Whether you create meals from scratch or are a master of the microwave, time in the kitchen can be twice the fun when you’re cooking healthy for you and your dog. If you like to sneak leftovers to your pup, you may be feeding him less than ideal foods. Below are some healthy foods you can prepare for both you and your dog!
Cooking Healthy for You AND Your Dog
Before getting started here, consult with your veterinarian before feeding your dog human food because dogs need the nutrition that dog food offers. You wouldn’t want to feed your dog only human food. Keep a close eye on your dog after you feed him a small amount of new human food for the first time to make sure he doesn’t react negatively. If your dog doesn’t show any adverse symptoms, such as an upset stomach, you can incorporate the food again.
Fruit Bowls for you and your dog
If you like to eat a bowl of fruit with your meals, consider making a small bowl for your dog as well! Dogs can eat a variety of fruits as long as they are cut up in small pieces. Some fruits your dog may enjoy that require minimal preparation include bananas, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Some fruits require some preparation before your dog should eat them; remove the seeds, skin, rind, or core from apples, cantaloupes, oranges, pears, pineapples, and watermelons. Make sure you always cut fruits in bite-sized pieces before sharing.
Protein-Packed Eggs for you both
Whether it’s for breakfast or a high-protein snack, eggs are an excellent choice for both you and your dog’s meals a few times a week! Eggs that have been boiled or cooked without oil, butter, or salt are safe for your dog to eat. As tempting as it may be, refrain from feeding your dog leftover scrambled eggs since they typically contain milk and other ingredients that may not be good for your dog.
Vary your vegetables when cooking for you and your dog
Many of the vegetables that you add to your meals can also be given to your dog. Green beans are a high fiber treat that is filling while low in calories. If you like to add bell peppers to your salads, toss a few to your dog as well Consider choosing red bell peppers as they are higher in antioxidants and nutrients. Broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, carrots, celery, squash, and zucchini are all great treats for your pup.
While these vegetables can be fed raw, steaming is a great way to cook veggies without removing too many nutrients and can make them more enticing for dogs that are picky eaters.
Brown or White Rice
Rice is easy to make – which makes it easy to add to your dog’s diet – and a great start to any meal! Rice can be fed to help with an upset stomach or to add nutrients to your pup’s diet. White or brown rice can be used as long as there is no added oil, butter or seasonings. Brown rice is higher in nutritional value and often is included in the recipe of your dog’s dry food already! Be sure to regulate how much rice you feed your dog per your veterinarian’s instruction, as rice has a lot of calories and could cause weight gain.
Lean Meats to feed your dog
You can add lean meat to rice, toss it in a salad or serve it alone to add some protein to both you and your dog’s diets. Choose leaner cuts as dogs have a difficult time digesting fatty meat, and the higher the fat content, the lower the protein. Refrain from feeding raw meat to your dog, instead, boil or cook the meat without oil, butter or seasoning. Cut off any fat and remove bones before feeding cooked meat to your dog. Some good choices of lean meat include beef or pork with “loin” or “round” in the name, ground beef, bison, chicken or turkey labeled 90 percent lean or leaner, or chicken and turkey with the skin removed.
Sweet potatoes are low in fat and provide fiber, calcium, potassium, and iron. They are excellent options for both humans and dogs and can be prepared in several ways. If you choose to share your sweet potatoes with your dog, remove the skin first. You can also make sweet potato jerky treats by removing the potato’s skin, slicing the potato into ½ inch strips. Then bake the pieces on parchment-lined cookie sheets at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for 3-4 hours.
Canned Fish that dogs can eat too
Fish is an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fats, and calcium for your pup. Canned tuna or salmon is a healthy treat for your dog. You should choose canned fish that is in water, not oil, and with no added salt. Never feed your dog raw fish.
Benefits of Pumpkin for dogs
Pumpkin is known for its nutritional value for dogs and people, but did you know pumpkin can help to ease your dog’s constipation or diarrhea? Whether fresh or canned, pumpkins provide vitamins, minerals, and soluble fiber for your pup. Ensure canned pumpkin doesn’t come with additional spices, sugar, or sodium, which might make your dog sick.
Cheese (in moderation)
A staple of many meals, cheese can be fed to most dogs in small amounts. You can use cheese as a high-value treat during training, to hide pills, or to top a dinner dish. Choose cheeses that are lower in fat and sodium, and feed cheese moderately.
While cooking healthy for you and your dog will surely keep you both a lot healthier, it also gives you quality time together. But, be sure to feed these foods in moderation and keep an eye on changes in your dog’s weight. Remember to consult your veterinarian before feeding your dog human food.
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