When the family is gathered around the dinner table for holiday dinner, it’s awfully hard to say no when someone asks to give the dog a small taste. Especially when your pup has been so well behaved with guests! We’ve included a list of some “human foods” that can be a healthy snack for your pup. Don’t forget to instruct your guests to give your dog a command before sharing a bite. This will help instill good manners in your pup and reinforce the obedience you worked so hard to achieve!
MEATS: Any muscle meat is great for your dog, but balanced canine nutrition also requires other sources like heart, lung, and liver. Freeze dried organs can even be found as a pre-packaged treat in most pet supply stores. Eggs can be given soft boiled, hard boiled, or scrambled.
VEGGIES: Leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, turnips, rutabaga, celery, cucumber, bell peppers, zucchini/other summer squashes, carrots, spinach, sweet potato
FRUITS: Apples, bananas, papayas, mangoes, berries, melon. Overripe fruits are easier to digest.
OK IN LIMITED AMOUNTS
Garlic – beneficial in doses up to 1 small clove per 20 lbs of body weight, but can cause anemia if given in large quantities
Grains, potatoes (regular, not sweet), tomatoes, peppers (all kinds), eggplant, legumes (beans) – starchy veggies and grains may aggravate arthritis pain, but are otherwise fine to give. Grains that can be fed to dogs include white & brown rice, oatmeal, barley, and quinoa
Onions – Can cause a form of anemia. Reaction is dose-dependent and can build up over time
Macadamia nuts – toxic, even in very small amounts
Chocolate, Caffeine – Toxic to dogs
Xylitol – toxic to dogs. This is a natural sweetener that is found in many human products like sugar-free gum, mints, and children’s vitamins. It is also found in some pet water additives
Grapes, Raisins – toxic to dogs. While a few likely won’t cause a problem, large amounts can cause kidney failure. 3 to 6 ounces per 20 lbs of body weight is the lowest amount known to have caused toxicity. Most cases of grape toxicity occurred when a dog “stole” a large ration of these sweets.
Animal products should be at least 50% of your dog’s diet. That’s why high quality commercial dog kibbles list meat sources as the first ingredient. While fruits & veggies are not a huge part of a dog’s diet “in the wild”, they can be a great source of vitamins for your dog and make for a very healthy snack both during the holidays and year round.
The most important thing is to ensure your dog doesn’t get a hold of any bones. Bones can splinter and cause terrible problems in your dog’s belly and intestines. Also make sure that what you’re giving them has as little salt and seasonings as possible. Too much salt can cause health problems in your dog, and they don’t really notice the taste like we do anyway.