• Dr. Katie Woodley

Safe and Toxic Foods For Dogs To Eat And Avoid To Achieve Optimal Health

#petfood #holisticvet #thenaturalpetdoctor #veterinarymedicine #healthydogfood #doglover

Many people want to feed real food to their pets, but they're not sure where to turn and if it's truly safe. If you ask your veterinarian about feeding human food, a typical response is that it's not healthy for them.

Why are veterinarians the only medical profession that recommends a dry, processed, kibble diet for the life of your pet?

It's absurd. If your pediatrician plopped a bag of dry kibble down on the table in front of you and told you to feed your newborn baby that for the rest of their life, you would look at them like they were crazy.

Why is the veterinary profession not adapting and changing?

Yes, some people don't want to or don't have time to cook for themselves, nevertheless their pets. But there are still better options than a processed, high heat extruded kibble that comes with a lot of chemicals our pets do not need in their body if we want to provide them with optimal health. Learn more about picking the best pet food here.

It's definitely easier to just pour a food into your pet's bowl. And if you choose this route, that's ok, but let's talk about what you can easily add safely into the bowl to make it more nutritious for your pet.

Using real foods can add in phytonutrients and antioxidants that are missing, especially when your dog is fed a kibble-based diet. Studies have shown that adding in leafy greens just three times a week has reduced the risk of certain cancers by 90%!

Only adding in veggies three times a week! How easy is that?

Many pet parents are worried that the foods they add into the dog's food will cause harm though, because their vet told them it can be dangerous. There are a few foods that we need to avoid, because they are dangerous, but the majority of real foods are beneficial for our pets.

Foods that are toxic to your pet include:

  • Grapes

  • Raisins

  • Avocado skin and pit (the flesh is a healthy source of vitamin E)

  • Macadamia nuts

  • Garlic in moderate to higher dosages (do not exceed 1 clove of garlic per 20 pounds of body weigh per day)

  • Chocolate

  • Onions

You should never be adding these foods to your pet's diet or else you can cause major health issues to your dog or cat.

Just like for us, we want to be following the dirty dozen rule to reduce the amount of pesticides and chemicals entering our pet's body. The dirty dozen rule is the vegetables and fruits that are sprayed the most heavily with pesticides. You don't have to buy all organic, but you want to make sure if you're buying any fruits and vegetables on this list that they are organic.

Dirty Dozen Fruits and Vegetables:

  • Apples

  • Celery

  • Tomatoes

  • Cucumbers

  • Grapes (this is for you NOT your pets)

  • Hot peppers (this is for you NOT your pets)

  • Spinach

  • Summer squash and zucchini

  • Collards and kale

  • Bell peppers

  • Nectarines and peaches (make sure to remove the pits - they cause bowel obstructions!)

  • Strawberries

  • Potatoes

  • And I'm adding blueberries (because these are a powerhouse food for pets but need to be organic)

Some of the fruits and veggies that I incorporate into my pet's food every week include spinach, kale, broccoli, carrots, green beans, romaine lettuce, sweet potatoes, zucchini, and blueberries. However, mixing up the fruits and veggies you are adding is ideal. Each fruit and vegetable offer a different type of antioxidant and phytonutrient that supports optimal health.

Have you ever had a pet that didn't want to finish their food?

Adding these different vegetables and fruits into your pet's diet can even encourage your pet to want to eat their food again, which is a common problem when pets are fed a kibble diet.

If you are thinking of changing your pet's diet, make sure you check out our other blog posts that cover how to assess your pet food to ensure you are picking one that is optimal for your pet.

Many pet parents want extra help to formulate a home-cooked diet that is specialized for their pet, the life stage and any conditions or imbalances that they have but are afraid (and for good reason) that they are not going to feed them the right things and cause an issue. Learn more here about what a nutritional consultation means for your beloved pet.

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*Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. Dr. Katie Woodley cannot answer specific questions about your pet's medical issues or make medical recommendations for your pet without first establishing a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.