Pasta and Rice
Your pooch can have pasta once in a while. Just make sure it's plain and cooked. Brown rice is a healthy whole grain your dog may gobble up. Mix some into his regular dog food to liven up his meal. Make human food a treat for your dog -- it should be no more than 5% to 10% of his diet. The rest should be dog food, which supplies the nutrients he needs.
What dog doesn't go on alert when there's meat around? Chicken, turkey, lean ground beef, and chuck steak or roast are animal-based proteins, which help dogs grow strong. A few rules apply:
• Always cook meat well. Never serve it raw or undercooked.
• Avoid fatty cuts, including bacon.
• Cut meat -- and any human food -- into easy-to-chew chunks. Ground meat is fine, too.
• Old, moldy, or spoiled meats are not OK.
Vegetables give your pup vitamins, fiber, and some canine crunch. Try serving these raw veggies grated or finely chopped: carrot, cucumber, zucchini, lettuce, bell peppers, corn (cut off the cob), and celery. You can steam these favorites: green beans, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, and hard winter squash. Skip avocado, which can upset her stomach. Don’t give any vegetable or other human food that seems to cause tummy trouble.
Treats for Dog-Day Afternoons
To cool off a hot dog on a sultry day, give him pet pops. Make them with any food he likes, like veggies or applesauce. Freeze the pops in an ice cube tray.
Or whip up some peanut butter pops:
• Mix 1 cup of peanut butter (unsalted is best) with half a mashed, ripe banana or a little water.
• Drop by spoonful onto cookie sheets lined with wax paper and freeze.
• Bread and Pretzels
Bite-sized bits of whole wheat bread are good for his gut health. But don't give him raw dough -- it can cause serious stomach problems. He might also go for some pieces of unsalted pretzel. Just skip the salted kind, which can make him extra thirsty and can cause big problems if he eats a lot.
Except for grapes and raisins, most fruits are OK for your pup. Try slices of fresh banana or apple (without the seeds), chunks of cantaloupe or watermelon, blueberries, or orange section.
Foods to Help the Meds Go Down
Some dogs resist taking pills, especially if they’re big or smell bad. To make one go down easier, hide it in a tasty treat -- like peanut butter or a marshmallow. Make pill time game time if he likes to play catch. Toss him a few pieces of what you plan to hide his meds in, one after another, with the pill in one of them. He may swallow it without even knowing it was there. Ground beef and chicken are other good hiding places. If none of these works, it's OK to use a slice of hot dog.
Holiday Foods to Share -- and Skip
Too much holiday food is a recipe for doggie distress. But you can give your hound a taste of your celebration.
He'll be plenty thankful for tidbits like well-cooked turkey, green beans, and cooked sweet potato in his regular chow.
Skip table scraps. They may have ingredients he shouldn't have -- like milk, onions, or garlic.
Keep chocolate and cocktails above licking level. Both are toxic. Dogs especially like eggnog and white Russians.