Looking after a dog is an important and time-consuming responsibility. Dogs need constant supervision, which can be challenging when working long hours or with a busy schedule. The good news is that your dog will thrive when given the right nutrition and attention. You may think that dogs are carnivores and need to eat meat to stay healthy, but this isn’t necessarily true. Dogs can eat human food as long as it’s not something that would be poisonous to them. Many people assume that some foods are toxic to dogs because they are known to be dangerous for humans. In most cases, these fears are unfounded. While dogs have different nutritional needs than humans, there are plenty of safe foods that you can give your dog with no negative consequences. Let’s take a look at 17 surprising foods you can give your dog.
Beans are a healthy source of protein and fiber, and they come in a variety of types and flavors. Most types of beans are safe to feed to your dog, with the exception of fava beans and green beans. Baked beans are generally safe to feed to dogs, but they should be baked without the sauce, which contains ingredients that are toxic to dogs. You can give your dog plain baked beans, or you can mash up some black beans and serve them as a side dish with your meals. Black beans are a good source of protein and fiber, and they also contain iron, magnesium, and zinc.
Cheese is a delicious snack for both humans and dogs. Most types of cheese are safe for dogs to eat, with the exception of blue cheese, which should be avoided due to its high salt content. When feeding your dog cheese, choose low-fat varieties such as cheddar, mozzarella, and Swiss. You can also grate hard cheeses such as Parmesan to give your dog a cheesy topping for his food. Sometimes, some dogs who eat cheese can experience gastrointestinal issues due to a high lactose content, so feed your dog in moderation and avoid feeding it to puppies under six months old.
Eggs are high in protein, vitamin B12, and iron, and they contain healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids. While humans should eat eggs only occasionally due to their high cholesterol content, dogs can eat them as part of a balanced diet. Egg whites contain mainly protein while yolks are high in fat, so feed your dog one whole egg or one yolk per week. You can hard boil and mash up an egg to feed it raw to your dog, or you can scramble it and add it to your dog’s food.
Nuts come in a wide variety of flavors and textures, and they’re packed with protein and healthy fats. You can feed your dog any type of nut you like, provided it isn’t salted or honey-roasted. Your dog will likely love almonds, peanuts, walnuts, and cashews, but you should avoid macadamia nuts due to their high fat content. Peanuts are especially tasty, and they’re a great source of protein.
Salmon is loaded with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and vitamin D. Feeding your dog salmon can help keep him fit and healthy due to its high protein and low-fat content. Salmon is also a low-allergen food, which makes it a good choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Choose wild salmon over farmed salmon. Wild salmon is loaded with beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, whereas farmed salmon is high in mercury and other toxins. Salmon can be served raw, baked, or grilled, or it can be mashed up and used to top your dog’s kibble.
Soy is a legume that is high in protein and essential vitamins and minerals. However, dogs process soy in a different way than humans, and it can lead to gastrointestinal issues in dogs. Salted and fermented soy products like tofu and tempeh are safe to feed to dogs, although they should be used in moderation. If you’re feeding your dog a soy-based food, keep in mind that soy isn’t a nutritious additive. Dogs are omnivorous, so they need a balanced diet of meat and vegetables.
7. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamins and minerals like beta-carotene, iron, manganese, and vitamin B6. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of fiber and protein. While potatoes are generally safe to feed to dogs, sweet potatoes are a better choice. You can bake or microwave sweet potatoes, scoop out the flesh, and mash it up for your dog to enjoy. You can also grate sweet potatoes and serve them as a side dish. If you are too busy to prepare your own we found these convenient doggy sweet potato snacks on Amazon (we may get a small commission for purchases).
Most types of tea can be served to your dog, provided it isn’t caffeinated and you aren’t adding milk or sugar to it. Herbal teas are a great way to relax after a long day, and they’re a healthy beverage for your dog to enjoy as well. Dog-friendly teas include black and green teas, oolong, and yerba mate. You can brew a small batch of tea and let it cool down before giving it to your dog. You can also buy ready-to-serve herbal teas made specifically for dogs.
