Enduring a little begging from soulful pleading eyes is just a normal part of being a dog mom. It can be too hard to ignore those big puppy dog eyes staring up at you and sometimes we succumb to those sweet faces and give in. The problem is that much of what we eat can be harmful or even toxic to our dogs’ health. If you’re a sucker like me and want to share the food wealth with Fido, go for a snack that won’t hurt his tummy or better yet, go for one with added health benefits. Here are a few “people foods” you can share with your pup guilt-free.
[ This post was originally written for OC Mom Blog. You can see the original post here. ]
Raw carrots are one of my go-to healthy snacks, for me and my pups. Carrots are jam packed with vitamin A along with a little bit of vitamin K, vitamin C, and calcium. Aside from the nutrients, carrots are also good for canine health. Those crunchy raw carrots help remove plaque build-up. These really are a guilt-free snack.
Yogurt is not only delicious, but it’s loaded with good stuff like vitamins, protein, calcium, and potassium among other things. Added bonus: yogurt with active bacteria cultures can act as a probiotic to help with your dog’s digestive system. Make sure you buy plain yogurt with no added flavors or artificial sweeteners for Fido.
This super food is quickly becoming a popular dog treat and for good reason. This colorful veggie is a great source of fiber to help maintain a healthy GI tract. Sweet potatoes are also brimming with potassium, iron, calcium, and lots of vitamins. Peel and cook to mash up with your dog’s kibble or slice and dehydrate to make healthy chews.
These neat little packages of protein can be helpful digestive boosters for dogs with sensitive stomachs. For easy feeding, hard boil the eggs and use as treats. Many raw feeders recommend supplementing your dog’s meal with raw eggs, shell and all, for added nutrition. Consult with your vet before feeding raw eggs as some warn against it.
This flavorful fruit is not only tasty but very nutritious with loads of amino acids, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, fiber, and magnesium. Your pup won’t be able to resist this sweet treat. Bananas make an easy and healthy snack for you and your pup.
Pumpkin is an excellent source of fiber and can relieve many of your dog’s digestive issues including diarrhea and constipation. Pumpkin can also be used as a supplement to help your dog maintain a healthy weight. If you choose to go the easy route and buy pumpkin puree, just make sure it’s not pie filling as many brands contain artificial sweeteners and other additives. To read more about the health benefits of pumpkin for your dog, click here.
Peanut butter has long been a canine favorite and is chocked full of vitamin B, vitamin E, heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and is a good source of protein. Just make sure you opt for an all natural peanut butter that’s free of harmful additives such as Xylitol. Let your pup lick a spoonful of peanut butter clean or fill a Kong with it to keep your puppy busy.
Okay, I’ll admit that this one is just for fun. I’m a popcorn addict and with my air popper, I can keep it light and healthy. My dogs have come to love popcorn too, because I can’t resist those ridiculous yearning faces. Make sure to skip the butter and salt for your pup and don’t overdo it (a few popped pieces will do) as too much could upset your pup’s diet.
* Just like people, some dogs have sensitive stomachs or food allergies and may not be able to tolerate certain foods. As you should when introducing any new food source into your dog’s diet, consult with your vet before sharing snacks. And, if you’re looking for good quality packaged dog treats, check out my guidelines for choosing the good stuff here.