Sharing treats with a friend is one of life's pleasures. If your friend is a dog, you already know it isn't wise to share everything. Grapes, macadamia nuts, onions, and chocolate are all harmful to canines. With such common goodies on the no-no list, it can be hard to plan a snack your pet can enjoy with you. The good news is that dogs can eat many of the same fruits and vegetables that you enjoy.
Here are five convenient snacks that are both safe for your dog and good for you.
Bananas. This fruit isn't just portable and tasty; it's also a great source of potassium and fiber. Simply break off a small piece to offer as a treat. For extra fun, try putting a dab of peanut butter on the banana. Just make sure the peanut butter doesn't contain the sweetener xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.
Carrots and celery sticks. These crunchy low-carb snacks provide fiber, water, and vitamins A and C. Celery has an added benefit because it can help fight doggy breath. Just keep the veggie dip to yourself. Dips are often high in fat and may give your dog an upset stomach.
Apples. Like bananas, apples are portable and go well with peanut butter. A small slice is a refreshing tidbit, but take care to remove any seeds. Apple seeds contain small amounts of cyanide, which is not good for either of you.
Oranges. An orange segment makes a sweet and juicy treat. It also provides vitamins A and C. To avoid upset stomach, remove the peel and any seeds.
Watermelon. This summertime classic is mostly water and fiber, and it can be a refreshing snack for both of you. Remove any dark seeds; the immature white seeds are perfectly safe for both dogs and humans to eat. Neither one of you should eat the rind because doing so can cause gastrointestinal distress.
Things to keep in mind
Humans and dogs have very different digestive systems and nutritional needs. Most "human" treats should be given to dogs very sparingly, if at all. Serving sizes will depend on the size, age, and health of the dog. Avoid giving your pet foods that are high in fat, since regular dog food will already contain the right amounts of these substances.
Finally, your pet may have special dietary needs or food allergies. If so, be sure to ask your vet or a professional at a local animal hospital before you offer new foods to your dog.