You can ensure your dog’s continued good health by taking care to understand what people snacks are good for it and which ones are likely to cause it harm.
Dog-owners love their dogs so it’s only natural that they want to share goodies with them from time to time.
The following tasty treats, however, are among the best to give to your pampered pooch and it will be so grateful that you did!
1. Peanut Butter
Many dog owners are already well aware of the way peanut butter turns their calm pup into a seething peanut butter-loving monster whenever they catch a whiff of this good stuff. Yet many may not realize that peanut butter is actually good for their pets, and not simply a delightful treat that gets their dog to beg, sit and possibly even backflip down the hall.
This high protein snack is healthful for dogs with its rich protein and mineral content. Smear some on your dog’s toy or just let them lick their bowl clean while enjoying a delicious scoop from your peanut butter jar. You can include peanut butter as a reward as part of a dog training routine. The promise of this nutty treat will hopefully get your dog to perform better than ever!
Of course, peanut butter is often high in sugar and salt. Just like you wouldn’t let your child eat the whole jar in a single sitting, you should keep your dog’s consumption in check too. A spoonful or too will not harm your pooch at all, but don’t leave him unsupervised with an open jar, as he might go a little bit over the top!
If your dog’s digestive tract seems to have been behaving badly lately, you could try including some rice in his diet.
Rice is an easily digestible carbohydrate, which makes it a good choice for troubled tummies, both human and canine.
It’s also a good source of soluble fiber, which helps to clear up any diarrhea if your dog is unlucky enough to suffer from that.
Both brown rice and white rice are a good source of energy for your dog, but brown rice has even more protein than the more heavily processed white rice. Dogs love protein and it is essential for allowing them to tear around all day, so don’t hesitate to serve up a steaming portion of brown rice for your energetic dog.
Since rice is basically bland, your dog isn’t likely to turn up its nose either type, and the addition of brown rice to their usual meals may well keep them fuller for a longer period. If you happen to have instant rice on hand, go ahead and feed cooked rice to your dog guilt-free; it’s a perfectly friendly people food to provide.
3. Cooked Chicken
In fact, if you bake or broil a boneless chicken breast or thigh, they won’t even notice that their regular kibble is missing.
A tasty meal of chicken will give your dog the protein that it needs to thrive.
Chicken is a fantastic source of lean protein, which can help to support the health of both humans and dogs. White meat such as chicken breast is usually very low in fat, so your dog can sink its teeth into his meal without worrying about putting on a paunch under his fur.
Be sure you don’t add much spice to any meal that you are planning to feed to a pet. Humans might enjoy jazzing up plain food with spices and herbs, but dogs are perfectly content to enjoy the natural flavor of the chicken. In fact, for many dogs, it is one of their favorite foods. Go ahead and pair the chicken with some rice and don’t be surprised if your pooch asks for seconds!
4. Apple Slices
Biting through the crunchy skin and flesh of an apple helps to clean away bits of meat (and whatever else your dog has been chewing on) from the gaps between the teeth.
Dogs can’t use toothbrushes, so an apple can be the next best thing.
Take care not to feed your dog any seeds, of course, but go ahead and give them a few apple slices as a special treat. This little touch of fruity sweetness adds variety to the dog’s diet. He will almost certainly appreciate your thoughtfulness and reward you with plenty of hugs and licks.
Apples are as healthy for dogs as they are for people with their rich fiber content. The pectin in apples is good for the digestive systems of everyone in the family, including the family dog.
Moreover, as you probably know, apples make the perfect accompaniment for some luscious peanut butter. Your dog will be thrilled with this yummy treat. Go ahead and reward him for being a good boy.
5. Baby Carrots
You can use these delicious snacks as an alternative to apples when you get sick of handing over all your best fruits to your pet.
As an added bonus, the beta carotene and other vitamins and nutrients contained in the carrots are immensely healthy for dogs, as well as for humans.
Beta carotene is a form of vitamin A, which is important for keeping the eyes healthy. Help your dog to carry on seeing sharply throughout his life by including some orange vegetables, such as baby carrots, in his diet.
Dogs often like foods that have a crunch factor so the baby carrots will wow them. Let him exercise those powerful jaws by giving him some carrot sticks to bite down on. Yes, he will make a lot of noise while eating them, but that just shows his appreciation! Maybe he will even stop chewing your shoes?
