Let’s face it: we all love to give our pets treats from time to time, and many pets regularly get fed table scraps at lunch and dinner.
However, our pets’ health is just as important as our own health and we should consider what we feed them more closely for optimal health.
Of course, it’s cute to watch them gobble up a chip, cookie or a french fry, but just like those foods aren’t good for us, they’re also harmful to pets too.
Luckily, there are many human foods that are healthy for pets too!
Humans need antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and so do animals, but not all healthy human foods are acceptable for pets. For instance, chocolate, raisins, and the sweetener xylitol are all common foods and ingredients that pets should not be given since they pose a toxicity risk to pets.
Animals can also have allergies just like humans and sensitivities to ingredients such as wheat, soy, and corn.
So consider eating more of the 10 foods below and treat your pet to them while you’re at it. They’re not only nutrient-dense and wonderful for your heart, but many of them just might help you and your pet lose some weight and improve your eye, hair, and skin health too!
Dogs love carrots and it’s no wonder why. Carrots are packed with a natural sweetness and are full of vitamins A and C which keep their coat shiny and their eyes healthy.
Carrots are also a good source of easily digested fiber for pets and humans. You can enjoy cooked or raw carrots and your pet can do the same. Eat them for a snack or dip them in a tablespoon of raw almond butter.
Pumpkin is a wonderful food to feed to dogs and it’s also excellent for humans.
That’s because they provide many of the same key antioxidants that carrots do, and it’s a great food to improve digestion and regularity.
Enjoy canned or freshly cooked pumpkin any time of the year. It can be served just like you would enjoy butternut squash and can be prepared with meats or fish for dogs and cats.
You can also bake pumpkin into muffins with oats, use it to make homemade dog treats, or mix some up with a lean protein of choice for an easy meal or treat to feed to your dogs.
Millet is actually a seed, but it cooks up like a grain. It also happens to be a favorite seed eaten amongst birds and is an excellent source of minerals for animals and humans. Millet can be cooked for dogs and included in homemade cat or dog food, baked into dog treats, and raw millet seeds can be fed to birds.
For humans, millet provides a gluten-free source of fiber and minerals that many other whole grains provide. It has a sweet, almost nutty flavor and is a very alkaline grain which makes it great if inflammation is a concern.
4. Green Peas
Green peas aren’t just fun to eat for humans; dogs also love them too! You’ll often see many natural dog foods that include green peas because they’re a great source of easily digested fiber and they provide some protein and key minerals as well.
Green peas are also a great legume for humans to include in their diets since they’re low in calories but high in nutrients. Most people also tend to tolerate them better than larger beans, such as kidney beans.
5. Peanut Butter
Unless you or your pet has a peanut allergy, natural (no added sugar) peanut butter is a fantastic food to feed to your dogs either fresh off the spoon, mixed into their food, or baked into homemade dog treats with natural ingredients such as oats and honey.
Most cats won’t eat peanut butter, but some bird treats are made with peanut butter and easy to digest whole grains or seeds such as millet.
For humans, peanut butter is a great source of protein and iron along with key B vitamins and magnesium.
It can boost your mood and your pet’s mood due to these nutrients, not to mention your energy levels too.
The healthy fats found in peanut butter are also great for your dog’s coat and it can improve absorption efficiency of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K.
6. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a healthy source of carbohydrates that aren’t just good for you, but also your dogs too! They’re also one of the easiest human foods to get your dog to eat since they’re a great source of natural sugars and complex carbohydrates that boost mood.
Sweet potatoes also enhance digestion in both humans and pets, and they are wonderful sources of several key nutrients needed for metabolism, skin and eye health. These nutrients include vitamins A, C, and some B vitamins, as well as iron, magnesium, and potassium.
Oats are another classic food welcomed by humans and dogs.
Rolled oats are easy to digest, contain protein and iron, and they’re a great source of fiber. Oats also taste great and can be made into anything from oatmeal to healthy cookies.
Humans can even add oatmeal to shakes and smoothies for extra satiety, and oats can be cooked in just minutes for dogs in place of other grains like barley or rice.
Oats are also phenomenal sources of B vitamins and they contain some healthy fats making them great for your mood and nervous system, along with your metabolism and heart. Enjoy them each day, and consider even more reasons to add oatmeal to your diet if you’re on the fence!
8. Coconut Oil
Dogs absolutely love coconut oil and will gladly enjoy a teaspoon or so a day much like you may. While humans shouldn’t overdose on oil, most dogs actually need a higher percentage of healthy fats in their diet than some humans may.
Coconut oil also provides key MCT fats that are directly used by the liver for energy, not easily digested as fat like most fats are. Giving your dog a teaspoon or tablespoon a day (depending on their size) can provide them with energy, a healthy mood, and even improve the look of their coat too.
As always, buy extra virgin coconut oil, (preferably raw and organic), instead of those exposed to high-heat such as expeller pressed or refined coconut oil varieties.
Fish is a great source of lean protein for humans and it is also well-loved by dogs and cats. From salmon to tuna and other types of lean fish, any kind of baked or broiled seafood is a great option to give to your pets.
Fish is a great source of healthy fats, B vitamins, iron, potassium, and magnesium. It’s also low in saturated fat and provides some Vitamin D and E depending on the type of fish you select.
Be sure to avoid fried forms of fish for both you and your dogs and cats, and always be sure to cook the fish versus eat it raw to avoid potential toxins and food poisoning.
Dogs will quickly gobble up a blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, or raspberry. The sweet berries are easy to chew and very gentle on their digestive systems. Berries are also a great source of Vitamin C, brain-boosting and heart-healthy antioxidants, and they are one of the best fruits to eat for healthy blood sugar levels.
Always avoid dried berries and choose fresh berries for your pet since dried forms can get stuck in their teeth and contain extra sugars. If you’re enjoying berries, be sure you select those that are fresh or frozen and also avoid dried forms with added sugars.
So there you have it!
Give these 10 human foods that are healthy for you and your pets a try, and be sure you take a look at this useful guide to help you build a healthy grocery list. Better health for you and your pet is just a few bites away!
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