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Can My Dog Eat...

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Can My Dog Eat..?

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Can My Dog Eat…?

Most experts unanimously agree that it’s best for dogs to maintain a good canine diet plan, but with those sad puppy dog eyes looking up at you, it’s hard to resist caving into him every now and then. 

Although your dog may assure you that he can eat everything you do, there are some foods that should be off limits for him.  Some foods aren’t good for friends of the furry varieties and others can actually be fatal. 

Then again, some people food are actually healthy for dogs.  It’s imperative to know which are which so below you will find a list of different human foods and information you should know before giving them to your dog.

Fruits and Vegetables

Apples

An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but what about the vet?  Can dogs eat apples?  Absolutely!  Within reason, apples are healthy for your dog. 

Apples provide fiber and dogs, like humans, benefit from fiber.  Although it is not officially classified as a nutrient essential in their diets, fiber helps keep their bowel movements regular and is also conducive to improving their colon health and preventing diabetes mellitus. 

Apples provide ample doses of Vitamins C and A.  Vitamin C is an awesome anti-oxidant that keeps humans and dogs from getting sick. 

It is not required in a canine diet because they can actually miraculously synthesis it in their own liver.   Certain medical conditions stand to be improved through the additional intake of it though. 

Vitamin A is required in your dog’s diet.  It keeps his skin healthy and his coat shiny and also is important for his nerves to develop correctly and for proper muscle growth and function. 

While he is hopefully getting Vitamin A in his daily dog food diet, a little extra certainly won’t hurt.

Another perk to dogs eating apples is that it cleans residue and tartar off of their teeth.  This helps to freshen their breath and can prevent the formation of cavities too. 

Be sure to de-core the apple before giving it to your furry buddy so he doesn’t get carried away and choke on it.

Bananas

Can dogs eat bananas?  It’s actually a split decision on the question, “Can dogs have bananas”? 

Some experts warn that bananas can be harmful to dogs due to the fact that they are quite sugary. 

The verdict seems to be that yes, dogs can have bananas, in moderation.  They are best given as treats rather than as part of a doggy diet.

Bananas are packed full of nutrients.  They contain manganese which is vital for proper functioning of your dog’s internal organs and the healthy formation of his skeletal structure.  It is beneficial to his bones too. 

Potassium is also found in bananas and is a macro mineral dogs require in order to maintain good muscle, enzymes, and nerve functioning. 

It is debatable if most dog foods even contain adequate amounts of potassium or not so giving your pup a little banana occasionally might actually be a good thing. 

Vitamins C and B6 are also contained in bananas.  They are loaded with fiber and low in cholesterol and sodium. 

Still, they are one of the highest fruits in sugar content and although it is natural sugar, too much can overload your dog’s system and can give him an appetite for sweets, thus creating a sugar monster with an insatiable sweet tooth. 

If you are going to allow your furry friend to indulge, be sure to peel the banana because they are toxic and are choking hazards besides. 

It is best not to give your dog an entire banana since they are high in sugar content and if you are giving him a piece for the first time, keep an eye on him. 

Some dogs are allergic to bananas and others have trouble properly digesting them.

Strawberries

Especially in the summertime when berries are abundant and seem so refreshing, many pet parents want to know, “Can dogs eat strawberries?” 

Strawberries are choked full of nutrients like Vitamin C, fiber, and anti-oxidants.  In humans, they assist in regulating blood sugar, improving the immune system, lowering the threat of strokes, and protecting against diseases and cancer.  But, what about for dogs?

The next time you and your dog are out on a hot summer’s walk and you’re tempted to share a refreshing strawberry with him, go right ahead. 

You’ll actually be doing him a favor since strawberries will boost his immune system, help combat the negative effects of aging, and are conducive to his weight management as well. 

Not only are fresh strawberries good for your dog, but you can also blend them with some fresh water and make him a tasty Popsicle to cool him down. 

Never give your pooch canned strawberries or strawberries laden in syrup though. 

