You love your dog. You love spoiling your dog, and giving her treats for her good behavior, for holidays, or just because you want her to experience the ecstasy that you do while munching on a piece of sushi.
But do you know which foods are safe for Buddy, and which ones could make him sick? Did you know that macadamia nuts and citrus fruit can actually lead to death if your pup gets too many nibbles?
For your pup’s safety and health, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide on food dos and don’ts for pups, and supplied it here.
THE SAFE FOODS LIST
There are tons and tons of safe for Fido foods that people eat. Ranging from fruits and vegetables to grains and meats, you’ll never run out of options for treats for your pooch.
Not all dogs like fruit, but for those who’ve got a sweet tooth, these are the safe fruits to offer them.
Sliced apples, never whole apples, are a tasty, healthy treat that some dogs adore. They’re full of phytonutrients, and Vitamins A and C.
Apple skins are fine for dogs, but never give them the seeds. Apple seeds contain cyanide, a poison. And, yes, that means you should avoid eating these, too.
Watermelon and cantaloupe are great fruits that your pooch can enjoy. They’re packed with necessary vitamins, and taste fantastic to many dogs.
Blueberries are one of those fruits that benefit pretty much everybody. They’re packed with antioxidants and vitamins, and they taste great.
Other Fruits To Give Fido
In addition to these popular fruits listed, you can also safely give your pup any of the following fruits:
If your canine pal is less into the naturally sweet fruits, you can offer him some vitamin-packed veggies that will give his immune system a boost while tantalizing his taste buds.
Carrots are high in Vitamin A, beta-carotene, and fiber, and they’re low in calories. That means they’re great for dogs of any weight, but especially work well as a treat for dogs who could lose a few pounds for better health.
Plus, chewing on raw carrots can help your dog’s dental health, too. That means healthier teeth, and better breath.
Canned of fresh, cooked pumpkin is a great option for Rover, unless there’s some added sugar or spices. Pumpkin is especially great for dogs with a sensitive stomach. Pumpkin is also a great way to help your pup’s cardiovascular health.
Pumpkin is a great source of Vitamin A and fiber.
Any pooches who need to lose a little weight should eat some green beans. They’re super high in fiber, low in calories, and make an awesome treat.
Toss Fido some green beans straight from the fridge, or into his bowl, and he’ll fill up without eating too many calories. Just make sure there’s no added sodium – generally meaning no canned beans.
Other Vegetables To Give Your Pal
Since vegetables are full of vitamins, and fiber, and generally have a satisfying crispy crunch that dogs love, you’ll want to consider some of these other veggies fit for pups:
Your dog is, by nature, a carnivore. And that means he naturally loves meat and protein. Here are some options for giving him some fresh meat choices, when you want to skip the canned.
Cooked chicken is a great snack or meal additive for your dog. But it must always be boneless, as chicken bones splinter and can cause damage to your pup’s digestive system.
Plain, boiled chicken is a great substitute for a dog who’s got an upset tummy.
Raw chicken is never an option, though, because raw poultry can carry a variety of bacteria that can make your dog ill.
Salmon is one of the healthiest protein sources for almost any creature. The Omega-3 fatty acids can help improve heart health, while providing other beneficial nutrients.
Only serve Fido unseasoned cooked salmon, though. Never go raw.
If you feel like giving your dog a treat, try some water-packed tuna. You can mix in some of the flakes with his kibble, and with it you’ll be adding a ton of flavor and Omega-3s that help his health on a number of levels. Just don’t give him raw tuna for any reason.
Other Proteins and Fats
Probably the most popular of treats for dogs is peanut butter. It lasts forever, and keeps your dog entertained while getting some healthy nutrients.
Peanuts are loaded with protein, niacin, healthy fats, and Vitamins B and E.
Unsalted peanut butter is your best option, since sodium naturally occurs in so many foods. Also, make sure the peanut butter doesn’t have added sugar, and absolutely does not contain Xylitol, which is dangerous for dogs.
