If anyone knows me, they know I am always trying new things with my diet. I like being a healthy person, but I have to keep it interesting, to say the least. I have been a vegetarian, I have juiced, I have gone raw, I have been a vegan… I have done it all.
All of the change in my diet got me thinking about how bored my dogs must be with their diets. They get the same thing for breakfast and dinner everyday! Ugh, that must not be fun. So, I started doing research about dog food and what “people food” I could add to improve their diets.
You probably know that too much “people food” can make your dog ill or overweight, but there are some human foods that can be safely added to your dog’s meals in moderation to give a nutritional boost.
- Yogurt is a good source of calcium and protein. Pick one that has active bacteria (it can act like a probiotic) with no added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Frozen yogurt is a fun summer treat for your dogs
- Flax Seed (ground or oil) it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for their skin and coat. It is also a good source of fiber. Make sure to keep the seeds and/or the oil in the fridge in an airtight dark container, which keeps it from going bad.
- Salmon is a fatty fish that is also a good source of omega- 3 fatty acids. These fats support the immune system and again are good for their skin and coat. There has also been some indication that they may benefit dogs with allergies, but check with your vet first. You can feed salmon or salmon oil. If feeding salmon, make sure it’s cooked before serving, as raw salmon can carry a parasite that can make your dog sick.
- Pumpkin is a good source of fiber and vitamin A. Fiber helps keep the GI track moving, and this helps with the lining on the intestine. Plus, it tastes yummy!
- Sweet Potatoes are another source of dietary fiber and contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and manganese. Sweet potatoes are great sliced and dehydrated as a chewy treat for your dog. My dogs are OBSESSED with these sweet potatoes on a rope.
- Green Beans are a great source of plant fiber, vitamin K and C. If your dog has a tendency to put on weight, replacing some of her regular food with green beans is a great low calorie way to fill her up and help her maintain a healthy weight. Frozen green beans are so fun for your pooch.
- Eggs are a good source of protein and selenium. Some dogs are allergic to eggs, so be careful when introducing them into their diet. They should always be cooked eggs, as raw eggs can cause biotin deficiency.
- Apples are a fabulous crunchy treat for your dogs. My dogs go crazy for them! They are a great source of fiber and vitamin A and C. Apple seeds, however, contain cyanide so your dog should not be allowed to eat the core.
If you do a lot of training with your dog, consider taking any of these fun new “people” food treats to your next class as training treats.
We hope to see you in an AnimalSense class or private lesson in the near future. Our Summer 1 session starts the week of June 10th, so click here to check out all the classes we have to offer!