Top 10 Foods for Dogs
Everywhere I look I see another list of foods that are toxic to dogs. Yes, the information is important but it's quite easy to cover in a sentence: No chocolate, onions, grapes, raisins, mace, nutmeg, raw fish and anything you wouldn't eat yourself (moldy foods, raw yeast dough, pits from fruit.) There done.
However, with all the focus on "Don't Feed This", there's rarely any mention of what you can and should be adding to your dog's bowl. So here's my list of the top 10 foods you should be adding to your dog's bowl.
1. Scrambled Eggs for dogs. It's easy, it's cheap and it's one of the best sources of protein. One egg replaces 1/5 of a cup of dry dog food but adds in high quality protein. Got eggs high in Omega-3s? Even better.
2. Fish for dogs. Yes, raw fish, particularly trout and salmon from the Pacific Northwest can be dangerous, but a little tuna fish or better yet sardines will add a powerful amount of Omega-3s to your dog's diet and also a good source of protein.
3. Chicken hearts & gizzards for dogs. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes and you get the benefits of a nice meaty addition to a dog's bowl and a potent broth that will make tails wag. Don't give me the 'it's gross blah, blah, blah.' These cheap little morsels are packed with protein and simple to prepare. It's not that gross. Substitute an equal measure of dry food up to 1/4 of your dog's meal.
4. Yogurt for dogs. Just plain thank you. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight in your dog's bowl for a nice topping with probiotic booster.
5. Green Stuff for dogs. A sprinkling of parsley mixed into dry food provides cancer fighting phytochemicals that are missing from commercial food. Adding chopped spinach may help dogs refrain from poop eating. Kale is a surprising favorite of many dogs, but it helps if you chop it up rather than feeding them a whole leaf.
6. Pumpkin & Squash for dogs. When you're roasting these for your own dinner, set aside a little of the finished product before adding salt and pepper and you provide a nice dose of beta-carotene, fiber, potassium and selenium. (Pumpkin seeds without all the salt and pepper added are also a source of Omega-3 fatty acids.) Pumpkin & Squashes are low in calories and help to keep a dog on a diet full. One tablespoon per 10 pounds of body weight is a nice amount to serve per day.
7. Blueberries for dogs. Antioxidant powerhouses that will turn your dog's tongue purple. Sometimes dogs don't like the resistant skin, so cut them in half and add a couple per 10 pounds of body weight to your dog's bowl.
8. Roasted Beets for dogs. Now in season, these are great on your salad or next to a roasted chicken on the dinner table. In the dog's bowl they also add a source of betalains, phytochemicals that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties. One teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight will liven up the food bowl.
9. Carrots & Green Beans for dogs. I hear more and more people that give their dogs baby carrots - which is great. But don't get stuck in the carrot rut. Try fresh or frozen green beans, but avoid sodium packed canned green beans.
10. Cheerios as a training treat for dogs. They aren't greasy, they're low in calories and just as effective as cheese. Just use the plain kind, not the sugary laden variety.
All these foods are great for you too, so as long as you've got them on the cutting board go ahead and feel confident in sharing with your best friend.