Adding small amounts of certain human foods to your dog’s meal can provide nutritional benefits and variety to their diet. But what food, in particular, can you add to your dog’s meal?
Some human food can be added in moderation to a dog’s meal to provide nutritional benefits and variety. Cooked eggs are a good source of protein and can help promote a shiny coat. Lean cuts of cooked meat like chicken, turkey, beef, or pork can provide additional protein and flavor. Cooked carrots, green beans, and sweet potatoes can provide vitamins and fiber. In contrast, small amounts of fruits such as apple slices, bananas, or blueberries can provide vitamins and antioxidants.
While it is okay to add human food to your dog’s diet, it should not make up the majority of your dog’s diet, and you should always check with your veterinarian to ensure that any food additions are safe for your specific dog.
We’ve been conditioned to fear raw eggs for many years, but did you know that when eaten in their shells, eggs are nearly a complete source of nutrition for your dog? Selenium, iron, vitamin A, riboflavin, fatty acids, vitamin B12, and folate are all abundant in eggs.
Although eggs should not be your dog’s primary source of nutrition, most dogs can tolerate them a few times per week. Remember to feed them raw if possible, as cooking destroys many of the nutrients in the egg.
If you cannot feed your dog bone for any reason, drying and grinding eggshells in a coffee grinder is an excellent way for your dog to obtain essential minerals such as calcium in a homemade diet. If you do this, get your eggs from an organic farmer. To entice us to buy them in the supermarket, large commercial brands spray egg shells with a chemical to make them shiny. You don’t want your dog to be exposed to those chemicals.
Taurine, an amino acid, has recently received a lot of attention! Many people are looking for ways to supplement their pet’s diet with taurine, and sardines are an excellent source of taurine. They’re also high in omega-3 fatty acids essential for good health. Sardines are quite a good fish additive because they are small and short-lived. This means they have less time to accumulate toxins in their bodies and don’t eat larger, older fish that have had more time to accumulate toxins. As a result, they are relatively “clean” fish.
Young turkey and chicken bones, including wings, necks, and backs, are soft and pliable enough to be eaten whole. Raw bones contain calcium and other minerals in proper ratios, proteins, fats, and other nutrients.
Puppies, in particular, benefit from the additional nutrition and the healthy chewing outlet. A puppy who chews is happy!
Blueberries are our favorite fresh fruit addition! Numerous studies have shown blueberries to have anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties due to their high levels of polyphenols and flavonoids.
You can sprinkle fresh or frozen blueberries on top of your dog’s kibble or purchase a freeze-dried meal topper that already contains blueberries.
For many pet owners, having fresh meat or freshly chopped fruits and vegetables on hand every night is not always possible. As a result, freeze-dried toppers have grown in popularity in recent years. They are currently one of the fastest-growing products in pet stores.
Because freeze-drying gently locks in nutrients, freeze-dried toppers offer significant advantages over processed kibble. It’s as close to being fresh as you can get.
Food allergies in dogs occur when a dog’s immune system overreacts to a particular protein or ingredient in their food. The most common allergens in dog food include beef, chicken, dairy, wheat, and soy. Symptoms of a food allergy in dogs can include itching, skin rash or hives, gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea, and even respiratory issues.
If you suspect that your dog has a food allergy, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian. Your vet may recommend a food elimination trial to identify the specific ingredients that your dog is allergic to. This involves switching your dog to a novel protein and carbohydrate source that they have not eaten before or a hydrolyzed protein diet where the proteins have been broken down into smaller parts that the immune system is less likely to recognize. Individual ingredients can be gradually reintroduced if the symptoms improve to determine which triggers an allergic reaction.
In some cases, commercial hypoallergenic dog food may be recommended. These specially formulated diets use novel proteins and carbohydrates that are less likely to cause an allergic reaction. Overall, working closely with your veterinarian to identify and manage your dog’s food allergies to ensure they remain healthy and comfortable is important.