A great way to feed peanut butter to your pup, by the way, is a Kong toy. This can help calm down a dog with anxiety or separation issues, as well as overactive puppies.
Dogs love eggs, and they’re full of health benefits, like biotin, riboflavin, selenium, and, of course, protein.
Never prepare eggs with salt, pepper, or other seasonings when you plan to serve them to your dog.
There’s a debate on whether or not raw eggs are safe for dogs, but cooked, plain eggs are definitely a great option.
Some people offer cheese to their dogs as a special treat. This isn’t a good idea for any pup who’s lactose intolerant, however.
Cheese is high in protein and calcium, and tends to be bland enough most pups can handle it.
Full-fat, plain yogurt can be a great treat for your dog, and give him some probiotics for digestive issues.
Freeze the yogurt in a dog-safe container, and serve it up as a hot weather treat for your pal, and he’ll love you even more. Just make sure the yogurt is full of live cultures, or he won’t get the full benefits.
Grains and Starches
Cooked rice is often a part of dog food formulas. It helps to fill up a dog, without adding junk to his diet. Rice is also bland, so it’s great for pups with upset or sensitive stomachs.
Rice combined with boiled chicken is also a great way to help a dog out who’s got some issues with getting full nutrition because of diarrhea or other digestive system issues.
High in Vitamin A and fiber, along with some other nutrients we all need, sweet potatoes are a great choice for your furry pal’s dinner or snack time.
Cook them up without butter or added seasonings of any kind, and dish them out. He’ll love the taste, and benefit from all the positive nutrients.
Oatmeal is a great option for dogs that aren’t grain-sensitive. It works as a great food additive that’s packed with vitamins and minerals, as well as a ton of healthy fiber.
If your pup really loves those carbs, it’s okay to occasionally give him some pasta. Make sure it really is only once in a while, and that it’s cooked and plain. Pasta should only ever be a treat, and never a staple.
Every now and then, a bite-sized piece of whole grain bread – meaning wheat, rice-based, or oat based – can be good for your dog’s gut health. Never ever give raw dough, though.
Recipes for Special Treats
If you’re wanting to give your furry pal a special treat in the hot summer days, you’ll want to consider making this simple recipe.
Mix one cup of unsalted peanut butter together with half a mashed, ripe banana. Use a teaspoon of water or less, if necessary. Then, drop the mix by spoonful’s onto a cookie sheet that’s lined with wax paper. Pop it into the freezer and let it freeze for a few hours. Serve the treats straight from the freezer to keep them from becoming messy.
Or, if you’re feeling more the sweets will satisfy, you can make some sweet potato jerky for your pal.
Scrub and skin some sweet potatoes, and slice them into 1/2-inch strips. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and lay the strips on the sheet.
Bake them for 3 to 4 hours at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. You can serve them once they’ve cooled down. Store them in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
The Toxic Foods List
While many foods that humans eat are safe for dogs, there are a bunch that can seriously harm her, or even kill. Always avoid these foods.
Avocados make their own fungicide, which is called persin, and dogs are allergic to it. That means you need to avoid giving your pup any avocado, including guacamole, and the seeds, and all parts of the plant.
If you happen to have an avocado tree in your yard, make sure you safely block your pooch out from getting into it.
Some people might think it’s funny to post some videos on Youtube of their pets drinking beer, but alcohol is dangerous for your pets. Their systems are much smaller than ours, and so the intoxication levels rise much more quickly for them. That means that they can get alcohol poisoning, which may lead to death.
Caffeine is in coffee, even decaf coffee, and that means your dog shouldn’t have any. Stimulants like caffeine can speed up Fifi’s heart rate to dangerous levels, or cause palpitations or muscle tremors. Any of these symptoms may lead to much more serious health issues.
While milk won’t kill your dog, it is very likely to cause digestive issues including diarrhea and intestinal distress. That means gas, painful tummies, and lots of bad smells all around.
Chocolate contains something called theobromine, which functions a bit like caffeine. And it wreaks havoc on your dog’s nervous system. It can cause the same heart issues that caffeine will, but it can also cause tremors, seizures, diarrhea, vomiting, and even death.
