31 Healthiest Foods for Your Dog (and the 13 you NEED to avoid!)
Dog lovers are always trying to find the best way to please their fur friend. Even though most of us are really trying to keep our dogs on their canine diets, it seems that it is impossible to resist giving them some occasional bite of human food. Many people believe that giving their dogs any “people” food is simply not right. However, in case you would like to reward your dog with same table scraps, you definitely can do so, as long as you choose people foods that aren’t detrimental to your canines.
Consider some of the following “dog-approved” people foods which are very healthy and completely safe to use.
- Coconut and Coconut Oil
Coconut consists of Lauric acid, a beneficial fatty acid chain which produces a compound called monoglyceride monolaurin with the synthesis in both humans and dogs. This substance is highly beneficial, as it protects your pets from infection and it boosts their immune system, by fighting and destroying various viruses and pathogenic bacteria. Moreover, coconut contains a water-soluble protein, known as albumin, found in many animal liquids and tissues.
A simple jar of “virgin coconut oil” can help you cure many different diseases and health conditions, such as smelly coats, hot spots, yeast infections, cuts that have been infected ,and even cracked paws. When all remedies and different forms of diet seem to fail, this all-natural remedy for your dog is worth giving it a try. Virgin coconut oil is basically unrefined oil, meaning that it can be used for both dogs and humans. It improves the digestion of your dog and it serves as one of the best remedies for many digestive issues. Moreover, coconut oil helps reduce the risk of cancer.
Coconut oil also keeps the thyroid function in check. Both yeast and fungal infections can be prevented and treated with the use of this essential oil. The same is applied to arthritis and similar pains as well. Interestingly, it also helps your dog to get a smooth glossy coat and healthy, supple skin. Finally, both coconut and coconut oil can balance your dog`s metabolism and keep their weight under control. In brief, coconut and coconut oil are something that your dog will definitely love to eat and it provides many benefits in the meantime. Just mix it with their food and that`s it!
- Peanut Butter (Conflicting Information PLEASE READ CAREFULLY)
The peanut butter is definitely one of the favorite treats of many canines. It is added to many different treat products for dogs and many professionals recommended it as safe snack. Besides being an amazing source of protein, it contains vitamin B, niacin, vitamin E and heart healthy fats. However, according to some information, it appears to be detrimental to both dogs and humans. Even though there is not any particular case of dog or human having an issue with peanut butter, consider the following piece of information.
Peanut butter is said to contain Aflotoxins, naturally occurring mycotoxins produced by Aspergillus, type of fungus. These substances are cancer-causing/ carcinogenic and they have been shown to be toxic to the liver. Moreover, they are associated with liver cancer in lab animals.
As explained by Dr. Andrew Weil,
“A few years ago, Consumers Union looked into the question of aflatoxins in peanut butter and found that the amounts detectable varied from brand to brand. The lowest amounts were found in the big supermarket brands such as Peter Pan, Jif and Skippy. The highest levels were found in peanut butter ground fresh in health food stores.”
In addition, before you decide to buy peanut butter for you and your fur friend, it is important to known that some cheaper brands are likely to contain trans-fatty acids. These acids are one of the most toxic food substances found nowadays, mainly due to the toxic process that makes them stable in order to have an extended shelf life. This process is known as hydrogenation and it involves taking plant oil, adding nicked catalyst, heating it, and removing the nickel catalyst afterwards. The final result is highly toxic fat which is linked to chronic inflammation, heart disease, and diabetes. So, read the labels and don’t buy peanut butter that contains trans fats, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.
In case the trans fats are not bad enough, roasting nuts are also believed to cause the fats in peanuts go rancid. In brief, if you are still planning on buying peanut butter, make sure it is raw and free of hydrogenated fats. However, the issue with adrotoxins is still present. One option to avoid the effects of this toxin is to choose Earth Balance Creamy Coconut & Peanut Spread, as the coconut oil in the butter kills the fungus that produces aflotoxins.
According to many studies, coconut oil is able to kill viruses that cause hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, herpes, measles, influenza, and other diseases. It also kills bacteria that cause pneumonia, urinary tract infections, ulcers, gum disease and cavities, throat infections, gonorrhea, and other illnesses. Finally, it kills fungi and yeasts that cause thrush, diaper rash, candidiasis, athlete`s foot, ringworm, and infections and parasites like giardia, lice, and tapeworms.
The best popcorn is the one that is air popped and free of salt and butter. This is a great low calorie treat and it contains bone-building minerals, such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. So, the next time you watch a movie, snuggle up and share the popcorn with your dog.
Broccoli is an excellent occasional nutrition boost for dogs, as it contains many vitamins. However, making more than 10% of dog`s diet can cause gastrointestinal irritation.
- Green Beans
Beans are good treat for your dog as well, due to the fact that they are low in calories and very filling. Opt for beans that have no added salt.
