You want your children to eat the best foods, and you want the same for your family dog. What types of foods might be healthy for both of them?
Teaching Children to Share
Sharing food with your dog is often frowned-upon, but your child can share specific types of treats that they enjoy and that are also healthy for your dog. Sharing food is not novel when you compare it to food made specifically for dogs, which was unknown 160 years ago.
Today, you would never feed your children unhealthy “TV dinners” as your parents might have back in the 1950s or 1960s. They did not know better, but we do. Similarly, you don’t need to feed your dog canned food or burger shaped soft foods. Rather, you can feed your children – and your dog – home-prepared, unprocessed whole foods.
What Is the Best Food Children Can Share with Their Pets?
The best food you can get for children and dogs is healthy, whether it includes meat, whole grains or produce. If organic food prices seem high, look for sales and stock up when you can. Beef and chicken are often less expensive than kibble or canned dog food, and the nutritional value can’t be beat. Dog food may seem cheaper, but the cheapest brands use by-products and agricultural-grade grains. Shared food will give your dog more good food for less money.
Shared food is not fast food or convenience food. It consists of fruits and vegetables, along with meat. Use apple slices as snacks for your children, and show them the way to make sure that all bits of the core and all seeds are gone, before they share their treats with your family dog. Make sure he does not eat too much.
Feed your child and your dog carrot sticks instead of potato chips and dog biscuits. You want fresh, simple foods, rather than processed foods. As a bonus, your children will be more likely to sample new foods if they see the dog enjoying them.
What Not to Share
Some foods that your children love may be toxic to your dog. These include chocolate, grapes and raisins, just to name a few. Be sure to check with your veterinarian’s office if you’re not sure about a treat your children want to give your dog.
Some more foods and snacks to stay away from when feeding treats to your dog include sugar-free candy (the artificial sweetener, Xylitol, is highly toxic to dogs). This will cause liver failure in dogs if they ingest too much. Others on the list of what not to feed your dog include coffee, caffeine, avocados, macadamia nuts, raw dough with yeast, onions and garlic.
Kids Enjoy Sharing
When you purchase foods for your children, look for taste over the image of a product. Read all the labels, and eat local, organic, fresh foods. Chicken may look quite succulent after it has been plumped up with saltwater, fed pesticide-treated corn and pumped full of antibiotics. However, that is not the smart choice. Buy natural or organic chicken. It has natural good taste, without any artificial enhancements.