Your dog is not just your pet, but also your best friend; that one companion who has been with you through thick and thin. You share everything with your dog and when it looks at you with those round, baby doll eyes, you find it irresistible to feed him scraps off your table. Contrary to the common belief, it’s actually healthy to feed your pooch with human food, as long as you know what to give and what not to give. So here’s the do’s and don’ts when feeding your dog with human food.

You should start feeding your dog adult food once it matures. This depends on the breed and the size of the dog. Small breeds typically mature around 10 to 12 months of age, while medium breeds reach maturity around 12 to 16 months. So the average small or medium breed dog should eat food containing high-quality, animal-based protein for muscle maintenance, fiber for a healthy digestive system, essential vitamins and minerals for the immune system, fish oils for overall health and grains for energy requirement. It is generally recommended that you feed your dog twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.

√ Fish Oils
This is a rich source of vitamins and omega-3-fatty acids. The anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil relieves itching, scratching, allergies, including skin conditions. This also prevents kidney diseases, arthritis and high cholesterol. In addition this gives a healthy, glossy coat.

√ Carrots
This is an excellent source of fiber and beta carotene, needed to produce vitamin A. Also crunching on raw carrots would give your dog stronger teeth.

√ Sweet Potatoes
This is rich in fiber, beta carotene, and vitamins B6 and C. This should also be washed, peeled and boiled, before giving to your pet.

√ Eggs
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, and helps stomach upsets, as long as it is fully cooked. Avoid feeding raw eggs, as raw egg whites can give your dog biotin deficiency.

√ Cheese
This is a good source of protein, as long as your dog is not lactose intolerant. Low fat varieties such as cottage cheese or mozzarella is the best.

√ Coconut
This is known to strengthen dogs’ immune system to fight viruses more effectively. In addition, coconut helps with bad breath and clears up allergies.

√ Popcorn
Plain popcorn is a rich source of iron and protein, which would promote eye health and digestion of your pet.

√ Rice
This is a premium source of carbohydrates and fibers and satisfies most of the dogs’ energy needs.

√ Knuckle bones (the joints)
In between meals, treat your dog with a nice, juicy bone. This would provide your dog with a healthy dose of natural calcium, along with an excellent oral workout, and a teeth cleansing, in addition to an extra dose of joy.

√ Doggie snacks
Give your dog snacks between meals. Instead of giving things like cookies, try few healthy snacks such as baby carrots or small slices of cooked sweet potatoes.

√ Water
In addition to food, it’s very important that you provide your dog with a constant supply of fresh water, as this helps healthy digestion and other metabolic functions.

√ Potatoes X Mashed potatoes
Washed, peeled and cooked or baked potatoes are a source of carbohydrates and irons for your pet. However you should avoid feeding your dog with mashed potatoes as this would give rise to digestive complications.

√/X Bread
This has no harms or nutritional values. If you love feeding your pooch crumbs off the table, by all means do so. However, you should avoid bread with raisins. Same goes for other baked goods.

√/X Peanuts
Both raw peanuts and peanut butter are a source of good fats and protein. You should give this in moderation, as too much would give rise to pancreatic disease. However, avoid feeding your dog with salted peanuts.

X Grapes
It is important that you never feed your dog grapes, as grapes and raisins are found to be toxic to dogs and lead to acute kidney failure.

X Onions
You should never feed your dog with onions and leeks. This is toxic to dogs and ruptures their red blood cells, causing vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain and nausea.

X Mushrooms
This is another food you should keep away from your dog. Mushrooms are extremely toxic to dogs and can lead to death.

X Garlic
This is five times more toxic than onions and something you should never feed your dog with. This is known to create anemia, which in turn gives rise to pale gums, weakness and collapsing.

X Cinnamon
Cinnamon is known to irritate the insides of pets’ mouths and lower blood sugar to drastic levels. Consumption of cinnamon also results in diarrhea and vomiting in dogs.

X Pork/ham
This is one source of meat you should avoid. Pigs are prone to parasites, which are harmful to dogs and difficult to remove by cooking. Stick to other meat sources such as chicken, beef, mutton and fish.

Also, it’s very important that you clean your dogs’ food and water containers every time you feed the dog, to avoid harmful bacteria and fungi growing from within the containers. Also, watch your dog’s response to the diet. Its coat should be shiny but not greasy. Sudden weight loss, diarrhea or vomiting indicate intolerance to its diet. If these conditions arises, you should change your dog’s diet. It is best to consult a vet regarding the matter.

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