It’s common to hear all about the dangers of feeding people-foods to our pups. Chocolate is famously bad for dogs, but where do we stand on types of grains, honey, or different types of vegetable? There are a number of foods that are great for dogs. Some are only good in moderation. Others require a little care regarding the additives. Ultimately, there are dog approved people foods that are officially safe to share with our pooches. For Part One of this list, click here.
Meats: Pork, Chicken, Ham, & Turkey
Yes, these are safe meats. Pork is considered a very easy to digest protein. It’s packed with amino acids and has more calories, pound for pound, than any other meat. It’s also less likely to cause an allergic reaction than other meats.
Ham isn’t nearly as healthy as other meat choices but is okay for dogs to eat. Ham is high in sodium and fat, so sharing ham as a treat is great, but it definitely shouldn’t top our pups food at every meal.
Turkey is safe for dogs. However, turkey is often cooked with a variety of herb rubs and other seasonings. Garlic, in particular, is toxic for dogs and is a staple in many turkey recipes. The lesson is that turkey and other fowl can be good for dogs, but turkey in the form of leftovers from a human meal is probably not the best choice. Also, turkey and other fowl, such as duck, are high in fat and can be very rich for some dogs, causing upset stomachs and diarrhea. Keep in mind, poultry bones often splinter and can cause digestive blockages and tear the stomach and intestines. So, we need to remember to keep poultry bones away from our Fidos.
Chicken bones are just as dangerous because it is poultry, but unlike duck and turkey, cooked chicken is great for picky eaters. It’s an excellent source of protein, can be a regular part of any dog’s diet, and is often prescribed as the best Fido food when our pups are ill and need to avoid commercial dog food.
For those of us who use EcoEats Nutrient-Rich Dehydrated Dog Food, we are very familiar with these meat options as a great protein to add to the mix. We can use chicken as a day-to-day meal topper and keep things interesting with other meats or an occasional peanut butter mix-in. In fact, any dog approved people foods that are high in protein are a welcome topping as long as we avoid dairy for lactose intolerant dogs and avoid wheat and grains for dogs who are sensitive to those allergens.
While fish is meat, it deserves it’s own section because it carries its own set of nutrients and warnings. Fish is one of the many dog approved people foods because of the amount of good fats, amino acids, vitamins, and proteins found in fish.
Salmon, in particular, is great for canine joints and immune systems. It contains omega-3 fatty acids that support healthy, shiny coats. This can work by adding salmon to our pup’s diet, mixing a little salmon oil to their bowl, or sharing an occasional fish skin. Although, salmon and other fish should be cooked to 145 degrees and all bones need to be removed. Otherwise, parasites that are present in most fish can cause vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and even death in extreme cases. Salmon should also only be served twice a week.
Cooked tuna without bones, is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. It’s great for their eyes and keeps their hearts healthy. If we use canned tuna, it should be in water, rather than oil. And, as with most fish, tuna contains mercury and sodium, so it should be served in moderation.
Wheat, Grains, & Quinoa
Yes, wheat and grains are okay for our dogs to eat. They are healthy sources of protein, fatty acids, and fiber. Corn, in particular, is a rich source of protein. Oatmeal is considered a soluble fiber that can be helpful for the bowel irregularity often experienced by senior dogs. Even unsalted, unbuttered, air-popped popcorn is okay for dogs in moderation. It has riboflavin, thiamine, iron, and protein.
Wheat and grains become a problem because there are dog allergies that can be exacerbated by a diet with wheat or grains. Allergen-free diets will avoid both kinds of wheat and grains. Oatmeal is often used as an alternative for those dogs who are allergic to wheat.
Quinoa is a seed. It is not considered a grain. In fact, it is more closely related to spinach and beets. For this reason, it has made it onto the list of dog approved people foods because it’s a great, nutrient-rich alternative to wheat and grains. And it is often added to foods that need a high-quality alternative to soy and other starches.
Vegetables & Fruits
Yes, vegetables are great for dogs. For some reason, this is often questioned, but many vegetables are a great way to supplement meals as low-calorie snacks for hungry dogs. Carrots are great for teeth, are low calorie, and are high in fiber and vitamin A.
Green Beans are a high fiber, filling snack for hungry dogs that don’t add unnecessary calories. Pumpkin can be a great way to add fiber and vitamin A to our pups diet while also aiding digestion.
And apple slices are great for a number of reasons. Apples clean teeth and helps fight bad breath. They are rich in fiber and vitamins A and C. Just remember to remove seeds and the core. Apple seeds contain arsenic that can cause a variety of reactions to the toxin.
Not So Dog Approved People Foods
There are many human foods that are toxic to our pups. And even the list of okay human foods come with warnings about preparation and amounts. Chocolate, onions, peppers, garlic, grapes, raisins, some nuts, coffee, alcohol, avocados, and artificial sweeteners are just a few of the most toxic foods for dogs. Remember to always consult a veterinarian where there is uncertainty or where a potential reaction is developing.