Whether you’re a first-time owner or you’ve been feeding your best friend the same food for years, you should never underestimate your dog’s nutritional needs.
With alternative approaches like raw feeding and intermittent fasting proving popular, taking on an informed approach to feeding your dog might be easier said than done.
In any scenario, listening to advice from a qualified veterinarian is the best way to feed your dog. And no matter how experienced you are, it’s always worth knowing about the best and worst foods for dogs.
What’s The Best Diet For My Dog?
The best diet for your dog will depend on their age, breed, and any pre-existing health conditions or intolerances. But there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to feeding dogs: in fact, you could have two dogs of the same breed and age that need to eat different diets.
Understanding your furry friend’s specific requirements is a process that you’ll need to dedicate time and thought to with your vet. The more your vet knows about your dog and your lifestyle, the more accurately they can recommend a suitable diet.
Your dog’s food should be nutritionally complete, not overly processed, and strike a balance between all the necessary vitamins and micronutrients. If your dog is prone to getting an upset tummy, sensitive dog food could make a compatible and sensible option.
Which Foods Are Toxic To Dogs?
When they’re looking up at you with those puppy dog eyes, it can be tricky to ignore your dog’s attempts to get a little taste of your snack.
But it’s crucial to remember that some human foods can be harmful to dogs, causing anything from upset tummies to life-threatening reactions. For this reason, it’s so important to know how to spot common symptoms of dog poisoning.
Some of the most harmful foods for dogs include:
- Alcohol: Dogs are smaller than us and they’re more sensitive to alcohol, which can make them drowsy or even trigger seizures.
- Avocado: Contains a substance named persin, which causes vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs.
- Blue cheese: Most blue cheeses contain a chemical called roquefortine C, which can trigger tremors and seizures in dogs.
- Bird bones: Small animal bones easily splinter when cooked, and may cause an obstruction in your dog’s airway, throat, or digestive tract.
- Chocolate: The chemical theobromine in chocolate is poisonous to dogs.
- Macadamia nuts: These nuts are toxic to dogs and cause weakness, vomiting and tremors.
- Onions, leeks and shallots: Allium plants damage red blood cells in dogs.
- Garlic: Like other plants belonging to the Allium family, garlic poisons dogs.
- Raisins and grapes: These fruits provoke gastrointestinal problems in dogs and could even cause kidney failure.
- Xylitol: This common artificial sweetener can cause sudden liver failure in dogs.
Which Human Foods Can Dogs Eat?
Fortunately, there is evidence to suggest that you can share some of your favourite snacks with your dog! As long as you’ve done your research and you know about your dog’s specific needs, you can share some treats from time to time. These include:
- Apples, in small portions
- Cooked white rice
- Carrots, raw or cooked
- Dairy products, like milk, cheese and plain yoghurt
- Cooked fish, including tuna and salmon
- Plain chicken, which could help settle your dog’s stomach
- Unsweetened peanut butter, given in moderation as a reward
- Cooked and unseasoned pork
- Blueberries, which provide antioxidants
- Bananas, as a sweet treat
If you have any specific concerns about your dog’s diet, you should always contact your veterinary surgeon as soon as possible. They can provide tailored guidance to help get your four-legged friend into the healthiest shape possible.