It's tempting to share that last bite from your plate when those soulful canine eyes are looking at you, but you know you shouldn't. He'll like them, and they can help keep him healthy.
The Veggie Platter
Slice some vegetables as treats for Fido instead of feeding packaged treats. Raw baby carrots make tasty treats and help clean your dog's teeth as an added benefit. Carrots add beta carotene, vitamin A and fiber to your dog's diet. Sweet potato provides a nutritious canine favorite full of vitamins and fiber. Prepare a sliced sweet potato in a food dehydrator or bake it at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for three hours, turning once. Refrigerate for up to three weeks or freeze for up to four months. Your dog can also enjoy raw or cooked zucchini, squash, spinach and lettuce. Use canned or frozen salt-free uncooked green beans instead of biscuits for a low-calorie treat.
Treat your dog to apple slices for another crunchy, teeth-cleaning snack that supplies fiber, vitamins A and C. Remove the core and pits, which can cause choking. Blueberries, strawberries, seedless watermelon and bananas all make healthy canine snacks. Freeze banana slices for extra canine crunch.
Fill a Kong toy with yogurt and freeze it for a treat that will keep your dog busy and happy. Use a low-fat variety with no artificial sweeteners, which are toxic for dogs. Look for an organic brand with live bacteria for added probiotic benefits. Peanut butter contains healthy fats for dogs as well as vitamins and can be used in toys as well. Cut up a hard-boiled egg for a healthy dog treat with extra protein. Small pieces of salmon are good for your dog's skin, coat and immune system. Low-fat cheese makes a great treat. Use string cheese for a portable training tool.
Do Not Feed
Not all fruits and vegetables are good for your dog. Grapes and raisins can be toxic to dogs. Avoid fruits with pits such as peaches and plums. Don't feed him tomatoes, avocados and mushrooms. Garlic and onions can be toxic, as can nuts such as macadamia nuts, walnuts, pecans and pistachio nuts. Other types of nuts can cause digestive upset, so avoid all nuts to be safe.