Most dogs know when you’re eating something you really enjoy. They give you those sad puppy eyes that say, “Please share.” The question that haunts you is, do I give in and offer my dog some? Is this human food good for my dog? While some people foods will make your dog sick or add unnecessary weight, there are a number of people snacks you can share to ease those sad puppy eyes.
1. Apples. It’s best to keep the skin on apples when you feed your dog this treat. Apple skins contain phytonutrients that some believe can shield against some types of cancer in humans. Apples are rich in vitamins A and C and fiber. Watch out for apple seeds, though, as they contain cyanide. Bernadine Cruz, DVM, a veterinarian at Laguna Hills Animal Hospital in Laguna Hills, California, recommends fruit like apples for overweight dogs.
2. Peanut butter. A great source of added protein and fiber. Avoid sharing large gobs of the stuff, as it is tough to chew and swallow. A tablespoon on their dry food or letting them lick a swab off your finger is best.
3. Yogurt. This treat is loaded with calcium and protein. Make sure the yogurt has live active bacteria and no sugars or artificial sweeteners. If your dog is overweight, opt for fat-free yogurts, so long as they don’t have fat substitutes—like Simplesse or Olestra.
4. Popcorn. Air popped and sans butter or salt. Popcorn is packed with potassium, as well phosphorous, magnesium, and calcium, which promote bone health. When offering a handful, especially toward the bottom of the bowl, take out any “old maids.”
5. Watermelon. Share sparingly, as this snack is loaded with sugar, which will add to your dog’s weight. Remember to remove the seeds. And serve outdoors to prepare for a quick potty run, since watermelon is filled with water and fiber.
6. Salmon. This fish is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which can help your dog’s immune system and keep his skin and coat healthy. Make sure your salmon is cooked before giving your dog a taste, since raw salmon can contain a parasite that can make your dog sick.
Doggie No No’s
On the other side, there are certain people foods you should not share with your dog. According to the ASPCA, these include chocolate, Macadamia nuts and avocados, which can cause a number of serious health complications. The same holds true for grapes and raisins, which can cause kidney failure. And keep your dogs away from milk, which can cause diarrhea and other digestive problems. For a complete list of what not to feed your dog, check out ASPCA’s People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets.