Many pet owners like sharing the last bite of their meal with their pet and it leads to questions and concerns over what is okay and if it can harm their pet. It’s great to be concerned and to seek answers before doing anything that may be harmful.
Dairy for Dogs
Dairy products are not recommended for dogs because it can sometimes cause a gastrointestinal upset that leads to diarrhea and stomach pains. Dairy products are not toxic and typically aren’t life-threatening. Still, you should keep dairy to a minimum in order to avoid the stomach gas, pain, and resulting diarrhea to a minimum. If you have an indoor dog, the gas can be a nuisance to you as much as to them.
Remember that your dog depends on you to do what is best and giving them too much of a food that will make them uncomfortable isn’t kind, no matter how much they like it. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid all but the tiniest amounts of dairy in their diet.
Dairy products include yogurt, butter, cheese, cream cheese, milk, and kefir.
What Can Dogs Eat Safely?
Dogs can eat most produce items without issues and you may supplement their diet with such things as sweet potatoes, garden peas, green beans, lima beans, and other legumes. Dogs can have many types of fruit as well. Avoid all seeds and pits. Many seeds contain cyanide which is highly toxic and pits of fruits can be choking hazard. Some of them are so hard that dogs can break teeth on them. This includes avocado, peach, and prune pits.
Dogs can eat lean meats but you should avoid those that are high in fat because it can definitely cause health issues in the long run. Many people think that trimming the fat from their steak and handing it to the dog is kind but in reality, it is very bad for their health. Dogs can gain weight rapidly and just five pounds over a normal weight is very much for them.
The list of items that a dog cannot and should not eat isn’t overly long and it is perhaps wiser for you to learn this list?
Don’t Feed Your Dog These Foods
- Grapes or raisins*
- High-fat foods
- Macadamia nuts*
- Raw white potatoes
- Xylitol (artificial sweetener)*
As you can see, there are far more foods that you can feed your dog that will not harm him. Some of the things we tend to want to hand to them are what we are eating, however. That is often sugar-filled items or table foods that have been heavily salted. These are very bad because they don’t metabolize things as we do and it takes less to become toxic for them. Foods with an asterisk next to them are toxic and can be an emergency situation.
Nutrition for Dogs
It doesn’t need to be the mystery that people often make it out to be. Dogs can eat most of the same things that we do. They require a well-rounded diet as we do. They don’t need excessive carbohydrates though. The number of carbs and fat should be less than what we would eat for a healthy diet.
That means that their protein should be higher. If you keep this in mind, your dog will likely get the right nutrition at all times. Good dog food that hits all the marks of a balanced diet will be all that you really need. If you choose to try to supplement this with more natural forms of food, then adding the things that have been listed as fine will be welcomed by them.
Some people try to cook for their dogs and this can become a bit more complicated to ensure that all vitamins and minerals are managed. Using a powdered supplement that you can sprinkle on top will work to resolve the concern.
A dog has different needs than a cat. Make sure you are using a dog food supplement. Cats need additional taurine in their diet and dogs can make their own so they rarely need taurine added to their diet unless they have a physiological problem.
Use Common Sense
When you are considering handing your dog a bite of food consider whether you’d consider this food healthy and if you’d give it to a child with health restrictions. While children are often given sugar, a child with ADHD is not. Feed your dog like a child with those sorts of health concerns and avoid the foods you’ve now been shown are definitely not good for them and you’ll be on the road to taking the best possible care with your dog’s nutritional needs.
Supplements for dogs exist that will help them with arthritis and joint pain, as well as medications for pain and allergy issues. Consult your veterinarian and discuss the needs of your dog. If you think there are food allergy issues, your veterinarian can do tests to determine what your dog is allergic to. They can suffer allergies to foods that normally are fine for dogs so you should introduce new things with care and under observation.
Proceed with caution when you are giving your dog anything they’ve never had before. Watch their bowel movements to make sure that they are metabolizing the dietary changes well and not getting an overly upset stomach. Watch for signs of bloat and gas which can cause them stomach pain that they can’t tell you about.
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.