veggies grated or finely chopped: carrot, cucumber, zucchini, lettuce, bell peppers, corn (cut off the cob), and celery. Or steam these favorites: green beans, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, and hard winter squash. Skip avocado, which can upset her digestion. Don’t give any vegetable or other human food that seems to cause stomach trouble.
Salmon is a fatty fish which is also a good source of omega- 3 fatty acids. These fats support the immune system and can be beneficial for skin and coat health. There has also been some indication that they may benefit dogs with allergies. You can feed salmon or salmon oil. If feeding salmon, make sure it’s cooked before serving, as raw salmon can carry a parasite that can make your dog sick.
Bread and Pretzels
Bite-sized bits of whole wheat bread is good for her gut health. But skip raw dough to avoid serious stomach problems. If your dog is in a New York state of mind, give her a street treat — some pieces of unsalted pretzel. The salted ones can make her extra thirsty, and too much can cause big problems.
Bite-sized bits of whole wheat bread are good for her gut health. But skip raw dough to avoid serious stomach problems. If your dog is in a New York state of mind, give her a street treat — some pieces of unsalted pretzel. The salted ones can make her extra thirsty, and too much can cause big problems.
Except for grapes and raisins, most fruits are OK for your pup. Try slices of fresh banana or apple (without the seeds), chunks of cantaloupe or watermelon, blueberries, or orange sections. Homemade sweet potato jerky can also satisfy a sweet tooth:
- Scrub and skin sweet potatoes and slice them into 1/2-inch strips.
- Put the strips on parchment-lined cookie sheets.
- Bake at 225 F for 3 to 4 hours — or longer for crunchier treats.
Brewer’s yeast is the yeast that’s left over from making alcohol. Dogs seem to really enjoy the tangy taste of brewer’s yeast. It’s full of B vitamins which are good for skin, coat, and carbohydrate metabolism. Make sure you’re using brewer’s yeast (available at health food stores), not baking yeast which will make your dog sick. Brewer’s yeast can spice up your dog’s appetite. Just sprinkle a little on the food of a picky eater and watch her dive into her food.
Apples are wonderful crunchy treats for your dog. Apples with the skin on are full of plant chemicals (phytonutrients) that are thought to be protective against some types of cancer in humans. They are a source of vitamins A and C and fiber. Apple seeds, however, contain cyanide so your dog should not be allowed to eat the core. Though the effects of a few apple seeds will likely not harm your dog, the deleterious effects can accumulate over time if allowed to eat apple seeds regularly.
The suggestions above are not meant to replace your dog’s normal, balanced diet. Rather, they are ideas for alternative treats or for adding a little variety to your dog’s meals.