There are many things that you can give to dogs that won’t necessarily harm them but might not really be the best idea. Cauliflower is one of those things. Cauliflower, when cooked and unseasoned, isn’t bad for dogs. Raw cauliflower is a potential cause of gas. Gas is often a precursor to diarrhea or bloat. The intelligent question is probably, ‘why give them gas?’
There are many other things that dogs can eat without any issues. Let’s talk about things that are good for dogs and they can eat in moderation. Note that everything should be given to them in moderation so that you don’t cause digestive disruptions and gas or diarrhea. Some dogs have sensitive stomachs and some dogs have food allergies. Slow and easy with new foods is the best way to go.
Pumpkin for dogs – This is very good for dogs. It helps with diarrhea or constipation. Only use canned pumpkin, not raw and not pie filling that has sugar added to it. Also, don’t use pumpkin that has cinnamon in it. Cinnamon is not good for dogs. Pumpkin is absolutely chocked full of beta carotene and fiber. The body converts those into vitamin A. Do not overfeed this as dogs don’t need vitamin A and you can overload their system with it, causing health problems. A tablespoon portion per day for adult dogs is plenty. They’ll love it.
Rice for dogs – Rice is perfectly fine for dogs and can help them feel better when they’ve been sick. A cup of rice mixed with some boiled chicken can help to settle their stomach after they’ve been unwell. It will also stimulate the appetite when they don’t want to eat. Rice helps to add bulk to their stools when they have had diarrhea as well. Brown or white rice doesn’t really matter, dogs love it and will eat every grain from the bowl.
Apples for dogs – As long as you are careful to remove all the seeds from apples, dogs can eat apple raw or cooked. Again, no cinnamon. It can be very bad for dogs. Cinnamon can cause their blood sugar to drop rapidly and too low. Apples are great though and give them a taste of something a little sweet and with some fiber too. Only give one or two slices at a time and don’t and this will be good for them.
Peanut butter for dogs – Dogs love peanut butter. Most dogs will happily take pills in peanut butter and it is a wonderful treat to stuff in Kong toys. Dogs shouldn’t have sugar though and peanut butter can be packed with sugar. Sugar substitutes are not good for dogs, especially Xylitol, which is a neurotoxin to dogs. Give them natural peanuts that have nothing else added. A trick is to buy powdered peanut butter and add water to make it the consistency that you desire. It’s lower in fat too. Peanuts are high-fat foods and can cause weight gain, so don’t overuse the peanut butter as a treat.
Carrots for dogs – Dogs love the sweet taste of carrots. Again, they are are also loaded with beta carotene, so not too many of them. You won’t want issues with too much vitamin A. That said, puppies love chewing on carrots that are cold. Store them in cold water in the fridge and they make great teething chews. Certainly, they are safer than bones. Bones can break their teeth and be a choking hazard. Try carrots, you’ll find they love them. Cooked carrots are fine for them too. Cooked carrots and rice, with some chicken, would be a heavenly treat, added right on top of their normal kibble. Again, don’t feed too much. They can get heavy and that isn’t good for their health.
Blueberries for dogs – Dogs think blueberries are awesome. They can eat blueberries raw or baked into treats. Blueberries are packed with antioxidants which boost the immune system like a shot of adrenaline. Blueberries can help keep them healthier for longer, giving a powerful punch for cancer-fighting and helping to keep them younger at the cellular level. The best part is that blueberries taste naturally sweet, so dogs think of them as a treat and will happily eat them mixed with their fry food or in dog treats that you bake for them.
Oatmeal for dogs – Oatmeal is good for the skin, eases skin itching and makes the fur look glossy. It’s full of vitamins and minerals that make it healthy. It can cause a bit of diarrhea if portions are too large. Give a tablespoon or two on top of their food and they’ll tolerate it well unless they have a food allergy. That would be rare but not impossible. Always give them a small amount and see how they tolerate it.
Eggs for dogs – Eggs are an excellent source of protein and dogs absolutely love eggs but they must be cooked! Never feed raw eggs. There is a high risk of salmonella in raw eggs and E-coli is also a concern with raw eggs. Either of these can kill dogs with compromised immune systems. Cook the eggs and add them to their bowl, along with anything else you’d like to add to their meal and they will eat every bite. Don’t add salt or pepper to the eggs and don’t cook them in butter. Try to keep fats low and don’t feed them eggs every day. Remember that dogs gain weight quickly and just five extra pounds for them is a lot. You can shorten their life a great deal by raising their cholesterol.
Yams for dogs – Yams and sweet potatoes are loved by dogs. You may feed these cooked or raw. If serving white potatoes, those must be cooked for dogs. The raw white potato is not good for them. Many commercial dog foods now add sweet potato to their recipes because they are a wonderful source of fiber and vitamins and minerals. The sweet potatoes are easy to feed, they will eat them shredded, chopped, sliced, mashed or cubed. Just remember…no cinnamon, butter, and no sugar!
Squash for dogs – Squash is great for dogs. They can have virtually any type of squash you’d like to offer them. Remember to offer them just a few slices. Cooked or raw will be okay but some dogs may prefer their squash cooked with some chicken for flavor. No salt, keep it bland and it stays safe for them to eat. Introduce them to it slowly, just a few slices at first. It can give them gas if you give them too much and please, understand that gas can be painful to them.
Watermelon for dogs – Watermelon should be seedless. Serve it cold or at room temperature. Dogs love the juicy garden treat. Watermelon keeps them hydrated and offers them a sweet treat that is fun and tasty. Dogs will typically eat watermelon and continue eating and might try to eat the rind as well. It isn’t recommended that you let them eat the dark rind of the melon as it may upset them and give them diarrhea. The pink flesh of the watermelon, however, is fair game and fun to watch them eat. They may have other melon as well. Cantaloupe and honeydew are also favorites of dogs.
Strawberries for dogs – Strawberries may be eaten by your dog and they usually do fine with them. Dogs love strawberries but should only have a couple of berries at first. You may give them a few more once you know they are tolerant of them without an upset stomach. It is permissible to give them some real whipped cream as a very special treat but remember that dairy can cause upset stomach and diarrhea if they are lactose intolerant. If they tolerate it well, then a tablespoon will not harm them as long as it is only on special occasions.
These are just a few suggestions as to things you can give your dog to brighten their day and add some flavor to their world. Most of us would not be able to imagine eating the same thing every day, for most of our lives. Adding some fruit and veggies to their diet, as long as done sparingly, is perfectly fine.
Avoid grapes, raisins, apple seeds, fruit pits, avocado, macadamia nuts, walnuts, almonds, and pecans. Dogs can get gravely ill and even die from these things.
Laura Barnes is a passionate blogger and animal rights activist. She is a pet lover, certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, pet nutritionist, and former veterinary technician. She continues her work while writing blogs for pet lovers around the globe.