Watermelon

Watermelon is not only full of water, but they are also full of amazing fun facts as well.  Officially classified as both a fruit and a vegetable, the average watermelon contains 92% water. 

Bursting with goodies like niacin, folate, phosphorus, pantothenic acid, selenium, zinc, copper, amino acids, anti-oxidants, Vitamins B6, A, and C and some potassium too. 

Watermelon holds the record for containing the most lycopene in the fruit department.

There’s nothing that satisfies quite like a watermelon on a scorching summer day but can dogs eat watermelon and share in the fun? 

When the seeds are removed or when enjoying a seedless variety, dogs can indeed bask in the pleasure of eating watermelon. 

It is best to cut the rind off too as it can upset dogs’ and humans’ digestive system.

The benefits watermelons hold for dogs are much like for humans.  They can boost their immunities, hydrate, and replenish nutrients.  

Watermelons taste sweet but a typical whole one has only about 10% sugar, total at the maximum. 

Although the glycemic index of watermelon is estimated to be about 75 out of 100, it has a low glycemic load, meaning it doesn’t change the blood’s sugar content much after ingestion which is a big plus. 

Still, it is best served in small portions to your four-legged furry one. 

You can pop slices or cubes into the freezer for quick relief from the summer’s heat and to encourage him to eat in moderation, enjoying every single lick to the fullest.

Mangoes

Exotic and delicious, mangos are an amazing fruit that some believe are straight from heaven. With more than 500 varieties to choose from, surely our furry friend can share in the pleasure.

Oozing with nutrients like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and Vitamins E, B6, A, and C, dogs can take part in eating of the fruit.  But, it’s important to note that they should eat just the fruit, the meat, and not the skin. 

Though the skin is edible for humans, it is rough on a dog’s digestive system.  Of course, a mango needs to be pitted. 

Small traces of cyanide are in some fruit pits and seeds. 

Also, mango pits are a choking hazard.  They can easily block his digestive track by getting stuck in his intestines or stomach. 

If your pup has gotten a hold of one and is showing symptoms like extreme abdominal tenderness, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, or growling when he is picked up or touched, call his vet immediately.

Grapes

Loaded with Vitamin C and other good things, grapes are a nutritional godsend for humans.  But, can dogs have grapes?  The answer might shock you.

Feeding grapes to your dog is a definite “NO”!  There is an unidentified substance in grapes and raisins that is highly toxic to our furry friends. 

The fruit that is so good for humans can cause serious medical issues in dogs, like kidney failure which can be fatal. 

The exact source of the poison has yet to be discovered so grapes remain a forbidden fruit for dogs even if they are seedless and even when they are peeled. 

It makes no difference if they are green, red, or purple and raisins are off-limits as well.

Symptoms of grape poisoning can include excessive thirst, appetite loss, vomiting or diarrhea (or both), severe pain in his abdomen, and ultimately, kidney failure. 

Any suspicion of your dog eating grapes or raisins should be followed by a call to his vet who very well may recommend induced vomiting. 

Just remember, grapes may be great, but only for humans, never for dogs.

Avocadoes

Avocadoes stand head and shoulders above all other fruits when it comes to fiber content.  They are super rich in such nutrients as potassium, pantothenic acid, niacin, folate, riboflavin, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, and Vitamins C, K, E, and B-6. 

Can dogs eat avocados and glean from the goodness thereof?

Avocado consumption by dogs is another one of those controversial matters.  While experts basically agree that the meat of the avocado is harmless and perhaps even good for canines, it contains a fungus called Persin which is toxic for many animals, like birds, rabbits, horses, and cows, but not to humans and arguably, to dogs. 

The toxin is mainly found in the stem, leaves, and seed of the fruit.  Giving your dog some strictly the meat of an avocado is pretty universally believed to be alright. 

Then again, there is the risk of other animals in the vicinity getting ahold of any remaining portions if he takes it off from the area.  Choking on skin and seeds are also a possibility.

Amid the controversy, several popular specialty-type top dog food companies use avocado in their blends. 

You might say that when it comes to the subject of dogs safely eating avocados, it just depends on how you slice it.

