Oh, those puppy dog eyes begging for people food…It doesn’t have to be a holiday for us to want to give treats to our dogs. Our cats love people food, too. We love to indulge ourselves—and them—with safe people food and holiday dog treats like veggies good for dogs. For those who prefer audio/video, here’s a new YouTube post (be sure to subscribe!)
These days, we’re not going out to eat so much but are cooking at home more, so there are additional yummies available. Both Shadow-Pup and Karma-Kat think they deserve some of the table food. We offer only in moderation, and that the choices are safe for pets.
Pet poisons can make our dogs and cats sick and we need to know what to do. Learn more about first aid for common pet poisons here. In fact, there are many high-risk foods for our pets. You probably know about chocolate, but did you know that macadamia nuts, avocados, or raisins/grapes can cause toxicity? Artificial sweeteners keep owners lean but any goodies sweetened with Xylitol could cause canine liver failure. You’ll want to know tips for how to deal with vomiting if your pooch gets into any of these.
Safe People Food for Dog Treats
So when the aroma of baking and roasting turns on the doggy drool, what human foods are safe for King to snag a taste? Actually, dogs have been eating the same foods people do for centuries and not only live to tell about it, but they also thrive. And holistic vets often recommend some of these foods for a more natural way to treat your doggy best friend.
Lean Meats. Chicken is a favorite but dogs will relish nearly any type of meat. A hunk of firm beef also can scrub teeth for dental health then your dog must chew. Turkey contains tryptophan, a natural sleep aid that works to calm excited pooches during holiday visits.
Organ meats. Don’t toss out the giblets when you roast your holiday bird. Tongue, heart, liver, and gizzards are power-packed with vitamins and minerals that help support the dog’s own organs—so even if you don’t care for liver, your dog will thank you for this healthy treat.
Stew. Chicken soup cooked with spinach, green beans, mushrooms, and beets makes a great treat and top dressing for regular food. A bit of garlic for flavor is fine, too, as it contains vitamin B—just don’t overdo it as too much onion or garlic can cause anemia in some dogs.
Green veggies, fresh or cooked. Dogs are omnivores and often relish vegetable treats. Some favorites include broccoli, asparagus, spinach and green beans. Does your doggy graze on grass? Offer him parsley—it will also freshen his breath.
Beets. Holistic veterinarians say raw beets pack a powerful punch for cleansing the liver. Dogs may relish small amounts of cooked beets as a treat.
Sweet potatoes. Dogs have a sweet tooth and relish a dollop of sweet potatoes. The high fiber also proves soothing for upset tummies or diarrhea. Hold the marshmallow—the dog may like the sugary topping but marshmallow isn’t particularly healthy for him.
Canned pumpkin. Dogs often love the taste of pumpkin. It also works great as a natural remedy for either diarrhea or constipation. Offer the nonflavored canned pumpkin as the pie filling has added sugar and spices that may not appeal to your dog.
More People Food Dog Treats
Yogurt. While many dogs have problems digesting milk and develop diarrhea, small amounts as a treat usually work fine. A better milk-based treat is plain unflavored yogurt. Yogurt also helps maintain the beneficial bacteria in the stomach that keep digestion healthy.
Fruits. These may be an acquired taste for people and dogs. Many dogs enjoy berries, oranges, apples, and bananas (remember, grapes and raisins are toxic!). Cranberry promotes urinary tract health, although your pooch would need to drink a lot of the juice to see a benefit.
Ginger. Gingerbread and gingersnap cookies make great treats for dogs, especially if they suffer from car sickness during travel to Grandma’s house. Ginger is a natural remedy that counters nausea. You’ll want to limit the sugar and carbs, though, to prevent that “table muscle” from becoming too pudgy.
What Table Food Treats Do Your Pets Love?
Every dog is unique and has different tastes—and nutritional needs. Some may fight obesity or have food allergies or require a therapeutic diet to counter a health condition, so be sure to clear any table treats with your veterinarian. Remember you wouldn’t allow your human kid to munch exclusively on rich desserts or gravy, so balance your table-love with healthy moderation.
Treats typically shouldn’t make up more than about 10 percent of the pet’s total diet. So if you plan to offer table food dog treats, first reduce his regular ration. Tiny amounts offered very gradually work best to avoid upset tummies. You can use home remedies to treat mild diarrhea. Besides, your dog enjoys the attention almost as much as the treats!
So…please share what your dogs’ favs might be. Anything I missed? Let’s add to the list!
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Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!