If you run out of dog food, or just want to give your dog a special dinner, make it a meal of chicken, rice, and carrot sticks. Your grateful pet will probably come to dinner the next night wearing a coat and tie and expecting the same!
Cheese contains a lot of calcium, which will help to keep your dog’s bones and teeth healthy throughout his or her lifetime.
For some dogs, cheese can be an acquired taste.
Choose low-fat cheeses and see how your dog likes it before giving it too much. You can experiment with different types of cheese to see which one your dog prefers, but he will probably be happy with a simple cheddar. You don’t have to go gourmet to please the average pup!
Cheese is a healthy snack, but not one that you want to give it every day or in large quantities. It can be high in fat, which will make your dog pile on the pounds if he isn’t getting enough exercise every day. It’s also surprisingly salty. Give cheese to your pet, but be sensible. Don’t let him eat a big block of it!
Cottage cheese is not typically offered to dogs, but other types are rather palatable to canines. Cheese along with an apple slice or two will please your pup immensely. This tasty snack is gentle on canine tummies, so don’t be afraid to treat your pet in this way.
7. Omelet with Spinach and Cheese
Yet why give your dog mere scrambled eggs when you can treat it to a gourmet spinach omelet with some cheese?
Why go to so much trouble just to feed your pet? Well, firstly, because you love him as a member of the family, of course!
Even dogs deserve special treats from time to time. Also, combining foods in this way can be very good for the dog’s health. The added spinach provides extra fiber for the dog and can also pep up its metabolism.
Moreover, spinach offers rich vitamin and mineral content which can benefit your dog’s overall health. For example, it is rich in iron and vitamin K. These vitamins are important for all animals, not just people!
This meal might seem fitting for breakfast, but your dog will enjoy it at any time of day. In fact, it is so delicious that you might want to have one too and have dinner at the same time as your dog! He might not appreciate having to sit at the table and use a knife and fork, though, so maybe just put it in his bowl.
You can ramp up the health-giving properties of a crunchy carrot or apple snack by offering yogurt to your pet at the same time.
Your dog will likely love the mixture of flavors and textures.
Probiotic yogurts are brimming with friendly bacteria, as well as calcium, protein and so much more. Be sure to choose all-natural yogurts that are not loaded with sugar.
Too much sugar is not good for your dog, just as it is not good for you! The natural sugars in milk will not cause the dog any harm, but try to avoid offering products that have added sugar, sweeteners or high-fructose corn syrup.
Greek yogurt is usually unsweetened, and it is also especially creamy compared to other yogurts. Going Greek could therefore be a very good choice for your dog.
Brands that are healthy for you are likely to be healthy for your pet too. If you typically give your dog wet dog food and you suddenly realize that you have run out, then you can spice up its dry kibble with a bit of yogurt. This combination will likely make a welcome change for your dog.
Of course, you can simply feed your dog a snack of blueberries alone, which it is sure to love.
Blueberries are gently sweet and bursting with freshness, which your dog will definitely enjoy on hot summer days.
Blueberries are good for dogs in various ways. Rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, these simple fruit treats are immensely healthy just as they are for humans. Many researchers think that anti-oxidants might help to mop up cancer-causing free radicals in the body.
Although most research has been focused on the benefits of anti-oxidants for humans, there is no reason to think that they couldn’t have similar positive effects on your pet. With such amazing potential health benefits, why would you not toss a few blueberries to your loyal canine friend?
Don’t go overboard with your blueberry snack, as too many yummy berries at once can lead to tummy discomfort. You don’t want your dog to end up giving you puppy eyes because its tummy is feeling bad. However, you can feel free to indulge your pet with a few berries – either fresh or frozen – whenever you have them in the fridge.
Just as salmon can benefit the cat, it can help benefit the dog with its nutrients and protein.
Just make sure that you remove all the bones before you give any fish to your pet.
Fish bones are very small and can easily get stuck in a throat and cause choking. Dogs are particularly vulnerable to choking because they’re not known for being the most careful of eaters.
The omega 3 fatty acids in salmon will benefit the dog just as they do in humans. Omega 3 has a lot of different jobs in the body, from supporting the health of joints to protecting the most important muscle: the heart. In addition to these well publicized benefits, experts say that salmon can support your dog’s immune system and even enhance its coat!
Add a sprinkling of parsley and your dog will have the makings of a delicious fish dinner! Serve over rice for added appeal. The extra calories from the rice will be especially welcome if your dog has worked up a good appetite after playing in the yard all day.