If you find tea for dogs hard to find you could opt for herbal supplements in capsule form which are designed to support the immune system of dogs. We found Essiac International Herbal Supplement for Pets on Amazon for a decent price (we may get a small commission for purchases)
While the occasional piece of beef is fine for dogs, you should avoid giving your dog steak. Steak has a high fat content and is very salty, which is why it’s not recommended for dogs. While fatty cuts of meat like bacon, ham, and ground beef can be given to dogs, avoid giving them cured meats like bacon, salami, and sausages. Similarly, avoid giving your dog pork products. You should also avoid feeding your dog raw or rare meats as these can contain harmful bacteria. Instead, cook your dog’s meat thoroughly. Avoid feeding your dog red meat too often as it’s high in protein and can be bad for their joints.
10. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt, though not as beneficial to dogs as cheese, can still be given to your dog as a healthy snack. It contains probiotics, which can be beneficial to your dog’s digestive health. You should avoid feeding your dog plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt. Instead, try mixing it with a bit of peanut butter, honey, or dog treats to make it more enticing. Avoid feeding your dog yogurt that contains artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial coloring.
Kale, though not as delicious as other foods on this list, is good for dogs. It’s rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making it a healthy food for dogs. As with other veggies, you should avoid giving your dog raw kale, as it may be contaminated with harmful bacteria. Kale is best served steamed or lightly sautéed to avoid destroying its nutritional value. You can feed your dog kale as a side dish, or try mixing it with their dog food for an added nutritional boost.
Spinach is another healthy vegetable that can be fed to dogs. Like kale, spinach is rich in both vitamins and minerals. It’s also very low in calories, meaning it’s good for overweight dogs. Spinach can be served steamed or lightly sautéed, and is best added to your dog’s food. It can also be blended into a smoothie or homemade dog food.
Strawberries can be given to dogs as an occasional snack or as part of their regular diet. They’re rich in vitamins and minerals, and make a great source of antioxidants. Strawberries can be served fresh, dried, or frozen. Avoid feeding your dog strawberries that have been flavored or have sugar added.
If you have a dog that’s on a diet, broccoli is a great choice to add to their menu. Like humans, broccoli contains high levels of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Your dog will also get a decent amount of protein from broccoli, which is important for healthy muscles, bones, and skin. Broccoli for dogs is that it contains very little fat and will likely not impact your dog’s weight in any harmful way.
Corn is another food that may seem odd to add to a dog’s diet, but it’s actually a very good choice. Corn is a great source of carbohydrates, and dogs need carbohydrates, just like humans. Corn is a great way to add a little bit of this essential nutrient to your dog’s diet without adding too many calories or a lot of other nutrients. Corn is also a good source of fiber and protein, which may help to prevent certain cancers. Corn is a very safe and nutritious food for dogs to eat, but there are a few things to keep in mind when feeding it to your pooch. Corn on the cob is not safe for dogs, as they can choke on it. Instead, you can feed your dog corn kernels grated off the cob or even a commercial dog food that contains corn.
16. Dark Chocolate
Chocolate is one of those surprising foods that can be given to a dog that both humans and dogs alike love. The thing is, though, not all chocolate is ideal for dogs to eat. While milk chocolate is generally safe, dark chocolate is a better choice. This is because milk chocolate contains much higher levels of sugar, which can cause stomach upset in some dogs. Dark chocolate, on the other hand, is much lower in sugar and dark chocolate also contains antioxidants and minerals like iron, copper, and magnesium.
17. Brussels Sprouts
While we might not all be fans of the bitter taste or even the look of them, dogs don’t really have an opinion on these leafy greens. But like broccoli, Brussels sprouts are a great choice for dogs looking to maintain a healthy weight and eat some nutritious food at the same time. They’re also a good source of Vitamin K, which is important for strong bones and preventing conditions like blood clots.
Beans, eggs, nuts, and sweet potatoes are safe foods that provide dogs with essential vitamins and minerals. Dogs can also be given tea as a healthy alternative to coffee and tea. Giving your dog human food isn’t a bad thing as long as it’s nutritionally sound and not something that would be toxic to him.
All in all, dogs and humans have a lot more in common than people might think. And while we may eat broccoli and broccoli sprouts, and they might eat broccoli chews, there’s no reason our paths can’t cross every now and then.
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