Do you like sharing treats with your pup? Luckily there are a ton of healthy foods that are good for both you and your dog! Just like humans, dogs can benefit from the nutrients in many fruits and vegetables. Find out which foods are best for your canine friend:
Enjoy these foods with your dog:
The following foods should be safe to feed to your pup as a healthy snack. When it comes to feeding new foods, try a small amount first to make sure your dog doesn’t have allergies or difficulties digesting. Remember, no treats should be fed in excess or as part of a regular diet.
Peas + Green Beans
Peas and green beans are some of the best healthy treats for your pet! They are a good source of iron, vitamins B, A, and K. Plus, they are rich in protein and fiber. You can add peas and green beans raw, cooked, or frozen to your dogs dish. Typically you want to avoid canned varieties as they often contain salt and other preservatives.
In moderation, bananas are a great snack for your pup. They provide potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, and magnesium. Bananas are low in sodium, but contain a fair amount of sugar — so it is best not to feed them to your dog daily. You can feed your pup banana mashed or sliced, fresh or frozen. The peel is tough to digest, so avoid giving it to your dog.
Almond Butter + Peanut Butter
Select nut butters, including almond butter and peanut butter, can be a tasty treat for your pooch from time to time. Both almond and peanut butter have healthy nutrients like vitamin E, vitamin B6, and niacin for healthy skin and fur. Learn more about the nutritional differences and see which might be most beneficial for your pup. Nut butters are also high in fat, so it is best to avoid giving your dog too much.
When choosing a nut butter go with unsalted and unsweetened varieties. You should also choose a spread that separates naturally as it will be free of hydrogenated oils.
CAUTION: You will also want to MAKE SURE FOODS YOU FEED YOUR PUP ARE FREE OF XYLITOL. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that may be used in low-sugar or “light” varieties of nut butters and other foods. XYLITOL IS EXTREMELY TOXIC TO DOGS.
It is pumpkin season! Good news — your dog friends can join in on the fun too. High in fiber and beta carotene, pumpkin is good for soothing sore tummies, helping with diarrhea and constipation in your pets. You can feed your pup a few teaspoons to tablespoons depending on their size. If purchasing a can of pumpkin make sure you get plain, with no sugars or other additives. Dogs can also enjoy raw or cooked pumpkin — as long as it is fresh (no eating carved pumpkins after Halloween).
A good source of fiber and vitamins, sweet potatoes are great for digestive health! Low in fat and full of complex carbohydrates for lasting energy, sweet potatoes are often included in dog foods and treats. Sweet potatoes can be served to your pup steamed, boiled, or dehydrated. You should not give your pets raw sweet potato, and if possible removing the skin will make them easier to digest. Like most treats too much can be a bad thing, so feed in moderation.
Cantaloupe + Watermelon
Filled with water, melon can be a hydrating low-calorie snack for both you and your pooch! Watermelon and cantaloupe are more than 90% water and contain fiber, vitamin A, and other valuable nutrients. Avoid feeding your dog seeds found in melons and the rind of the fruit as it may cause digestive issues.
Some pups love crunching away on carrots! Not only are carrots rich in minerals and vitamins, they are great for dental health. Dogs can enjoy carrots cooked or raw, but it is important to cut them into bite sized pieces first to help avoid choking.
Oatmeal + Rice
Bland foods like oatmeal and rice can be easy on upset tummies and provide fiber for digestion. Rice is a quick source of energy for when your pup needs an extra boost. Brown rice is higher in protein and lower in fat compared to white rice, but white rice may be more easily digested by sensitive stomachs. If your dog is sensitive to rice, wheat, or other grains oatmeal can be a great gluten-free carbohydrate packed with vitamins and minerals.
Prepare oatmeal and rice by cooking plain without salt. Don’t add sugars, butters, or other flavors. AVOID FEEDING YOUR DOG FLAVORED OATMEAL/RICE, INSTANT OATS/RICE, OR ANYTHING CONTAINING ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS AS THEY MAY BE TOXIC FOR YOUR PET.
Blueberries are often considered a superfood. Unsurprisingly, they are also healthy for our canine friends! A good source of antioxidants and vitamin C, blueberries help to support a healthy immune system. Enjoy blueberries with your dog fresh or frozen.
Apples + Pears
Crispy apples and pears are beloved by many pups. They are filled with fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Both apples and pears are safe for dogs to eat, seeds excluded. You should not give your pet a whole piece of fruit to enjoy, but instead cut the fruit into small slices or chunks. Make sure to leave the core and seeds aside as they are toxic if ingested.
Try these fun snacks with your pup:
These recipes combine healthy ingredients for both you and your dog! Try making them as a fun treat to share. Depending on your dog’s size, you can share a few bites or more of these tasty dishes! Remember, if you are feeding your furry friend new foods start with a small amount until you know they can easily digest everything.
Nut Butter Banana Nice Cream
Start by peeling and slicing two bananas. Freeze slices 4+ hours until frozen solid. In a blender or food processor mix frozen banana slices with 1-2 tablespoons of almond or peanut butter. You can also add up to 1 tablespoon of plain yogurt to add creaminess. Yogurt contains probiotics that are good for the gut. Blend until a creamy ice cream is formed.
Notes: Use plain yogurt low in sugar. Use nut butter without sugar, salt, and hydrogenated oils added.
Sweet Potato Pumpkin Mash
Mashing sweet potato and pumpkin together can be a fun way to celebrate the fall season with your pooch. Steam one small sweet potato or yam until soft, remove the skin, and mash together with one-half cup of plain canned pumpkin puree. You can add a drizzle of honey for sweetness and a sprinkle of cinnamon and/or ginger for flavor, but don’t add too much as they may cause digestive issues if over-consumed.
Savory or Sweet Oatmeal
Depending on your taste buds, you can prep sweet or savory oat bowls to share! Bring one cup of water to a boil in a saucepan and add one-half cup of rolled oats. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for 3-5 minutes stirring frequently until desired tenderness is achieved. Cook oats without salt when you plan to share with your pup!
For savory oatmeal add ¼ cup grated carrots while cooking and add peas or green beans, sweet potato chunks, and up to ¼ teaspoon turmeric for flavor and inflammatory benefits.
For sweet oats add a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon and/or ginger. Top with fresh or frozen blueberries and pear or apple chunks.
Avoid feeding your dog these foods:
While many foods are safe to feed your pup, there are a handful of items you may enjoy that can cause harm to your pet. Keep the following foods away from your dog to prevent poisoning and illness.
- Seeds + pits of fruits (including apple/pear seeds, stone fruit pits, etc.)
- Onions + garlic
- Grapes + raisins
- Macadamia nuts + walnuts
- Coffee + alcohol
- Chocolate + sweets
- Foods high in saturated fat + grease (like bacon, chicken skin, etc.)
It can be incredibly rewarding to spend an adventurous day with your dog enjoying healthy activities and snacks! Using this guide you can provide your pup with a variety of affordable nutritious treats and avoid problem-causing foods.
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