From an early age we’re taught to share, but not with our dogs. While you’re preparing your own meals, be on the lookout for foods that can be safe additions to your dog’s bowl and circumvent the garbage can by using scraps as snacks. When I’m cooking my own meals, there are eight eyes watching my every move. They know that if they stay in their appointed area, I’ll figure out something to sneak into their bowls. One day we were baking pies and it was small pieces of organic pears. A few days later I was making pear butter with the remaining fruit and decided to make some dried pear strips with the skins. The dogs wouldn’t touch the raw skins but went crazy for the dried jerky. Sometimes it just requires a little creativity when introducing new foods.
The amounts given here are “Reasonable Daily Amounts”; think of this as the RDA for the canine set. Feeding less than that is certainly okay because these amounts are in addition to what you’re already feeding your dog. The RDAs are set so as not to disrupt the amount of fat, vitamins and minerals, fiber, and calories in your dog’s normal diet. Following the RDAs will allow you to treat your dog and avoid digestive upset.
All quantities are given in standard kitchen measurements, but you don’t need to pull out the measuring cups every time you feed your dog a snack. A tablespoon doesn’t mean a heaping tablespoon; you’re aiming to dish out a moderately level amount equivalent to the large spoon you would use to eat soup. A teaspoon should be close to the teaspoon used to stir cream into your coffee.
If you’re giving your dog multiple snacks throughout the day, aim for variety, such as a vegetable in the morning, a small piece of bread in the afternoon, and a piece of meat in the evening. Mix and match according to what works for you and what your dog enjoys; just practice moderation.
The amounts in this section are less than 10 percent of the average dog’s caloric intake. With some of the RDAs, you may think it’s a stingy amount, but it’s in your dog’s best interest. Tips are provided to help you extend the experience rather than your dog’s waistline.
Any time you give your dog something new, do so in small increments to see how your pet’s palate and stomach tolerate it. So the first time you give your dog a new food, use about one-quarter of the reasonable daily amount and then move up to one-half the next time, and so on. If you notice any foods that aren’t tolerated, discontinue them.
If your dog simply turns his nose up, try again when he’s really hungry. We repeatedly offered the dogs banana, only to be rejected, and finally, Chloe (who would previously only eat meat or cheese snacks) tried a slice and deemed it worthy of her notice. Now every day Chloe waits patiently for a slice. For some dogs, new textures are exciting, but other dogs may need some coaxing. If your dog won’t eat a carrot, for example, try shredding carrots into the food. Once a dog starts learning that new food is okay, he’s more likely to try it on its own.
Apples and Pears
Mangos and Papayas
Plums and Apricots
Green Beans and Snap Peas
Bell Peppers (Red, Yellow, Orange)
Sweet Potatoes and Yams
Yes, dogs love cheese, and it’s hard to resist sharing. Unfortunately, it’s high in fat, and many adult dogs have lost their ability to process dairy products. Whether it is cheddar, Parmesan, goat cheese, or cream cheeses, if you’re considering sharing some scraps with your dog, do so in moderation.
Eggs are the perfect protein source, and your dog will surely love them. Sharing with your dog is also a great way to practice your omelet-making skills. Cook the dog’s eggs before you cook your own to prevent any salt or pepper from getting into the eggs.
A little plain low-fat yogurt adds beneficial bacteria to help your dog’s digestive system and brings zing to the breakfast bowl. Steer clear of flavored yogurt with added sugar because it adds unnecessary calories and flavorings, which might turn your dog away.