I have seen so many lists of “human dog food” on the Internet that I don’t agree, so I decided to make my own list.
Many of these lists suggest different forms of dairy products: yoghurt, cheese, wiz cheese, ice cream. Milk from early childhood is useless and unnatural for dogs, just like milk from another species. Dogs can be lactose intolerant just like humans, but it would be difficult for your dog to tell you that dairy products make him sick. With all the healthy options available to dogs, it’s easy to avoid dairy products that could cause unnecessary discomfort.
Another food that I have seen as a suggestion for dogs is popcorn. While it is true that popcorn is low in calories and low in fat, just as pieces of popcorn kernels can get stuck in human teeth/gums, it can also get stuck in your dog’s teeth/gums. The difference is that we can remove the pieces of popcorn kernels with our fingers or a toothpick, but not our dogs. The almonds that are lodged in your dog’s gums can become infected and painful, and your dog will have no way of telling you. You probably won’t notice it until he’s infected, which can lead to a trip to the vet and the administration of antibiotics. For this reason, I recommend that you do not give your dog popcorn.
The last major concern I have about the many lists of dog food that I have seen on the internet is “leftover meat”. Most of the meat scraps they refer to are fatty. Fat is unhealthy for dogs as it is for humans. Too much fat in your dog’s diet can lead to pancreatitis. Bones are another common “piece of meat”. Cooked bones can cause significant internal damage to your dog’s digestive system, and they act like splinters that puncture your dog from the inside out. Never feed your dog leftover bones from your meal.
Now that I’ve gotten rid of the dangerous or unhealthy foods I’ve seen on other websites suggesting people feed their dogs, take a look at my ideas below that are actually beneficial to your dog’s health. The foods I suggest giving your dog as treats or as a mix for his current diet are not intended to completely replace your dog’s current food, so be sure to give it in addition to his usual food.
Pumpkin is an excellent source of fibre and beta-carotene/vitamin A. It aids digestion and is very low in fat and calories.
Flaxseed is a good source of fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are excellent for your dog’s skin and coat. Flaxseed oil contains a more concentrated amount of omega-3, but without the fibre.
Like other orange vegetables, sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene/vitamin A. They are also a great source of fibre, vitamin B6, vitamin C and manganese. Slice and dehydrate the sweet potatoes to make a super healthy, chewy treat for your dog.
Green beans are rich in fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese. Because green beans are low in calories and fat, they make an excellent snack for dogs that need help maintaining a healthy weight.
Keep a bag of frozen peas in your freezer and occasionally add a handful to your dog’s meal. Peas are rich in vitamin B, potassium and phosphorus.
Blueberries are rich in vitamins A, C and E. They are also an exceptional source of antioxidants, iron and zinc. Like peas, it’s easy to store frozen blueberries in the freezer and occasionally add a small handful to your dog’s meal.
Carrots are rich in fibre and beta-carotene/vitamin A, but low in calories and fat. They are an excellent treat to help keep your dog’s teeth clean.
Apples are rich in fibre and are an excellent source of vitamins A and C. Chewing apples can help clean residue from your dog’s teeth and freshen his breath. Be sure to remove the seeds and core before feeding apples to your dog.
Peanut butter is a good source of protein and contains heart-healthy fats, niacin, lecithin and other nutrients.
Watermelon is a delicious, low-calorie food that your dog will love. It contains vitamin C, beta-carotene/vitamin A, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. In addition to its nutritional benefits, it has a high water content, making it a great snack for dogs during the hot summer months to help keep them hydrated.