Let’s face it, it is a fact that many human foods are not acceptable for dog consumption and may very well cause a plethora of health problems. For example, Chocolate/Cocoa are the most infamous ones, well known to contain a component called Theobromine. Theobromine can cause dogs problems ranging from vomiting and diarrhea all the way up to seizures and muscle tremors.
Knowing the dangers, most of us are reluctant to feed our dogs human food due to the possible health complications- and that concern is absolutely justified! We must always be careful with what we feed our dogs. I know several friends who even taste their dog’s food themselves before serving it to them, and many I know absolutely refuse to feed their dogs anything that is out of the norm of canned/packaged dog food and occasionally some chicken meat.
However, what if I were to tell you that some human foods are actually BENEFICIAL to feed our dogs with? Not all human foods contain toxic or unsuitable components for dogs! In fact, some of these could even be as beneficial as usual dog food.
So, instead of the usual canned dog foods, how about we give some of these healthy and tasty human snacks a try? These foods contain a variety of vitamins and minerals that your dog might miss out on, while being irresistibly tasty at the same time.
Of course, before making any changes to your dog’s diet, it is highly recommended that you seek out a veterinarian for advice and to take all necessary precautions.
1. Green peas
Green peas could be one of the healthiest foods that you could feed your dog. It is filled to the brim with essential vitamins like A (maintains healthy skin, eyes and fur) B1 (needed for metabolism of fats and proteins) and K (needed for the regulation of blood, also improves bones). Green peas are also an excellent source for proteins and fibers, and goes easy for a dog’s stomach.
How I would prepare peas for dogs is simple- sprinkle some frozen or steamed peas in a dog’s food, or just feed some to them as an occasional treat.
Do be careful to not use canned green peas, as those usually contain salt and other artificial flavorings which will harm your dog.
Oatmeal is an excellent meal for dogs, especially older ones with digestive problems and bowel troubles. Oatmeal is rich in soluble fibre, which as you have probably guessed, improves bowel health tremendously and solves problems like diarrhoea easily. Oatmeal is also very low on calories and fats and is easily digestable.
There are almost no downsides to serving Oatmeal to dogs. However, what some people would do is to serve plain oatmeal -no flavorings that could potentially hurt your dog. Also, they serve in moderation.
Ever heard of the phrase “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” ? I am here to tell you that this phrase applies to your pet dog as well!
What is there not to love about apples? They are sweet, refreshing, crunchy, and oh so healthy. Apples are great sources for vitamins A, C and also a great source of fibre. Apples also improve digestion, refreshes the breath, cleans the teeth, and are low in fat.
What I would do before even serving apples to any dog would be to remove the seeds, and then chop the apple into cubes/slices for easier consumption.
Again, who doesn’t love blueberries? They are one of the constantly talked about foods, boasting a variety of healthy components for us in the form of fibres, antioxidants, and Vitamin C.
They are just as impactful when it comes to dogs. They provide almost the same benefits such as the strengthening of the immune system, reducing brain aging, and has anti cancer and heart strengthening qualities.
5. Sweet Potatoes
Oh, your dog is in for one sweet treat!
This delicious delicacy is extremely enjoyable and beneficial to dogs. On top of being deliciously sweet, sweet potatoes contain vitamins B6, C and E and also contains fibre, iron, potassium and Thiamine! As goes without saying, these potatoes are chewy, gluten free, and are very easily digestible.
The way that I would prepare the potatoes for dogs is either by steaming them or by boiling them. Those two methods retain more nutritional value in the potato over roasting them.
When it comes to the best meat to feed dogs, salmon is certainly on top of that food chain. Salmon doesn’t just taste absolutely amazing, but also comes with so many essential nutrients.
Salmon is filled with omega-3 fatty acids, which include a range of benefits of but not limited to: managing inflammation in joints and muscles, visual and brain development, and promotes healthy skin as well as a healthy coat.
I would never serve the salmon raw though, as the risk of catching salmonella is a fatal one. Salmon is best served cooked and with no seasoning added.
Another sweet and healthy vegetable that dogs will love is pumpkin. It is both rich in taste and nutrients, containing a load of fibres and antioxidants. Pumpkin, a bit like some foods on this list, help out immensely with digestive issues, constipation and such. Pumpkin is also believed to help out with urinary health.
How I would serve pumpkin is by mushing it into a puree, and then adding one or two tablespoons of the mixture into a dog’s meal.
Seriously. Popcorn, believe it or not, could actually have some benefit for your dog’s health.
The popcorn itself actually contains minerals such as magnesium, zinc ,fiber and some vitamins. However, it is the various flavorings that we put into the popcorn that makes it rather unhealthy. Without the caramel, salt or any other flavoring, popcorn is actually relatively healthy.
You can prepare this for your dog during movie night without much worry. Just make sure that you do not add any flavoring whatsoever. Just plain, unsalted, classic popcorn.
Crunchy, affordable and nutritious, this makes for a dog’s perfect snack. This is the perfect snack to reward your pet with after learning something new. It has much lower calories than your usual dog biscuit and is more affordable.
A carrot contains potassium, vitamin A and fibre. It is known to improve vision, digestives, and surprisingly dental health! That’s right, Carrots can also be used to chew/nibble on by teething pups or even as a tough chew in order to naturally scrape a dog’s teeth.
Mangoes are perfectly edible for dogs, and provide a healthy range of benefits.
They contain various vitamins such as A, C and E, and they taste really sweet. Like many fruits on this list, it is also high in fiber.
The way that I would serve Mango is with the skin peeled, seeds removed and the fruit sliced up into smaller pieces in order to easily eat and digest.
These are just some of the weird human foods that could surprisingly benefit your pet dog as well. Long gone are the days of refusing those cute puppy eyes due to uncertainty. Now, you can feed your dogs the correct foods with confidence!
Do you have any other suggestions for such foods? Please feel free to share your opinion in the comments section!
BONUS- Brown rice (26/1/2018 update)
A user from Asia has suggested brown rice as a healthy human food for dogs. She occasionally sprinkles 5-7 spoons of cooked brown rice into her dog's meal, and claims that it does wonders for her dog's constipation issues.
After this suggestion, I did some extra homework. I searched up the benefits of brown rice, and it is pretty fantastic!
Brown rice contains a whole bunch of good components. Like what this user said, brown rice works well for constipation and stomach issues due to the high amount of fiber in it. However, that is not all the benefit that it yields. Brown rice is a treasure trove for healthy minerals, including calcium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin. It is also home to many vitamins, most notably B6 and D. As an additional benefit, it is extremely low on fat and sodium, and is relatively cheap!
Make sure to cook the rice well, please do not serve undercooked or overcooked rice. Also, like many things on this list, serve in moderation.
As a side note, not all dogs like brown rice. If they are not used to it, it is also perfectly fine to feed them cooked white rice as an alternative. It is not as nutritious, but it is easier to get used to.
(Updated on 26/1/2018)