You may have heard the advice, “It’s not good to feed your dog people food.” While it probably isn’t advisable to feed your dog from your dinner plate as that can develop bad habits like begging, there is no such thing as “people food.”
People and canines share the same foods in different forms. Many of the natural food we eat, such as meat, vegetables, legumes, fruit, and more, are great for your dog's diet and give a nutritional boost! You need to do your research before handing anything in your fridge to your dog.
Some of the food we can share with our furry friend is great and serves as natural food for dogs, making up their raw diet.
Another great thing about raw-feeding natural food is that you’re not giving processed foods to your dog. They'll be getting all the nutrients that haven’t been destroyed by the cooking and manufacturing process.
On average, dry kibble will have40 more ingredients than a similar raw meal!
Before feeding your dog people food, be sure to know the kinds of foods that are not good for dogs. Steer clear of chocolate, artificial sweeteners, onions and garlic, and other foods that are toxic to dogs. The AKC has a list of foods toxic to dogs.
Most of the natural food we enjoy is safe for your dog to eat in moderation. Feeding too much "human" food can make your dog overweight or sick.
However, there is a broad list of food that can be added to your dog’s diet that, in moderation, will give added nutrition and vitamins that can increase your dog’s energy and well-being. Use the guideline of only adding 25% of your dog’s weekly calorie intake with people's food.
Here are some foods you can safely add to your dog’s diet that may have many health benefits.
While there haven’t been many clinical studies conducted on the effect of coconut oil on dogs, the anecdotal stories are impressive. There have been reports on weight reduction for dogs and improvement of muscle tone and energy levels.
The reports of dogs gaining sleek and glossy coats and reducing the pain of arthritis due to coconut oil are encouraging. Those benefits have come from the oral use of coconut oil. Topically, coconut oil has a variety of healing and medicinal uses.
Many resources recommend using only coconut oil products that are not hydrogenated- the less processed, more organic, the better. Check out the coconut oils found in health food stores or online.
This healthy treat is a dog favorite. Packed inside a hollow toy meant for hiding treats, it will last a long time, and dogs have a ball licking it out. The benefits of peanut butter for dogs are unmeasurable- it has lots of protein, niacin, vitamins, and healthy fats. Using unsalted is best as too much salt is not good for your dog.
Select natural peanut butter. Make sure it doesn't have any artificial sweeteners like Xylitol. Xylitol is dangerous and can be fatal to dogs. You can also opt into dog-safe peanut butter, which delivers the health benefits to your pup while cutting out what could harm them!
If you do feed all natural peanut butter, it's best to refrigerate peanut butter as leaving it out in warm weather will make it rancid. You can stir it into dog food or use it as a special treat.
This fatty fish is an excellent source of omega-3’s which are as good for dogs as they are for people. Fatty acids are excellent for your dog’s immune system and help keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy.
There are also suggestions that omega 3’s can help with dogs’ allergies. Feeding salmon is a great way to get those benefits.
When feeding salmon, cook it thoroughly and make sure there are no bones. Raw salmon can carry parasites. Salmon oil will also make a great addition to your best friend’s diet and is found in all of the Cali Raw formulas.
Fiber and beta carotene (vitamin A) are two important components in your dog’s diet. Dogs need fiber just like people. The current trend towards highly digestible dog foods is not high in fiber and lowers a dog’s stool volume.
This is not good for your dog. You want a diet high in fiber that keeps the GI tract moving and the cell lining of the gut healthy.
Feeding pumpkin can be as easy as mixing canned pumpkin into your dogs’ dinner. You can boil or bake a pumpkin and make your pumpkin puree. Your dog will love the taste, and you will be making your dog healthier.
Like pumpkin, sweet potatoes are another excellent source of fiber, containing vitamin C, B6, beta carotene, and manganese. You can serve sweet potatoes the same way as a pumpkin. You can also serve them in dehydrated slices as chewy dog treats. You don’t need to buy expensive and additive-filled treats when you can make simple, healthy, and delicious treats like chewy dried sweet potatoes that your dog will love just as much.
Honey is a sweet treat known for being a natural and healthy sweetener. Believe it or not, honey packs a punch with its health benefits, being a great way to share your favorite sweet with your pup.
Honey possesses antibacterial properties, as well as being able to sooth inflammation and sore throats. It also has been known to treat or even cure allergies.
When feeding your pup honey, it should be fed in moderation. Since honey is high in sugar, it can cause obesity in dogs if fed in excess.
Who would have thought of feeding green beans to your dog? They are a great source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese.
If you are having trouble managing your dog’s weight, try replacing a portion of his food with green beans. They are low in calories but will be a filling alternative. Some dogs find frozen green beans a tasty treat.
Most dogs love eggs as much as humans do! They are a great source of digestible protein. They are rich in selenium and riboflavin. If your dog suffers from digestive upset, eggs are a simple way to add protein to his diet.
Read More: Can Dogs Eat Eggs?
Yogurt is a great source of calcium and protein for both humans and dogs, being a delicious breakfast treat! The benefits Greek yogurt gives to dogs include improved digestion, healthy joints, and increased energy.
When feeding your pup yogurt, make sure it meets some safety standards. It should be Greek-style yogurt since it has fewer levels of lactose which can hurt your dog's stomach. Additionally, look for plain and unsweetened yogurt- artificial sweeteners are very harmful to our pups.
Apples are yet another unexpected yet wonderfully crunchy treat for your dog. The skin of apples contains phytonutrients that are thought to combat skin cancer.
Apples are a rich source of vitamins A and C, plus they are rich in fiber. Make sure to core the apple as apple seeds are not good for your dog. They contain cyanide.
Make a tasty apple treat for your dog by coring then slicing the apple into smaller pieces. Apples can be a good source of fiber as well as helping to keep your dog’s teeth clean. Start with small quantities of apples when introducing them into your dog’s diet, so his digestive system becomes accustomed to the new ingredient.
On a hot summer day, who can resist eating some juicy and delicious watermelon? Our dogs love watermelon- it's perfect for the pups with a preference for sweet fruits.
Watermelon is packed with vitamins and nutrients, delivering countless health benefits to your pup. It is also very hydrating and contains lots of fiber, being great for their digestion and overall health.
Read More: Can Dogs Eat Watermelons?
Carrots are very high in fiber and vitamin A. They are low in calories so they make a good snack for your buddy. Carrots are very beneficial to your dog’s teeth. If you are having weight issues with your dog, consider carrots as a treat as they are very low in calories. You can find carrots in the Cali Raw ingredients list.
Always consult your vet when making changes to your dog’s diet, especially if he is taking medications. Certain medications do not react well with the nutrients found in people's food. If your dog is healthy and not on any medications, adding people's food to your dog’s diet can be very beneficial to his health.
Most dog owners want to provide their canine family members with the best possible diet. Adding healthy alternatives to your dog’s diet can extend your dog’s life by 15%.
The suggestions above are not meant to replace your dog’s diet but to supplement it with healthy alternatives. Your dog will love the variety of these treats and you will be adding vitamins, nutrients, and beneficial ingredients to your dog’s meals.
Guest Blog Contributed by: Woof Whiskers