When you bring a dog into your life, you’ve unknowingly adopted your new best friend. In keeping with the spirit of friendship and longevity, it’s important to know the best foods for keeping your new friend in prime health. Below, you can find a short list of human foods that are great doggy treats and foods that should be avoided.
Doggy Treat Dos
When you’re eating your own meal or having a snack, these are the treats that are acceptable to share with your pooch partner.
- Bread. Bread is an acceptable treat for your puppy, but it’s more of an empty calorie food than a nutritious food. Just like in humans, bread can add unnecessary calories and carbohydrates to your pooch’s diet in large quantities, so feed it bread sparingly.
- Certain Dairy. A few choice dairy products are acceptable treats for your dog such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. These common dairy products should only be given to your dogs on a very rare basis due to the amount of sugar and lactose they contain. While rare, some dogs can be lactose intolerant and suffer the same digestive sickness as humans with a lactose intolerance.
- Meats. An essential food for all mammals, virtually any type of meat is perfectly acceptable to give to your dogs on a daily basis. In fact, it’s a vital part of their diet. Meats such as fish, pork, beef, chicken, turkey, shrimp, and ham. The only issue with meat is that it must be cooked and must be free from shells, spices, bones, skin, and sauces.
- Certain Nuts. Believe it or not, certain nuts are perfectly fine treats for your dog and can provide essential nutrients. Nuts such as peanuts and cashews are packed with protein, minerals, healthy fats, and are easily digestible. Just refrain from giving them coated or salted nuts. Unsalted nuts are best.
Doggy Treat Don’ts
These are the foods and spices that you should NOT feed your dog under any circumstances.
- Spices. Although they’re tasty and wonderful for us, dogs have a different way of digesting foods and processing additives like spices. Cinnamon and salt are among the most detrimental to dogs.
- Certain Nuts. While peanuts and cashews are fine for a dog to eat, almonds and macadamia nuts are NOT so dog-friendly. Almonds are dangerous to dogs because of their shape and texture. Almonds can cause a blockage or tears in the esophagus. Macadamia nuts, walnuts, and pecans are actually chemically toxic to dogs and should be avoided as a treat entirely.
- Chocolate. More than just an urban legend, scientific studies have proved that chocolate, dark chocolate especially, is fatal to dogs if ingested in large enough quantities. Do not give your dog any type of chocolate treat or anything containing chocolate ever.
- Garlic. This is technically considered a spice in powdered form, but this warning includes garlic cloves, onions, chives, and leeks. All of these foods belong to the Allium family and are highly toxic to both cats and dogs. Avoid at all costs.