When it comes to your dog, one of the hardest moments to resist is when they give you that “puppy dog” look. You know the one we’re talking – the look that comes with begging, just before you begrudgingly give them some table scraps. While there are some human foods that are ok or even good for your fur baby, there are others that are incredibly bad for them (we’re looking at you, chocolate), and it’s our job as fur parents to know the difference. We’re here to help. Here is our list of human foods that your dogs can and can’t eat.
The Good Stuff
Fruits: Blueberries, bananas and even pineapples are definitely dog safe fruits, as they are packed with vitamins and nutrients. The fibre and antioxidants in blueberries are especially great for keeping your dog’s digestive tract healthy. Plus, the fresh fruit helps to fight bad breath.
Veggies: Pumpkin, carrots, Brussels sprouts are fantastic and healthy snacks for your dogs. Some veggies do need to be cooked, or at the very least steamed before serving them to your dogs (e.g. pumpkin)
Meat: When you do feed your doggos meat, make sure to cook it fully. Chicken and pork are great sources of protein for your doggos, and fish like salmon are high in Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, which are essential for bone growth and muscle development.
Other: Mielie meal is a true South African staple, and even our dogs love it! If you want to introduce some delicious variety into your dog’s diet, try incorporating cooked white rice and mielie meal or pap.
Peanut Butter: We haven’t met a dog that doesn’t love to snack peanut butter. Apart from it being delicious, it is also a great source of protein, and it’s an affordable alternative to meat. Be sure to get reduce fat and unsalted peanut butter
The OK Stuff
Fruits: Apples, watermelon, peaches or other stone fruits are great for snacking – just remove to completely remove any seeds or pits before feeding them to your dogs. Because of the high sugar contents in some fruits, you need to limit how much of them your dogs consume. Be sure to completely remove the seeds of fruits as well before feeding them to your dogs.
Dairy: Milk, cheese, plain yogurt and the occasional unsweetened puppaccino are safe for dogs in very small quantities, as dogs have low levels of lactase in their systems (lactase is the digestive enzyme that breaks down the lactose in dairy products). Too much dairy can cause digestive problems, so be on the lookout. If your dog is lactose intolerant, avoid dairy products at all costs.
The Bad Stuff
While we humans enjoy the occasional guilty pleasure, our bodies can take it. Our fur babies, however, not so much so these are the foods you should keep away from your pooch.
Caffeine: That morning pick-me-up gets you ready for the day, but definitely keep your dog away from coffee, tea and energy drinks. The truth is that their hearts literally can’t take the excessive stimulation, and neither can their digestive tracts.
While there are some foods on the bad stuff list that may cause mild irritations and health issues, foods and drinks like cherries, grapes & raisins, macadamia nuts, xylitol, chocolate and alcohol are highly toxic to dogs, and can cause death.
Other foods to avoid include sugar, avocados, cinnamon, citrus fruits, certain nuts, raw meat, onions, chives, garlic, salty food, raw eggs and bread dough.
Like with all things in life, moderation is key. The old adage of “too much of a good thing is bad for you” springs to mind. That being said, keep in mind that dogs have different digestive systems to humans, which means that they are likely to react differently to some of the foods that we enjoy. Overfeeding them certain items on our list could potentially lead to health complications including digestive tract issues, weight gain, and, in severe cases, death. Either way, we suggest that you do some research on any new foods or snacks that you may want to introduce into your dog’s diet.
Think we may have missed something? Let us know in the comments!