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Healthy & Wholesome Snacks for Dogs

Posted in Dog Food & Nutrition

By Amy Wence

We’ve all heard the old myth not to feed tablescraps or “people food” to our dogs. While thereare table scraps and “people foods” that can bedangerous to dogs, there are also many that arebeneficial for them. Wholesome, fresh foods can bea healthy addition to your dog’s diet. Often times,dogs welcome fresh foods to their diet because itadds variety to their regular fare. Many dogs eatthe same commercial diet day in and day out. Isuspect this is why they lose interest in their foodand do not find it as appetizing. Fresh foods canmake a meal more appealing to them. Below is alist of healthy foods that can be fed, in moderation,to your dog. *Please note: These recommendations are for dogs with no healthissues. If your dog has any known issues, please consult your veterinarian before making a change in his diet.

are a very healthy snack fordogs because they are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids and calcium.My dogs love sardines! I add a coupleof whole sardines to their meals about twice a week.I purchase canned sardines packed in spring waterwith no salt added.

are very nutritious and easy toadd to a meal or as snack. They can begiven scrambled or hard-boiled.

, such as bananas, apples, watermelon,pineapple, blueberries, and pears, make for healthysnacks and can be given in small quantities. Theyare a good source of vitamins, minerals, fiber,enzymes, and antioxidants. You may have toexperiment to see which fruits, if any, your dog prefers. For instance, neither of my dogs likebanana, but they love watermelon, and also enjoyapples and pears. When feeding fruits, like applesor pears, be sure not to feed the seeds to your dog.They contain a natural form of cyanide and can bevery toxic. Aside from the core, the rest of the fruitis perfectly safe for your dog. It is best to feedfruits separately from meals because they digestmore quickly. Citrus fruits should not be givenbecause they are too acidic for dogs.

Carrots, green beans, green peas, broccoli, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, zucchini, and parsley are great for adding to meals. Dogs digest veggies better when they are steamed, finely chopped or grated, or freshly pureed. Veggies are also good sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and enzymes. Special Notes: Broccoli can cause gas and should only be fed in small amounts. Canned pumpkin (100% pure, not pumpkin pie mix) is great for relieving diarrhea or constipation. Veggies in the nightshade family (i.e.- potatoes) should be avoided for dogs with arthritis or other inflammatory problems. They can further aggravate the inflammation.

: Lowfat cottage cheese, lowfat plain yogurt, and string cheese are all delicious snacks for dogs that are able to tolerate dairy. Cottage cheese and yogurt can be given regularly in small quantities. String cheese can be given as an occasional snack. My dogs love string cheese, so I like to reserve it for special occasions like vet visits and nail trimming. It serves as a highly valued reward, as well as a distraction.

is a fun, occasionalsnack for dogs. Plain popcorn is best, as butter and too much salt are not healthy for dogs.

are a perfect treat to use when training. They are small, low fat, and a good source of fiber. They are a healthy treat to give occasionally and in moderation.
For a list of foods that are not safe for dogs, please visit: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/people-foods.html

• “Adding Fresh Foods to a Commercial Diet,“ Mary Straus, website: http://dogaware.com/dogfeeding.html#addfood
• “Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats: The Ultimate Diet,” by Kymythy R. Shultze, C.C.N., A.H.I, P. 21—23
• “Pet Food Nation,” by Joan Weiskopf, M.S. Veterinary Clinical Nutrtionist, P. 71-77
• “People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets,” ASPCA, website: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/people-foods.html

Posted: 4/1/2009 | Updated: 4/14/2011

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