We’re all guilty of falling for puppy dog eyes when we're sitting down munching away on our own particular favourite snacks. A bunch of grapes? No, you can't have that pal. You'd like some of my breakfast cereal? Sorry, it's got raisins in it. Oh and you can forget about having any of this chocolate bar!
As any good dog owner will know, there are lots of human foods that are toxic to dogs. Foods that are perfectly OK for us to chow down on can give our dogs very serious health problems. But just because a food is dangerous to dogs doesn't mean they would refuse to eat it or sit in front of us begging for a piece of whatever it is we're eating.
So we’ve put together a list of human foods which are actually good for our dogs so you can make your own snacking choices in the spirit of sharing.
Foods that are safe (& good) for dogs to eat
Pineapple is one of the most popular fruits, packed full of vitamin C and natural goodness. It can also make a delicious frozen treat too!
In small quantities, pineapple (but not the leaves or outer skin) can be good for dogs too.
2. Sweet Potatoes
Naturally low in fat, sweet potatoes are a great source of iron, calcium and fibre, and they can be a really tasty treat for dogs too.
Some owners dehydrate them to give as treats, others bake or boil to add into their pet’s daily meals.
Pumpkin is packed full of vitamin A which is an essential vitamin for all-round health. A dog’s skin, coat, muscles and nervous system all need vitamin A.
Pumpkin is also full of fibre and is recommended by some pet experts as a way to help dogs suffering from upset tummies. Some also recommend pumpkin seeds and flesh for dogs because of the oils found in them, which can be beneficial to dogs with urinary incontinence.
Raw or canned, it is important that any pumpkin given to dogs is natural and not full of sugars. It should also be given in small amounts (the American Kennel Club recommends one-four tablespoons, max, per day for dogs with upset stomachs), as too much can be toxic.
If you have any questions about feeding pumpkin to your dog, speak with your vet to get some advice.
A popular breakfast for many, oats are quick to cook, high in protein, iron and calcium and filling too.
If you make with water or milk and prefer a drop of honey to sugar, dogs can happily enjoy leftovers.
If you’re tempted to give it to your dog more generally, because some pet owners recommend is as a carb alternative for older dogs, it’s worth noting that it is relatively high in calories so it’s suggested that dogs are given one tablespoon of cooked oatmeal for every 20 pounds of their weight.
5. Cottage Cheese
Low fat cottage cheese is great for dogs because cottage cheese is high in protein and calcium, so it can be a great way of adding a little extra protein into their diet.
Start off giving fairly small amounts to make sure your dog can tolerate the dairy though.
6. Natural Yoghurt
Plain natural yoghurt acts as a natural probiotic for dogs, as well as being a good source of calcium.
Try adding a spoonful of low or non-fat natural yoghurt into your dog’s breakfast, lunch or dinner!
7. Peanut Butter
Natural peanut butter, like almond butter, can be a really tasty treat for dogs. A great cupboard staple for filling dog toys, pet owners have loved peanut butter for years.
But always check the ingredients before you buy and avoid any that list xylitol, a sweetener, that's poisonous to dogs, in their ingredients.
Rich in antioxidants, some pet experts believe chewing apple slices can help to not only keep a dog’s breath in check, but they can help to clean their teeth too.
Cucumbers are high in water content so can be a great summer treat to help keep a dog hydrated.
Dogs can eat cucumber skin (organic is best though) but owners should chop into smaller, manageable slices or chunks to make them easy for dogs to chew.
10. Salmon (and other fish)
Fish is good for dogs. Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which support a dog’s immune system and can help maintain coat and skin health.
However salmon is just one type of fish dogs can safely eat and benefit from natural omega oil. Others include tuna, shrimp (without the shell), pollock and cod, so if your dog prefers a less oily fish (for digestion), try baking cod or pollock in olive oil.
From heart health to hydration, there are so many recommended health benefits when it comes to watermelon. Dogs usually love it too.
Make sure you take out the seeds and don’t give your dog the rind though. If you’re looking to go the extra mile to make watermelon a tasty treat for your dogs, why not chop it up into small chunks so you can give your dog the right amount for their size, then dip it in some natural yoghurt and freeze!
If you have any concerns about what human foods dogs can eat, err on the side of caution and chat with your vet because every dog is different and every dog’s tolerance levels for protein, oils and so on varies at different stages in their life.