Carrots

Rabbits and horses are notorious for eating carrots. But can dogs eat carrots?

Yes, indeed, dogs can partake in munching on yummy carrots.  Not only are carrots allowed, but they are also recommended as a low calorie, low-fat snack for your pooch.

Carrots are flowing with Vitamin A, fiber, potassium, and more.  You can feed them fresh, cooked, or even give teething pups frozen ones. 

Gnawing on a carrot stick can promote good dental health but be careful he doesn’t choke on hard chunks that he bites off. 

Carrots can be mixed in with your dog’s food if he’s not overly fond of them.  They are excellent for his health, especially if he is stressed or has been ill. 

Broccoli

Low in fat, high in fiber, and packed full of Vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood when it comes to humans. 

How does it measure up for our four-legged friends though?  Can dogs eat broccoli without worry?

If your pup is stalking you for your broccoli, he’ll be pleased to learn that broccoli is perfectly fine for him to have as long as it isn’t full of salt, seasonings, and butter. 

You might want to limit his intake though.  The florets contain a substance that can irritate the bowels called isothiocyanates. 

It can also lead to the passing of very foul-smelling gas. 

Depending on your dog’s taste, it may or may not be very easy to get him to eat broccoli once you give it to him.  But, those that will, should...within moderation. 

Those who won’t can have a little sneak into their diet from time to time just to prime his nutrition level. 

Sweet Potatoes

Dogs seem to migrate to sweet treats, just as their pet parents do.  From dog foods to dog snacks, you’ll find sweet potatoes on the ingredient list. 

Can dogs eat sweet potatoes without hesitation though?

Bursting with fiber and jam-packed with Vitamin A, sweet potatoes are as good for dogs as they are for humans. 

The catch is that it’s imperative to know a sweet potato from a candied yam.  That holiday dessert that’s loaded with sugar and marshmallows is not alright for your pup to eat. Straight, unsalted, un-sugared sweet potatoes make a smashing treat for him, however. 

The sweet potatoes should be cooked with the peeling removed to avoid being a hazard for choking and obstruction.  It’s not advisable to serve them raw.

Tomatoes

No matter how you pronounce it, or how you slice it, tomatoes are overflowing with vitamins and minerals. 

They are known to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease in pet parents but can dogs eat tomatoes?

The answer is a bit tricky to this question.  Tomatoes are rich in potassium, folate, Vitamin K and C, and fiber too but they also contain a substance called solanine when green and also in their green parts, including their stem.  Solanine is toxic to dogs and can cause a condition referred to as “tomatine poisoning”. 

Only when being completely positive the tomato you are giving your dog has no green, unripe sections or a stem attached is it alright to give him any. 

If you notice he has snuck one or even a portion of one that might not have been quite ripe or may have contained a stem, seek advice from his veterinarian immediately and watch for signs of poisoning or any uncharacteristic behavior.

Dairy and Dogs

Cheese

Just try to eat a piece of cheese in front of your dog without him begging for it in his own unique way. 

You’ll see him do his best tricks or “sad puppy treatment” while you are nibbling on cheese.  But can dogs eat cheese like humans can?

Happily (at least for your furry friend), dogs can have cheese.  The myriad of essential nutrients found in cheese, like zinc, magnesium, Vitamins B2, A, and B12, protein, and calcium are beneficial for canines as well as humans. 

Calcium is important for the proper growth of their bones but, too much of it counteracts and can result in bone mineralization and abnormal growth.

Moderation is key when feeding your dog cheese.  It’s a handy and healthy treat for him when given in small portions but watch for signs of lactose intolerance like loose bowels or tummy aches. 

Cheese is reeking of fat so too much can lead to canine obesity which opens the door for other ailments like diabetes and heart problems. 

Cottage cheese is a good choice to give him as well as other low-fat types.

Milk

Milk.  We’re told it does a body good.  It has been a staple in the American human diet for centuries.  But, can dogs have milk too?

