We all know dogs are a man's (woman's) best friend, but our canine companions are more than best friends and confidants. They are always there for us. They don't judge. They cuddle up when we need a hug. Who could ask for more? So, we want to include them in everything we do. And often, that sometimes includes sharing our food with them.
We all want to live long, healthy lives — humans and dogs too. And when we eat fresh, nutritious foods we feel better. So do our dogs. Just like you wouldn't eat a steady diet of fast food in order to stay healthy, your dog shouldn't eat junk food either.
But your dog has a different digestive system than you, so you can't feed your dog everything you eat, unfortunately. Some foods you love are not foods dogs can eat, while others are downright toxic to dogs. A good rule of thumb is when in doubt, just say no to your pup. You can do it! Although they may not like it, they won't like getting sick from a food they can't tolerate either.
The following are some of the foods dogs can eat that are also healthy for your dog. And, while it may be healthy for your dog to eat the following human foods, this doesn't mean overfeeding table scraps to your dog. Remember, your dog is smaller in size (probably) than you, and the amounts of even these healthy foods should be proportional to your dogs weight. You can use them as special treats for your fur baby, but they don't replace a well-balanced dog food.
Apples are one of the healthy human foods your dog can eat. Apples are a good source of vitamin C, fiber, calcium, and phosphorus, and your dog may like the sweet taste. In order to safely feed apples to your dog, you must remove the seeds, which are toxic to dogs. Remember, too much apple could give you fur baby a stomach ache, so feed them to your dog in moderation. Your dog can also eat cooked apples, and they can be used to make homemade dog treats.
Blueberries are high in antioxidants, magnesium, vitamin C, manganese, flavonoids and Vitamin K, and they don't contain anything that is potentially toxic to dogs. So, just like for humans, blueberries are actually healthy snacks for pups. There are a few exceptions, however, as some dogs may be allergic to blueberries, and they can be a risk for choking for dogs that eat too fast and don't chew their food.
We know bananas as a healthy food that is high in potassium, but they are also rich in manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, fiber, biotin and copper, all of which are also good for your dog. Most dogs really enjoy the flavor of ripe bananas, and they are great to use to make your own healthy, flavorful, and appealing treats for your dog. As always, moderation is key, too much banana can cause constipation and large chunks, if ingested without chewing, can cause blockages in a dogs intestines. And just like humans, dogs shouldn't eat banana peels.
Cooked sweet potatoes can be a healthy snack or addition to your dogs regular meals. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, B6, potassium, calcium, and iron. Sweet potatoes given to dogs should be cooked and peeled, or dehydrated.
This sweet fruit treat is also one your furry companion can enjoy. In fact, mangoes are high in fiber, vitamins A, B6, C, and E, so they are actually healthy for your dog. Feed your dog the soft fruit (after it's ripe and peeled) cut into pieces to avoid a choking hazard.
Here is a food your veterinarian may have told you to feed your dog when they had diarrhea. Not only is pumpkin good for getting your dog's stool regular, it has many vitamins and minerals as well. Pumpkin is high in vitamins A, C, and E, Calcium, Iron, and Lutein. Plus, it is high in fiber so it can help manage your dog's weight. Although it is considered safe for a dog to eat raw pumpkin and seeds, there is a chance that the pumpkin could have mold, which is not good. It's better to feed your dog the cooked, skinned pumpkin you would eat.
After all, dogs are primarily carnivores, so we assume they can eat all meat. But, the leaner meats such as whitefish, lean ground beef, or chicken breast are better choices for your dog, assuming they do not have allergies to them. Just like humans, too much rich and fatty food is not healthy. So, while you might splurge once in a while on richer meats, the same guideline should be followed for your dog.
Dogs can eat cooked eggs. In fact, eggs are a great source of protein for dogs, and one of the foods your dog's wild ancestors would have eaten. However, with the risk of salmonella ever present, cooking the egg first will spare your dog the risk of poisoning without compromising the nutritional value. Boiled eggs are best, since nothing will have to be added in the cooking process.
Here is another berry that your dog can enjoy with you. Strawberries are high in vitamin C, manganese, folate, and potassium, which are all healthy for your dog. Plus, they contain antioxidants that may help prevent cancer for you both. And, your dog may really enjoy this fresh, sweet treat. Cut strawberries or mash them before feeding them to your dog.
Watermelons are actually members of the cucumber family of plants, and are safe and healthy for your dog to eat. The fruit is very low calorie, but high in vitamins A, B6, and C, and potassium. Remove the rind and seeds before feeding watermelon to your dog. The seeds could cause intestinal blockages, and the rind might give your dog an upset stomach.
Like their cousin the watermelon, cucumbers are a safe snack to feed your dog. They also contain a high percentage of water, making them very low in calories. They are rich in phytonutrients that have antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties, making them healthy for both you and your fur baby. Just remember, like all good things, they should be given in moderation.
Zucchini is another safe, low calorie option to give your dog as a treat. They are full of vitamins and minerals that are good for your dog. If you are trying to help your dog lose weight, this is a healthy alternative to high calorie treats and snacks. Give your dog zucchini cut into pieces to avoid the risk of choking. Dogs can safely eat zucchini raw or cooked.
This is a favorite treat for many dogs. And just like they are really healthy for humans, they are healthy for dogs as well. They are a great source of beta-carotene, potassium, niacin, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K. So, like their human companions, dogs can enjoy carrots as a healthy treat, either raw or cooked.
Rich in vitamin C and B6, pineapple is also a power house of nutrients and minerals, such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, potassium and magnesium, just to name some. It is a nutritious, healthy snack for your pup to enjoy. Give your pooch ripe, raw pineapple that has the skin and the core removed, as they may cause blockages in your pup's digestive tract. As with all treats, pineapple should be fed to your dog sparingly and shouldn't be used as a substitute for a healthy meal.