As we all know dogs like to eat pretty much anything! As a responsible and informed dog lover, you probably know that too much human food can make your dog sick or overweight, but there are some human foods that can be safely added to your dog’s meals in moderation to give a healthy boost to your dogs diet and add a bit of variety to their food bowl. It is important to note that any additions to your dog’s meals shouldn’t comprise more than 25 percent of their weekly caloric requirement. The top 10 human foods are as follows………
1. Yogurt is a good source of available calcium and protein. When picking yogurt, pick one that has live active bacteria and no sugars or artificial sweeteners. The active bacteria may act as probiotics. If your dog is overweight, make sure that you pick fat-free yogurt but not one that contains fat substitutes (e.g., Simplesse or Olestra). Frozen yogurt is a lovely summer snack for your dog.
2. Flax seed (ground or oil) is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential fatty acids that are good for skin and coat. Whole flax seeds are best if ground right before feeding as this type of fat can go rancid quickly. Flax seed can also be added to your dog’s diet as a source of fibre. Flax oil is a more concentrated form of omega- 3 fatty acids without the fibre. It is best to store the oil or seeds in the fridge in an air tight dark container.
3. 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. Salmon oil is also fine to give your dog and you can conveniently pour it over their food.. If feeding salmon, always make sure it’s cooked before serving, as raw salmon can carry a parasite that can make your dog sick.
4. Pumpkin is a good source of fibre and beta carotene (a source of vitamin A). Fibre is a very important part of a dogs diet. More and more people are leaning towards highly digestible diets that lower stool volume and this is not necessarily a good thing. Keeping the GI tract moving helps keep the cells lining the gut healthy.
5. Sweet potatoes are also a great source of dietary fibre and contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, beta carotene, and manganese. Sweet potatoes are great sliced and dehydrated as a chewy treat for your dog. Inventive and healthy dog treats are all around you!
6. Green beans are a good source of plant fibre, vitamin K, vitamin C, and manganese. If your dog has a tendency to put on weight, then replacing some of their regular food with green beans is a great low calorie way to fill them up and help them maintain a healthy weight. Dogs tend to enjoy frozen green beans.
7. Eggs are a good source of easily digestible protein, riboflavin, and selenium. For dogs that are prone to digestive upset, eggs can give them a little protein boost. Adding eggs to your dog’s food is a healthy snack. It is important to use cooked whole egg, as raw egg whites can cause biotin deficiency. If you do a lot of training with your dog,think about bringing cooked eggs to your next class as training treats.
8. 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 ill. Brewer’s yeast can encourage your dog’s appetite. If your dog is not find of their food put this on top and they will dig in!
9. 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 fibre. 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 effects can eventually add up if they are consistently consumed.
10. Oatmeal is a great source of soluble fibre. This can be beneficial for some older dogs that may have trouble maintaining bowel regularity. Oatmeal is also an alternative source of grain for dogs that are allergic to wheat. It can be mixed with probiotics to enhance their function. It is good to remember that oatmeal should always be served cooked and plain with no sugar or flavouring. Make sure to check with your veterinarian before making any major changes to your dog’s diet, especially if they are on any medications. Changing the vitamin and mineral balances in your dog’s diet can have negative effects on your dog’s health and some medications interact badly with some nutrients. Good nutrition coupled with a health care program may result in extending your dog’s life by as much as 15 percent. The suggestions above are not meant to replace your dog’s current diet. These are here to give you ideas for alternative treats or for adding a little variety to your dog’s meals.