Dog eating pasta
1 / 10

Pasta and Rice

Disney's "Lady and the Tramp" canoodled over a plate of spaghetti and meatballs. Your pooch can have pasta once in a while, too. Just make sure it's plain and cooked. Brown rice is a healthy whole grain your dog may gobble up. Mix some into her regular dog food to liven up her meal. Make human food a treat for your dog -- it should be no more than 5% to 10% of her diet. The rest should be dog food, which supplies the nutrients she needs.

Swipe to advance
Dog begging
2 / 10

Meat

What dog doesn't go on alert when there's meat around? Chicken, turkey, lean ground beef, and chuck steak or roast are animal-based proteins, which help dogs grow strong. A few rules apply:

  • Always cook meat well. Never serve it raw or undercooked.
  • Avoid fatty cuts, including bacon.
  • Cut meat -- and any human food -- into easy-to-chew chunks. Ground meat is fine, too.
  • Old, moldy, or spoiled meats are not OK.

 

Swipe to advance
Dog eating carrot
3 / 10

Vegetables

Vegetables give your pup vitamins, fiber, and some canine crunch. Try serving these raw veggies grated or finely chopped: carrot, cucumber, zucchini, lettuce, bell peppers, corn (cut off the cob), and celery. Or steam these favorites: green beans, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, and hard winter squash. Skip avocado, which can upset her stomach. Don’t give any vegetable or other human food that seems to cause tummy trouble.

Swipe to advance
Dehydrated dog
4 / 10

Treats for Dog-Day Afternoons

To cool off a hot dog on a sultry day, give her pet pops. Make them with any food she likes, like veggies or applesauce. Freeze the pops in an ice cube tray.

Or whip up some peanut butter pops:

  • Mix 1 cup of peanut butter (unsalted is best) with half a mashed, ripe banana or a little water. 
  • Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets lined with wax paper and freeze.

 

Swipe to advance
soft pretzels
5 / 10

Bread and Pretzels

Bite-sized bits of whole wheat bread are good for her gut health. But don't give her raw dough -- it can cause serious stomach problems. She might also go for some pieces of unsalted pretzel. Just skip the salted kind, which can make her extra thirsty and can cause big problems if she eats a lot.

Swipe to advance
Blueberries
6 / 10

Sweet Treats

Except for grapes and raisins, most fruits are OK for your pup. Try slices of fresh banana or apple (without the seeds), chunks of cantaloupe or watermelon, blueberries, or orange sections.

Homemade sweet potato jerky can also satisfy a sweet tooth:

  • Scrub and skin sweet potatoes and slice them into 1/2-inch strips.
  • Put the strips on parchment-lined cookie sheets.
  • Bake at 225 F for 3 to 4 hours -- or longer for crunchier treats.

 

Swipe to advance
Feeding dog
7 / 10

Foods to Help the Meds Go Down

Some dogs resist taking pills, especially if they’re big or smell bad. To make one go down easier, hide it in a tasty treat -- like peanut butter or a marshmallow. Make pill time game time if she likes to play catch. Toss her a few pieces of what you plan to hide her meds in, one after another, with the pill in one of them. She may swallow it without even knowing it was there. Ground beef and chicken are other good hiding places. If none of these works, it's OK to use a slice of hot dog. Ask your vet for other ideas.

Swipe to advance
Dog bone
8 / 10

Doggie Kong Delights

Use toys like a Kong to get your dog to work for his food. You fill the toy with food and let the dog lick it out. It's a boredom buster and healthy treat in one. Try these:

  • Scramble an egg and add grated bell pepper, tomato chunks, and a sprinkle of cheese. Serve warm.
  • Spoon cooked oatmeal into a Kong. Layer in canned or cooked pumpkin puree and cottage cheese or plain yogurt. Crush a bit of low-fat graham cracker on top. Serve warm or frozen. 

Make sure your dog's Kong has more than one opening to prevent suction from building up, which is risk for her tongue. Also, remove any plug the toy may have -- it's a choking hazard.

Swipe to advance
Dog bone
9 / 10

Give a Dog a Bone?

It's better to stick to chew toys. Chicken and turkey bones aren't safe for dogs, because they can splinter into sharp pieces easily. But what about big lamb or beef bones? Experts say even those aren't a good idea. Bits of raw meat on bones can have disease-causing germs. Even with cooked bones, splinters or large pieces of them can break off. Both can seriously damage your dog's digestive tract.

Swipe to advance
Hungry dog
10 / 10

Holiday Foods to Share -- and Skip

Too much holiday food is a recipe for doggie distress. But you can give your hound a taste of your celebration.

  • He'll be plenty thankful for tidbits like well-cooked turkey, green beans, and cooked sweet potato in his regular chow.
  • Skip table scraps. They may have ingredients he shouldn't have -- like milk, onions, or garlic.
  • Keep chocolate and cocktails above licking level. Both are toxic. Dogs especially like eggnog and white Russians. 

 

Swipe to advance

Up Next

Next Slideshow Title

Sources | Medically Reviewed on 01/27/2017 Reviewed by Amy Flowers, DVM on January 27, 2017

IMAGES PROVIDED BY:

(1)    Getty
(2)    Thinkstock
(3)    Getty
(4)    Thinkstock
(5)    Thinkstock
(6)    Thinkstock
(7)    Getty
(8)    Thinkstock
(9)    Thinkstock
(10)  Thinkstock

SOURCES:

American Veterinary Medical Association: "Raw or Undercooked Animal-Source Protein in Cat and Dog Diets," "Raw Pet Foods and the AVMA's Policy: FAQ."

ASPCA: "Pet Nutrition Service," "How to Stuff a KONG Toy," "Foods That Are Hazardous to Dogs," "People Foods: Pretzels," "Giving Your Dog a Pill," "Thanksgiving Safety Tips," "Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets."

ASPCA Action: "Top 10 Nutrients Your Pet Needs."

Humane Society: "Peanut Butter Popsicles," "Sweet Potato Jerky."

Michigan Humane Society: "Chocolate and Bones: Two Serious Dangers for Your Dog."

Reviewed by Amy Flowers, DVM on January 27, 2017

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE VETERINARY ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your pet’s health. Never ignore professional veterinary advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think your pet may have a veterinary emergency, immediately call your veterinarian.

NEXT IN THE SERIES

From WebMD

More on Pet Food