31 Healthiest Foods For Your Dog(And 13 You Need To Avoid)
Being good pet parents, we are always looking for ways to please our fur babies. As hard as many of us may try to keep our dogs on their canine diets, sometimes we just can’t resist slipping them an occasional human morsel.
A lot of people feel that dogs should not be given any “people” food, however, if you’d like to reward your pet with table scraps, you actually can safely, just make sure that you choose people foods that aren’t harmful for canines.
Here are a few “dog-approved” people foods that are actually are perfectly safe … and even healthy!
Coconut & Coconut Oil
Coconut is made up of a beneficial fatty acid chain called Lauric acid, and when dogs and humans synthesize Lauric acid it produces a compound called monoglyceride monolaurin. This substance helps fight and destroy viruses and various pathogenic bacteria, thus protecting your pets from infection and boosting their immune systems. Additionally, coconut contains albumin, which is a water-soluble protein found in many animal tissues and liquids.
Many diseases and ailments, like yeast infections, smelly coats, hot spots, cuts that have been infected, and even cracked paws, can all be cured with just a jar of “virgin coconut oil.” When all forms of diet remedies have failed, then it is time to try out this miracle natural medicine for your dog.
Virgin coconut oil means that it is unrefined, and it can be used for both dogs and humans. Coconut Oil can help reduce cancer risks. It also improves the digestion of your dog and becomes medicine for most digestive upsets. Thyroid function is also kept normal with coconut oil. It can give your dog a smooth glossy coat, as well as healthy, supple skin. Yeast and fungal infections are also treated and prevented through the use of coconut oil. Arthritis and similar pains can also be minimized or treated.
Coconut & coconut oil can also balance your dog’s metabolism, and keep weight under control. Coconut & its oil are also something that your dog will most likely love to eat, and gobble up.
Mix it with their food! It can cure many picky eaters. (product featured below)
Peanut Butter (Conflicting Information PLEASE READ CAREFULLY)
This is a favorite treat of many canines, and has been for years. It is recommended by many professionals as a safe snack, and is added to hundreds of dog treat products. Not only is it a good source of protein, but it also contains heart healthy fats, vitamin B, niacin, and vitamin E. But some information shows that it could be dangerous to dogs as well as humans. While I have not heard of any dogs having an issue with peanut butter, I will share what I have found. It is said that most peanut butter contains Aflatoxins, that are naturally occurring mycotoxins produced by a fungus called Aspergillus. These are carcinogenic, cancer-causing substances shown to be toxic to the liver, and are known to cause liver cancer in laboratory animals.
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, A few years ago, Consumers Union looked into the question of aflatoxins in peanut butter and found that the amounts detectable varied from brand to brand. The lowest amounts were found in the big supermarket brands such as Peter Pan, Jif and Skippy. The highest levels were found in peanut butter ground fresh in health food stores. BUT, before you break out the Jif for you or your dog, you need to know that another issue with the cheaper brands is that they contain trans-fatty acids. These are one of the most toxic food substances today, due to the highly toxic process that makes foods more stable, and sit on shelves for a long time. Hydrogenation is the process of taking a plant oil, adding a nickel catalyst, heating it, and then removing the nickel catalyst.
This results in a highly toxic fat that causes diabetes, heart disease and chronic inflammation.
If the peanut butter you buy contains trans fats, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredients don’t buy it! And if trans fats aren’t bad enough, roasting nuts can also cause the fats in peanuts to go rancid. So if you are going to buy peanut butter, at the very least, make sure it’s raw and doesn’t contain hydrogenated fats. But of course, you still may have to deal with the aflatoxins. One way to help avoid the effects of aflatoxins, is to buy Earth Balance Creamy Coconut & Peanut Spread, as the coconut oil in the peanut butter should kill the fungus that causes the aflatoxins.
Studies have found that coconut oil can kill viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other illnesses. It kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum disease and cavities, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, and other diseases. It also kills fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections, and even kills tapeworms, lice, giardia, and other parasites.
Think chicken, beef, or pork with no visible fat and no added sauces or seasonings can be a great training treat or can add a bit of good-quality extra protein to your dog’s diet. Lean meat is an excellent, balanced source of amino acids, the building blocks of muscle in your dog’s body. Meat is also a great source of B vitamins (Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Pyridoxine, and Cobalamine). These vitamins are involved in energy metabolism in the body. Meat also makes a good meal replacement if you’re in a pinch and out of dog food.
Used in moderation, this meat is also a good choice and available freeze-dried in most pet stores It makes a great training treat, that you can also buy fresh in the grocery store to feed at home. Fresh liver can be cooked and then baked to make your own liver treats. Liver is an excellent source of B vitamins, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K. It is also a great source of iron. Too much liver may be toxic to dogs because of its high vitamin A content, so it is best to limit the amount of liver fed to your dog to not more than 1 g of fresh liver/Kg body weight per day.
Salmon & Tuna
These are good sources of omega 3 fatty acids, which are responsible for keeping your dog’s coat healthy and shiny, as well as supporting your dog’s immune system. Feed your dog cooked salmon, add salmon oil to food, or slip them some of your unwanted fish skins. Tuna may be a classic cat snack. But despite stereotypes, dogs can eat tuna too, and it’s healthy offering protein, vitamins on top of the omega-3 fatty acids.
Scrambling up an egg for your pup is a great way to give their diet a protein boost. Eggs are also a source of easily digestible riboflavin and selenium, making them a healthy snack.
Cheese & Cottage Cheese
A great treat for a dog as long as they are not lactose intolerant, which a small percentage are. So if you’re unsure, make sure to monitor your dog’s reaction. Opt for low or reduced fat varieties and don’t overfeed, as many cheeses can be high in fat. Cottage cheese is typically a good choice because it is high in protein and calcium and it’s fairly bland, so it can be a good way to add some extra protein to your dog’s diet.
Greek Yogurt & Kefir
High in calcium and protein, but make sure to only choose yogurts that do not contain artificial sweeteners or added sugars. Yogurts with active bacteria can act as a probiotic and are good for your dog’s digestive system.
This is a great source of soluble fiber, which can be especially beneficial for older dogs with bowel irregularity issues. It is also a great alternate grain for dogs allergic to wheat. Make sure to cook oatmeal before serving it to your dog.