Healthy Snacks for You and Your Dog!
At Creative Nutrition LLC, we love our dogs! They make us laugh, provide endless support, keep us moving, and excel at cuddling. They also love snacks-just like us! As a dietitian, I know a lot about healthy foods for people and ways to make snacks better. But just because those healthy foods are good for me, that doesn’t necessarily make them good for my pup.
To get a better understanding of healthy foods for people and dogs, I spoke with Allison Tschirch, a veterinarian at Animal Hospital of Putnam in Putnam, Connecticut about which foods are safe to share with man’s best friend. Sadly, some very healthy human foods can very dangerous for dogs. The majority of a dog’s eating should come from their kibble or wet food, with human-food being in small and occasional treats. Dogs love the attention from getting a treat, so it can be the same healthy snack over and over. Your dog may not stop eating just because they are full, so a little can go a long way!
Before you start sharing your snacks, be sure to check out the lists below of healthy snacks for humans and if they are safe for your pup! Be mindful of the size of your pet (and your own stomach!) to prevent over-feeding. Not all foods listed are appropriate for every person or every dog, especially if you or your dog have health conditions or take certain medications. You can check with your doctor or registered dietitian about your dietary restrictions and your veterinarian or veterinarian nutritionist for your dog’s dietary restrictions.
Avoid for both: xylitol, bread dough, cookie dough, alcohol, chips, ice cream, jelly, candy, soda, juice, deli meats, hot dogs, commercial jerky, honey, baked goods, craisins
Why: These foods tend to have a lot of sugar, added fat, and may have ingredients that shouldn’t be consumed raw. They can lead to severe digestive issues and weight gain for people and their dogs.
Safe for humans, but not dogs: dark chocolate/cocoa, grapes, cherries, broccoli, raisins, garlic-seasoned products, onions, mushrooms, black coffee, almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, green tomatoes, pickles, lemons, limes, seasonings, spices, dressings, avocado, guacamole, rind preserves, homemade jerky, butter, hot sauce
Why: Some of the nutrients in these foods can cause dogs to get sick or have digestive issues. Humans can digest and enjoy these, but is best to not share these snacks with your pup.
Safe for humans and dogs: carrots, peas, apples (no seeds), blueberries, oranges/melons (no rinds), lettuce, potatoes, green beans, oranges, gluten-containing grains, gluten-free grains (very small amounts), whole eggs (cooked, no shell), natural peanut butter, pumpkin, yogurt (plain, unsweetened), cheese (very small quantities), cottage cheese (small quantities), fish (cooked, no skin), lean meats (cooked, no bones), peaches/plums/pears/nectarines (no pits), spinach, summer squash, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, peppers, asparagus, celery, corn (off the cob), cucumbers, mango (no pit), cauliflower, pineapple, beans, lentils
Why: Just like people, fruits and vegetables are a great place to start for weight loss for dogs because of their low calories, high fiber and water content. Try to pick fresh or frozen, which are most versatile and don’t have lots of salt or sauces added. Higher fat and calorie foods are always a good idea to use and share sparingly.
We all want to live long, happy, healthy lives and have our four-legged friends do the same. Snacking can be part of this lifestyle, when done in healthy ways. By being mindful of what, when, why, and how much we humans eat, we can manage our weight, maintain energy and keep hunger in-check. The same principles go for our dogs, too!
Special thank you to Allison Tschirch DVM for her contributions! She can be reached at 860-866-4765 or through https://www.animalhospitalofputnam.com/.