If your dog does happen to get ahold of a tiny bit of chocolate – like a stray chocolate chip – it likely won’t lead to such severe symptoms. Typically, a ten-pound dog would have to eat an entire chocolate bar to wind up in the danger zone.
While processed meats aren’t good for anyone, especially smaller animals, ham is particularly dangerous to dogs. It can cause pancreatitis, which is a potentially fatal disease. The high-fat content is the main issue with ham, so if you really feel the need to give your dog meats, make sure it’s a lower-fat choice than pork.
Raw or Undercooked Meat And Eggs
Raw meats, including poultry, and raw eggs can contain dangerous bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli. These bacteria can cause serious health issues, and can even cause death.
Salt in large quantities can cause some serious health issues. It messes with the heart, and often causes symptoms like excessive thirst, frequent urination, depression, tumors, vomiting, diarrhea, elevated blood pressure, elevated body temperature, seizures, and even death.
Never feed your dog salty snacks like potato chips, salted pretzels or salted popcorn.
This sweetener is used in a ton of products, like gum, candy, baked goods, and even toothpaste. Xylitol can be dangerous though, as it causes insulin release in most species. That means liver failure can occur.
Yeast is one of those things that accumulates in a dog’s digestive system. It’s painful, and can cause some serious issues, as the stomach can bloat and twist. Make sure your dog never eats raw dough, no matter how cutely he may be begging for it.
Just like in humans, sugar can lead to dangerous diseases and health issues like diabetes and obesity. Help keep your pooch healthy by avoiding anything with added sugar in it.
Grapes And Raisins
For some reasons, which scientists and veterinarians can’t figure out, grapes and raisins can lead to kidney failure in dogs. Even a tiny amount of this fruit can be dangerous, so if you or a child happen to drop a raisin in the vicinity of your dog, snatch it up immediately before she can eat it.
Chives, Onions, And Garlic
These aromatic plants, along with all others in the allium genus can irritate your dog’s digestive system. Eating too much of these can cause a depletion of red blood cells, which leads to anemia.
Stone Fruit Pits
Stone fruit pits contain cyanide, which is, of course, poisonous. Make sure you always completely dispose of these pits somewhere that your pup cannot get to, especially if he happens to burrow through the trash on occasion.
Stone fruits include:
If your dog gets ahold of some macadamia nuts, even just a couple, he can become very ill. Dogs usually show signs about twelve hours after eating them, so don’t assume she’s fine after she snatched up a macadamia nut.
Look for signs of weakness, or depression. Severe poisoning from macadamia nuts can result in tremors and hypothermia.
Because of the severity of these reactions, the best policy with bakes goods and candy is to always say “no” to Fido’s begging.
A variety of mushrooms contain toxins that can cause kidney or liver failure, diarrhea, hallucinations, vomiting, or damage to red blood cells. Avoid giving your dog mushrooms, but also do your best to prevent him from getting into any wild fungus that grows nearby.
Nutmeg is delicious on eggnog – something else your dog should never have – but for dogs it can cause severe vomiting and hallucinations.
Stems, leaves, peels, seeds, and the fruit of citrus plants contain various amount of citric acid and essential oils. These can cause irritation for your dog, but worse can potentially shut your dog’s nervous system down.
Note: strawberries are citrus fruit. They may be okay in small doses, but avoid letting your pooch have more than one or two.
Coconut And Coconut Oil
Small amounts of coconut or coconut oil probably won’t cause severe harm to your dogs. But too much and your pup will have some loose stool, diarrhea, upset stomach, or other digestive issues.
Other Foods to Avoid
Other foods to avoid giving to your dog include:
Your Dog’s Best Diet
Now that you know all the foods that are safe for Butch, and which ones will hurt him, you can take better control of your pet’s eating habits. Toss him a banana peanut butter popsicle bite, boil him some chicken, or make him some chicken and rice mash for an upset tummy.
Whatever you decide to do, you know what’s okay, and what’s not. And that’s going to make life so much better for you both.