Denise Rayzor has one of her pet bloodhounds, Mr. Hoover, check out a batch of crockpot dogfood at her Palisade, Colo., home Jan. 20, 2012. As people are getting choosier about what they eat, they're insisting on providing their pets with more nutritious foods. (DEAN HUMPHREY/AP PHOTO/THE DAILY SENTINEL)
I’ve written a few articles about foods that are toxic to dogs. Most people are aware that there are many foods that are safe for humans, but unsafe for dogs. Foods like grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, chocolate, macadamia nuts and avocado are all on the toxic list. You can never just assume a food is safe for canine consumption!
While there a number of "people" foods that are dangerous for your dogs, there are also foods that are very healthy for your pets! Here are six great foods that are safe for both you and your pets…
Yogurt is great for dogs — specifically all natural plain white yogurt with no extra additives, sweeteners or fruit. Adding a tablespoon or two to your dog’s food can provide many health benefits for your dog! Yogurt aids in digestion and can help balance the stomach with "good bacterias." Most dogs love the taste too!
Pumpkin is chock full of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Again — ensure that pumpkin fed to your pet is not sweetened and contains no extra additives. Plain canned pumpkin is a sort of "super food" for dogs, helping with the gastrointestinal tract by both absorbing excess water and adding fibre to the system. Pumpkin can be added in small amounts to aid in digestion, or supplement one-third of your pet’s meal with pumpkin to assist with weight loss. Pumpkin is high in fibre and nutritional value, but it is also very low calories.
Green beans are another food that is high in vitamins, minerals and fibre. These veggies add some roughage to your pet’s diet, and they are also a low-calorie food that can help with weight loss. Green beans can be used the same way that pumpkin is used, replacing a third of your pet’s meal with cooked green beans. Believe it or not, frozen green beans are a popular summertime treat and low-calorie snack many dogs love!
Carrots are another great food for dogs, containing lots of vitamins. Many pet owners are switching from commercial treats to carrots — either proving large carrots as chew treats, or replacing cookies with baby carrots. It’s easy to give a dog too many cookies and it doesn’t take long for all of that snacking to take its toll right around the waistline. Most dogs love carrots and they offer a healthy, low-calorie alternative to treats containing colors, dyes, salts and sugars.
Apples are a great crunchy and naturally sweet treat for your dog. Apples contain calcium and vitamins that have great health benefits to your dog too. Sliced apples make a great healthy treat for your dog, and are a favorite among most canines! While apples are very safe for dogs, remember that apple seeds contain a compound that contains cyanide — which can be highly toxic to your dog if he eats too many. (This is why it’s important to pick up apples that drop from your apple tree in the fall — animals eating the fallen apples often eat them seeds and all!)
Salmon or tuna are also great treats for dogs. Salmon and tuna both contain a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your pet’s coat and skin. Studies have also shown that omega-3 fatty acids also have many benefits for animals with osteoarthritis and joint issues. It is important to never feed your pet raw salmon, as it can contain parasites that are harmful to your pets. Fish makes a great treat or can be added to meals!
Dana Grove is an animal lover who works with several pet organizations in Brandon.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 30, 2014