- Pumpkin, Squash and Zucchini
Pumpkin is rich in fiber and beta-carotene/ vitamin A. This helps with digestive issues and keeps the GI tract moving. Besides pumpkin, squash is also a good source of beta-carotene and vitamin A. It can be added to bulk dog`s stool. However, make sure you remove the seeds. Finally, zucchini just as other squashes is healthy and delicious snack. It is rich in vitamins, folate, and potassium. Each part of the vegetable is healthy for you and your fur friend and it isn`t toxic to dogs.
- Seaweed Nori
Dried edible seaweed is a Japanese stable usually associated with sushi. It can be found on some supermarkets and of course, in those with Asian food items. It is rich in protein, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, soluble fiber, and minerals like copper and zinc. In addition, it contains chlorophyll and some less-known sterols, both of which have been researched for their effects on regulation metabolism. This seaweed is beneficial for anti-tumor response, immune function, and slow metabolism. Moreover, it doesn’t have any strong flavor of smell, which makes it adequate to many dishes. The thin sheets can be torn and soaked in broth and added to food afterwards. You can also add them dry.
- Baby Carrots
Low in calories but high in beta-carotene/ vitamin A and fiber, baby carrots are amazing for dog`s teeth.
Peas are rich in potassium, thiamin, phosphorus, and vitamin B. They can be added right to your dog`s food, regardless of whether it is thawed or frozen.
This herb is great source of potassium, calcium, and beta-carotene. The best thing about it is that it is believed to improve “doggie breath”. So, the next time you prepare some treat for your dog, add few tbsp of chopped parsley in order to enrich its flavor and color as well as to improve your dog`s breath afterwards.
Although strong, peppermint is completely safe for canines. You can use it as an ingredient when prepare your own homemade dog biscuits. Besides its ability to freshen your dog`s bad breath, mint is known for ability to settle upset tummies as well. so, use it the next time your dog is a bit “barfy”.
Being an excellent source of minerals, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and protein, this type of algae is an ideal addition to a healthy diet. However, besides its nutritional value, spirulina provides other health benefits as well. According to some experiments based on both humans and animals, spirulina promotes heart health by lowering the amount of fat in the blood. It reduces inflammation too. For a 45 lb( 20kg) dog, the maximum dose should be 1-2 tbsp. Speaking of new foods and supplements, start gradually and introduce them to your dog step by step.
Pineapple is beneficial for your dog in small amounts and it can be a special treat for your dog. It is known for its amazing fiber, vitamin, mineral, and fructose content. It has the ability to boost your dog`s immune system and to improve digestion. It contains an enzyme, known as bromelain, able to decompose protein which is crucial for a dog. In other words, giving your dog a pineapple contributes to increase in his ability to absorb the protein. Once your dog`s ability to digest is increased, he is able to absorb more essential elements from the food he consumes.
Fresh cranberries provide numerous health benefits and contain vitamins A, B1, B2 and C. They have the ability to prevent urinary tract infections. However, it is important to limit your dog`s intake of cranberries as it may cause gasses.
- Fruit Salad
Many fruits make a healthy, sweet and tasty snack for your dogs. Some of the best options are the watermelon, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, cantaloupe, and apples.
Even though pears are safe for dogs, their core and seeds can be toxic to dogs. So, make sure you don’t simply toss a whole pear to a dog and leave it like that, as he may get sick. It is recommended to cut the pear up and give the fruit to your dog while tossing the core away.
- Apple Slices
Apple slices are able to freshen your dog`s breath by cleaning off his teeth. Apples are an excellent source of vitamins A and C as well as fiber. However, make sure your remove the seeds and core before giving your dog an apple, as they may choke the dog.
Although chocolate is poisonous to dogs, there is no reason why your pet cannot enjoy carob. Besides the absence of theobromine and caffeine, compounds that make chocolate deadly for dogs, it actually provides many health benefits. Carob is rich in fiber, pectin, vitamins, and minerals.
However, give your dog carob in small amounts. In case your dog experiences any sort of reaction, consult a veterinarian right away. Do your research to make sure it is safe prior giving your dog any people food.
Probably found in your spice rack, turmeric is one of the most promising cancer prevention foods. Curcumin, its active compound has been found to inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells in many types of cancer. It encourages cancer cell death by providing strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Even though there are not studies in dogs that prove a clear cancer preventive function, there are many different studies done on other species showing a clear efficacy of curcumin against cancerous cells. For instance, a dose of 80 mg/kg body weight was effective in preventing induced cancer in guinea pigs. Although this is not directly relevant to dogs, it still demonstrates that only small amounts should be used. So, the next time you make treat for your dog, add few tsp of turmeric. By doing so, you will boost his intake of antioxidants and enrich the flavor of the treat.
