By Marlies from Fairmont, WV
Source: My vet.
By Annie from Columbia, MO
Sharing with your dog or dogs helps to reinforce the pack bond. If they are always left out at mealtime, they don't get to feel like they are truly part of the family. Now, I'm not suggesting you put out a plate for your pups and let them chow down on dinner with you. The vet actually suggested some healthy people foods to share with the dogs.
If your dog likes to crunch, try offering raw carrots or the spine from a leaf of romaine lettuce. If your dog prefers sweet treats, slice up an apple. You don't have to go crazy and feed your dog a whole salad or fruit bowl, but a taste of something from the table once in a while will keep your pack happy. Fruit and veggies are generally pretty safe; I've had a dog that loved strawberries and oranges and would eat steamed carrots but not raw ones! My brother has two dogs who love bananas.
Some dogs love ice cubes; fish one out of your (non alcoholic) drink and let them slurp and crunch on that for a while. For many dogs, what they are getting isn't as important as just getting it. And if your dogs have a weight problem like my chubby boy dog does, you want to make sure the treats are low-calorie and healthy. Did you know that crunchy hard biscuits like Milkbones are healthier and lower in fat than soft chewy treats?
A dog's taste buds just aren't as developed or discriminating as human taste buds. They can tell if something is good, bad, or just okay, and that's about it! Not that you should give your dog the stuff you think tastes bad; a good rule of thumb is if YOU won't eat it, don't give it to your dog. That includes bones, gristle, fruit rinds, veggie stems, or anything else that probably belongs in the garbage or compost heap.
Moderation is key when sharing from the table, or giving any sort of treats! Biscuits, carrots, apples, or whatever you give as a special reward should be just that: special. The main part of your dog's diet shouldn't be the snack foods.
What natural treats do dogs love? veggies, etc.?
My dogs like chopped fruit. I chop apples, bananas, watermelon and pears up into very fine pieces. I peel the skin off & remove all pits (so they won't choke).
I limit the amount to 1/4 a day - they lap it up.