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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; in actuality, some “people foods” can 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 “safe” human foods for Fido? 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 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 reaction.
- Peanut butter – Not only is peanut butter a good source of natural protein, but it also contains niacin, heart-friendly fats, and vitamins B & E. Spread some peanut butter on your dog’s favorite chew toy and he will be gnawing at it for hours on end.
- Cooked chicken – The same rule for people applies to dogs — chicken meat needs to be cooked thoroughly because there is a risk of salmonella contamination if dogs eat raw chicken. You can slip a couple of chunks of lean chicken into regular dog food to give it a protein boost, and it will also add more flavor.
- Cheese – Only a very small percentage of the total dog population is lactose intolerant, so this means you can probably give your dog cheese as a treat. Just make sure that you don’t go overboard because many varieties are high in fat.
- 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 beneficial for good 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. Make sure any yogurt you give does not have any artificial sweeteners or added sugar to avoid the extra calories.
- 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 either be given whole or you can add a couple of teaspoons of salmon oil to regular dog food. And, good news for those who don’t like salmon skin – it’s safe to feed the skin to your pooch. So, just slip it under the table, and Fido will take care of your scraps.
- 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 if your dog is of an advanced age. If your dog has wheat allergies, oatmeal can be used as a substitute grain. Make sure you thoroughly cook the oatmeal first before you serve it to your dog, and don’t add any sweeteners to it.
- 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 food.