A well-rounded diet will give your dog the nutritional balance they need to lead an active, happy lifestyle. Don’t just toss your pooch table scraps, however. The ingredients you love so much can easily upset their stomach. Here are some foods that can be safely incorporated in moderation to give your dog’s diet some variety:
- Yogurt – As well as being a good source of protein and calcium, yogurt has live active bacteria that helps with digestion and the formation of healthy gut bacteria. Choose a variety of yogurt with no added sugars or artificial sweeteners. If your dog is trending toward pudginess, to put it nicely, buy them a fat-free variety. A dog who is lactose intolerant should not have any yogurt.
2. Cooked turkey – Turkey cooked without seasonings is another protein booster for your pooch. Turkey is also high in riboflavin, which helps a dog’s metabolism, and phosphorous, an essential mineral for good bone health. However, be sure not to carve a slice off the Thanksgiving turkey for your dog as their tummy will not be celebrating the holiday after all of the butter and seasonings.
3. Cooked salmon – Great for the immune system, cooked salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon reduces joint inflammation and has been found to be beneficial for brain health, so aging dogs may really value some salmon in their diet. A shiny, healthy coat is another positive side effect for many dogs.
4. Flax seed – Flax seeds are another great way to add extra omega-3 fatty acids to your dog’s diet for an improved immune system and a healthy coat of fur.
5. Peanut Butter – Many dog’s favorite treat, a tablespoon of unsalted peanut butter is loaded with protein. Load it up into a dog toy where your pooch has to work to get it out to add some fun to their snack.
6. Pumpkin – Pumpkins are full of fiber and beta carotene, which is a source of vitamin A, to help with a healthy digestive system. It’s easy, too, since dogs can eat pumpkin either raw or straight out of the can. Just avoid giving them a slice of pumpkin pie.
7. Green beans – Steamed green beans are a crunchy, low-cal food that provide fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Green beans are also high in folate, which is necessary for normal metabolic functions like red blood cell production. Green beans are a great supplement in a diet for a dog who could stand to lose a little swing to their belly as they trot.
8. Sweet potatoes – Have your dog try them sliced and dehydrated for a deliciously chewy source of many necessary vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. Sweet potatoes are also high in manganese, which helps not only with healthy digestion but will also assist your dog better absorb proteins and carbohydrates.
9.Oatmeal – Plain oatmeal, with no sugar or flavoring, can be fed to a dog after being cooked with water. High in fiber, oatmeal regulates the digestive system as well as providing an ample amount of grains.
10. Eggs – A scrambled egg (no milk needed here) is a great source of protein for your dog. Don’t get your dog overly used to the breakfast buffet, though, as eggs can also plump them up because of their high fat content.
It’s always best to start small with any of these ingredients to see how your dog can handle them before incorporating larger amounts. Be sure to avoid foods like onions, garlic, grapes, avocado, and chocolate.
Learn more about caring for your dog in “Should I Sleep with My Dog?” and “6 Ways to Bond with Your Dog”.