If your pooches are anything like mine, they case the kitchen during dinnertime (or anytime really) looking for a dropped morsel or stray crumb of human food that hopefully made its way to the kitchen floor. (And paws crossed, mom and pops missed it upon clean-up!) We do our very best to keep people food and table scraps away from our dogs. But it doesn’t have to be that way all of the time. In fact, there are some people foods that when added to your dog’s regular, well-balanced diet, can benefit and enhance your dog’s nutrition.
As always, consult your veterinarian if you have questions prior to feeding the below foods. This information is based on my own experience and consultations with my family vet and holistic vet.
1. Sweet Potatoes
Whenever we are making sweet potatoes for dinner, we always reserve a few, cubed bites and add in with their regular dog food. Known as a great super food for us, the sweet potato also provides vital nutrients for our dogs. It’s become a popular ingredient in dry kibble and is an easy way to provide your pooch vitamins such as B6, C and dietary fiber. Sweet potatoes are also full of anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. After a hard run at the dog park, we make sure to supplement our little athlete’s dinner (who also has knee issues) with sweet potatoes. For a great way to incorporate sweet potatoes as a homemade treat, check out this link.
At home, we eat broccoli as a side dish a few times a week. And I will tell you, our pups do not mind one bit! In fact I’m pretty sure “broccoli” has replaced “cookie” as the new favorite word for treat! We steam our broccoli and serve the pups a few bites when cool. We have a friend that instead of rawhides or bones, gives his Bulldog the broccoli stalk to chew on! She never eats the whole stalk, but he feels much more comfortable giving her something natural to chew on as a treat. Broccoli is great because it’s low calorie and high in vitamins A and C.
3. Black Beans
Black beans are one of my personal favorites. They are so versatile. While our dogs can’t appreciate everything you can do with the almighty black bean, I can assure you they will “appreciate” the health benefits they receive by providing you with extra, sloppy kisses (and delicious bean breath!) Black beans are chock full of natural fiber and have really helped out when those bouts of constipation come up every now and again. Black beans also help regulate blood sugars and boost the immune system. Canned black beans should be rinsed very well and drained prior to feeding.
Quinoa, if you haven’t noticed, has been all the rage lately. And there is good reason for the surge in popularity. It’s truly a super food for both humans and pets alike. It can add great variety to your dog’s diet! It’s also great for pets with gluten sensitivities or food allergies. Quinoa is rich in protein and essential amino acids. Prepare the quinoa just as you would for yourself and mix into dog food or treats.
For quite some time my sister’s French Bulldog, Titus, was experiencing some health issues. He was having trouble with his digestion and at times, couldn’t keep any meals or treats down. After struggling to find a food Titus could eat, my sister and her husband turned to eggs. And miraculously, he was eating and getting healthier in no time! When they say the “incredible, edible egg”, they mean it! Eggs are the most easily digested protein source and are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. They can be a bit high in calorie count for smaller dogs, so remember portion control when feeding. The cooked egg can be cut into pieces or chopped up fine and mixed in with daily kibble.
These are the top “superfoods” in our home! What other healthy, people foods do you like to feed your pooches?
Photo from blog.costumecraze.com