Creating a healthful, well-rounded meal from scratch for your dog requires an understanding of your pet's nutritional needs as well as a significant investment of time. Like humans, dogs are omnivores, meaning that they eat both animal and plant foods. If you want to cook for a dog, I urge you to talk to your vet or consult with a veterinary nutritionist about the individual needs of your companion animal and how those needs change with age. You'll also want to pay close attention to how much home-cooked food your dogs should eat in order for them to maintain a healthy weight. Follow the guidelines in this and tomorrow’s Daily Tips for information on foods that dogs can eat and those they should avoid.
- Lean meats. Thoroughly cooked meats with visible fat trimmed off and all bones removed are acceptable for dogs.
- Vegetables. Many dogs enjoy carrot sticks, green beans and cucumber slices - all are low-calorie treats that are healthier than many store-bought dog snacks. However some veggies should be avoided - see tomorrow’s tip for more information.
- Fresh fruit. Sliced apples, bananas, oranges and watermelon can be a safe and tasty treat, but be sure to remove all seeds, stems and leaves first. Some fruits should be avoided – again, see tomorrow’s tip for more information.
- Cooked rice. Cooked white rice can offer relief from stomach upset in some dogs.
Additionally, be careful to avoid these toxic foods for dogs.