We've all been there... huge, imploring eyes looking up at us at the dinner table, desperate for the tasty goodies on our plate. What's the harm of a little nibble now and then - right? Or maybe you're tired of seeing infographics or reading lists of all the foods your dog can't eat but don't really know which of our foods they can eat. So, here is a list of awesome foods found in your refrigerator perfect for sharing with your healthy adult dog.
Egg is a great source of very digestible protein. In fact egg is considered to have one of the best amino acid profiles and is often used as the standard against which other proteins are judged. Hardboiled is the most foolproof method for feeding eggs to your dog. Plain scrambled egg works well as an occasional treat to fill up a Kong toy.
Goat or Sheep Yogurt
Although low fat plain yoghurt can be a healthy snack or tasty topping added to your dog's normal meal some dogs struggle to digest lactose. Goat or sheep yogurt contains less lactose than cow yogurt and therefore delivers the health benefits without the potential lactose problem. Plus goat or sheep yogurt strengthen bones, supports your dog's immune system and supplies probiotics for healthy gut flora and aids digestion.
Cooked or tinned oily fish such as sardines, salmon, tuna or mackerel is a tasty source of protein and Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 is essential for your dog's immune system, optimal condition of the skin and coat and it can also be beneficial for allergies. Be aware that canned fish is high in sodium.
Kale and Spinach
Kale and spinach contains an abundance of vitamins. They are a good source of antioxidants and spinach helps the liver detoxify the body. Plus both kale and spinach have anti-inflammatory properties.
Broccoli is loaded with lots of vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. There is a bit of confusion where broccoli is concerned but in general broccoli is a very safe and healthy low calorie snack for your dog as long as it is fed in small amounts. The culprit in broccoli is called Isothiocyanate, which can cause trouble if eaten in large amounts. A rule of thumb is to feed it as no more than 5% of your dog's daily diet.
The humble little carrot is a much underrated vegetable. Carrots are a crunchy powerhouse of antioxidants and other nutrients that help heart function, reduce the risk of cancer and support eye health - to name just a few benefits.
Consider giving your dog a carrot stick instead of a commercial dog chew or add a little diced carrot to their normal food.
Sweet potatoes are bursting with antioxidants that promote a healthy heart and keep your dog's immunes system strong. Sweet potatoes also contain dietary fibre but it is always best to cook them before adding to your dog's bowl.
The best berries for your dog are blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. They are loaded with great antioxidants which support heart function, help fight cancer and have anti-inflammatory benefits. Don't over-do it though, one or two berries are enough otherwise you may have to clean up diarrhoea!
Quinoa (pronounced Keen-Wha)
Quinoa is great for your dog. It is a little gluten free seed that packs a big nutritional punch and offers a great replacement for grains. It's important to rinse quinoa before cooking so that you wash away the naturally occurring plant chemicals that coat the seeds and can cause a bitter taste your dog probably won't appreciate.
Your dog may enjoy the occasional piece of banana especially if he or she is suffering from a gastrointestinal upset. A small piece of banana has soothing properties for your dog's sensitive tummy.
(Note: To help with the constant questions I receive about whether or not dogs can eat certain foods I created an App called Doglicious - Can my dog eat that? Listed alphabetically and including hundreds of foods you'll never have to wonder again. Against each food there is a short description as well as tips and tricks for safely incorporating the food into your dog's diet. Each food has a colour coded dog nose - red for 'No', amber for 'Maybe' and green for 'Yes' making it easy to know whether you can safely feed any of the foods listed to your four legged friend. To download the App visit the App Store and search "Doglicious" or follow the link. It's a bargain at just 79p! End of commercial)
Kristina is certified in Advanced Canine Nutrition. Her journey into canine nutrition started out of love for an old rescue dog who was not responding to traditional medicine.
She provides consultations on general canine nutrition and home prepared diets working closely with a wide variety of vets. Kristina also write articles on canine nutrition and care for many publications. You can visit her at: Elmoskitchen.com
In 2014 she launched her very first App for all dog lovers called Doglicious which allows users to look up over 220 'human' foods to find out whether they are safe or harmful to their dogs