Thought of the day ~ Is there “people food” you can feed your dog?

Pippin & TacoWondering or secretly feeling guilty of what “people foods” you can be feeding your dog? We meet many a client who’s looking a little bashful admitting adding “people food” to their much loved dog’s dish. Apples, green beans, pumpkins….  there are some human foods that are safe for your dog to eat. As a responsible and informed dog lover, you probably know that too much “people food” can make your dog ill or overweight. But there are some human foods that can be safely added to your dog’s meals in moderation  to give a nutritional boost to your dog’s diet and add a bit of variety to their food bowl. Below is a list of some of the “ok” foods you can share with them. Please keep in mind that any additions to your dog’s meals shouldn’t comprise more than 25 percent of their weekly caloric requirement.

  •  Yogurt is a good source of available calcium and protein. When choosing yogurt, pick one that has live active bacteria and no sugars or artificial sweeteners. The active bacteria may act as probiotics. If your dog is a little on the  pudgy side; make sure that you pick fat-free yogurt but not one that contains fat substitutes . Frozen yogurt is a wonderful summer treat for dogs.
  • Apples are a great crunchy treats for your dog. Apples with the skin on are full of plant chemicals (phytonutrients) that are thought to be protective against some types of cancer in humans. They are a source of vitamins A and C and fibre. Apple seeds, however, contain cyanide so your dog should not be allowed to eat the core. Though the effects of a few apple seeds will likely not harm your dog, the deleterious effects can accumulate over time if allowed to eat apple seeds regularly. Our dogs love eating little slices of an apple as a afternoon treat with us!
  •   Sweet potatoes are another source of dietary fibre and contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, beta carotene, and manganese. Sweet potatoes are great sliced and dehydrated as a chewy treat for your dog. There are so many dog treats on the market that we often overlook the simple, healthy, and reasonably priced treats available at our grocery store. I must admit this is one of our dog’s top favorites to be added to their meals!
  •  Salmon is a fatty fish which is also a good source of omega- 3 fatty acids. These fats support the immune system and can be beneficial for skin and coat health. There has also been some indication that they may benefit dogs with allergies. You can feed salmon or salmon oil. If feeding salmon, make sure it’s cooked before serving, as raw salmon can carry a parasite that can make your dog sick.


  • Brewer’s yeast is the yeast that’s left over from making alcohol. Dogs seem to really enjoy the tangy taste of brewer’s yeast. It’s full of B vitamins which are good for skin, coat, and carbohydrate metabolism. Make sure you’re using brewer’s yeast (available at health food stores), not baking yeast which will make your dog sick. Brewer’s yeast can spice up your dog’s appetite. Just sprinkle a little on their food and watch them dive into their meal! Brewer’s yeast is  also helpful on reducing shedding of your white furred pet.


  • Green beans are a good source of plant fibre, vitamin K, vitamin C, and manganese. If your dog has a tendency to put on weight, then replacing some of their regular food with green beans is a great low calorie way to fill them up and help them maintain a healthy weight. Many dogs enjoy green beans frozen.
  •  Pumpkin is a good source of fibre and beta carotene (a source of vitamin A). Dogs need fibre in their diet. The current trend is towards highly digestible diets that lower stool volume and this is not necessarily a good thing. Keeping the GI tract moving helps keep the cells lining the gut healthy.
  •   Eggs are a great source of very digestible protein, riboflavin, and selenium. For some dogs that are prone to digestive upset, eggs can give them a little protein boost. Adding eggs to your dog’s food is a healthy treat. Make sure to use cooked whole egg, as raw egg whites can cause biotin deficiency.
  •   Oatmeal is a good source of soluble fibre. This can be beneficial for some older dogs that may have trouble maintaining bowel regularity. Oatmeal is also an alternative source of grain for dogs that are allergic to wheat. It can be fed in conjunction with probiotics to enhance their function. Keep in mind oatmeal should always be fed cooked and plain with no sugar or flavorings.


2015-09-29 07.57.28As always, please check with your veterinarian before making any major changes to your dog’s diet, especially if they are on any medications. Upsetting the vitamin and mineral balances in your dog’s diet can have negative effects on your dog’s health and some medications interact badly with some nutrients. The aim of thoughtful dog owners is to give their dogs the best diet possible. Good nutrition coupled with a health care program may result in extending your dog’s life by as much as 15 percent! The suggestions above are not meant to replace your dog’s normal, balanced diet. Rather, they are ideas for alternative treats or for adding a little variety to your dog’s meals.

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