Experts agree that table scraps can result in digestive upsets, obesity, and sometimes even life-threatening reactions. However, some carefully selected human foods are permissible.
If you choose to reward your pet with a table scrap, be sure to choose people foods that are safe for canines:
- Peanut butter is a favorite treat for most dogs. It is a good source of protein and also contains vitamin B, vitamin E, niacin, and heart healthy fats, but use sparingly!
- Chicken or turkey, or shreds of lean beef can be mixed with your dog’s regular kibble. (Avoid bones, salt, and seasoning made with onions).
- Fish. Salmon is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, which are responsible for keeping your dog’s coat healthy, and will support your dog’s immune system. Other cooked fish can provide a dog with lean protein and highly absorbable vitamins.
- Eggs are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. Scrambling an egg for your pooch is a great way to give her diet a protein boost. They are a good source of easily digestible selenium and riboflavin.
- Sweet potatoes contain a great source of beta carotene, which dogs convert into a non-toxic form of vitamin A. They are a healthy way to satisfy an animal with a sweet tooth.
- Apples. Dogs can benefit for an occasional slice of fresh apples, but avoid sweetened apples.
- Green vegetables. Broccoli, green beans, etc. are excellent sources of fiber, vitamins and minerals, but avoid any seasoning or rich sauces.
- Cottage cheese. A small amount of low or reduced fat cheese is okay, but don’t overfeed. Cottage cheese is the best choice.
- Pumpkin. A good source of fiber as well as beta-carotene/vitamin A. It can aid with digestive issues, and helps keep the GI tract moving.
- Oatmeal is a great source of soluble fiber which can be especially beneficial for senior dogs that may have bowel irregularity issues. It is also a great alternate grain for dogs allergic to wheat. Make sure to cook the oatmeal, and don’t add any sugar or flavor additives.
- Carrots. Fresh baby carrots are my very favorite human food for dogs. They are low in calories and high in fiber and beta carotene/vitamin A. They are good for a dog’s teeth, and almost all dogs love them!
- Unsweetened yogurt. Yogurt is high in protein and calcium, and yogurts with active bacteria can act as a probiotic and are good for your dog’s digestive system and will enhance the immune system. (Be sure to choose only yogurts without artificial sweeteners or added sugar.)
Foods to avoid completely include:
- Tea, coffee and alcohol. Many dogs have died after eating coffee grounds and tea bags, and alcoholic drinks can cause lethargy, diarrhea, and even liver failure.
- Grapes and raisins contain potent kidney toxins for dogs, and a single serving of these sweet fruits can cause long term damage.
- Onions. This common veggie can destroy a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia, breathing problems, muscle weakness and even death.
- Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, both of which can over-stimulate a dog’s central nervous system and cause life-threatening problems
- Cooked bones should always be avoided. They easily splinter and snap and may cause serious internal problems if swallowed.
- Gravy and sauces are too rich for a dog and may contain fat, seasonings, sugar and/or cream that can seriously upset your companion’s digestion.
For a complete list, go to www.dogchannel.com/peoplefood