Feeding the family dog from the dinner table will make her happy but it won't make her healthy. Most foods that humans eat are not good for dogs and may make the dog sick or cause long term-health issues, including obesity. There are several human foods that are not bad for a dog and when fed in moderation, these foods actually add some nutritional value to a dog's daily diet.
Mix a few scraps of lean beef into your dog's regular dog food to give him an extra boost of protein and flavour. Do not use meats that are heavily seasoned or that have been prepared with onions or are covered in salty gravy. Veterinarians recommend using cooked meat to avoid exposing dogs to toxic bacterias that are found in raw meat.
Combine chunks of boneless chicken and turkey with your dog's dry food to spice up his daily meals. Remove all skin, as it contains fat and salt which are unhealthy for dogs. Chicken and turkey bones are dangerous to dogs. They splinter easily, and when swallowed they may cause internal injury. Remove all bones before feeding poultry to your dog.
Although it's common to think of feeding fish to a cat, dogs like it too. Add pieces of freshwater fish to your dog's food to give him a good dose of omega-3 fatty acids, which support the immune system. Fish also provides protein and vitamins to the dogs food. Remove bone fragments from the fish to avoid injury. Don't feed dogs fish cooked in rich sauces.
Low-fat, unsweetened yoghurt is a good source of calcium and protein for both humans and dogs. Blend a few spoonfuls of yoghurt with dry dog food or serve yoghurt frozen as a sweet summer treat for the dog. Select yoghurts that have live active bacteria for added benefits to the dog's digestive system.
Feed your dog a small bowl of oatmeal or mix cooked oats into his dry food every few days. Cooked, unsweetened and unsalted oatmeal provides dogs with important soluble fibre. Oatmeal is good for older dogs who are beginning to suffer from irregularity; the fibre in the oatmeal helps maintain normal bowel movements. For dogs who are allergic to wheat, oatmeal is a good grain substitute.
Add a sprinkle of ground flax seed to your dog's dry food or feed her a few whole flax seeds as a treat. Flax seeds are filled with omega-3 fatty acids that help maintain healthy skin and a beautiful fur coat. Flax seed goes rancid quickly, so remove and dispose of any uneaten portions of flax seed-covered dog food after your dog is done eating.
Eggs are highly beneficial to dogs and are a good source of riboflavin, selenium and protein. Mix a scrambled or diced hard boiled egg in with food or serve them on their own. Raw eggs are not good for dogs, so always cook them. Hard boiled eggs make a healthy and nutritious treat and are ideal to use as a training reward.
The apple is a sweet, crunchy treat for dogs, and it also provides them with vitamins A and C and a good dose of dietary fibre. The skin of an apple contains chemicals called phytonutrients which may be helpful in protecting humans from cancers; dogs may reap this benefit as well. Don't let your dog eat the core or seeds of the apple. Apple seeds contain cyanide which may build up in his system if he consumes too many seeds.
Dehydrated sweet potatoes make a chewy, delicious treat or snack for any dog. The sweet potato is a good source of fibre, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. It also contains manganese and beta carotene. Dogs will eat them cooked and mixed in with food or in a bowl on their own. You may sometimes find dried sweet potatoes in the dog treat aisle at your local pet store.
Green beans are a good dietary aid for dogs who have put on a few pounds as they've got older. Substitute a meal of dried dog food with a bowl of green beans to cut a few calories. The beans are a healthy, low-calorie food and are filling to the dog. Green beans are a good source of fibre and contain the mineral manganese as well as vitamins C and K.