Four Human Foods Your Dog Can Safely EatWe’ve all done it—you’re sitting at the dinner table when your dog appears in the corner of your peripheral vision and flashes you those irresistible puppy eyes. Your pup sends you into a spiral of guilt and moral ponderings of how-bad-would-it-be-if-I-gave-you-a-little-piece until you finally succumb to their relentless gaze and sacrifice the last bite of your chicken taco. In truth, although we hear feeding your dog human food isn’t good practice, “people food” has no perilous effect on a dog’s health if you are smart about which foods to feed them. Being aware of which foods are safe for dogs to eat—and ensuring human food does not exceed 5-10% of their diet— will keep your pup both satisfied and healthy. Foods you can let your dog gobble with a clean conscience include:
1. CarrotsCarrots are ideal snacks for dogs because of their crunchy consistency and nutrient-rich composition. They are high in fiber and vitamin A while being very low-calorie, making them great for dogs of all shapes and sizes.
2. RiceBrown rice, particularly, is a healthy whole grain that can be served plain or as a mixture in your pup’s regular dog food. Just make sure the rice is fully cooked and not seasoned, spicy, or otherwise hard on your dog’s stomach.
3. ChickenChicken—and just about any meat—can be fed to dogs as long as it is completely cooked. However, you should be especially careful with internal food temperature when it comes to steak and beef. While humans can withstand eating meat that is a little rare, dogs can quickly become ill if their meat is not cooked throughout. You should also be aware of the amount of seasoning and marinade in the meat. Too much salt or flavor is not good for a dog’s digestion. Never feed a dog cooked chicken bones, as they can easily splinter and hurt your dog’s stomach once they chew them. Furthermore, if you plan on feeding your dog meat, it should always be cut into small, easily consumable pieces so as not to present a choking hazard.
4. Peanut ButterWhat dog doesn’t love peanut butter? The tasty spread is even incorporated into dog toys to keep rowdy pups busy. Peanut butter is a great treat for dogs because it is packed with protein, healthy fats, vitamin B, and vitamin E. Plain peanut butter is best, as crunchy peanut butter containing nuts can get stuck in dogs’ teeth. Just be sure not to feed your pup salted peanut butter or peanut butter with Xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that—like all sugary products— can be toxic for dogs even if it is consumed in small amounts. The substance is known to cause low blood sugar, seizures, or even liver failure for dogs.
Knowing what constitutes a dog’s healthy diet is essential for any owner or sitter. There is no reason why a dog can’t experience a tasty treat now and then, as long as they do not eat substances harmful to themselves, such as chocolate and sugar.