It may be tempting to share extra leftovers with your dog or offer human food as a reward. While many human foods are safe and even healthy for your pet, some foods, such as onions and grapes, can be dangerous for dogs.
Here are some human foods your dog can safely eat and foods you should avoid sharing;
Because bananas are high in fiber and important nutrients like potassium, they can be a healthy option for your dog, says Alison Meindl, DVM, veterinarian and professor at Colorado State University.
But it’s important to limit the amount of bananas you give your dog because they’re also high in sugar. Eating too much sugar can lead to weight gain or irritate your dog’s digestive system. Large dogs can get half a banana, while small dogs can get two or three slices.
Apples can be a great snack for your dog, as they can provide plenty of fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin A. However, you must be careful not to feed the seeds to your dog.
Meindl says apple seeds contain some form of cyanide. Although your dog needs to eat a lot more seeds than just one apple to cause a health problem, she says it’s best to make sure you remove all of the seeds before feeding them to your dog.
“Blueberries are generally considered a safe food for pets and can be a good source of vitamins and antioxidants,” says Travis Arndt, a veterinarian at Animal Medical Center of Central America. However, like many fruits, eating too many blueberries can cause diarrhea in your dog. “My advice is to start with a few strawberries and see if your pet likes them as a reward and see how their digestive system reacts,” says Arndt.
4. MEOL OF WATER
Arndt says the “red meat” of watermelon is generally considered safe for dogs and its high moisture content can make it a good low-calorie treat. But if you give your dog a watermelon, be sure to cut the skin off. “Watermelon rind has the potential to upset your dog’s digestive system more than it has nutritional benefits,” says Arndt. Indeed, the shell is difficult to break and can cause constipation or intestinal blockages.
Arndt says tomatoes are generally considered a safe food to feed dogs and are “loaded with vitamins and antioxidants.” But “anything given to a dog with an overly or very sensitive stomach can cause discomfort,” says Arndt. So start with very small bites to see how your dog reacts.
Oranges are generally safe for dogs and provide valuable vitamin C. However, citrus fruits should be introduced gradually, as the citric acid can cause mild stomach upset. The most important thing is to avoid giving your dog orange peels, which can be very difficult to digest.
Packed with vitamins, especially minerals like vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium, a few small chunks of fresh pineapple can make a great nutrient-dense snack for dogs. However, since the syrup is very high in sugar, you should avoid giving canned pineapple, which can irritate your dog’s digestive system.
Broccoli can be a healthy snack for dogs because it’s rich in essential nutrients like fiber and vitamin C. Both raw and cooked broccoli are safe for dogs as long as you don’t add any seasonings. However, it may be best to consult your veterinarian before adding broccoli to your dog’s diet as a staple because it contains isothiocyanates, compounds that can cause stomach upset in some dogs.
Low in sugar and offering vitamin A, fiber and potassium, carrots are a good low-calorie option for dogs. You can serve the carrots raw or cooked, but you should always cut the carrots into bite-size pieces to prevent your dog from choking.
Cucumbers are especially safe for dogs on a diet because they contain very few calories. Cucumbers also provide nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, and magnesium for your dog.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein for your dog. For a lower fat option with a better amount of protein, Arndt recommends only egg whites for your dog. However, you should always cook the eggs first. “Your dog should not be fed raw eggs due to the risk of contamination with Salmonella (a bacteria that lowers the body’s resistance and causes symptoms such as diarrhea, fever and vomiting), which can make your dog and your whole sick family,” says Arndt.
Mangoes are safe for your dog and contain valuable nutrients such as vitamins A, B6, C, and E. But mangoes are very high in sugar, so this should only be used as an occasional treat for your pup. To avoid the risk of choking, you must remove the pit before giving a mango to your dog.
Shrimp can be a great option for dogs on a diet because it may be lower in calories and fat than other meat foods. They are also rich in vitamin B12, vitamin B3 and phosphorus.
However, shrimp are relatively high in cholesterol, so they should always be given in limited amounts. A shrimp or two is a good portion for medium-sized dogs, while small dogs should start with half a shrimp. It’s fine to give dogs shrimp once in a while, but if you want to offer it regularly, consult your veterinarian to determine a healthy amount. It’s also important to always cook shrimp to avoid harmful bacteria and to remove all shells to avoid clogging your dog’s intestines.
FOODS YOU SHOULD NEVER FEED YOUR DOG
Here are four human foods that can be toxic to your pet.
Meindl emphasizes the importance of avoiding giving your dog any type of onion (red, white, or yellow). Because all of this is toxic to dogs. Eating onions can cause stomach upset in dogs, and ingesting large amounts can lead to more serious issues such as damage to red blood cells and anemia.
“Grapes and raisins are at the top of the list of foods to avoid,” says Arndt. Grapes are very toxic to dogs and in some cases can cause sudden kidney failure. Experts aren’t yet sure of the cause, but “it has been speculated that tartaric acid in grapes and raisins may be the culprit for the toxicity,” says Arndt.
Avocados are not a good option for dogs because they contain persin, a toxin that can trigger diarrhea and vomiting. You should be especially careful to keep the skins and seeds of avocados away from dogs, as they contain higher levels of persin than meat.
4. xylitol (sugar alcohol)
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in many foods and extremely toxic. It can cause hypoglycemia and liver damage in pets. Xylitol is found in foods such as baked goods, chewing gum, peanut butter, candy, and ketchup. It is always important to check the ingredient list before giving anything to your dog.