We would give our dogs the world. But that chocolate-chip cookie they’re eyeballing? We don’t think so! A dog’s digestive system is significantly different than ours, so some foods that are safe for us can be harmful – sometimes downright dangerous – for our dogs. However, there are human foods that make for healthy doggie treats (when given in moderation, of course). But before giving your very good boy or girl a little taste, always check that what you’re giving them is safe for doggo consumption. Here are a few common foods our fur babies can and can’t have.
Foods Approved for Four-Legged Consumption
- Carrots: Both raw and uncooked carrots are healthy for your dog. They are low in calories and a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Just make sure to cut them up first!
- Apples: Apples are a great source of vitamins and fiber; just make sure they are fresh. Rotten apples can lead to alcohol poisoning in dogs.
- Peanut Butter: File this one under “a great treat in moderation.” Peanut butter is a little high in fat and calories, so it can lead to weight gain.
- White Rice: This is especially good for your dog if they have an upset tummy because it’s easy to digest. Just be mindful, especially if your dog has diabetes because white rice can cause blood sugar levels to rise.
- Cooked Eggs: The key word here is cooked – no raw eggs for your furry companion. Cooked eggs provide a ton of vitamins and protein.
- Chicken: Plain, boiled chicken breast is just what the doctor ordered if your dog has an upset tummy; meanwhile, your dog will think they’re getting a delicious treat.
- Blueberries: Blueberries are low in calories, small in size, rich in antioxidants, and provide a ton of vitamins, minerals, and fiber
- Plain Popcorn: No butter, sugar, or salt, but plain ol’ popcorn is a great source of minerals for your dog. Just make sure they don’t get any unpopped kernels because those little guys are choking hazards.
- Watermelon: As long as there are no seeds or rinds, both of which are choking hazards, watermelon is a very healthy treat for dogs, especially on a warm summer day.
- Cucumbers: Not only are cucumbers low-calorie, but they’re packed with vitamins and minerals. (Cucumbers are especially great for dogs that are overweight!)
- Bread: Plain white or whole-grain bread makes for a yummy treat; make sure there are no extra ingredients such as raisins.
- Green Beans: Plain green beans are a healthy snack for dogs; they’re a great source of protein, calcium, iron, and vitamin K.
Foods That Can Harm Your Four-Legged Friend
- Avocado: This is toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
- Chocolate, Coffee, and Caffeine: All of these products contain chemicals known as methylxanthines, which are highly toxic to dogs.
- Citrus: Citrus fruits contain citric acid; while small amounts can cause an upset stomach, too much can lead to nervous system depression.
- Nuts: Not only are these choking hazards, but macadamia nuts are poisonous to dogs and can cause muscle weakness, vomiting, lethargy, and hyperthermia.
- Onions, Garlic, and Chives: All these foods contain organosulfides, which are toxic to dogs and may lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain.
- Raw and/or Undercooked Meat: Dogs can get E. coli and salmonella just like humans.
- Raw Eggs: Raw eggs can lead to biotin deficiency in dogs, which can affect their skin and coat.
- Salty Foods: Too much salt leads to excessive thirst and urination in dogs, as well as sodium ion poisoning.