The dogs we rear at home were domesticated very many years ago. Humans today have forgotten that they are actually natural wild creatures, and love to share their food with them. This may not be a smart idea for you as some human foods are poisonous to dogs. The food we give to our dogs at home should be similar to what they would naturally feed on in the wild.
Feeding Habits of Dogs in the wild
Dogs are part of the carnivorous family and the primary components of their diet are prey. A single dog will hunt small animals like mice, rabbits, birds, insects, while they will hunt bigger prey when in a pack.
Dogs are not obligate carnivores, meaning they can eat other things like vegetables. Dogs in the wild eat fruits that have dropped down trees, some dig up vegetables and grasses and herbs.
Dogs in wild don’t necessarily eat every day. They may feed on the 2nd or 3rd day after a meal or can go longer without food. A healthy dog can go a week without food.
Dogs in the wild don’t eat complete meals. To meet their nutritional requirements over time dogs eat what their body craves or needs, this is referred to as the ‘balance over time concept’ dogs that are fed all the ingredients they need in a proportion at every meal suffer increased health problems.
Dogs also can’t eat grains because they don’t digest them properly. A dog’s digestive system does convert the grins to sugar or store them for future use.
As you have noted already dogs have a different digestive system from humans. Be aware that some foods that are safe for people can be harmful or very dangerous to dogs.
Human foods that are safe to be eaten by dogs
Chewing on carrots can help remove plaque from the dog’s teeth, promoting good dental health. Carrots also are rich sources of vitamin A good for the dog’s skin. Feed dogs carrots in moderations as too much vitamin A can be toxic
Apples are a Good Source of fibre which can help in the Dogs digestion and provide important vitamin A and C.Rotting apples should not be fed to your dogs as they can lead to alcohol poising
Cooked plain rice is a good option for a dog with an upset stomach as it is easy to digest and binds stool. This should also be given to dogs in moderation, most especially for dogs that have diabetes.
Fish is a good source of fatty acids and omega 3 which keep a dog’s immune system, skin and coat healthy.
Cook the fish before feeding the dog to kill any harmful parasites that could be living in the fresh fish
Chicken & Turkey
Plain boiled chicken with no seasoning is good for your dog most especially when your dog has an upset stomach
Unsalted peanut butter with no added sugar can be given to your dog as a treat but in moderation
If you buy already processed peanut butter make sure it does not contain a sweetener called xylitol which is very toxic in dogs.
These foods and fruits as well can be given to your dogs in moderation
- Cooked eggs plain/ unseasoned pop corn
- unseasoned pork – it should be in small quantities to prevent inflammation from the fats
- Bananas- should be occasional due to their high sugar content
- Watermelon with no seeds and green rind/cover
- Un salted green peas
Human foods that are unsafe for dogs and can be toxic
Chocolate, Coffee and Tea
Chocolate, Coffee, and Tea should never be given to dogs. These products contain methylxanthines which are highly toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting, increased heart rate and seizers
Raisins and Grapes
Raisins and grapes are highly toxic to dogs and they cause kidney failure in dogs which sometimes leads to death
Nuts like groundnuts should be avoided as they can choke the dog. Macadamia nuts are poisonous and should be avoided by anyone feeding their dog.
Ice – cream is bad for your dogs due to the high sugar content in its ingredients
Raw or under cooked meat
Raw or undercooked meat may harbour poisonous bacteria. Properly cooking the meat will help to kill these bacteria
Alcohol and products containing Alcohol
Alcohol and its products are very dangerous to dogs and should be avoided
Onions and Garlic
Onions and Garlic contain substances called organosulfides which may lead to vomiting, diarrhoea, and stomach pain
Contains a substance called persin which is toxic to dogs
Citrus fruits like Lemons & Lime
Citrus Fruits should be avoided due to their acidic nature
Xylitol is a sugar substitute used in a variety of processed human foods; however, it is very toxic to dogs and can cause liver failure and dangerously low blood pressure
Cinnamon is not toxic but can irritate dogs when they eat it, it should therefore not be given to your dog.
Foods high in salt or sodium like bacon can cause excessive thirst and urination in dogs as well as sodium ion poisoning, signs and symptoms include diarrhoea, vomiting, involuntary shaking, high temperature, seizures