While most fruits and vegetables are fine to feed to your dog in small amounts, it is also wise to have an understanding as to what foods are safe and unsafe for the dog's health. For example, some stringy foods tend to be salty, which is bad for dogs.
It's not the texture that matters as much as the smell and substance to the food that your dog is eating. If you are looking to share something stringy with your dog, stop to consider if the food is really going to benefit the well-being of your best friend.
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Signs a Food Does Not Agree with Your Dog
By being an astute observer if your dog, you can identify if your dog is responding in ways that are relaxed, submissive, aggressive, anxious, or playful. Watch the dog's body posture, stance, ears, eyes, mouth, and tail to read the moods of your dog. When it comes to situations involving food, you may discover an array of anticipatory, feeding, and post-feeding behavior. Learning your dog's reactions will support you to be a more responsible and responsive master.
"I want it. I want it. I want it." If you see your dog staring, they are giving you a strong signal that they want something. Your well-behaved dog will stare, and stare, and stare. If you see that kind of focus from your dog on something you are eating, it's a clear sign, they want it. Food is pleasurable and your dog will show you signs of happiness with a bouncy disposition.
You may even see your dog smiling. Their mouth may be slightly open with the tongue hanging. You might get a friendly lick or hear a little begging cry when your dog is excited about food. There is always the inviting play bowing, which is your dog's way of welcoming you into a romp.
There are an array of emotions that your dog can show you. If your dog is interested and has curiosity, you will see your dog's head tilting. The dog may look confused, with ears up and neck craning to inspect the situation. If becoming aroused, you may see the dog'a body tense, with the tail high and slowly wagging.
Has your dog ever stamped feet at your, alternating back and forth. This can be a sign your dog wants something and is making a demand. The posturing may even remind you of a child stamping the feet to get their way. It's always best to consider your dog's disposition and the entire situation when attempting to interpret your dog's body signals.
- Play bowing
- Tilting their head
- Tense body language
- Stamping their feet
The History of Your Dog's Taste Preference
Humans and dogs have taste receptors on the tongue for sweet, sour, bitter and salt. Dogs have less need for salt due to the high percentage of their diet that is meat based. Dogs even have a special receptor for water at the tip of the tongue, in the area where they cup and lap up water.
Smell matters more to dogs than taste. Compared to humans, the dog has a sense of smell that is 10,000 to 100,000 times more powerful. They are driven by scents.
Comparatively, taste is much less powerful in the dog. Humans have about 9000 taste receptors while dogs have about 1700 taste buds. This may explain their indiscriminate taste and their ability to sniff out food and scavenge. Dogs actually like a variety of flavors. They most prefer foods that are fresh as they have the most flavor and scent.
The Science of Food Your Dog Can Eat
First, celery is salty, which is not good for dogs. If you decide to give your dog celery, it should be in small amounts. It may be best to cut it into small bites. You can even cook the celery, making it less stringy. Celery has vitamins A, B, and C. It is known to support heart health and can make your dog's breath smell better. Your dog may find a few bites of celery refreshing.
String beans can be safe to eat, in small amounts. Broccoli can be eaten but also has precautions. While broccoli has fiber and vitamins, broccoli florets contain isothiocyanates, which can cause mild-to-potentially-severe gastric irritation in some dogs. Broccoli stems can get stuck in the throat and cause choking.
Training Your Dog to Eat Stringy Food
A dog is actually happy to eat the same thing every day. You can adjust your dog's diet by gradually introducing new foods and mixing them in with familiar foods. Here are some strategies for teaching your dog to eat vegetables.
1. Start with carrots. Grate a little carrot onto the dog's dinner. From there, you can offer carrots in more variations, such as cut into pieces or cooked.
2. Add some pumpkin to the dog's dish. Pumpkin has lots of vitamins and fiber and is sweet.
3. Chop broccoli flowerets and sprinkle them atop the dog's food.
4. Try mashed foods like turnips or sweet potatoes.
If you are introducing a stringy food, like celery, cut in small pieces and give small amounts.
Getting your dog to eat veggies may not be that different than getting your children to eat their veggies, too. Be a role model, eating healthy foods and maintaining a balanced diet. Properly prepare the vegetables to prevent choking. Gradually introduce new flavors and textures. Be positive and patient, always.
Safety Tips for Feeding Your Dog:
Learn what is and is not safe for your dog to eat.
Cut stringy foods into bites to prevent choking hazards.
Know that dogs can enjoy raw or cooked vegetables.
Only serve your dog fresh food.
Take out the trash to prevent scavenging when you are not looking.