11. Sweet Potatoes
When making some for dinner, be sure to set some aside for the dog.
You should serve your dog’s portion without any sugar or butter added, of course. Your dog won’t miss the additives but it will love this delicious treat.
Sweet potatoes offer many health benefits and are rich in beta carotene. This vital vitamin is only found in a few vegetables, and the sweet potato is one of the best sources in existence.
Do not feed your dog raw sweet potatoes. Just as humans wouldn’t find them very appetizing if they were served raw, neither will your dog. Also, dogs are not naturally equipped with the digestive machinery to cope well with raw sweet potatoes.
If your dog has been under the weather lately, this delicious treat will pep him up and fill him up too! Sweet potatoes are rich in soluble fiber, which supports good digestion. The natural sweetness will also help your dog to recover his appetite.
If your pup has been seeming a big down lately, try tempting him to eat with a freshly cooked bowl of mashed sweet potatoes. Yum!
12. Fresh Pumpkin
Canned pumpkin will also suffice so long as it isn’t loaded with sugar. It is always best to avoid adding sugar to dogs’ food, as it is not at all good for them.
Although pumpkin can definitely be on the menu, you should avoid following up with pumpkin pie for dessert.
Pumpkins will benefit the dog’s digestive tract and help it to get back on track more quickly. This tasty treat will also make them feel full, but pumpkin’s mild effect won’t further upset their tummies.
You should cook the pumpkin before serving it to make it as easy as possible to digest. As you probably know, eating a big bowl of freshly cooked pumpkin is a bit like getting a warm hug from inside!
Pumpkins are also incredibly healthy, thanks to their generous load of vitamins and minerals. Rich in beta carotene, pumpkins are too often forgotten for their many health benefits. When carving pumpkins for the fall season, be sure to save some of the good stuff for the dog!
He might not enjoy the scary faces that you carve into the pumpkin shells, but he will almost certainly love the middle part that you scoop out.
13. Pasta and Veggies
Add some peas, carrots and green beans to the pasta for added nutrition.
Green beans are especially good for dogs as they contain fiber and plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Like all green vegetables, they contain a little iron, as well as some vitamin C and a good mixture of other vitamins and minerals to support your dog’s overall health.
Dogs will love this dish and no sauce or dressing is required to get them to eat their vegetables! Perhaps your kids can learn a thing or two by watching the family dog dine on this healthful meal. After all, if he can eat his vegetables without complaining, shouldn’t they be able to do the same?
You can use either brown or white pasta to make this meal for your pet dog. Brown wholewheat pasta contains more fiber and more protein, so it is a slightly more nutritious choice. On the other hand, white pasta cooks more quickly. Your dog will not complain about either type of pasta, so go ahead and use whatever you have in the store cupboard.
14. Fruit Salad
You can even add in some honeydew melon and cantaloupe and make it a fruit salad treat.
As mentioned above, apples and blueberries can also be safely enjoyed by dogs, so go ahead and make your fruit salad as exciting as you want.
Just make sure that you don’t include any grapes or raisins, as these fruits have been linked with kidney failure in dogs in a few cases. Some dogs do seem to be able to eat these foods without experiencing any problems, but it is best not to risk harming your pet.
Mild fruits such as melon are tasty as well as nutritious. To avoid a big watermelon mess, just cut up your slice into bite-size pieces perfect for your pet. In fact, the smaller the bites that the dog has to take, the less likely they are to become sticky with juice.
When serving the kids their watermelon, now you won’t have to leave out the dog! Every member of the family can enjoy this tasty treat together on a hot day.
15. Lean Pork or Beef – You Decide
Lean cuts of meat will provide them with protein, riboflavin, and other nutrients that will pep up the dog’s energy levels and make their coats and eyes shine.
When giving pork or beef, trim off as much fat as possible. You should also avoid giving processed meat products such as burgers, as these are often packed with additives that are not so good for dogs.
Dogs love a good steak even more than most people do. They love eating steak in the morning, at noon and at night, but you only want to feed them some from time to time.
In addition to the obvious expense, too much red meat can lead to your dog putting on a bit too much puppy fat due to the high calorie content. It seems that you can have too much of a good thing after all!
A steak dinner with mashed sweet potatoes, fresh green beans and a peanut butter apple slice for dessert will make your dog the happiest creature on earth – just wait and see!