We care for our pets and want them to be in the best possible state of health. For this reason, we pay extra attention to their diet and try to come up with tasty meals. At the same time, it’s true that we often want to feed our dogs with the same foods we eat. But is it healthy? Keep on reading and find out.
Dogs and Humans Have Different Metabolisms
The most important thing you have to remember is that dogs and humans break down food differently. Given this matter, it might interest you to know that there are people foods that dogs can and can’t eat. A large number of choices can threaten the health of your pet, as they have a toxic effect upon being ingested.
Of course, there are human foods that are perfectly safe for dogs, contributing to a healthy and well-balanced diet. A pet owner can make a gradual change from the regular pet food to a diet that includes human food as well. You can also grab yourself a good slow-feed dog bowl, these allow foods to eat at a slower pace and thus, improve their digestion.
Even if you decide to give your dog human food, you should always strive to offer a diversified diet. You need to make sure that your pet gets all the nutrients necessary to thrive, keeping the fat content in check (too much fat can damage the gastrointestinal system and have a negative impact on overall health). Only a balanced diet will ensure that your pet is both active and healthy.
What are some of the allowed human foods for dogs?
Your dog can eat a wide range of human foods. For example, carrots are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, representing the perfect low-calorie snack. It is essential that you cut them into pieces to avoid choking.
Another snack you can give them is peanut butter. However, this should only be offered in moderation because it’s high in fat.
Nutritious human foods, such as eggs, can keep Fido healthy and satisfied for a long time. Eggs represent important protein sources and are rich in vitamins and minerals. Always give your dog cooked eggs, as the raw ones present a high risk of Salmonella infection.
As for dairy products, these should be offered ever so often, as they can cause stomach upset.
Fatty fish is an excellent choice for dogs, it’s rich in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is perfect for them because they have potent anti-inflammatory properties and can keep both his skin and fur healthy. Once again, you should avoid giving your dog raw fish, and you’ll run the risk of toxicity.
Your pet can eat some fruits, such as blueberries. These are highly nutritious, containing antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Blueberries are low in calories, you can offer them to your pet without worrying about the additional weight gain. Other recommended fruits include apples, bananas, blackberries, cantaloupe, cranberries, kiwis, oranges, pears, and pumpkins.
What foods should I avoid giving to my dog?
Dogs should never be given grapes or raisins. These are lethal because they increase the risk of renal failure and cause death. The same goes for chocolate. When dogs eat chocolate, they present digestive symptoms, like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The darker the chocolate, the bigger the risk of intoxication.
You should also refrain from giving certain nuts to your dog. Macadamia nuts, for example, are highly harmful. This snack causes all sorts of symptoms (vomiting, muscle weakness, tremors). From another perspective, you should keep in mind that such foods have a high-fat content and their intake should be limited (if not completely eliminated from the diet).
Before allowing your dog to eat any human food, you should check and make sure it is not harmful to them. A simple onion can cause a lot of harm because they present an increased risk for anemia. The same goes for avocados because they contain a substance that prevents lungs from functioning as they should.
What about beverages?
Except for water, you should never consider other beverages as suitable for your dog. Coffee is dangerous. It contains high levels of caffeine, negatively impacting your pup’s nervous system and cause digestive issues. Tea, for similar reasons, is not an acceptable choice for your pet friend.
Dogs should never consume alcohol, as this presents a high risk of poisoning with ethanol.
Upon ingesting alcoholic beverages, Fido’s lack of coordination and fatigue increases. It can also lead to organ failure, heart attacks, or even coma.
“People” foods – safe or not?
It is perfectly acceptable to offer certain “people” foods to your dog, including vegetables, meat, fruits. In deciding which foods you should give, pay attention to potentially-harmful substances. Cook meals from fresh ingredients and limit the intake of those that can cause damage (especially when consumed in larger quantities).
Dogs can benefit from “people” foods and their nutritional content, but you should always only give your pet those that he can actually digest. Talk to your vet about a mixed diet and inquire about a complete list of allowed foods. Only a certified professional can determine the best diet plan for your pet, taking his age and health status into consideration.
One last piece of advice: just because you are eating at the table and you’re getting the puppy dog eyes, this does not mean you should share all of your meals.
Always have your dog’s best interest at heart!
Be sure to check doglab.com for more reviews and tips. Let us know what other people food you’ve been feeding your doggy in the comments below!