Some dogs are pickier than the princess and the pea. Others will dumpster dive if you don’t physically restrain them from doing so.
That’s where you come in as a pet parent, with the knowledge and wherewithal to determine the ideal diet and stop them from eating potentially unsafe foods. Chocolate and alliums like onions and garlic, for instance, should always be avoided.
But be honest – a few scraps from the table don’t hurt, and sometimes, it’s even a good idea!
Let’s explore a handful of foods that are good for dogs and how to serve them up the right way, in the right amount.
Everyone’s favorite lean protein is a top ingredient in premium dog food, not to mention an all-star table scrap. This poultry t is packed with powerful nutrients without excess fat.
Don’t feed them buffalo wings, but tossing out some extra bits and pieces will not harm. After all, protein is well-digested and extra essential for active animals.
While chicken is a classic choice, dogs behave differently when beef is on the table.
They know instinctually that this is the most nutrient-dense food on the planet, and even the best-behaved dogs will circle looking for scraps.
We don’t blame you if you aren’t inclined to serve your dog porterhouse or ribeye steaks, especially at $20 per pound. But a bit of ground beef can be good for dogs now and then, and they’re usually happy to chomp down some fat or gristle if leftover.
Us humans call it offal, and it usually ends up in the garbage can unless you’re an adventurous eater. However, organ meats are making a comeback as we recognize the high nutrient density of these components, especially the liver and heart.
There are also benefits from organ meats as part of a complete doggie diet. Your local butcher may feel generous enough to add some unwanted scraps to your weekly order, and those can be a great supplementary snack instead of carb-loaded dog treats.
Speaking of carbs, they’re not all created equal, especially regarding animal diets. For example, the debate continues whether dogs should be eating carbohydrates daily and what the best sources should be.
The science isn’t certain, but research suggests that ancient grains like quinoa, barley, and flax are better for dogs than processed wheat, corn, or soy. This seems like common sense, but many commercial dog foods still don’t have the best carbs available, so beware.
We’re always told to eat our dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale, and swiss chard. These ingredients are nutrient-rich and contain tons of disease-fighting antioxidant properties.
The same goes for dogs, who also need all those micronutrients and protective compounds. The problem is that most dogs turn their nose up to most greens, so try to find a dog food that includes them baked in.
Cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, and more – are tasty treats for humans and dogs alike. You may want to keep fresh berries for yourself because they’re more costly, but frozen berries from the bag are a perfect treat for dogs on a hot day.
Just remember not to confuse grapes for berries since these fruits (plus raisins) are toxic for dogs in all situations.
You don’t usually think of garnishing dog food with olive oil like you would an elegant pasta dish or branzino. However, a nice dose of healthy oils can deliver necessary fatty acids that improve dogs’ joint and heart health and skin, hair, and nails.
Better yet, serve your dog fish oil from cod or wild salmon to get all those benefits in quality dog food. The best brands include these rich sources of fat – in the correct ratios – so there’s usually no need to drizzle extra oil.
Can dogs eat carrots? What about other root vegetables? Yes, they provide clean and sustained energy for dogs everywhere. They are prepared in the right way and mixed with other key compounds.
The fiber from root veggies is also key to doggie digestion, helping them absorb and eliminate without a problem.
We’re not suggesting you hit the kibble with the salt and pepper treatments, but certain spices and garnishes can work wonders for dog health and add some flavor to the mix.
Ginger and parsley, for instance, can turn bland dog food into something far more flavorful and encourage appetites no matter the time of day.
Dogs can’t get enough when the right ingredients are on the table! So make these foods part of your dog’s diet and watch them thrive before your eyes.