- Yogurt is a good source of available calcium and protein. When choosing yogurt, pick one that has live active bacteria and no sugars or artificial sweeteners. The active bacteria acts as probiotics. If your pooch is pudgy, make sure that you pick fat-free yogurt but not one that contains fat substitutes (Simplesse or Olestra). Dogs over 15 lbs. a tsp. of yogurt once a day, smaller dogs ¼ tsp. a day. I feed mine Mountain High Yogurt which contains NO artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors, or starches, NO artificial growth hormones or cane sugars. Frozen yogurt is a nice summer treat for dogs.
- Salmon is a fatty fish which is also a good source of omega- 3 fatty acids. These fats support the immune system and can be beneficial for skin and coat health. There has also been some indication that they may benefit dogs with allergies. You can feed salmon or salmon oil. If feeding salmon, make sure it’s cooked before serving, as raw salmon can carry a parasite that can make your dog sick. Salmon greatly reduces risk of heart disease, aids in regulation of blood sugar levels, inhibits tumor growth and lowers the risk of cancer.
- Pumpkin is a good source of fiber and beta carotene (a source of vitamin A). Dogs need fiber in their diet. The current trend is towards highly digestible diets that lower stool volume and this is not necessarily a good thing. Keeping the GI tract moving helps keep the cells lining the gut healthy. A benefit of canned pumpkin is in treating dogs for constipation. It softens your dog‘s stool and can cure an upset stomach very quickly. Adding 2 tsp. of canned pumpkin in your dog’s food helps the digestion process.
- Sweet potatoes are another source of dietary fiber and contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, beta carotene, and manganese. Sweet potatoes are great sliced and dehydrated as a chewy treat for your dog. A sweet potato is full of starch so weight gain is a possibility if too much is fed. There are so many dog treats on the market that we often overlook the simple, healthy, and reasonably priced treats available at our grocery store.
- Green beans are a good source of plant fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, and manganese. If your dog has a tendency to put on weight, then replacing some of her regular food with green beans is a great low calorie way to fill her up and help her maintain a healthy weight. Many dogs enjoy green beans frozen.
- Eggs are a great source of very digestible protein, riboflavin, and selenium. For some dogs that are prone to digestive upset, eggs can give them a little protein boost. Adding eggs to your dog’s food is a healthy treat. There is a controversy whether raw eggs are bad. Some say yes and some say no. Many dog owners, me included, only feed raw eggs 2-3 times a week, I do not give raw eggs every meal, nor do I ever cook them for my dogs. I mix the raw egg in with their kibble.
- Brewer’s yeast is the yeast that’s left over from making alcohol. Dogs seem to really enjoy the tangy taste of brewer’s yeast. It’s full of B vitamins which are good for skin, coat, and carbohydrate metabolism. Make sure you’re using brewer’s yeast (available at health food stores), not baking yeast which will make your dog sick. Brewer’s yeast can spice up your dog’s appetite. Just sprinkle a little on the food of a picky eater and watch her dive into her food. Brewers yeast tablets can be purchased at pet stores and is good for repelling fleas. My dogs eat them like treats, they are liver flavored.
- Apples are wonderful crunchy treats for your dog. Apples with the skin on are full of plant chemicals (phytonutrients) that are thought to be protective against some types of cancer in humans. They are a source of vitamins A and C and fiber. Apple seeds, however, contain cyanide so your dog should not be allowed to eat the core. Though the effects of a few apple seeds will likely not harm your dog.
- Oatmeal is a good source of soluble fiber. This can be beneficial for some older dogs that may have trouble maintaining bowel regularity. Oatmeal is also an alternative source of grain for dogs that are allergic to wheat. Keep in mind oatmeal should always be fed cooked and plain with no sugar or flavoring; mixing cooked oatmeal into pet food several times a week. Start out with small amounts and increase to about a TBSPor so for every 10-20 pounds of animal. Oatmeal is good for calming dogs, an herbal compound that acts as a general nerve tonic, calming the nerves. Oatmeal shampoo is good for dogs with sensitive skin.
- Oat Poultice – For “hot spots” or other skin irritations. make a slurry (mix with water to paste) of ground oats and water, wrap the slurry in cheese cloth or a tea bag (available from health food stores). Or, soak a clean washcloth in the mixture, and apply as a poultice directly to the affected area. Leave on for 15 minutes or so (or as long as the pet will tolerate it). Repeat several times a day.
- Rice is good to feed when your dog has an upset tummy and needs a bland meal. There are many different types of rice. Brown rice is a little higher in protein and a little lower in fat when compared to white rice. White or instant rice is an easily digestible carbohydrate which makes it a good source of energy when your dog has an upset tummy or if you are feeding an older dog. Many commercial dog foods have rice in them. I like to cook my own, no butter, serve plain.
- Pineapple can be a special treat for your dog. Pineapple contains mostly sugar but it also contains calcium and potassium, so give in moderation. Frozen pineapple can be a fun summer treat for your dog.
- Peanut butter is a healthy, high-protein treat for dogs. Try smearing some inside or on one of your dog’s toys, or let him lick out the container when it’s almost finished. I use this in my dog’s Kong. I gave peanut butter to many dogs with no problem until my foster dog. I found out the hard way he is allergic. He broke out in hives all over his body and had to go to the vet immediately. Give in small amounts first. If your dog does break out in hives, give him Benadryl, administer up to 1 mg per pound every 8 hours or 3 times a day.
There are many other “people foods” that are good for dogs. The key is moderation. I do not give my dogs chocolate, grapes, raisins, caffeine or avocados. There are so many foods on the “Do not Give” list. Garlic being one of them. The brewers yeast tablets I buy have garlic in them and I do give my dogs a clove of garlic once in a while. It is another natural flea repellent. I also give my dogs milk once in a while. I grew up giving our dogs everything practically that we ate, cooked bones and all, and they lived long healthy lives. Use your own judgement, don’t be terrified to feed your dog different things, yet stay on the side of caution if you are not sure or check with your vet, keeping in mind your dog’s weight, allergies or illnesses. I would consult a holistic vet.