Here are a few “dog-approved” people foods that are actually are perfectly safe … and even healthy!
Coconut & Coconut Oil
Coconut is made up of a beneficial fatty acid chain called Lauric acid, and when dogs and humans synthesize Lauric acid it produces a compound called monoglyceride monolaurin. This substance helps fight and destroy viruses and various pathogenic bacteria, thus protecting your pets from infection and boosting their immune systems. Additionally, coconut contains albumin, which is a water-soluble protein found in many animal tissues and liquids.
Many diseases and ailments, like yeast infections, smelly coats, hot spots, cuts that have been infected, and even cracked paws, can all be cured with just a jar of “virgin coconut oil.” When all forms of diet remedies have failed, then it is time to try out this miracle natural medicine for your dog. Virgin coconut oil means that it is unrefined, and it can be used for both dogs and humans. Coconut Oil can help reduce cancer risks. It also improves the digestion of your dog and becomes medicine for most digestive upsets.
Peanut Butter (Conflicting Information PLEASE READ CAREFULLY)
This is a favorite treat of many canines, and has been for years. It is recommended by many professionals as a safe snack, and is added to hundreds of dog treat products. Not only is it a good source of protein, but it also contains heart healthy fats, vitamin B, niacin, and vitamin E. But some information shows that it could be dangerous to dogs as well as humans. While I have not heard of any dogs having an issue with peanut butter, I will share what I have found.
It is said that most peanut butter contains Aflatoxins, that are naturally occurring mycotoxins produced by a fungus called Aspergillus. These are carcinogenic, cancer-causing substances shown to be toxic to the liver, and are known to cause liver cancer in laboratory animals.
A few years ago, Consumers Union looked into the question of aflatoxins in peanut butter and found that the amounts detectable varied from brand to brand. The lowest amounts were found in the big supermarket brands such as Peter Pan, Jif and Skippy. The highest levels were found in peanut butter ground fresh in health food stores.
BUT, before you break out the Jif for you or your dog, you need to know that another issue with the cheaper brands is that they contain trans-fatty acids. These are one of the most toxic food substances today, due to the highly toxic process that makes foods more stable, and sit on shelves for a long time. Hydrogenation is the process of taking a plant oil, adding a nickel catalyst, heating it, and then removing the nickel catalyst. This results in a highly toxic fat that causes diabetes, heart disease and chronic inflammation. If the peanut butter you buy contains trans fats, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredients don’t buy it!
And if trans fats aren’t bad enough, roasting nuts can also cause the fats in peanuts to go rancid. So if you are going to buy peanut butter, at the very least, make sure it’s raw and doesn’t contain hydrogenated fats. But of course, you still may have to deal with the aflatoxins. One way to help avoid the effects of aflatoxins, is to buy Earth Balance Creamy Coconut & Peanut Spread, as the coconut oil in the peanut butter should kill the fungus that causes the aflatoxins.
Studies have found that coconut oil can kill viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other illnesses. It kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum disease and cavities, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, and other diseases. It also kills fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections, and even kills tapeworms, lice, giardia, and other parasites.
Think chicken, beef, or pork with no visible fat and no added sauces or seasonings can be a great training treat or can add a bit of good-quality extra protein to your dog’s diet. Lean meat is an excellent, balanced source of amino acids, the building blocks of muscle in your dog’s body. Meat is also a great source of B vitamins (Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Pyridoxine, and Cobalamine). These vitamins are involved in energy metabolism in the body. Meat also makes a good meal replacement if you’re in a pinch and out of dog food.
Used in moderation, this meat is also a good choice and available freeze-dried in most pet stores It makes a great training treat, that you can also buy fresh in the grocery store to feed at home. Fresh liver can be cooked and then baked to make your own liver treats. Liver is an excellent source of B vitamins, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K. It is also a great source of iron. Too much liver may be toxic to dogs because of its high vitamin A content, so it is best to limit the amount of liver fed to your dog to not more than 1 g of fresh liver/Kg body weight per day.
Salmon & Tuna
These are good sources of omega 3 fatty acids, which are responsible for keeping your dog’s coat healthy and shiny, as well as supporting your dog’s immune system. Feed your dog cooked salmon, add salmon oil to food, or slip them some of your unwanted fish skins. Tuna may be a classic cat snack. But despite stereotypes, dogs can eat tuna too, and it’s healthy offering protein, vitamins on top of the omega-3 fatty acids.
Scrambling up an egg for your pup is a great way to give their diet a protein boost. Eggs are also a source of easily digestible riboflavin and selenium, making them a healthy snack.
Cheese & Cottage Cheese
A great treat for a dog as long as they are not lactose intolerant, which a small percentage are. So if you’re unsure, make sure to monitor your dog’s reaction. Opt for low or reduced fat varieties and don’t overfeed, as many cheeses can be high in fat. Cottage cheese is typically a good choice because it is high in protein and calcium and it’s fairly bland, so it can be a good way to add some extra protein to your dog’s diet.
Greek Yogurt & Kefir
High in calcium and protein, but make sure to only choose yogurts that do not contain artificial sweeteners or added sugars. Yogurts with active bacteria can act as a probiotic and are good for your dog’s digestive system.
This is a great source of soluble fiber, which can be especially beneficial for older dogs with bowel irregularity issues. It is also a great alternate grain for dogs allergic to wheat. Make sure to cook oatmeal before serving it to your dog.
Dogs can eat pasta, which is really nothing more than flour, water, and sometimes eggs. All of these ingredients are safe for dogs, so any variety of pasta should be fine but I lean toward whole grain pasta. Although it’s probably best to hold the commercial pasta sauce, as these are usually acidic, and contain a lot of sugar and salt, which can upset your dog’s tummy. Also, keep in mind that some dogs are allergic to wheat, so if that’s the case, leave pasta off the menu.
This is good to use when your dog has an upset tummy and needs a bland meal. There are a variety of different types of rice. Brown rice is a little higher in protein & fiber and a little lower in fat when compared to white rice. White or instant rice is an easily digestible carbohydrate which makes it a good source of energy which is especially good when feeding an older dog.
are another source of dietary fiber and contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, beta carotene, and manganese. Sweet potatoes are great sliced and dehydrated as a chewy treat for your dog. There are so many dog treats on the market that we often overlook the simple, healthy, and reasonably priced treats available at our grocery store.