As a general rule, it’s best to refrain from giving dogs human food, no matter how strong their puppy-eye game is. But did you know that there a few human foods that make healthy treats for our canine friends? Here are some of the healthiest options.

  1. Apples — Apples can help remove toxins from the intestinal tract, strengthen intestinal muscles, and remove harmful bacteria. Containing pectin and vitamins A and C, they also help to satisfy your dog’s desire to chew.
  2. Sweet potatoes — An excellent source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, sweet potatoes contain fiber and vitamins A, C, B5, and B6.
  3. Carrots — Naturally sweet and low in calories, carrots will satisfy your dog’s need to chew and help with blood clotting and energy production. They contain beneficial fiber, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus, as well as vitamins B6, B12, C, and K.
  4. Blueberries — A nutrient-packed superfood, blueberries contain antioxidants, manganese, fiber, and vitamins C and E. (Tip: Blueberries should be introduced slowly. Otherwise, this superfood could turn into a pooperfood.)
  5. Seaweed — It is believed that seaweed (also called “nori”) may improve immune function, fat metabolism, and anti-tumor response. Seaweed contains protein, fiber, iron, and vitamins A and C.

Treats to avoid

In addition to the more common toxins (like chocolate, raisins, and xylitol), avoid feeding your dog sausages, which contain sulfites and preservatives that can cause a potentially fatal thiamine deficiency. Also, avoid cooked bones because bones splinter more easily once cooked. And, steer clear of cow’s milk, because most dogs become lactose intolerant after they are weaned. If your dog loves milk, try soy milk instead, which still includes calcium and vitamin B but is free of lactose.

Tips to remember

Watch the waistline. Treats should make up only about 10 percent of your dog’s daily caloric intake.

Don’t encourage begging. You might be giving your dog some human treats, but that doesn’t mean you should feed him from the table, which only encourages unwanted behaviors (like begging).

If you have any questions or concerns about treats for your canine friend, contact us for help!