While giving table scraps to dogs is generally discouraged, there are actually some human foods that are safe for them to consume. Here are some of the healthiest options that make great treats:
Apples — Apples can help remove toxins from the intestinal tract, strengthen intestinal muscles, and remove harmful bacteria. Containing pectin and vitamins A and C, they also help to satisfy your dog’s desire to chew.
Blueberries — A nutrient-packed superfood, blueberries contain antioxidants, manganese, fiber, and vitamins C and E. (Tip: Blueberries should be introduced slowly, otherwise this superfood could turn into a pooperfood.)
Carrots — Naturally sweet and low in calories, carrots will satisfy your dog’s need to chew and help with blood clotting and energy production. They contain beneficial fiber, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus, as well as vitamins B6, B12, C, and K.
Sweet potatoes — An excellent source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, sweet potatoes contain fiber and vitamins A, C, B5, and B6.
Seaweed — It is believed that seaweed (also called “nori”) may improve immune function, fat metabolism, and anti-tumor response. Seaweed contains protein, fiber, iron, and vitamins A and C.
Treats to avoid:
In addition to the more common toxins (like chocolate, raisins, and xylitol), avoid feeding your dog sausages, which contain sulfites and preservatives that can cause a potentially fatal thiamine deficiency. Also, avoid cooked bones because bones splinter more easily once cooked. And, steer clear of cow’s milk, because most dogs become lactose intolerant after they are weaned. If your dog loves milk, try soy milk instead, which still includes calcium and vitamin B but is free of lactose.
Tips to remember:
- Watch the waistline. Treats should make up only about 10 percent of your dog’s daily caloric intake.
- Don’t encourage begging. You might be giving your dog some human treats, but that doesn’t mean you should feed him from the table, which only encourages unwanted behaviors (like begging).
If you have any questions about what treats are appropriate for your canine friend, contact us.