Does your pooch flash you puppy dog eyes each time you reach for food? More importantly, do you reward them with a nibble here, a bite there?
Dogs, much like humans, are natural grazers so don’t be surprised when Fido follows you into the kitchen for a snack. Especially if they’re used to getting a treat each time you do.
Discover which common human foods are good for dogs and which could have you rushing to the emergency vet.
Nuts are packed with proteins and good fats. They have a number of health benefits that can do everything from improving your dog’s coat to strengthening its heart. That is if you feed it the right ones.
Dogs can eat nuts like:
peanuts and cashews, which are great sources of calcium, magnesium and antioxidants. Fed in moderation, they’re a delicious treat with tons of health benefits. Just make sure to get an unsalted variety as increased sodium can create major complications, especially in dogs with heart disease.
Don’t feed dogs nuts like:
pecans, walnuts or macadamia nuts. They’re highly poisonous to dogs and even relatively small amounts can impact the nervous system. In some cases, inability to regulate body temperature and trouble walking have been reported. Watch for vomiting and immediately contact your emergency vet if you suspect your dog has ingested these toxic nuts. Almonds, while not considered poisonous, have a high fat content that can quickly cause weight gain and can create a choking hazard, so steer clear of these, too.
As a general rule, avoid feeding your pup sweets. Even a couple extra pounds can lead to dangerous conditions like hypertension and diabetes or even heart disease.
Acceptable sweet treats to feed your pooch.
Honey is a dietary additive that can be used occasionally as a natural allergy reliever. Its high vitamin A-E count and varied mineral concentration also provide additional supplements. Feed your pup a tablespoon or maximum two each day to help build an internal immunity to local pollens in your region.
Plain, unsweetened yogurt is another snack that’s considered healthy for dogs. Proteins help build and repair muscles, calcium creates strong bones and the natural probiotics support the digestive system.
Sweets to skip.
Sweetened dairy items are doubly bad for your dog’s system. Take chocolate ice cream as an example. Most dogs are lactose intolerant and sweeteners have no place in their diet. Chocolate is another notorious toxin for dogs that can have catastrophic effects from diarrhea all the way up to seizures and heart failure.
Cinnamon in any form is also dangerous and should be kept away from pets. The seasoning is naturally oily and can irritate soft tissue in the mouth and esophagus. Powdered cinnamon can inhibit breathing and cause your dog to choke. Once in the digestive tract the system will attempt to rid itself of cinnamon by inducing diarrhea and vomiting. Prolonged exposure or large amounts can lead to more serious side effects like increased risk of liver disease or a possibly fatal decrease in heart rate.
Fresh produce is a great supplement in a dog’s balanced diet. Make sure you avoid a few violent offenders and it’ll be smooth sailing.
Stock up on these fruits and veggies.
Most fruits and veggies are fine to feed dogs. Some, like green beans, cabbage and sweet potatoes can even help them lose weight. Fruits of all variety from apples to pineapples are a-ok so long as any pits or seeds have been removed.
Leave these fruits and veggies out of the doggie bowl.
Some exceptions to the produce rule are avocados, raw potatoes (or their skins) grapes and, subsequently, raisins. Though the exact causes of distress are not fully known, their impact can be deadly. For instance, kidney failure is often associated with trace amounts of grapes or raisins in the system.
Any member of the allium family, like onions, chives or leeks, is at least mildly toxic to dogs. However, garlic is said to be at least five times more poisonous than its siblings. It was once used as a natural flea repellant but because of its controversial nature is no longer recommended at all. Symptoms could be delayed so if you suspect your dog has eaten garlic, contact your vet immediately to avoid increased heart rate or collapse.
In short, sharing food can definitely help strengthen the bond between man and mutt, solidifying trust and affection. However, it’s important to be aware of what’s on the menu. While some snacks can be nutritionally beneficial for both owners and pets, other human foods can severely disrupt your dog’s system.
When in doubt, feed your dog a strict diet of high-quality pet food and all natural dog treats!