Oh, would you look at those eyes. You know, the please-mom-I’ve-only-had-kibble-today eyes, while their gaze follows your fork. Pretty cute, huh? Before you give in and let Fido have your leftover dinner, careful — it turns out, dogs’ tummies are not built to handle the same food as humans’. But some human food can also provide important nutrients and minerals in your dog’s diet.

Human foods like fresh blueberries, eggs, leafy greens, and small amounts of raw meat are packed with protein, minerals, and antioxidants that are great for your pet. Dr. Wendy Robinson of Tahoe Holistic Veterinary Clinic suggests incorporating these in dogs’ kibble diets. “By adding these fresh foods, it adds plenty of minerals and nutrition that is missing from their dog food,” Robinson said.

Michelle Okashima, owner of Hot Diggity Dog and Cat, also has some tips for picking a great pet food. “Start by reading the label and look for meat first! Ingredients listed on pet food labels are in declining order by volume, so the first three or four ingredients are going to be what the food is mostly comprised of. Potential red flags are added salts, sugars, preservatives, and colorants. As a general rule, you get what you pay for. Less expensive foods may use vegetables as a protein source to keep the costs down,” she explained.

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Thanks to Robinson and Okashima, we’ve broken down some dog friendly foods straight from your fridge, and even found a recipe for a cookie you and Mr. Wiggles can share.

Do’s:

Pumpkin: Plain canned pumpkin is packed full of vitamins A, E, and C, potassium, and iron — great for your pup’s digestive health. This fiber-rich food helps bind their stool when experiencing diarrhea and can also relieve mild constipation.

Goat Milk (not cow milk): Full of vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, enzymes, protein, and fatty acids. Dog-mom Okashima gives her pups goat milk to increase their gut health through the live active cultures.

Mushrooms (Be advised: some common mushrooms are toxic for dogs): Okashima encourages pet owners to use medicinal mushrooms such as Shiitake and Turkey Tail. These ‘shrooms are great for turning on their white blood cells to support immune health in dogs (and humans!), and are also known for breaking down the cell membranes in cancer cells.

Don’ts:

Onion: All parts of onions are toxic for dogs — raw, cooked, leaves, and powders. Once consumed, onion attacks the red blood cells in dogs, causing hemolytic anemia. Symptoms include vomiting, blood in urine, weakness, high heart rate, and panting.

Grapes and raisins: Ingesting one or two small grapes might seem harmless, but for our furry friends this is enough to potentially cause kidney failure, ending fatally for some dogs.

Xylitol: Often used as a sugar-free substitute in sweet treats such as gum and mints, it’s even in our toothpaste. While it seems obvious to keep sweets away from dogs, xylitol is also found in peanut butter, and is extremely toxic to a dog. Even trace amounts can cause hypoglycemia, seizures, and liver failure.

Macadamia nuts: Even a small amount of this nut has been proven to be toxic to dogs, causing gastrointestinal distress resulting in vomiting, a loss of appetite, or stomach pain in dogs. Other symptoms include fever, lethargy, and an inability to walk.

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