You can feel their gaze on you. Out of the corner of your eye, you spot the drool forming. While you’re cooking dinner, they are underfoot, waiting and waiting. What’s a pet owner to do? Toss them a bite of your sandwich? Share your sushi? Not so fast! Unquestionably, there are some great human foods you can definitely share with your canine friend. On the other hand, there are many that are toxic to dogs. First and foremost, do you know the difference of healthy food for your dog?
First Things First
Before you start adding to your dog’s diet, you should first and foremost be feeding them a nutrient rich diet. Without a doubt, don’t be fooled by those gorgeous dog food ads you see on tv. Their marketing department does an incredible job showing a handsome golden retriever running free through a meadow. Their tag line is telling you, if you feed our dog food, your dog will be this happy and healthy too.
Additionally, many brands use colors and “bits” to entice you as a dog owner. Nonetheless, these are usually gimmicks and the food doesn’t actually contain anything that provides healthy nutrition. It’s important to understand that the quality of food you feed your dog, directly affects their overall health, including a shiny coat, clean teeth and a balanced weight.
What Makes A Dog Food Healthy?
Whether you decide to feed raw or kibble or even home cooking for your dog, there are key ingredients to include and even more ingredients to avoid.
- Real Meat should be the first ingredient. Not meat by-product, but actual beef, lamb, chicken, etc.
- No Fillers, this includes corn, wheat, soy, etc. They fill your dog up, but provide little to no nutritional value.
- Artificial Preservatives make your dog food bag have an extended shelf life. These chemicals are unhealthy for your dog.
- Prebiotics and Probiotics are key for a dog’s healthy digestion.
- Vegetables are good for your dog, just like they are good for you!
As a pet parent, the kindest thing you can do for your dog, is to be a label reader. Particularly, don’t be fooled by the colorful picture on the front of the bag. Turn that bag around and read the ingredients. The Dog Food Advisor gives you reviews and ratings of the good and bad of dog food ingredients. Without a doubt, do your research and find the food that works best for your furry friend.
Human Foods You Can (and should) Feed Your Dog:
- Sweet potato
- Green beans
- Apples (not the seeds)
- Yogurt (plain)
- Peanut butter
*Above all, always consult your veterinarian before introducing a new food.
Human Foods You Can’t Feed Your Dog:
- Grapes and Raisins
- Macadamia Nuts
- Lemons and Limes
- Raw Bread Dough
- Chewing Gum
The Keys To Success
Finally, our dogs add so much joy to our lives. As a Dog Mom (or Dad), we want the best for our canine companions. A healthy diet is a large component of living a long life (for humans and dogs). Most importantly, realizing that giving your dog the best nutrition possible will only enrich their lives and give YOU years and years of love.