In recent times, an outcry over milk, in general, has surfaced.  Many natural health-oriented individuals are voicing concerns about pasteurization, the homogenizing process, hormones given to the cows that produce the milk, and so forth. 

Similar controversies have arisen concerning dogs drinking milk too such as the fact that dogs were not born to drink cow’s milk any more than humans were.

In all the back-and-forth though, the safety of dogs drinking milk is not the real issue.  Milk is not harmful or toxic to dogs.  

Whether it is beneficial for them to drink it does remain a source of debate.

Milk is loaded with nutritional bonuses like protein, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iodine, and Vitamins B12 and B2. 

Your pooch is most likely getting his daily dose of B12 and B2 through his dog food but if he isn’t on a regular dog food diet or has not been eating for one reason or another, the supplementation is very helpful.

The subject of lactose intolerance is one that certainly needs to be addressed where dogs drinking milk is concerned. 

Although many furry friends have absolutely zero problems with consuming it, others are in sheer agony after ingesting even a small amount. 

Lactose is actually a nutrient but it isn’t tolerated well by a number of dogs and humans alike. 

If you observe issues like vomiting, diarrhea, and/or gas, don’t allow him to drink any more milk, at least for a while. 

Ice Cream

Ice cream is made from milk and milk is permissible for dogs so, ice cream is too, right?  What’s the scoop when it comes to dogs indulging in ice cream, anyway?

Most dogs think ice cream is definitely “the lick”!  But, there are a few complications. 

Firstly, ice cream also usually contains sugar which, especially in addition to the fat content found in ice cream, can cause obesity and a number of related medical problems. 

If the ice cream is sweetened with Xylitol, a substitute for sugar that is actually sugar alcohol, it can be deadly for your dog.  Xylitol is fine for human consumption but most assuredly not for canines.

Allergies to milk products, lactose intolerance, and other sensitivities can result from dogs eating ice cream too. 

If you are wanting to share “just a lick”, as long as the ice cream contains no artificial sweeteners or added yummies (like raisins) that are prohibited for dogs, then it is probably a harmless gesture of love. 

Be smart though and know all the ingredients in the frozen delight before offering and allow only in extreme moderation if you do.

Eggs

Eggs are often thought of as being a dairy product but they aren’t.  Although eggs can be found in the dairy section of the grocery store, they are classified as animal products like meat and fish are. 

Eggs are an awesome source of riboflavin, protein, and selenium, all of which dogs benefit from.  But are eggs safe for dogs to eat?

When tolerated by your pooch’s digestion system, eggs are fine for him to eat.  They can even boost their protein levels. 

A good number of dogs, however, get upset stomachs or have allergic reactions to eggs so try them out in tiny portions at first. 

Never, ever give a raw egg to your dog for the same reason humans should not eat them. 

Raw egg whites can potentially cause biotin deficiency and the risk of salmonella is a very concerning factor.

Other Foods

Chocolate

You may already know that dogs cannot eat chocolate. 

Although the type and amount are a huge factor, the truth is that chocolate, including cocoa and cocoa products, can kill your beloved friend. 

The reason chocolate can be deadly to canines is that it contains theobromine, a toxic component. 

People are able to metabolize the chemical with ease but dogs don’t.  Because it is in their systems longer, it can quickly build to levels of toxicity. 

While a small dose of chocolate might just give your dog a stomach issue, there is the chance he might consume more during the time the first helping is laying around causing him harm. 

Remember, chocolate doesn’t taste like poison to your pup, but it is.

Tremors, seizures, and a heartbeat that is out of control are some of the main signs your dog may have ingested chocolate or cocoa. 

Call the vet immediately and you’ll, no doubt, be told to bring him in with haste.

Dark chocolate, cocoa, and chocolate that’s used for cooking are the most deadly.  Lighter and white chocolates tend to have the lowest amounts of theobromine. 

A box of mixed chocolates can send a small dog or puppy into a tailspin that could be fatal.  A dog weighing in at 44 pounds cannot even tolerate one ounce of chocolate in most cases. 

