We all give our pets a little human food. It's difficult to ignore those puppy dog eyes staring up at you at the table or while you're cooking. Some human food isn’t ideal for dogs (or for us for that matter) and should be kept to a minimum.
The issue isn’t that you’re giving your dog human food, it’s when it’s unhealthy human food. The crux of the problem is that packaged foods contain chemicals and other components that are harmful to our dogs. Obesity can also be caused by consuming certain human foods (ie: if you give your dog McDonald’s everyday, like you, your dog will gain weight)
Savvy dog owners treat their dog’s with healthy human food.
Let's look at the best human food for dogs that is both safe and healthful for our four-legged companions.
What human food can dogs snack on?
1. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is the first item on our list. Peanut butter is a wonderful source of protein, heart-healthy fats, vitamin B, niacin, and vitamin E. Try stuffing peanut butter into a Kong dog toy for a fascinating exercise that will keep your canine occupied for hours.
Make sure you use unsalted, raw peanut butter.
Note: If you're using sugar-free or "light" peanut butter, be sure you're not using artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.
Related: Best Type of Peanut Butter for Dogs
2. Cooked Chicken
Cooked chicken is another human food that is healthy for dogs. It is one of the most prevalent components of pet food. Cooked chicken can be mixed in with your dog's usual meal to provide extra protein and a hint of flavor. Cooked chicken, in addition to being a tasty treat, can also be used as a good meal substitute if you're out of pet food.
If your dog isn't lactose intolerant, which just a small fraction of dogs are, cheese is a great reward for them. After feeding your dog little amounts of cheese, keep an eye on their reaction. Choose low or reduced-fat variants and limit your consumption, as many kinds of cheese are heavy in fat. Cottage cheese is commonly recommended for dogs.
Carrots, cut into small pieces, are a healthy, low-calorie reward for your dog's teeth. Carrots also contain a lot of fibre, beta carotene, and vitamin A. Raw and cooked carrots are both delicious.
Related: Carrot Cake For Dogs
Yogurt is another safe human food for dogs. Canines will enjoy yogurt because it is high in calcium and protein. Yogurts containing active bacteria can also be used as a probiotic and are beneficial to your dog's digestive tract.
Bear in mind that only yogurts without artificial sweeteners or processed sugars should be chosen. Greek yogurt is usually preferred by dogs since it contains less lactose than regular yogurt. You can also give kefir to your dog if it's basic and unflavored.
Related: What are the benefits of yogurt for dogs?
Salmon, which is high in omega 3 fatty acids, keeps your dog's coat healthy and lustrous while also supporting his immune system. Salmon can be added to your dog's diet in a variety of ways. Consider putting cooked salmon in your dog's dish, putting salmon oil in her bowl, or giving him some of your discarded fish skins.
Related: 20 healthy homemade dog food recipes your dog will love.
Pumpkin is a squash family member that is high in fibre, beta carotene, and vitamin A. Pumpkin can also help to keep the GI tract flowing and can help with digestive disorders. Fresh pumpkin and canned pumpkin both make great dog treats as long as they're basic and haven't been sweetened.
Related Content:6 Ways To Sneak Pumpkin Into Your Dog’s Diet
Apples are abundant in fibre, vitamin A, and vitamin C, making them an excellent dog treat. Apple slices are also believed to help clear debris from a pet's teeth, which helps to refresh their breath. Remove the seeds and core from the apple slices before feeding them to your dog, as these might cause choking.
Scrambling an egg for your dog is a terrific way to add protein to her diet. Eggs are a great source of easily digested riboflavin and selenium, in addition to being high in protein. To prevent salmonella, make sure eggs are thoroughly cooked. Boiling and simmering are two choices for scrambling eggs. Just make sure you don't season it.
Cooked oatmeal is especially good for elderly dogs with digestive irregularities since it is high in soluble fibre. It's also a great wheat-free alternative grain for dogs. Make sure to prepare your dog's oatmeal before giving it to him, and choose oatmeal with no added sugar or flavorings.
Coconut oil is almost exclusively (more than 90%) saturated fat and is one of the few foods that can be classified as a "superfood". A medium-chain triglyceride (MCT), coconut oil consists of a series of fatty acid molecule chains that are easily digested and absorbed, without causing the pancreas to go into overdrive producing digestive enzymes that absorb saturated oils.
This is of particular importance to dogs suffering from digestive disorders (Irritable Bowel Disease, Pancreatitis) and metabolic disorders (Diabetes Mellitus, Cushing's Disease) as it puts less strain on the animal's digestive system.
Related: Can coconut oil improve my dog’s health
When you initially introduce human food that dogs can eat to your dog's diet, remember to start with tiny amounts until your dog’s digestive system gets used to it, then increase.
Rocky Kanaka is an entrepreneur, pet rescue advocate and dog dad to a rescue boxer named Flip, a blind Cane Corso called Kobe, and a terrier mix named Zoey. He's also a pet chef and owner of The Dog Bakery, which specializes in dog birthday cakes
and fresh baked dog treats. His three dogs can't get enough of the dog cakes and treats!
Lorna Paxton Ladd is a passionate dog lover and enthusiast of The Dog Bakery. She loves spoiling her 3 rescue dogs with dog cakes
and jerky. A 15 year veteran in the pet industry, her aim is to educate pet parents on the best recipes, products, tips and tricks to optimize the human/canine bond. Her favorite product at The Dog Bakery are the customizable dog birthday cakes.