How many times have you given your dog a taste of the same foods you eat? Do you give your dog a special plate on holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas? Have you ever wondered if there are any benefits to feeding your dog the same foods you eat?
While giving your dog an occasional treat of human food is fine, an entire diet of table scraps will not meet your dog's nutritional needs. However, topping your dog's dish with a serving of food like green beans, apples or oatmeal can provide beneficial nutrient value, along with treating them with variety in taste and texture.
What can I feed my dog?
Several foods that we put on our plates every day offer tasty tidbits of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and carbs that can benefit our pups. A sample of them are:
- Skinless, boiled poultry
- Salmon and sardines
- Peanut butter (make sure it does not contain xylitol, which is toxic to canines)
- Brown rice
- Cooked eggs
- Seedless watermelon
When feeding your furry buddy human foods, do not give anything that is spiced. For example, when giving your dog canned pumpkin, it must be plain pumpkin, not spicy pumpkin intended for pie.
Foods that must be avoided
Never give your dog chocolate. It contains theobromine, which is extremely harmful to dogs, even in small quantities. Some of the other people food to avoid is listed here:
- Onions, chives, and garlic
- Fruits containing pits
- Grapes and raisins
- Yeast dough
- Macadamia nuts
- Corn on the cob
- Sandwich meats
Dogs are omnivores, meaning that their digestive system is similar to humans in that it can digest a wide range of foods. However, you need to watch the amount of fat included in their diets as it can cause an upset stomach. The same applies to cooked bones, as they can lead to choking and possible punctures of the stomach and intestines.
What are the benefits of feeding my dog human food?
In 2005, Purdue University completed a study using Scottish Terriers in which they added fresh veggies to their dog food. What they found was that adding fresh vegetables to the dog's diet help to reduce or eliminate the development of something called transitional cell carcinoma, better known as bladder cancer. This is an interesting fact and backs up the reasons for allowing your dog to have people food now and then.
As an addition to high-quality dog food, human food can provide essential nutrients that boost your pet's fiber intake. This is good for the digestive system. Ensuring that your dog has a daily dose of fruits, veggies or meat will give them a healthy coat and aid in bone health. If you follow the basic rules of nutrition, human food is a low-calorie addition to your dog's daily meal that tastes good and gives them variety.
No take-out for dogs
The bottom line when it comes to feeding your dog "people food", is that you should never feed your dog anything you wouldn't eat. This doesn't mean you can't feed them the leftovers on your plate, it means those foods you would normally throw away as being inedible.
So, the next time your dog looks at you with those soulful eyes at dinner time, go ahead and fix them a small plate. Your canine companion is sure to enjoy it. Just be sure the foods you are sharing are just as good for your dog as they are for you.