Occasional sprinkle of cinnamon is just as good for you and your dog. It has been long used to boost energy, brain health, circulation, and digestion as well as to cure gas and nausea. However, make sure you don’t overdo it! Too much cinnamon is associated with an anti-clotting effect.
- Flax Seed ( Milled or Oil)
Flax seed is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, nutrients which are good for the coat and skin. If you decide to use whole flax seed, make sure you grind them right before feeding, as this type goes rancid very quickly. Speaking of the flax oil, it contains more omega-3 fatty acids but it lacks the fiber. Keep both oil and seeds refrigerated in air tight dark container.
Oatmeal is rich in soluble fiber, which is especially beneficial for older dogs experiencing bowel irregularity issues. In addition, it serves as good alternative grain for dogs allergic to wheat. Don’t forget to cook oatmeal before giving it to your dog.
- Rice/ Brown Rice
Rice serves as good bland meal when your dog has an upset tummy. You can find several types of rice available. For instance, the white or instant rice is easily digestible carbohydrate, making it an ideal source of energy. This is especially beneficial for older dogs. On the other hand, the brown rice is lower in fat but higher in fiber and protein than the white rice.
Taking into consideration that pasta is basically four, water and sometimes eggs, dogs are definitely allowed to eat pasta. All of the ingredients found in pasta are safe for dogs, so any type of pasta works well for your dog. However, it is recommended to use whole grain pasta. On the other hand, make sure you avoid the commercial pasta sauce, as they are usually acidic and contain salt and sugar, ingredients which can lead to upset dog`s tummy. Finally, some dogs are allergic to wheat. If this is the case with your dog, leave pasta off the menu.
- Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are another good source of dietary fiber. Moreover, they contain manganese, beta-carotene, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. You can slice and dehydrate the sweet potatoes and use them as chewy treat for your fur friend. Unfortunately, there are numerous dog treats available on the market and we often tend to neglect the simple, cheap, and healthy options available at the grocery store.
- Cheese and Cottage Cheese
As long as your dog is not lactose intolerant, cheese and cottage cheese are a great treat for him. Luckily, only small percentage of dogs is lactose intolerant. However, if you are not sure, observe your dog`s reaction. Choose low or reduced fat variants and don’t overfeed. Note that many types of cheese are high in fat. Usually, cottage cheese is the best option, as it is high in calcium and protein. It is fairly bland so it can be a good way to add some protein to dog`s diet.
Eggs are rich in easily digestible selenium and riboflavin, making them a healthy snack. Scrambling up an egg for your dog is a good way to enrich your dog`s diet with protein.
- Greek Yogurt and Kefir
Yogurts are highly recommended as they are rich in protein and calcium. However, make sure you opt for yogurts that don’t contain added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Moreover, yogurts that contain active bacteria, known as probiotic, are good for the digestive system of your dog.
- Salmon and Tuna
These fish are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are responsible for supporting your dog`s immune system as well as for keeping his coat shiny and healthy. Speaking of salmon, you can feed your dog salmon, slip them some of your unwanted skins, or add salmon oil to food. On the other hand, tuna is a classic cat snack. However, this doesn’t mean that dogs cannot eat tuna too. To the contrary, they surely can, as it is offering vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and protein.
This meat is good choice but it must be used in moderation. It is available in both freeze-dried and fresh form. The fresh variant can be found in most grocery stores while the freeze-dried option is available in most pet stores. If you decide to prepare your own homemade training treat, just cook the fresh liver and then bake it. It is a great source of vitamin B, vitamin A, and vitamin K. Moreover, it contains iron too. However, too much liver may be detrimental and even toxic to dogs, as it is rich in vitamin A. The best would be to use it moderation. It is recommended to avoid using more than 1 kg of fresh liver/kg body weight daily.
- Lean Meat
Beef, pork, or chicken with no added sauces, seasonings and no visible fat are great training treat for your dog. Moreover, they serve as good-quality protein boost to your dog`s diet. Lean meat is an excellent source B vitamins, including the cobalamine, niacin, pyridoxine, thiamin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin. Moreover, lean meat acts as great balanced source of amino acids, the building blocks of muscle in your dog`s body. If you are in a pinch and out of dog food, meat works as great meal replacement. Finally, all of the aforementioned vitamins are involved in energy metabolism in the body.
LIST OF TOXIC FOODS
Never give your dog toxic human items, such as raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate, macadamia nuts, alcohol, avocados, coffee, artificial sweeteners, and yeast dough. Make sure you consult your veterinarian with any questions on what is safe and what isn`t.
- Raisins and Grapes
Even though raisins and grapes are healthy for humans, they are toxic to dogs and cause kidney failure. The type of grape or raisin doesn’t seem to matter, and the amount consumed may be a single serving of raisins or a pound or more of grapes. Even though researchers are still
Source : www.healthandhealthytips.com