25 Human Foods That Benefit Your Dog’s Health

2017-02-23 | Food & Nutrition



When it comes to feeding "human foods" to your dog, there are many foods to avoid which is why dog friendly alternatives are created. For example, regular chocolate is toxic to dogs, so opt for one of the many dog-friendly chocolates on the market.

 

But having said that, many human foods are actually highly beneficial for dogs and offer a range of health benefits.
 

To avoid any unnecessary harm or potential danger to your pooch’s health, we've put together a list of 25 foods that are suitable for dogs, and many they will enjoy very much.

 


 

 

Fruit

When it comes to feeding fruit to your dog, it's important to know which fruits offer health benefits and which ones should be avoided.
 

For example, oranges are not a suitable fruit for dogs as the sugar content is way too high and can easily cause them an upset stomach amongst other problems.
 

However, there are a number of fruits that many dogs love to eat, and these fruits also offer a number of health benefits:
 


Fruit


#1 Apples


Benefits:

- Cleans residue off teeth whilst keeping gums healthy
- Keeps their breath fresh
- They are packed with vitamins A & C

Top Tip:

To avoid any potential choking, cut the apple into small slices and take both the core and seeds out.

 

#2 Pumpkin


Benefits:

- Pumpkin is packed with vitamin A and fibre
- Ideal snack for dogs with senitive stomachs 

Top Tip:

Your dog will eat both fresh and canned pumpkin, just make sure there are no added sugars or spices as these may not agree with your dog.

 

#3 Coconut


Benefits:

- Coconuts contain lauric acid, which fights off viruses and helps develop the immune system
- Helps with clearing up flea allergies and hot spots

Top Tip:

Only ever allow your dog to eat the coconut flesh, the outer shell can be painful when trapped in paws, and also poses a choking hazard.

Coconut oil and milk are also healthy alternatives if you wish.

 

#4 Peanuts


Benefits:

- Peanuts are packed with protein and fats that are beneficial to your dogs health

Top Tip:

Only ever feed them plain peanuts (never salted) in moderation; too much fat could lead to issues with your dog's pancreas.

Never be tempted to feed them any other types of nuts. Almonds, walnuts, and pecans can easily tear the windpipe if not chewed properly.

 

#5 Squash


Benefits:

- Healthy source of provitamin A (beta-carotene)
- Good for healthy digestion

Top Tip:

Remove the seeds from the squash and you're good to go. Alternatively, you can freeze left over slices for a refreshing summer treat.

 

#6 Pineapple


Benefits:

- Contains calcium and potassium, good for oral health and energy

Top Tip:

Freezing the pineapple also makes for a good summer treat, plus it's nice and crunchy which may be beneficial for your dog’s dental health.
 

Vegetables

Dogs are no different to us when it comes to vegetables, as they can benefit in a number of ways from consuming them on a regular basis.
 

Many pet owners are tempted to feed them all types of vegetables, and most of which are fine to do so, but which are most beneficial for your pooch's health?
 


Vegetables


#7 Courgette


Benefits:

- Healthy source of calcium, potassium, and folate

Top Tip:

Courgette can be fed in three ways to your dog: cooked, raw, or frozen - they love it all ways.

 

#8 Kale


Benefits:

- High source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium

Top Tip:

Kale can be served raw, dry, or lightly steamed; with the latter being the preferred option as it is easier to digest.

 

#9 Cucumber


Benefits:

- Low in calories
- Good source of potassium and calcium

Top Tip:

It's best to serve your dog raw cucumber; avoid frozen or cooked.

 

#10 Broccoli


Benefits:

- High source of fibre, folate, and calcium
- Large amounts of vitamins A and C

Top Tip:

You can feed broccoli to your dog either raw, cooked, or frozen.

Steamed greens with flax seed oil will help to boost your dog's intake of omega fattt acids.

 

#11 Turnips


Benefits:

- Healthy source of calcium and folate
- Low in calories

Top Tip:

Turnips can be served in several ways for you dog; raw, baked, or mashed.

 

#12 Cauliflower


Benefits:

- Contains calcium, potassium, vitamin K, and folate
- Low in calories

Top Tip:

Similar to broccoli, it can be fed to your dog raw, frozen, or cooked.

