You may know that chocolate can be toxic dogs. However, some other “people” foods are actually very healthy for your dog. Whether you are looking to give your friend an occasional treat or considering making your own homemade dog food, you can choose from a variety of nutritious foods for your favorite pooch.
Protein sources should be your first choice. Dogs can easily digest meats. Top choices include chicken, beef, fish, turkey, rabbit and lamb. In addition to meats, eggs are a high source of protein. Certain dairy products like cheese, yogurt and cottage cheese provide protein as well as much needed calcium for your dog. However, some dogs are lactose intolerant and dairy products can give them an upset tummy. When adding dairy to your dog's diet, monitor him for signs of upset stomach, such as diarrhea and vomiting.
Carbohydrates are a source of calories for your dog. However, like dairy products, some dogs are allergic to wheat-based grains. Good sources of carbohydrates include foods like brown and white rice and plain pasta. If you are looking for a fun snack to share with your dog, consider air-popped popcorn. This treat provides potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and calcium. The only difference is his bowl doesn’t need the salt and butter.
Various fruits and vegetables provide a sweet treat while packing a nutritious punch. Berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are full of antioxidants. Apples provide vitamins A and C as well as a dose of fiber. Just be sure to remove the seeds and stems as these contain cyanide and are poisonous. Sweet potatoes dried in the oven provide fiber, vitamin B6 and C, beta-carotene and manganese. Green beans are a source of vitamins K and C. Try placing these in the freezer for cool summer treats.
Before adding new foods to your dog’s diet, talk with a veterinarian about possible allergies and weight issues. Some healthy foods must still be fed in moderation as they do pack calories. If you are considering the transition to homemade food, talk with your veterinarian or a dog nutritionist to make sure you are including all necessary nutrients.
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