Although raw carrots aren’t always well digested by dogs, they’re a natural food that even wild canines sometimes eat. Chopped into cubes, carrot makes an excellent training treat, especially for overweight pet dogs. Given whole, carrots can assist with dental hygiene, helping keep plaque at bay.
Most people know that dogs shouldn’t eat chocolate but not necessarily why. The reason is because chocolate contains theobromine, a stimulant that is toxic to canines. It causes kidney damage that can be fatal, especially in smaller dogs or if the animal has eaten large quantities of chocolate. Dark chocolate contains higher levels of theobromine than milk or white chocolate.
Packed with protein, eggs are as good for dogs as they are for people. While most people feed only the white and yolk, raw-fed dogs may also benefit from the shells due to their calcium content. Although some people feed the eggs raw, it’s best to cook them if there is any risk of salmonella.
Can’t: Corn on the cob
This popular barbeque treat is a surprising addition to the list of people foods that your dog must not eat. It’s not that the corn is toxic or that the dog can’t digest the kernels. Rather, it’s because of the significant risk that the indigestible cob will cause a potentially fatal blockage somewhere in the dog’s intestines.
Can: Unsalted peanut butter
Most dogs adore peanut butter, making it a very popular training treat. Choose the right peanut butter and the high protein and good fat levels mean it’s practically a health food for your dog. However, it’s important to choose an unsalted product and crucial to pick one without xylitol. Too much salt can damage your dog’s kidneys while xylitol can kill it.
A common artificial sweetener contained in a wide variety of products, including some sodas, chewing gum and peanut butter, xylitol is useful for people trying to reduce their sugar intake. However, it can kill dogs. This is because of the speed at which the dogs’ bodies absorb the xylitol. The result can be dangerously high insulin levels, hypoglycemia, blood clotting problems and liver damage.
Most dogs love salmon thanks to its smooth texture and tasty flavor. As it’s high in protein and omega-3 fats, it’s also a very healthy choice. Although you can cook the salmon, your dog can also eat it raw and may prefer it that way. If you do cook the fish, don’t add salt and use as little butter or oil as possible.
All members of the onion family, including garlic and chives, are toxic to dogs. Whether eaten cooked or raw, they can damage red blood cells and cause gastrointestinal irritation. Unfortunately, the damaging effects are often not immediate, which can make it hard to connect the dog’s illness with what it might have eaten a day or so earlier.
An unexpected addition to a list of human foods that are great for dogs, plain popcorn is another perfect training treat. Without salt, sugar, butter or any other toppings, air-popped popcorn is low in calories and so definitely not a meal replacement. However, it provides a crunch that most dogs seem to find immensely satisfying.
Can’t: Cooked bones
While raw bones are popular with many raw-feeders and can help keep dogs’ teeth clean, cooked bones are very dangerous. Cooking makes bones more likely to splinter, which can cause significant damage to a dog’s mouth, esophagus or stomach. In the worst case scenario, they can fatally perforate the gut.