Some people tend to think that a dog is a carnivore. What usually comes to mind when thinking about dog food is meat however, dogs are in fact omnivores. An Omnivore is a person or animal that eats foods which are both plant and animal based, which is why there are some human foods that dogs can eat.
When the dog food scare happened a few years ago some dog owners thought it best to limit their canine friend to meat only, such as cooked chicken. Unfortunately this does not satisfy adog’s natural craving for plant based foods. Any dog owner has witnessed their pooch snacking on some grass in the yard on occasion. This is one way a dog has of satisfying that need for plant based food.
The best diet for a dog is much like one for humans. The nutritional needs of a dog consist of lean meats, grains, fruits, vegetables, fish and eggs. Providing bananas for dogs will give them much needed fiber, minerals and vitamins. Even cheese for dogsis a good snack, but be careful as some pups tend to be lactose intolerant. Mashing up a cooked carrot or sweet potato into a dogs food will provide them with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. Nori, which is dried edible seaweed, is very beneficial for dogs as it contains protein, vitamins, and minerals and even provides benefits to the immune system.
While it is OK and in some cases actually good to feed your dog people food there are some foods that can kill an animal and should be avoided at all costs. Chocolate is toxic to dogs due to the high amounts of methylxanthines which is a stimulant. Other foods to avoid are nuts, avocados, alcohol, hops, onions, and garlic. Some of these foods may only cause an upset stomach, but others such as chocolate can kill a dog so it is best to play it safe and avoid these foods entirely.
Sharing food with a beloved dog can be a bonding experience but one to take precaution with. First off, not all human food is good for a dog to consume as discussed above. Also a dog can begin to learn some bad habits if fed from the table while dinner is in progress. Rather, place a bed of some sort nearby with a favorite toy so the dog can still feel like a part of the family but not be begging for food at the table. If the dog comes over to the table during dinner simply lead them back to their spot with a command to stay, and praise when they do as they are told.
A dog is a member of the family and needs the same attention to meals as others do. Feeding a pooch nutritious meals will only insure a healthy body and a happy mind for the life of the dog.