As a pet owner, it is not uncommon to give a little reward to your four-legged friend from your plate. Human food can be considered a special treat for dogs. However, not all human foods are safe for pets as some contain toxic substances that can cause real problems.
Therefore, you need to know which foods are safe for your dog and which ones should be avoided. Below is a comprehensive guide of human foods that are safe for dogs and those that are not.
Humans foods that are safe for your dog
Foods that are essentially safe for your dog include:
1. Cooked Eggs – Dogs can eat cooked eggs since they are highly nutritious and provide them with the right vitamins and minerals. Cooked eggs are also believed to alleviate nausea in dogs. However, this is just a claim and there is no scientific evidence behind it. Although dogs can eat raw eggs, it is advisable to cook the eggs before feeding them. This is because raw eggs contain Salmonella, which is a type of bacteria that can lead to food poisoning and can spread from the dog to the pet owner.
2. Peanut Butter – When given in moderate amounts, peanut butter is a safe and healthy treat for your four-legged friend. The peanut butter should have no added sugar or sweetener like xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. You should also avoid salted peanut butter as this could be harmful to your dog. Nonetheless, unsalted and unsweetened peanut butter offer essential elements to dogs including healthful fats, proteins, niacin, and vitamins E and B. However, this treat should be given in moderation since it is high in fat and calories and could lead to weight increase.
3. Honey – Feeding honey to your dog is perfectly okay as it contains essential nutrients like antioxidants, copper, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K. Consuming honey also helps with allergy issues in dogs. This is because it gives their body small amounts of pollen to boost their immunity to allergens.
4. Coconut and coconut oil – Your dog can consume coconut and coconut-based products in small amounts. However, caution should be taken when giving these foods to your dog since they contain oils that can cause loose stool, stomach upset, and diarrhea. It is also important to note that coconut water should not be given to your pet because it is high in potassium.
5. Cucumbers – Dogs can eat cucumbers. This crunchy treat is low in calories and fat, making it perfect for dogs that need to watch their weight. They are also rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals, which eliminates smelly bacteria and gives dogs a fresh breath. Plus, cucumbers offer anti-inflammatory benefits to dogs.
6. Bananas – Bananas are rich in magnesium, which is vital for bone health in dogs. However, they should be given occasionally and in moderation since they have high sugar content.
7. Plain popcorn – Not may pet owners know this but plain popcorn can be very nutritious to dogs. It contains many beneficial minerals to ensure their overall health, including zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus. Nevertheless, you should never feed your dog unpopped popcorn as this could choke them. The popcorn should also be without sugar, salt, and butter.
8. Green beans – Both cooked and raw green beans are a healthy snack for your furry friend. Not only are they a great source of proteins, but they also contain iron, calcium, and vitamin K. However, the beans should not be seasoned. You can also chop the beans to avoid choking.
9. Ham – Although ham is not the healthiest snack for dogs, they can still consume it. Ham should be given in small amounts due to its high fat and sodium content.
10. Milk – Most dogs consume milk. However, pet-owners should not be ignorant of the fact that some dogs are intolerant to milk. Therefore, you should be cautious when giving your dog milk.
11. Salmon – Cooked salmon is a great source of protein, healthy fat, and amino acids. Not only does it boost your dog’s immune system, but it also promotes brain health and flexible joints. However, you should not give your dog raw or undercooked salmon since it contains parasites that can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and even death is some instances.
Other great foods to give your dog include:
– Cashew nuts
Human foods that your dog can’t eat
Here is a list of human foods that are not recommended for dogs.
1. Avocado – You should never give your pup avocados. While this food is great for humans, it contains persin, a substance that is toxic for dogs. This substance is found in the fruit, seed, leaves, and bark of the avocado, and it can cause diarrhea and vomiting in dogs.
2. Chocolate – Avoid giving chocolate and other cocoa-based products to your dog. These foods contain caffeine and theobromine that can affect their heart rate and nervous system. In fact, large amounts of chocolate given to dogs can lead to increased heart rate, heart attack, vomiting, rapid panting, diarrhea, and internal bleeding. Although milk chocolate is not as toxic as cocoa, dark and bitter chocolate, it should still be avoided.
3. Grapes and raisins – Refrain from giving your dog raisins, grapes, currants, and sultanas. These foods are potentially toxic and can cause kidney failure. You should also avoid giving them in small quantities as this can lead to vomiting followed by other symptoms like low energy and depression.
4. Macadamia nuts – Macadamia nuts are highly lethal to your dog and should not be give to them even in small amounts. Ingesting this can cause symptoms such as vomiting, muscle shakes, weak back legs, and increased temperature.
5. Garlic, onions, and chives – These foods belong to the Allium genus and contain substances which are known to be toxic for most pets. These substances can cause vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, and even anemia in dogs.
6. Ice cream – Although ice cream is a refreshing treat for human beings, it should not be given to dogs. This icy treat has high sugar content, which may not be good for them. In addition, some dogs may be allergic to lactose.
Other foods that you should not give your dog include:
– Adult beverages
– Tea, coffee, and other caffeine
– Peaches, plums, and persimmons
– Raw meat and fish
– Sugary foods and drinks
– Bread dough
– Products that contain xylitol
As noted above, many human foods are perfectly safe and healthy for dogs. However, these foods should be given in moderation while keeping in mind important factors like food sensitivity, weight issues, and any health conditions.
You should also take note of foods that are harmful for your dog and refrain from feeding them. It is also wise to consult with your veterinary if you are uncertain whether a particular food is safe for your pup.