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While your dog should be consuming the majority of his calories from food made specifically for dogs, sometimes there is no resisting the urge to offer your pooch human food as a reward. But not all table scraps are safe for your dog’s consumption; some “people foods” can even be poisonous for dogs. Toxic human foods to keep far away from your pup include chocolate, onions, grapes, raisins, yeast dough, artificial sweeteners, macadamia nuts, avocados, alcohol, and coffee. Be very careful in making sure these foods are far out of reach to avoid having your dog’s stomach pumped, or worse.
Looking for a list of dog-safe human foods? Look no further. Add these pup-friendly snacks to your grocery list and enjoy watching your dog chow down stress-free (in moderation of course)! Note: these foods do not account for any allergies your pup may have, so be discerning. If you are unsure about a particular ingredient, start by giving your dog only a tiny amount and observing him for a period of time to see if he has any sort of allergic reaction.
- Peanut butter – Peanut butter is a good source of natural protein, but it also contains heart-friendly fats and B & E vitamins. Spread some peanut butter on your dog’s favorite chew toy and he will be gnawing at it for hours on end. Be sure to avoid any peanut butters with artificial sweeteners, which are harmful for dogs. One good sweetener-free option is Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter
- Cooked chicken – When it comes to chicken, the same rule for people applies to dogs — chicken meat needs to be cooked thoroughly to avoid salmonella risks. You can add a couple chunks of lean chicken into regular dog food to give it a protein boost and add flavor. Plain chicken is best – some people-approved spices can cause digestive issues with dogs.
- Cheese – Most dogs are very happy to eat cheese, but a small percentage of dogs are lactose intolerant, so proceed with caution. Cheese is also very high in fat, so these treats should be given sparingly.
- Baby carrots – Giving your dog a couple of baby carrots on occasion will help keep his teeth clean and strong. Carrots also contain a lot of beta carotene, which is good for your dog’s eyesight.
- Yogurt – In addition to being a good source of calcium, yogurt contains active bacteria (probiotics) which can help improve your dog’s digestive system. Any yogurt you give to your pup should be unsweetened and unflavored, due to the risks posed by artificial sweeteners.
- Salmon – Most people know salmon contains hefty amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve heart and immune health, and also make a dog’s coat and skin shiny and healthy. Salmon can be given whole or you can added as oil to your dog’s regular food. And good news for those who don’t like salmon skin – it’s safe to feed the skin to your pooch. Just make sure they don’t get any bones along with the salmon skin.
- Pumpkin – Just like carrots, pumpkin contains beta carotene and fiber, which is a good source of vitamin A and helps keep your dog’s digestive tract regular.
- Eggs – Mix an entire cooked egg into your dog’s regular food to give it a protein boost.
- Green beans – These make great snacks for your dogs because they are high in flavor and low in calories.
- Apples – Just like carrots, apple slices can keep your dog’s teeth clean and shiny, and they can also help freshen up his breath. Apples also contain large amounts of fiber and vitamins. Just make sure you take out the apple core as it can be a dangerous choking hazard.
- Oatmeal – This grain is a great source of natural dietary fiber, which can really be beneficial, especially as your dog ages. If your dog has wheat allergies, oatmeal can be used as a substitute grain. Make sure you thoroughly cook the oatmeal before you serving it to your dog, and don’t add any sweeteners.
- Sweet potatoes – This veggie is another great source of fiber and contains vitamin B6, vitamin C, beta carotene, and manganese. Your pup will enjoy sweet potato sliced and dehydrated as a chewy treat, or cooked and sprinkled on their regular food.