If you’ve been living on this planet for the last sixty years or so at least, chances are that you have grown up seeing this on the television or on comic strips: Mom leaves the table to get something? Don’t worry; you know what to do with all that unpalatable food on your plate! One swift downward motion and your trusty accomplice waiting under the table can finish it up. Not even a trace left of it anywhere and no one the wiser (or so you think!)
But even if that’s not the case, our adorable feline companions often come up to the table and ask for food. Who can resist those big puppy eyes? Try saying no if you can: we’ve tried, and failed, over and over again. It’s one of the most difficult jobs on the planet, we say!
Nevertheless, “people food” can actually be really bad for your dog. This really isn’t about body-issues, folks, but serious problems like worms, diarrhea or even choking hazards. Did you know that even bones from the neck of a chicken can prove to be a hazard to your dog? We sure didn’t know that for a long time! But don’t worry, there’s still plenty that your pet can actually eat off your plate: and some of these choices may even surprise you!
They say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” Well, in this case it would technically be your vet, but the saying is just as true for humans as for dogs. Apples are a great source of vitamins, including Vitamin C and to some extent Vitamins A, B, and E, which as you know are good for your dog. Moreover, they are an excellent source of fiber (which helps in digestion). Not only that, but apples contain something called Potassium which is great for dogs! And if that’s not enough, then just know that it also helps improve your dog’s breath and their teeth! Just remember to remove the core and seeds, because they can prove to be a choking hazard for your pet.
“Eh, what’s up Doc?” Bugs Bunny popularized the notion of carrots as a treat for generations of kids: if only that would actually work on the kids and help in getting them to eat their carrots. But surprisingly enough, you may just find out that your dog adores Bugs Bunny. We were surprised to see how fast Timmy finished her carrot slices, coming back for more! We concluded one thing from that: dogs sure like to eat carrots. Plus, it’s super healthy to boot! Carrots are naturally high in fiber and have very few calories in them, which makes for an incredibly good snack for your dog. Besides, as with apples, chewing on carrots helps promote healthy teeth in dogs. That’s a win-win, we say!
Oatmeal is great for humans, but did you know that they’re really good for dogs too? Especially dogs who are getting on in years, because bowel movements can be a problem for them. Because of their high fiber content, they make for a filling meal for your dog. The health benefits of oatmeal are numerous, because oatmeal helps fight bad cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease. It even helps dogs maintain the right weight! You may cook it without salt or sugar for at least ten minutes or more, and add a boiled egg or sausages for a boost of much needed protein. Please don’t try to use the instant oatmeal here: it may seem easier and faster, but our dog deserves better!
Studies have shown that lean meats help dogs live approximately 2 years longer than those who are not fed on non-lean meat. Experts generally agree that some raw meats are okay for your dog, but not in extravagant quantities. Chicken is a health hazard if in a raw form, particularly for the fear of salmonella contamination. The workaround is that you could lightly cook the chicken for your dog to make for a special treat. Slip it into their bowl of regular food, and it can work wonders for a recalcitrant eater. Another good example from the lean meat department is salmon, which is a rich source of protein and Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which helps in brain development particularly if your pet is a puppy.
There is no consensus on this one, but believe it or not, rice can actually help your dog. Your dog may not always be in the pink of health, and they are often troubled by digestive trouble. If your dog is suffering from a bout of diarrhea and your appointment with the vet is not until a couple days still, do this: put them on a diet of boiled rice. Plain rice, served with tender boiled chicken can help your dog recover from gastrointestinal upsets.
Summer can be especially taxing for both humans and dogs alike, but at least you get to have a deliciously cold ice-cream! While a lick of your ice-cream is fine, the whole thing might be a problem if it becomes a habit for your dog. As a compromise, put out some delicious yogurt for your dog. Not only does yogurt contain protein and calcium (because it’s a dairy product after all), it is also a very nice treat for digestive problems! Make sure that the yogurt is completely free of sugar and artificial sweeteners, however, because like we’ve been trying to emphasize, sugar can be really, really bad for your dog. Go ahead, then, don’t be afraid: give your dog some healthy and tasty yogurt!
One of the best sources of protein are eggs, and they are as easily available as they are beneficial to dogs. As long as they are cooked well, you do not have to worry about bacteria from the egg harming your dog’s health. Raw eggs can also cause problem with your dog’s skin and hair, though, so watch out for any allergic reactions. As long as they don’t exhibit any, give them hard-boiled or scrambled eggs for a quick and easy protein boost. You can even add eggs to cooked oatmeal like we mentioned before, or with their regular meal, because eggs are a great source of Folate, Vitamin A, B5, B12, B2…do you really need any more examples to convince you? We thought not!
Yes, we just decided to sneak this one into our list. Surprised? We were too. We were wondering about whether corn was good for dogs, and it apparently is, which made us wonder if it’s okay to share our tub of popcorn when watching a movie with Bud. Turns out, it’s fine too! As long as it has no butter, salt or caramel, your pet should be just fine. But oh yeah, keep a watch on the quantity of popcorn consumed: too much can lead to popcorn being lodged in their teeth, an upset stomach, and too many calories for their own good! Because popcorn doesn’t essentially add much else to their diet other than calories, we can’t really recommend it beyond a certain point!
Which human being on the planet can claim to not love cheese? Chances are, we all love cheese! It’s one of those universal truths. Unless, of course, you’re unlucky enough to have lactose intolerance and that can’t be good. Surprising thing is that the same holds for dogs, right down to the lactose intolerance. Cheese makes for an incredible treat for your dog, particularly if you sprinkle it over their cooked oatmeal: but who are we kidding? Just give them a chunk already! It is high in calorie, however, so as a compromise you could try cottage cheese. It may be pretty bland, but it’s high in calcium and protein. Consider making it a special-occasions-only food, because they can prove to be serious cheese addicts!
What can we even say about this miraculous creation? It’s so simple, but so delicious: any serious PB&J fan out there knows exactly what I’m talking about. Is it really fair to deprive your dog of this? Surely not? Maybe just a little? Good news, fellow peanut butter junkies of the world. Peanut butter is absolutely okay to give to your dogs! While it does have quite a bit of salt and sugar, peanut butter is a great source of protein (let’s just forget about the fat content, shall we? Well, if only!) Use peanut butter as an infrequent treat only: maybe as a pill-popper, to make your life so much easier when administering the necessary but yucky medicines! Peanut butter, thou art our savior!