What can I feed my dog?
Whilst it may be tempting to feed your dog a piece of chicken or the leftovers from a pudding when you’re sitting down for dinner, it’s important to remember not all foods are suitable for our precious pooches.
As veterinary experts continue to emphasise the benefits of a healthy and balanced diet, it’s still not always clear what you can and can’t feed your dog.
What’s the ideal diet for my dog?
With obesity now a common problem for UK pets, giving your dog the right amount of food as well as the right type of food is just as important.
Although a home-made diet sounds like a great idea, it is far from easy to get the right balance of nutrients for your dog. This is why a lot of owners choose to feed their pet a ‘complete’ dog food which is available commercially.
So, what can I feed my dog?
Apples: Full of vitamins A and C and a good fruit for dogs.
Peas and green beans: Good way to get vitamins C and K into your dog.
Raw meat: In small quantities, this is actually better for dogs than giving them cooked meat. However, because of the bacterial problems associated with raw chicken and pork, it is far more sensible to give dogs raw beef or steak.
Tuna: Suitable for your pet in small quantities, but its high mercury content could lead to stomach problems in large quantities.
Cooked Salmon: Your dog’s coat and skin will benefit from its omega-3 fatty acids.
Sweet potatoes: Full of vitamin A and keeps the digestive system working.
Peanut butter: A great source of protein, they like this when added to dry food.
Yogurt: Provides protein, but not if it’s high in sugar or preservatives.
Pasta: Another food which won’t prove harmful to dogs, but has little nutritional value either so it won’t benefit them. Don’t give to dogs if it has a sauce on it.
Cooked chicken, turkey and beef: Full of healthy fats and proteins, but not if it’s been cooked in oils or wine.
And, what’s not safe?
Onions, Garlic and Chives: Chemicals in these can poison dogs (and cats) if eaten in large quantities.
Vitamin D: Cod liver oil and skin creams which humans sometimes use can contain this and it can affect a dog’s heart, liver and kidneys.
Alcohol: Obviously, giving your dog a beer isn’t a good idea, but anything containing ethanol – such as antiseptics, mouthwash, perfumes or aftershaves – are also harmful.
Chewing Gum and sweets: Xylitol, the sweetener found in chewing gum and some sweets, can lead to liver failure. Dogs fail to break it down it can block up their digestive system and, potentially, lead to death.
Raw salmon: Never feed your dog this as it could make them fatally ill due to parasites which live within fish.
Chocolate: Human chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical which can be fatal for pets. Darker chocolate poses an even higher risk.
Caffeine: This can affect a pet’s heart if large quantities are taken, so make sure tea bags and coffee are out of reach for dogs (and cats).
Grapes, Currants, Raisins and Sultanas: All these fruits have toxins which are potentially fatal to dogs. Avoid cakes with this in too.