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7 Human Foods That Are Good for Dogs Too

Humans have been feeding their canine friends table scraps since the first dog cozied up to the village campfire with a pleading look in his eyes. Feeding your dog human food may seem like a nice little reward after your loyal friend has painstakingly watched you finish your delicious, home cooked meal; however many of the foods that are good for us are not so good for our dogs. That being said, there are plenty of scraps that are completely safe, and even good for our furry pals. Pet MD has come up with 7 human food trends that pets can benefit from too.

Kale

This dark, leafy green packs a major nutritional punch for two-legged health nuts. It contains vitamins A, C and K in addition to minerals including copper, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. Kale helps lower blood pressure, improve bone health, and it even lowers the risk of cancer. This super food also has benefits for canines, loaded with beta carotene, calcium, vitamin K, vitamin C, and lutein. These delicious morsels will help your dog attain a soft, shiny coat and healthy skin.

Probiotics

Scientific evidence shows that consuming foods with probiotics, or live microorganisms, can have multiple health benefits for humans. Probiotic-rich foods such as unflavored yogurt, pickles, sauerkraut, and kimchi all help reduce cholesterol levels, improve immune function and aid digestion.

For pets, probiotics can have equally helpful effects. Probiotics on a regular basis benefits the intestinal health of both dogs and cats and can cure foul smelling stools, flatulence and occasional diarrhea. Getting your pet’s intestinal tract running efficiently will help promote overall health and longevity.

Antioxidants

Chomping on fruits and vegetables helps humans get a boost from antioxidants. Beta-carotene is key to eye health, flavonoids benefit heart health and vitamin E helps promote healthy skin, among other things. Berries and nuts pack a major antioxidant punch and help pet parents flourish.

For dogs, antioxidants can improve immune responses and vaccine recognition, and they also slow down the aging process of cellular molecules. Vitamin C, Vitamin E, cranberries, blueberries, pomegranate and decaf green tea extract  give your pups the boost their bodies need. They also clean teeth and freshen breath!

Grain Free

Many two-legged people are making the switch to a grain-free and gluten-free lifestyle. This means cutting out breads, pasta and sugar from your diet plan. The popular Paleo diet promotes this way of life, touting meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds as the main sources for nutrition.

Just like grain-free diets don’t make sense for all humans, they also aren’t a good fit for all dogs. However, some dogs and cats suffer from grain intolerance that cause vomiting, bloating and other types of digestion issues. They can also aggravate allergies and skin disorders.

Energy Bars

According to a market study by Package Facts, retail sales in the nutrition/energy bar category are expected to approach $4.5 billion by 2016. Those numbers show just how much active individuals rely on this on-the-go food form.

But if you’re packing some Clif Bars for your hiking trip, don’t forget to pack a snack for your dog as well. Give your pup an energy boost so that he can power through any outdoor activity. Choose treats that are high in protein and low in fat. They also offer beneficial vitamins, fatty and amino acids and minerals.

Yogurt

Grocery stores are packed with tons of yogurt options for humans. The yummy dairy product offers a big dose of calcium along with, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-12, potassium, and magnesium. The active cultures and bacteria in yogurt support digestive health and bone health.

For pups, yogurt is a good addition to a healthy meal plan because it enhances the immune system, reduces the chances of yeast infections and reduces cholesterol. Dog owners can add in a small amount (approximately 1 tbsp) at mealtime or offer up a snack of frozen yogurt as a summertime treat.

Salmon Oil

Even if you’re not a big fan of salmon for dinner, salmon oil supplements have big health benefits for humans. The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon oil help reduce bad cholesterol in the body, provide essential nutrients for eyesight and fight off ailments such as asthma, psoriasis, and Chohn’s disease.

Those fatty acids can also make a big difference in your dog and cat’s health. Salmon oil will keep your pet’s coat and skin healthy, help with joint and heart health, and can support better immune functionality.

 

Dogs: Safe vs. Dangerous “People Food”

Top 10 Foods to avoid

1. Chocolate

Chocolate is a big no-no. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous, but any chocolate can kill a dog, even white chocolate.

2. Sweets, chewing gum and diet foods containing Xylitol

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in sugar-free foods such as sweets, chewing gum and diet foods. The Xylitol content of these products can vary widely but significant amounts can cause acute and life threatening low blood sugar as well as liver failure.

3. Grapes and Raisins

I have seen people use grapes and raisins as treats for their dog but that is a very bad idea, as a handful can be fatal.

4. Caffeine

One or two laps of a drink containing caffeine are unlikely to be poisonous but an ingested tea bag may cause death in a small dog.

5. Macadamia Nuts

Never feed macadamia nuts or foods containing them as they are toxic to dogs. Eating as few as six nuts is enough to make your dog ill.

6. Alcohol

Dogs are much smaller than humans, and so the amount of alcohol it takes to cause harm is much less than for a human. Keep it well out of their reach.

7. Fruit pips and seeds

Pips and seeds contain cyanide and can cause digestive blockage. Large pips such as avocado stones can get stuck in the oesophagus, stomach or intestinal tract.

8. Table Scraps

I have no problem with sharing table scraps that are safe and healthy for your dog, but often they contain high levels of fat. Too much fat can cause pancreatitis and obesity, which can be life threatening or have long-term consequences.

9. Cooked bones

Cooked bones should never be fed to your dog as they can perforate the oesophagus, stomach or intestines and cause blockages along the digestive tract.

10. Onions

Onions contain a chemical that can damage your dog’s red blood cells and cause anaemia, weakness and breathing difficulties. Don’t ever give your dog raw, powdered, dehydrated or cooked onions or anything containing onions.

There are some foods that are great for your dog. Here’s my top 10.

1. Egg

A boiled egg is a great source of very digestible protein, especially for dogs prone to digestive upset.

2. Fish

Oily fish is a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids which boosts the immune system and can be beneficial for allergies, skin and coat.

3. Kale and Spinach

Kale and Spinach are both excellent sources of antioxidant and help the liver detoxify the body.

4. Broccoli

Broccoli is loaded with vitamins and nutrients but only feed your dog a small amount, no more than 5% of their daily diet.

5. Carrots

A crunchy source of antioxidants and other nutrients, carrots are the most underrated vegetable. Carrots contain an array of vitamins that will help your dog’s heart function, reduce the risk of cancer and support eye health.

5. Sweet potato

Sweet potato is full of antioxidants, promotes a healthy heart and keeps your dog’s immune system strong.

6. Ricotta cheese

This is low in lactose and has a good ratio of calcium to phosphorus which is great for your dog’s health.

7. Blueberries raspberries and blackberries

These little berries are filled with great antioxidants, can aid heart function, help fight cancer and have anti-inflammatory benefits.

8. Apple

Packed with nutrients apples are thought to protect against some types of cancer but make sure you don’t feed your pet the core.

9. Quinoa

This little gluten free seed is a powerhouse of nutrients and a great replacement for grains.

10. Banana

Feeding a small piece of Banana to your dog can sooth their gastrointestinal tract and can also be used to treat a minor upset.

Source: HuffPost