Dogs often look up at us when we’re eating our dinner and whilst it may be tempting to throw them some food scraps, it’s vital that you know exactly what you dog can and can’t eat in order to make sure you dog is kept healthy and safe. It’s likely that your dog acts a bit like a human vacuum when you drop crumbs on the carpet but what can we let them get away with eating and what should send us into a panic? Here we will go through some of the human foods that your dog can eat so that you no longer have to worry about accidentally poisoning your dog!
Whilst some say that being able to share some human foods with your dog may be beneficial for their diet, it is important that this is done in moderation. Obesity is a problem not just seen in humans, but in dogs too and it can be too many human foods that act as a large contributor to this issue.
Commercial dog foods are made especially for dogs with the aim of containing everything a dog needs in its diet. They are made for a reason and through these foods, your dogs nutrition and dietary needs should be met. Having said this, some foods are safe to share with your dog in small amounts alongside their usual dog food. Just be careful not to make feeding your dog your table scraps a common thing but this can lead to many issues.
Dog obesity is not the only problem to consider when deciding what to feed your dog. It’s also essential that you know exactly which foods may make your dog ill, which are a choking hazard and which are toxic and an absolute no go.
Bread contains gluten which is a protein and occasionally you can come across a dog with gluten sensitivity, but this is very rare. Therefore, unless your dog displays signs of this sensitivity, bread is perfectly fine for your dog to eat. Even if your dog does turn out to have a gluten sensitivity, this will not have hugely negative effects so you don’t need to worry about trying your dog on bread.
However, it is important that you check what exactly is in the bread. If for example the bread has raisins in, this is a no go. Raisins are toxic to dogs so plain white or wholemeal bread is your best bet.
Another thing to be aware of is that your dog should stay away from dough itself. Dough contains fermenting yeast cells which product alcohol which is also toxic to dogs.
Fruit is rich in lots of goodies vitamins and minerals so certain types can be a great addition to a dogs diet. Stick to fresh fruits rather than canned fruits as these are often coated in juices and are not so fresh and healthy.
Fruit can be a choking hazard to ensure that all fruit is washed and peeled. Make sure to remove and shells, stems or seeds. Cut larger fruits up to make them easier for your dog to pick up and chew.
Apples, bananas, mango, oranges, pineapple, strawberries and watermelon (amongst others) can all be great foods for your dog to snack on. On the other hand, make sure to stay away from grapes, lemons, limes and as previously mentioned, raisins.
It’s also worth pointing out that dogs should stay away from wild berries. You can never be sure what is in wild berries and how safe they are so when out for walks, keep an eye on berries that might be around you that might tempt your dog.
Fish is good food for a dog to be eating, providing that things like salmon are thoroughly cooked first. Fish is a good source of omega 3 to dogs as well as humans so can act as an anti-inflammatory as well as adding to a healthy diet.
If your dog is not lactose intolerant, small amounts of milk and cheese are perfectly fine. Dogs often love cheese but given its high fat and salt content, it should be given in small doses.
Some brands make dog specific ice cream which are a great treat, but dogs should stay away from normal ice cream.
Although nuts are OK for a dog to eat, they are not particularly healthy so should always be unsalted and only a few should be given to limit the calorie intake. Whilst some nuts are OK, others are a no-go and even those nuts which are OK can act as a choking hazard to many simply choose to keep their dog away to be on the safe side.
A great alternative though, is peanut butter. Dogs tend to love peanut butter and if you can find one that is plain and unsalted, it can offer a healthier, safer alternative.
Meat acts as a great source of protein for dogs, but you do still need to be cautious. Fresh, lean meat that is thoroughly cooked is the safest and best option for your dog. Also make sure to cut the meat up into chunks, just like you would with a child, to ensure that it doesn’t become a choking hazard. Skin should also be removed for this reason.
Whilst dogs can eat meat, you need to consider a dogs diet just like your own. Just because they can eat something and may enjoy it, doesn’t necessarily mean they should have it. Keep an eye on processed meats such as hot dogs. They are safe for your dog to eat and I’m sure he would happily eat hundreds of them, but with the high salt content, it might simply be better to avoid them altogether. They also often contain garlic which is another toxic food to dogs so these are a definite no-go.
Although it’s tempting to feed your dog some of your dinner when he’s looking at you with his big eyes, it’s probably best not to. Meals often have a wide variety of ingredients and we often aren’t aware of everything our food contains so it is difficult to know if there is anything in the meal that might affect your dog negatively. Ingredients such as chives, garlic and onions are all toxic to dogs but are ingredients that are often put into meals, even if we are not aware of it.
Vegetables are another healthy addition to a dogs diet if you feed them the right ones. Fresh vegetables are preferred, as like with fruit, canned vegetables have ingredients added to them making them less healthy.
Vegetables should be cut into small pieces to avoid choking and any stems should be cut off. Broccoli, carrots, cucumber, peas and lettuce are amongst the vegetables that a dog can safely ear. Make sure to always use common sense and if you don’t feel comfortable giving your dog something, don’t. For example, dogs can eat corn but corn on the cob can be a choking hazard so is best avoided.
Just like we said with wild berries, wild mushrooms should be avoided altogether. There are so many types of mushroom, many of which are poisonous and so it is not worth the risk. Again, keep an eye out for anything your dog may eat whilst you are out for walks and stay clear of areas you know have wild mushrooms growing. Your dog is likely to be tempted to eat them, but the chances of it being poisonous make it risky!
Humans are crazy about chocolate but dogs, not so much. No type of chocolate should be given to dogs. Whilst the darker the chocolate, the worse it will be for your dog, milk chocolate and white chocolate are still an item that shouldn’t be shared with your four legged friend.
With so much chocolate lying around the house for occasions such as Christmas and Easter, this is one of the most common items dogs consume by mistake. If you have a dog, make sure to try to keep all chocolate items away in the cupboards, even if it is just an Easter Egg or advent calendar. The last thing you want is your dog managed to chew his way through the packaging and make himself ill.