Author: Christin Sander, Health Writer
Is it safe to feed human foods to your dog? Although many foods can be harmful to our pets, there are certain circumstances where it is perfectly fine to give a dog human foods. If your dog has been ill, bland foods like rice can be given to help boost his appetite. Whether you want to give your pet a treat or help him recover from an illness, there are some human foods that are very healthy for dogs when given in moderation.
Yogurt provides probiotics and is a good source of protein and calcium. Choose yogurt that has live active bacteria with no sugar or artificial sweeteners. The live cultures aid digestion and promote healthy intestinal flora.
Cottage Cheese is a protein and calcium rich treat that can be given in small doses. Some dogs don't tolerate dairy well, so any dairy treat should be given in small amounts.
Pumpkin is a great source of vitamin A and fiber. Use raw pumpkin or plain canned pumpkin with no added sugar. Pumpkin can bulk up a loose stool.
Eggs can make a great treat, but should always be cooked. A hard boiled or scrambled egg is great for protein and provides selenium and riboflavin. Never feed pets raw eggs as it can expose them to salmonella and other harmful bacteria.
Apples are a nice, crunchy treat for dogs that provide fiber, vitamin C and A. Avoid feeding the seeds to your pet, they contain trace amounts of cyanide that can build up in the body over time. Apples are very effective for cleaning the teeth naturally.
Popcorn is a great snack to share with your pup so long as it is not buttered or salted. Plain popcorn is a low-calorie treat that contains potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Popcorn is a great alternative treat for overweight dogs.
Peanut butter that is natural and not sweetened or salted is a great, high-protein snack that dogs really love. Place some inside a toy or add a bit to a treat and let the dog lick it off.
Carrots are low-calorie, high in fiber and an excellent source of beta carotene. They are also an excellent, natural treat for cleaning your dog's teeth.
Chicken is a good source of protein for dogs that is easy to digest. Chicken should always be roasted or boiled without added salt or spices. Never give the bones to your pet.
Sweet potatoes are a nutritious treat when boiled and mashed. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of antioxidants and phytochemicals. They're high in potassium, fiber, magnesium, vitamin C and the minerals iron, copper, and manganese. The powerful anti-oxidants in sweet potatoes prevent cancer and have anti-aging properties as well.
Bananas are high in fiber, magnesium, and potassium. They also contain vitamin B6 that metabolizes proteins and regulates blood cell oxygenation. Bananas can be mashed up and added to your dog's food. Not all dogs like bananas, but they are useful as a natural remedy for occasional loose stools and diarrhea.
Oatmeal is a great alternative grain to wheat for dogs that are allergic. It is a good source of soluble fiber and can naturally treat irregularity. Oatmeal should always be cooked before feeding it to your pet. It should be kept plain with no added butter, sugar or salt.
Rice is a good food choice for dogs that are dealing with gastrointestinal upset. Rice is mild, easy to digest, and provides carbohydrates for good energy. Brown rice is the best because it is also a source of protein and fiber.
In addition to these foods, there are other natural remedies that can support your pet's digestive system and improve overall function and good health. There are herbal remedies like marshmallow and slippery elm used by holistic veterinarians to improve digestive health. Both are used for their mucilage content that soothes the mucous membranes of the digestive tract.