With their fantastic sense of smell, it’s not surprising that our pooches sometimes show interest in our foods.
However, when it comes to feeding our beloved canine companions, it’s important to prioritize their health and provide them with a balanced and appropriate diet.
While it’s true that most of a dog’s nutrition should come from specially formulated dog food, a few surprising human foods can be safely incorporated into their diet.
This article will explore some unconventional treats that dogs can eat in moderation. These unexpected food items can offer variety and added nutrients and even serve as training rewards.
However, it’s crucial to remember that not all human foods are safe for dogs, and moderation is key. Always consult your veterinarian before introducing new foods into your dog’s diet to ensure their overall well-being.
1. Plain Popcorn
Did you know that plain, air-popped popcorn can be a delightful dog treat? It’s a low-calorie snack that can add some excitement to their routine.
However, beware of any added seasonings, butter, or salt, as these can harm dogs. Plain, unsalted popcorn is the way to go.
Always feed popcorn in moderation, as excessive consumption can lead to digestive upset.
Coconut is a versatile fruit that offers various health benefits for dogs. Both the flesh and coconut water can be beneficial.
Coconut flesh can be served in small amounts as a tasty treat. It’s rich in healthy fats, aiding digestion and contributing to a shiny coat. Coconut oil may even help with excessive shedding!
Coconut water is a natural source of electrolytes and can be given as a refreshing drink on hot days or after vigorous exercise.
However, be cautious of the high-fat content in coconut products and limit the serving size accordingly.
3. Cooked Oatmeal
Oatmeal is a nutritious, fiber-rich grain that can be a healthy addition to anyone’s diet. Cooked plain oatmeal, without added sweeteners or flavorings, can provide a source of energy and support digestive health.
It’s particularly beneficial for dogs with sensitive stomachs or those prone to gastrointestinal issues.
However, be mindful of the portion size, as too much oatmeal can lead to an upset stomach or an imbalance in their diet.
4. Green Beans
Green beans are a surprising yet nutritious vegetable that dogs can enjoy. They are low in calories and high in fiber, making them an excellent option for dogs that need to shed a few pounds or maintain a healthy weight.
Green beans can be served cooked or raw as a crunchy snack or mixed with your dog’s regular meals to add volume without adding excessive calories.
Just ensure the beans are plain without adding seasonings or sauces that may harm dogs.
5. Plain Greek Yogurt
Plain Greek yogurt, with no added sugars or artificial sweeteners, can be a healthy and protein-rich dog treat.
In addition, it contains beneficial probiotics that support gut health and aids in digestion. Greek yogurt can be served as an occasional treat or frozen in small portions to create a cooling snack for hot days.
However, be cautious if your dog is lactose intolerant or has dairy sensitivities. Monitor their response to yogurt and discontinue if any adverse reactions occur.
6. Small Amounts of Cheese
Have you paid the cheese tax? Cheese can be a tasty and high-value treat for dogs, especially during training sessions. However, it’s important to note that some dogs may be lactose intolerant or have dairy allergies.
So, always introduce cheese in small amounts and monitor their response – they may be squeaky or gurgly like my JRT.
Also, opt for low-fat and low-sodium varieties, such as cottage cheese or mozzarella, and avoid any cheese with added seasonings, garlic, or onions, as these can be harmful to dogs.
But yes – cheese can be given as an occasional treat or used as a stuffing for interactive toys, making mealtime even more engaging and enjoyable for your furry friend!
Watermelon is a refreshing and hydrating fruit that can be a safe and healthy dog treat! It’s packed with vitamins A, B6, and C and essential electrolytes.
Remove the seeds and rind, and offer your dog small, bite-sized pieces of the juicy fruit.
The high water content in watermelon can help keep your dog hydrated, especially during the hot summer months. However, feeding watermelon in moderation is essential due to its natural sugar content.
Pumpkin is a natural superfood for dogs, providing various health benefits. It’s rich in fiber and can aid in digestive health, particularly in dogs with constipation or diarrhea.
Additionally, pumpkins can help regulate a dog’s bowel movements. Serve plain, canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) in small amounts as an occasional treat or mix it with your dog’s regular food.
It can be especially useful during dietary transitions or to add moisture and flavor to their meals.
Eggs are a versatile and nutrient-dense food that can benefit dogs in moderation. They are an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Cooked eggs can be served as a special treat or mixed into your dog’s regular food.
Ensure that the eggs are fully cooked, as raw eggs may pose a risk of bacterial contamination.
Avoid adding salt, spices, or oils when preparing eggs for your dog. Eggs can provide a shiny coat, support muscle development, and boost energy.
Quinoa is a gluten-free grain that offers a range of health benefits for both humans and dogs. It’s a complete protein source containing all the essential amino acids.
Quinoa can be cooked and served as a nutrient-rich addition to your dog’s diet.
It provides dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, promoting digestive health and overall well-being. Introduce quinoa gradually to your dog’s diet and monitor their response, as some dogs may have difficulty digesting grains.
Serve plain, cooked quinoa without any added seasonings or sauces.
While the majority of a dog’s diet should consist of specially formulated dog food, incorporating a few surprising human foods into their diet can add variety and nutritional benefits.
However, it’s essential to remember that not all human foods are safe for dogs, and moderation is key. Always consult your veterinarian before introducing new foods into your dog’s diet to ensure their specific dietary needs and potential health concerns are considered.
Treats like these should make up a small portion of their overall calorie intake, and a balanced and complete diet should be the primary focus.
By offering these surprising and healthy treats in moderation, you can enhance your dog’s culinary experience while keeping their well-being at the forefront.