Dog food - Do's and Don'ts
Most pet parents have at some point or another fed their pupper morsels from their plate because those puppy eyes are just too hard to resist. It is difficult and we’ve been there too which is why it is important to know what food your dog can and cannot eat along with quantity limitations.
Your dog’s digestive system is different from a human’s which is why there certain human foods that dogs can't eat because they are harmful to them. Every pet parent must know the list of hard Nos that come with your dog’s diet!
What not to feed your dog:
- Chocolate & Caffeine – Most people know about this! Chocolate and caffeine in large amounts are extremely toxic for dogs. They lead to vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea, increased thirst, lethargy, irregular heartbeat, seizures and sometimes death. It's best to keep your doggo away from these!
- Almonds & Macadamia Nuts – Macadamia nuts are highly toxic and must be avoided at all costs. While almonds are not toxic like macadamia nuts, they can block the oesophagus or tear the windpipe if not chewed properly. Also, salted nuts must be avoided since they cause water retention which is extremely dangerous for dogs with heart conditions.
- Cinnamon – Though cinnamon is not toxic, large amounts of it can cause liver damage in dogs.
- Garlic, Onions & Chives – These 3 ingredients contain organosulfoxides which are extremely toxic for dogs and lead to vomiting, stomach pains & diarrhoea.
- Avocados – Your favourite ingredient won’t be your dog’s. They contain a toxin called persin that leads to diarrhoea and vomiting.
- Cherries – Cherry pits contain cyanide which is poisonous. The pits themselves can also get stuck in your pet’s throat or intestine, making it a choking hazard.
- Raisins & Grapes - These ingredients are extremely toxic when it comes to dogs and even small quantities of them can lead to kidney failure or death. It’s best to keep your doggo far, far away from them and food they are in.
- Citric food – Citric fruits like oranges & lemons contain citric acid which while ok in small quantities can lead to an upset stomach for your puppy. In larger quantities, citric acid can cause nervous system depression.
- Ice cream – Ice cream has a high sugar content and some dogs are also lactose intolerant which can cause digestive issues and an upset stomach.
Foods that dogs can eat:
- Carrots - Good for a dog’s teeth, carrots are low calorie and high in fibre and beta carotene. Chewing on carrots can help remove plaque and improve dental health, while Vitamin A helps with an overall healthy immune system. But give your dog carrots in moderation since too much of vitamin A can be toxic.
- Apples – Apples are a great source of fibre and vitamins A and C. They also help remove any remaining residue on your dog’s teeth and can help refresh their breath. Remember to be careful and remove the seeds and core from the fruit since it can become a choking hazard.
- Peanut butter – Unsalted or sweetened peanut butter is a delicious treat that your doggo will definitely love! High in Vitamins E & B along with plenty of healthy fats and protein, peanut butter is quite beneficial for your pet. Make sure that there are no added sweeteners, especially xylitol, which is extremely toxic to dogs.
- Watermelon – Summer is coming and with that is the heat! Watermelon is a great way to make sure your pet stays hydrated due to its high water content. It is also a great source of vitamin A,C and B-6. Cold watermelon from the fridge will definitely help to cool your pupper down after playtime. Just make sure to remove all the seeds and the rind since that can cause intestinal blockage and stomach aches.
- Plain Popcorn – Popcorn without salt, butter or sugar is a highly nutritional treat for dogs. High in magnesium, zinc and phosphorous, they help in maintaining overall health. So next time you plan a movie night at home, make sure to pop some corn for your cuddle buddy as well. Just remember to remove any unpopped kernels that could become a choking hazard.
- Blueberries – Blueberries are high in antioxidants and are a rich source of fibre for dogs to eat. Antioxidants have been said to help age-related issues in older dogs according to a research in 2012. Frozen blueberries make for a great summer snack and helps keep your doggo cool.
- Bananas – Bananas are good for dogs but only in moderation. Because of their high magnesium, they are great for maintaining good bone health which is very important. Although, their high sugar content makes it a special snack for your dog that can be given on occasion.
- Cucumbers – Cucumbers contain loads of vitamins and minerals like vitamin K etc. They also make for a great snack since they are low in calories and safe for dogs who are overweight.
- Cheese - A great treat for a dog as long as she isn’t lactose intolerant, which a small percentage are. Make sure to monitor your dog’s reaction and give them small portions since cheese is high in fat.
- Yoghurt – As long as your dog is not lactose intolerant, yoghurt is a great way for them to get some calcium and protein in their food. Keep in mind the yoghurt you give them is free of any sugar or additional flavouring.
- Oatmeal – Oatmeal is a fibre rich option for dogs who suffer from an irregular poop schedule! It is also a replacement for grains in case your furry baby is allergic to wheat.
- Cooked Chicken – You can mix it up with your regular dog food for a change or a boost of protein in your dog’s diet. It can also be used as a quick replacement meal when you’re out of your dog food.
- Eggs – Cooked eggs are a great way to add some protein into your pet’s diet, especially since eggs are rich in riboflavin and selenium which are easily digested. They make a great snack for your pupper.
Now that you know what you can and cannot feed your doggo, giving in to those puppy eyes will make you feel less guilty! It’s time to reinvent your pet's diet with fun and variety!