As pet owners become more aware of the pitfalls in commercial dog food diets, they’ve started feeding more food prepared for them right at home. With this new trend, owners of pets are questioning which foods are safe for their pets and which foods are absolutely off limits.
It is important to remember that our dogs have their own preferences for foods
just like us our dogs also have own preferences. People foods are generally okay with dogs but there are some things that you should take care with. Beans, for example, are very good sources of protein and dogs can eat them.
Dogs also get gas so it is critical that you soak beans for as long as possible before cooking and that you cook them very slowly to give them a chance to release the chemicals that cause the interactions creating gas in the stomach.
Beans contain oligosaccharide. It’s a form of sugar and the human body doesn’t break it down fully and neither do dogs. The bacteria in the intestines is what finally breaks the beans down and this causes fermentation to happen.
Gas is a byproduct of fermentation and this is what causes both humans and dogs to have flatulence after eating beans. It’s inevitable, so be prepared to put your dog outside more often for a few days if you feed them beans.
Be wary of feeding dogs too many beans as gas pains can happen. This is a very uncomfortable situation and they can’t tell you when they hurt. Dogs can be in pain and have no way of telling you how very uncomfortable they are. Be very careful to make changes and additions to their diet slowly, regardless of the content but especially when including beans.
It doesn’t take much to upset their stomach and cause diarrhea and gas that can last for days, which will make both of your lives miserable.
Dogs with an upset stomach are highly likely to have accidents in the house and there is nothing like shampooing diarrhea from your carpets at midnight to make you rethink your diet choices for your dog.
Foods That Are Safe For Dogs
Beans are safe even though they may not be the best choice. Other safe foods include:
- Apples that have been seeded
- Pears that have been seeded
- Peach slices without pit
- Prune slices without pit
- Cabbage – sparingly due to gas potential
- Broccoli – in small amounts only. Too much can be hazardous to them
- Hard boiled eggs
- Sweet potatoes
- White potatoes – only if they are cooked
- Cheese – only a few pieces because too much dairy can give diarrhea or gas
- Spinach – not much as they can absorb large amounts of VItamin K and this isn’t good
- Pumpkin – very good for them and helps to add fiber to the diet
- Green peas
- Green beans
- Wax beans
- Kidney beans
There are many other foods as well but they aren’t as important as what dogs should never eat and we’d like to cover those in entirety. There are foods that dogs should never eat for many reasons, but it is safe for you to assume that foods on this list can potentially lead to death and warrant an emergency call to your veterinarian for instructions.
Foods your dog should NEVER eat:
- Grapes or raisins
- Macadamia nuts – all nuts in general are bad for them
- Raw eggs
- Raw meat
- Yeast dough – uncooked dough with yeast in it
- Xylitol – substitute sweetener that is highly toxic, as well as other artificial sweeteners
- Rhubarb and tomato LEAVES
- Marijuana – THC causes toxicity and death in dogs
- Cat food
- Toothpaste or mouthwash for humans
This is a fairly thorough list. Obviously there are the toxic chemicals in your garage, such as battery acid and motor oil that would also be a rush to the vet. Dogs and cats are both drawn to the smell and taste of engine coolant. This is something that you need to be very careful to keep clean-up from the drive and garage floor. A small amount of coolant can cause the liver and kidneys to totally shut down in very short order. Hours.
Keeping Things Safe
Animals, especially dogs, are very inquisitive and they follow their noses right into trouble. Dogs love apples quite often. The apple seeds contain cyanide and are toxic. Don’t leave a bag or bow of whole apples where your dog can access them if you know your dog will eat apples. If you are unsure, be safe.
Dogs can climb, lift lids, jump over barriers and generally be very difficult to keep under wraps when you aren’t home. If you can, crating your dog is a fantastic way to make sure that they aren’t getting into trouble while you are away. Some people feel that crating dogs is not kind.
Without getting too deep into that argument, let’s just say that when you come home, your dog will be alive and safe. Some owners are now without their pet and wish they had indeed used a crate in their absence from home.
Close containers, place things in refrigerator, utilize cabinets up high and when all else fails, just don’t keep foods in the house that are bad for dogs. If you have small children, don’t allow sugar-free gums in the house, or snacks. Dogs are great at learning to follow small children around the house and pilfering anything dropped, forgotten in the window sill and unattended on the table.
Dogs come to know toddlers as walking, babbling snack machines. Dogs don’t mind a little drool. They’ll eat those crackers no matter how soggy.
Teaching Your Dog
It is also wise to do training with your dog at a very young age, or as soon as you adopt a rescue. All dogs are capable of learning and should be taught the rules of the house. The more you enforce rules and boundaries, the better behaved your dog will be. You can teach a dog not to touch something when you tell them so.
Some people also resort to using boundary fencing options that will work in and around the home with an electronic collar. This keeps dogs from rushing at a front door when the doorbell rings or from entering the kitchen where food is prepared and being stored. You can set boundaries within your home to help teach your dog what areas are simply off limits.
Don’t buy foods that are bad for your dog and if you are concerned about dogs eating things outside of their food dish, never give them food unless it is in their food dish. If they are scolded and taught that eating food from any source other than their bowl is a bad thing, they will always hesitate to eat things that are not offered to them in their bowl. This also helps to not create a dog that begs constantly for your food while you are eating.
If you are unsure how to teach your dog these simple rules and boundaries, hire a private dog trainer to come to your home and show you how you can do these things. It isn’t difficult but understandable that people who’ve never done dog training wouldn’t know where to begin. It’s not overly expensive to hire a trainer and usually the best investment you can make in your relationship with your pet.
Feeding Your Dog Fresh Homemade Meals
There are fabulous recipes available on the internet for treats, kibble, and fresh food that you can feed your dog if that is what you are interested in. There are thousands to choose from. Remember that when you switch your dog over, do it very slowly so that you don’t upset their stomach.
Begin by adding just a bit of your fresh made foods to their kibble and slowly increase the fresh food as you decrease the kibble. This will reduce issues with gas and reactions to the food.
Make sure you are meeting their dietary and nutritional needs. Dogs need a rounded diet. You cannot feed a dog a vegetarian diet. Again, for the people in the back of the room. You CANNOT feed a dog a vegetarian diet. Dogs must have good quality, lean meat.
Some dogs do better with beef while others do better with chicken. Some dogs do well with fish but fish isn’t overly recommended for dogs as their primary protein source.
Make sure that you are hitting all of their vitamin and mineral needs. You may consider using a powdered supplement to add on top of the bowl each morning to ensure that they can enjoy the fresh foods and you can rest easy, knowing they are nutritionally getting all that they need from their diet.
Watch your dog’s weight to ensure that they are maintaining a healthy weight. Understand that you’ll need to make adjustments to their diet at times, such as adding more fiber if stools get too soft, or adding good fats to help caloric intake to maintain weight better. The great thing is that you are totally in control.
Dawn Greer 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.