When you welcome a dog into your home, you make a commitment to care responsibly for it. This involves things like attending regular vet visits, purchasing reliable dog health insurance, taking it on daily walks, and feeding it healthy food. Eating the same meals over and over gets boring, so you can imagine how your dog feels. Most dog foods contain all the vitamins and minerals a pup needs, but dogs love table scraps. Fortunately, there are certain “people foods” that, if given in small portions, benefit a dog’s health. Here are ten nutritious foods that are as good for your dog as they are for you.
Salmon is one food that’s at the top of every healthiest food list. Full of omega-3 fatty acids and protein, salmon is a heart and brain-friendly food. Can dogs eat salmon filets, too? The answer is yes! Unseasoned cooked salmon provides vitamins and minerals, reduces inflammation and allows for a shiny coat.
Another food that’s safe for your dog and easy to prepare is eggs. Adding a little scrambled egg to your dog’s food a couple of times a week provides protein, vitamins and alleviates an upset tummy. Always buy high-quality, free-range eggs, and never feed raw eggs to dogs because of salmonella.
3. Peanut Butter
Almost everyone enjoys peanut butter and it turns out that it’s healthy for your dog in small quantities. Peanut butter is a good source of healthy fat and protein, and provides an easy way to hide pills if your dog is on medication. Peanut butter is also high in calories, so keep portions to just a tablespoon per day.
4. Cooked Lean Meats
If you want to give your furry friend an extra-special treat, offer him lean red meat or chicken. Be sure to fully cook meat and poultry if you’re feeding them to your dog to avoid salmonella or other bacterial contamination. While your dog can eat meat every day, it can get expensive, so try not to spoil him.
One food you might never consider feeding your dog is carrots, but they’re perfectly safe! Carrots are high in vitamin A which is great for a dog’s eyesight, and they contain fiber to help with bowel movements. You can shred carrots into your dog’s food or cut them into chunks which help keep your dog’s teeth clean.
Who doesn’t love a bowl of warm, soothing oatmeal? It appears that dogs do, too! Oatmeal is loaded with fiber and may help lower a dog’s cholesterol, just like in humans. Oatmeal also contains linoleic acid which is good for the skin. Dogs should only be fed small amounts of plain oatmeal cooked in water.
Did you know that dogs can eat small amounts of yogurt? Yogurt is an excellent way to get calcium into your dog, and it provides probiotics for intestinal health. Always choose plain yogurt and never give a dog yogurt with artificial sweeteners such as xylitol. While perfectly safe for humans, xylitol is dangerous for dogs.
8. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are incredibly nutritious and full of vitamins A and C and potassium. If you’re cooking a bunch of sweet potatoes and want to share, give your dog a few small hunks or mash them up on top of their food. Make sure your sweet potatoes don’t contain sugar, spices or marshmallows.
If your dog snuggles up to you every time you make popcorn, it’s fine to toss him a few pieces as long as it’s air-popped and contains no butter, oil or salt. Popcorn is high in fiber and low in calories, plus dogs love leaping in the air to catch it!
Watermelon is a refreshing summertime treat and luckily, it’s one that you can share with your dog. Watermelon is rich in vitamins and it’s low-calorie. Only feed your dog seedless watermelon or pieces with the seeds removed. You can also freeze watermelon cubes to give your dog on a hot day.
Dogs are crazy about “people food,” but make sure you feed them safely. With salmon, eggs, lean meats and oatmeal, you’ll boost their nutrition and shake up their boring menu!