dog-BananaIt’s tempting when your dog is looking at you with big eyes to drop a tasty morsel on the floor so that tail will start wagging. There are a few reasons that is not a good idea; it creates the idea that begging is OK and will be rewarded, and feeding a dog people food is not always a good idea.

Take chocolate for example; chocolate is a yummy treat for humans but can be toxic to dogs. A few days before Halloween I placed four plastic bags of candies (all of them in their factory sealed packages) into a paper grocery bag, rolled up the top of the paper bag and placed the bag of candies into a closet with sliding doors. I left the house for a couple of hours and when I returned I realized that my dog had opened the closet doors, opened the paper bag and proceeded to eat all four bags of candy, including the wrappers! I was young at the time and didn’t realize how sick chocolate could make a dog until mine started throwing up all over the house. I rushed him to the 24 hour veterinarian who had to pump his stomach. Luckily getting the candies out of his stomach so quickly made for a quick recovery, but it was very scary for a while.

Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which is the leading cause of canine poisoning. It can cause diarrhea and vomiting, and can also cause high blood pressure, seizures, respiratory issues, and in serious cases cardiac arrest.

However there are some foods that humans enjoy that are also good for your dog, such as Bananas. Bananas are high in potassium which is beneficial to the function of blood vessels and muscle development. They are high in fiber which is good for constipation, and they are also high in magnesium which aids with energy. Bananas contain Vitamin C which is an antioxidant and Vitamin B6 for healthy blood cells. They should be given with moderation and some dogs may not like them due to the smell. A small amount mashed up into their dog food is a good way to start.

Unsalted peanut butter is another good treat for dogs, and it can also be very entertaining to watch them eat it! Some dog toy manufacturers have little compartments in the toy where peanut butter can be stashed, which will keep your canine companion busy for hours.

Other foods that dogs enjoy are strawberries, green beans, sweet potatoes, salmon, carrots, and blueberries. The vitamins and minerals contained in fresh fruits and vegetables keep your dog strong and healthy, much as they do with humans. Some people tend to forget that dogs are omnivores, which means they receive their nutrients from both animal protein and plants.

Some human foods are not bad for your dog, but research should be done before feeding them anything out of the ordinary. Some dogs have food allergies so if you feed your dog something new watch to make sure that there are no adverse reactions.