 

#13 Baby Carrots


Benefits:

- Contains high amounts of beta-carotene
- Can help to improve vision

Top Tip:

Mostly enjoyed raw by dogs, but you could try steaming them, or drying thin slices into crisps.

 

Carrots

 

#14 Peas


Benefits:

- Peas contain a healthy source of vitamin B, potassium, and phosphorous.

Top Tip:

Peas are a good addition to tinned dog food, either thawed or frozen.

 

#15 Sweet Potatoes


Benefits:

- Similar to pumpkins, they're high in fibre and vitamin A

Top Tip:

Always steam or bake your potatoes, this makes them easier for your dog to eat and digest.


 

Seafood & Meat

Feeding meat and fish to dogs is another common issue for dog owners as it's hard to know what is safe for them to eat.
 

Many dog owners are becoming more aware of the risks that specific meats and seafood can pose for dogs, so to ensure complete safety, take note of the following:
 


Grilled salmon


#16 Salmon


Benefits:

- High in healthy omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins

Top Tip:

Never give your dog raw salmon, always cook it first to avoid a poorly pooch!

 

#17 Tuna


Benefits:

- Great source of omega-3 fatty acids which promotes eye and heart health

Top Tip:

Tuna contains small amounts of mercury, so feed it to your dog as an occasional treat; and never give them canned tuna in oil, opting instead for tuna canned in spring water.

 

#18 Shrimp


Benefits:

- High in antioxidants and low in calories
- Good source of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin B12

Top Tip:

Similar to tuna, feed shrimp to your dog in moderation or as a treat. Always remove the shell and ensure they are fully cooked to avoid any potential harm.

 

#19 Pork


Benefits:

- Good source of amino acids
- Packed with protein and is easily digestable

Top Tip:

Always feed your dog raw pork; when cooked it can become very salty and bad for their health.



Dairy

Every dog is different; some may have no problem eating dairy products, while others may experience gastrointestinal distress such as flatulence or diarrhoea.
 

It comes down to how well your dog can digest lactose, the sugar found in dairy products. Some dogs, just like some humans, can be lactose intolerant, and you may only discover this after they have an adverse reaction to dairy.
 

Ice cream should be avoided where possible as it contains too much sugar for your dog; whilst many cheeses have a low lactose content and are generally ok.
 


Dairy products


#20 Cottage Cheese


Benefits:

- High in calcium and protein

Top Tip:

Only ever feed in small amounts. Bear in mind that your dog could be lactose intolerant, so never feed them huge amounts in one go. 

Find out more about the symptoms of canine lactose intolerance here.

 

#21 Eggs


Benefits:

- Great source of protein, selenium, biotin, and riboflavin

Top Tip:

Eggs should be fully cooked before you feed them to your dog, i.e. no runny yolks; and make sure you serve them without the shell and with no added seasonings.

 

Grains, Seeds & Treats

It can be tempting to feed your dog a treat, or to let them eat your leftovers after a meal. However, before you do this you should know about the grains, seeds, and treat foods that are safe to feed to your dog.
 

For example, never give your dog chocolate; it contains methylxanthines which are toxic to your dog and can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, and excessive consumption can even be fatal.
 

Here are some grains, seeds, and treats that you can safely give to your dog:
 


Oatmeal


#22 Rice


Benefits:

- Good source of energy and it helps dogs with an upset tummy

Top Tip:

Brown rice is lower in calories and higher in protein compared to standard white rice, if this is a concern.

 

#23 Flax Seeds


Benefits:

- Good source of omega-3 fatty acids, beneficial to healthy skin and coat

Top Tip:

Store flax seeds in an airtight container as they can go rancid very quickly. Flax seed oil is another decent alternative.

 

#24 Oatmeal


Benefits:

- Good source of fibre, beneficial to older dogs suffering with bowel irregularities

Top Tip:

Always feed your dog plain and cooked oatmeal, never raw.

 

#25 Peanut Butter


Benefits:

- High source of protein, vitamins B and K, and niacin

Top Tip:

Always use unsalted peanut butter as this doesn't contain any xylitol, which can be toxic to dogs.