5 Healthy Human Foods That Make Healthy Dog Treats (Winter Edition)

December 15, 2019

Heed these takeaways:

  • Wholesome, healthy treats are a great way to reward your pup.
  • Some human foods are toxic to dogs, but there are many other ingredients that can make healthy dog treats.
  • Healthy human foods that make great dog treats include pumpkin, green beans and chicken.
  • If you’re unsure what human foods your dog can safely eat, ask your vet for advice.

We all love spoiling our pups at every opportunity, and there’s no easier way to put a smile on your pet’s face than to toss her a tasty treat.

Unfortunately, many commercial dog treats are high in fat and low in nutritional value. And with pet obesity such a common problem across the country, finding wholesome, healthy treats your dog enjoys is crucial.

The good news is that there are plenty of nutritious doggy treats right under your nose. While there are many foods us humans love that aren’t safe for our pups to eat, there are also lots of healthy human foods that can make wonderful dog treats. Here are five of the best foods you can share with your pup this winter.

Pumpkin

If you’re partial to a bit of pumpkin during the colder months, you’ll be pleased to learn it’s also a great food to share with your pup. Pumpkin is loaded with a number of important vitamins and nutrients including vitamins A and C, iron and potassium. And because it’s high in fibre, pumpkin can also help settle your dog’s stomach after a bout of diarrhea.

The easiest option is to treat your pup to some plain canned pumpkin. Just make sure to steer clear of any canned blends with added spices or sugar, as they’re not safe to give to your pet. 

Carrot

The humble carrot is a staple of many winter dishes and also offers a versatile and affordable treat for your fur-baby. Low in calories but high in potassium, vitamin A and more, carrots can be eaten raw or cooked. They’re an excellent training treat or just a tasty reward for good behavior, but you’ll need to make sure they’re washed/peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces.

Green beans

Green beans may not be the ingredient you most look forward to when you’re tucking into a big holiday dinner, but these little green veggies are packed with goodness. They’re an excellent source of iron, several vitamins (B6, A, C, and K) and fiber, and make a healthy snack for any four-legged family members. Best of all, most dogs seem to love the taste.

Dogs can eat raw, steamed or canned green beans, but just make sure they don’t have any added salt and that they haven’t been prepared with any other (potentially harmful) ingredients.

Chicken

If you’re looking for a protein-rich snack your pup will love, it’s hard to go past cooked chicken. Roasted, baked, grilled and poached chicken are all healthy options, provided of course that they’re unseasoned. 

However, you’ll need to make sure any bones have been removed before your dog chows down on some chicken, as bone splinters can be a choking hazard and also cause damage to the intestinal tract.

Sweet potato

Last but not least on our list of human foods that double as healthy dog treats is sweet potato. Not only does it have a wonderful sweet flavor that many dogs love, it’s also high in fiber to support a healthy digestive system. Throw in the fact that sweet potato is low in fat, packed with vitamins and contains beta-carotene, which helps prevent cancer, and it’s pretty clear that it offers plenty of health benefits for your pooch.

You should never give your dog raw sweet potatoes, so steam them or boil them before mashing them or cutting them up into bite-sized pieces.

These are just a few of the many human foods that can make healthy treats for dogs, so keep them in mind when you’re searching for a nutritious snack for your pup this winter. 

At the same time, don’t forget that there are plenty of human foods that are not safe for dogs to eat. When in doubt, ask your vet for advice first.