|Excerpt from the article and infographic|
People Food and Weight Gain:
See How Each Little Treat Adds Up
(shared with permission)
Happy New Year! We know that many of you started the year resolved to eat better, get more exercise, and live happier healthier lives. Dogs are great personal trainers to help you stick with those fitness resolutions and although we would never advocate giving up treats completely (human or pet!), the quality and quantity of food that our pets eat is a significant factor in their weight and overall health - check out this interesting article and infographic on pet obesity, treats, and the dietary impact of sharing people food with pets.
We love sharing tasty treat recipes of all varieties, but today we are snacking straight up! Whether storebought or fresh from your garden (yum!), here are some dog-friendly fruits, vegetables, and herbs to try: beetroot, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries watermelon (seeds removed) pumpkin (cooked), squash (cooked), sweet potato (cooked), carrot, cantaloupe, citrus, banana, yellow beans, pineapple, potato (cooked), cauliflower, peas, green beans, zucchini, cucumber, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts, mint, parsley, basil, rosemary, oregano kiwifruit, apple (core/seeds removed), pear (core/seeds removed) blueberries, and blackberries.
You and your pet can enjoy healthy snacking together...all in moderation with plenty of offsetting exercise, of course! Like humans, dogs also have individual likes and dislikes, so just because your pet can eat something, doesn't mean that they will. It always entertains us how much our dogs differ, especially when it comes to fruits and veggies. Humphrey really enjoys his crunchy veggies, especially carrot - he will sit near the chef, politely begging, whenever carrots are being prepped for meals. Good thing that he hasn't figured out how to harvest them from the new veggie patch* for himself...yet!
A number of fruits and veggies are not recommended for pets due to potential health concerns, including (pictured below) members of the allium family (onion, chives, garlic), avocado, grapes/raisins, currants, rhubarb, and green tomato/potato. We prefer playing it safe if there's any doubt.
Remember, treats are for spoiling your pup in moderation. This isn't expert advice. Some dogs have special dietary requirements, food allergies/intolerances, or even breed specific sensitivities - like our Dalmatians, who are safer with lower purine foods due to a breed-unique metabolic issue. If you have questions or concerns about your pet's diet, have a chat with your vet. Similarly, if your pet is inactive, has health problems, or you have any concerns about changing your exercise routine together, have a chat with your vet...or your doctor about the human stuff! :)
To help you laugh off a few extra bites (laughter is great for your health!), here are a few extra "outtakes" from my efforts to photograph the dogs with the basket of sweet delicious fruit and veggie goodness. Humphrey went straight for the carrots (of course!), which they both enjoyed as their afternoon treat but THEN Humphrey made his move on the broccoli, prancing around the garden with his prize. I reclaimed it quickly and relatively unscathed, but we'll still be keeping the windows open for extra fresh air for a wee while, just in case!
* Note for dog-friendly gardeners: It is mid-summer here and we are enjoying growing our garden, with a little help from the dogs with taste-testing, cultivation, and scarecrow duty, of course! If you are gardening with pets, check out the idea sheet for Safer Gardening with Pets. You might want to plant a few extra veggies for sharing, too! If you have risky plants growing in accessible areas your garden, take safety measures if/as needed. At a former home, Oli and a visiting dog pal discovered our grapevine was dangling within reach and took it upon themselves to do some harvesting - fortunately no harm done, other than sore bellies that evening!