Never leave chocolate out so your dog might be tempted.

When it comes to giving your dog chocolate of any kind, be it a chocolate bar, a nibble of a chocolate chip cookie, or anything else with cocoa or chocolate as an ingredient, it is far better to deal with his sad eyes and sulking than to lose him forever.

Peanuts

Does your little peanut go nuts for peanuts?  Dogs seem to have a hankering for them and humans too. 

Peanuts hold the number one spot for being the favorite nut to snack on in North America.  Can canines safely snack on them too?

Peanuts are not toxic to our furry friends.  That’s the great news.  They do have a lot of fat in them though so if given too many too often, your pooch might turn into a little chunk which would not be healthy.

Peanut butter is a different story entirely.  Many people give their dogs peanut butter as a treat and even to mask a doggie pill or vitamin. 

While peanut butter used to be safer than it is now, it has been taken off the “allowed” list due to the fact a large number of peanut butter manufacturers are sneaking artificial sweeteners in the mix. 

Artificial sweeteners, like Xylitol, can be fatal to dogs.  The fact the peanut butter contains an artificial sweetener isn’t usually broadcast unless it’s a diet variety. 

The ingredient list should mention it but the sad fact is that it is often put under a different name that can easily be missed. 

Dogs have met their early demise from pet parents innocently giving them peanut butter so know the difference - peanuts are awesome for your dog but peanut butter should be adamantly forbidden.

Popcorn 

Can my dog eat popcorn?

You’re engrossed in a movie, your eyes glued to the television screen, your hand digging into you’re a big buttery bowl of popcorn when out of the distance comes....your dog.  He stares.  He wags his tail.  He stands between you and the television and, if given the chance, between you and your precious bowl of popcorn. 

So, should you give in and let him have a handful and get back to your movie?  Or, is popcorn harmful to dogs?

Popcorn contains a few minerals that are canine conducive like manganese, phosphorous, zinc, and magnesium. 

Popcorn alone is not at all bad for your dog.  The complication arises when butter is soaked in, it’s topped with salt and other tasty alterations. 

Butter, flavorings, oils, and salt are not alright for your furry friend to have so if you opt to share, make sure you are giving him pure, air-popped popcorn.

Beware.  Popcorn can be hard on stomachs and hard on teeth too.  The kernels can be a choking hazard. 

Giving your dog popcorn requires responsible pet parenting so be safe and proceed with caution. 

Non-Foods

Sometimes our fur-babies are drawn to non-food substances.  Some are toxic and some are not but munching on anything that is not classified as food is never a good idea, for humans or canines.

It is one thing to find your dog gnawing on a stick, but to find him eating poop is quite another.  “Coprophagia” is the word used to entail the consumption of feces. 

In dogs, the practice has numerous possible causes like the fact that dogs are...dogs. 

Some of their primitive traits still remain through the ages.  More prevalent is the possibility that your dog is experiencing shame (potentially from nose-rubbing in fecal matter while being potty trained) and it is a psychological reaction, that he is missing some very vital nutrients (like Vitamin B), and is out to satisfy his craving of them, or that he is showing his dominance.  Neglect is another possibility. 

No matter what the underlying cause of your dog eating poop is, it must be stopped immediately.  He will need to be checked for worms and other physical conditions that can stem from feces ingestion. 

Then, it’s important to communicate that eating poop is a “NO”!  If he doesn’t obey, you will need to take more drastic measures like not allowing him to be in the presence of poop while unsupervised. 

Taking a Minute to Digest it All

When it comes to what your dog can and can’t have, the rule is pretty simple - better safe than sorry. 

You would think since strawberries are actually good for him, that grapes would be as well.  But, they’re not. 

That’s where guessing and pet parent reasoning can get sticky.  Although your fur-baby may be begging for a bite of “what you’re having” and may be trying his best to convince you that there will be no harm done in sharing, it’s always best to yield to caution. 

When it comes to feeding your precious pet, always be certain of what is and isn’t alright to give him. 

Doing otherwise is certainly not worth the risk.



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