No matter how hard you try, it’s not always easy to resist the pleading eyes of your dog as he watches you eat dinner.
While as a rule it’s probably not a good idea to cave when your dog starts begging, there are some “people foods” that dogs can eat without issue. If you want to mix up your dog’s diet every now and then, here are a few dog-friendly foods experts agree are OK for most furry bellies. But be sure to consult with your veterinarian first to be on the safe side.
1. Sweet Potato
These orange spuds are a good source of dietary fiber and contain lots of vitamins, such as vitamin A and vitamin B-6. Modern Dog Magazine recommends slicing and dehydrating sweet potatoes to make healthy, chewy treats for your dog. Your homemade slices will cost you a lot less than store-bought treats, too.
2. Plain Yogurt
Plain yogurt is chock-full of calcium, protein and active bacteria that can help your dog’s digestive system function better. You’ll want to look for plain yogurt though—Cesar Millan notes that you should avoid yogurts that are high in sugar or contain artificial sweeteners.
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3. Peanut Butter
This one will get your dog’s tail wagging—vigorously. Fill a Kong with peanut butter and a few treats and your dog will be one happy camper. Peanut butter contains healthy fats and protein. Plus, it tastes great, which makes peanut butter particularly useful for convincing your dog to swallow pills. Millan points out that you should avoid peanut butter that contains sugars or artificial sweeteners, which can be toxic to pets.
Your dog will love munching on some unseasoned chicken, turkey or ham. Just be sure it’s cooked thoroughly—no raw meats, please. You’ll also want to steer clear of meat that has been flavored with garlic and onions, which can be toxic to dogs, according to the American Kennel Club. Make sure to remove any bones, as they can splinter during digestion and harm your dog’s stomach or intestines.
Fully cooked fish such as salmon and sardines are just fine for your dog to eat. Fish is high in protein, healthy fats and amino acids. Like all other “people foods,” make sure the fish is fully cooked before you share it with your pup. Keep fish intake to a minimum, because some versions (like canned sardines) can be high in salt.
Like peanut butter, cheese is an all-time favorite of many dogs. You’ll want to look for low-fat cheeses such as mozzarella and cottage cheese. Cheese, which can be high in sodium and fat, is OK in small doses every now and then. Be sure to monitor for a bad reaction to cheese because some dogs are lactose intolerant.
Raw slices of this crunchy fruit make perfect dog treats. They also help clean gunk off your dog’s teeth—it’s a win-win. The blog First Home Love Life has an easy recipe for making baked apple dog chips, which are great for helping a young puppy master potty training!