If you’re looking for easily available home ready & yummy ingredients that are both nutritious and tasty for your dog and puppy, no need to look further! If you don’t have any one of, or even all five ingredients at home already, they are easily found at almost any grocery store.
Many proud dog owners already know the tasty wonders eggs can bring, but it’s never too late to try em out! Not only will your dog absolutely love a tasty egg treat mixed in with his or her kibble, or even by itself, eggs offer numerous health benefits. Like the last ingredient on this list, many great commercial dog foods already contain eggs.
- Digestible protein, riboflavin, and selenium
- Great source of Omega Fatty Acids
- Supports skin & coat health
What About Raw Eggs?
Many owners will be tempted to simply crack a raw egg. After all, their pup won’t know or care about the difference. But others say it is a health hazard.
Yes, there is a ‘Very Small’ chance for salmonella contamination, even with grade A eggs purchased from the store. That being said, a dog’s digestive system is much better equipped to deal with bacteria like this, as opposed to a human who might get pretty sick. When dealing with an adult, you’ll probably be fine, but you might want to be a tad more cautious with a smaller puppy. There is a risk of small children or other family members becoming contaminated from that same salmonella that isn’t really a problem for the dogs, so you may want to cook your eggs.
Some people say there are nutrients lost through cooking, but that isn’t really true. Or at least the nutrition lost is very insignificant.
2. Peanut Butter
Yet another cheap, easily available and wonderfully tasty ingredient both puppies and dogs will love, peanut butter stands toward the top of the list! You may or may not buy eggs on a regular basis, but most people do have peanut butter readily available.
- Excellent source of protein
- Offers healthy fats
- Vitamins B and E, and niacin
Are you looking for a way to keep your puppy and dog occupied for about an hour or two? Start out with a Kong. Rather than purchasing that expensive Kong filler at the pet store that might only last a few days, you can simply use peanut butter. Fill your Kong with peanut butter, and set it in the freezer overnight. In the morning, you’ll have a treat filled toy that will hold your puppy's attention for quite a while!
Though peanut butter is fantastic for dogs and easy to get your hands on, too much salt/sodium isn’t and xylitol is toxic to dogs (an artificial sweetener human foods sometimes contain). Be sure to avoid xylitol altogether, and try to keep the sodium levels low. To avoid weight gain, it’s best to keep this as an occasional treat.
Yogurt isn’t just a fantastic treat both your puppy and dog alike will love, it is just as nutritious as the previous two! In fact, many homemade dog treat recipes contain both peanut butter and yogurt, since they can be easily frozen. Unlike the previous two, yogurt contains more healthy bacteria, acting as a probiotic, great for the digestive system.
- High in calcium and protein
- Can act as a probiotic
- Great for the digestive system
Though lactose intolerance is rarer than you may have heard, some dogs don’t digest lactose well and can present with digestive issues after consuming thing like cheese, milk, ice cream or yogurt. As long as you monitor your own pup for mild symptoms (gas, diarrhea, vomiting), everything should be fine! If you do notice any of these, of course stop offering foods with lactose.
- Again, make sure the yogurt contains no xylitol.
As long as your dog or puppy doesn’t suffer one of those rare cases of lactose intolerance, cheese is another wonderfully tasty and nutritious treat! Unlike the previous three, you can easily break a piece of cheese into small portions, offering them as motivational rewards or encouragement & reinforcement when training.
- Contains protein, calcium, vitamin A, and B-complex vitamins
- Good source of essential fatty acids
- Readily available, good motivational treat
Low Fat Preferable
Like all of the treats listed here, a low fat content is preferred (mozzarella, cottage cheese, or a soft goat cheese). Too much fat can cause weight gain, which is something all dog owners want to avoid. Occasional non-low fat treats are fine.
Like all the others here, your dog is going to love fish! That being said, it is possibly the most nutritious item listed here, and already an important prime component in many quality dog foods.
Common Healthy Fish
- Ocean whitefish
- Lake whitefish
- Arctic char
Believe it or not, Orijen, a premium top quality dog food, and one of the healthiest foods on the market, offers 4 different types of fish within the first ten ingredients in their basic dog food. Unfortunately, Orijen’s price will certainly reflect its value, but you easily can offer fish yourself without spending near $100 at the pet store.
- High in valuable protein
- Rich in omega 3 fatty acids
- Helps treat inflammation
- Good for coat & skin health
- Good alternative for dogs with food allergies
Avoid Fish Bones
Fish bones are small, brittle and can easily break; you want to avoid them like you would avoid chicken bones. Simply don’t offer your puppy and dog anything that may contain fish bones. Many canned items don’t always do the best job of removing every bone, so use caution there.
Ingredients You Want to Keep Your Dog Away From
Where many human foods are great for dogs as well, some can range from bad to downright deadly. No food related article would be complete without listing some of them as well, so here you go.
- Chocolate (danger depends on type of chocolate)
- Macadamia nuts
With all of these great, healthy and easily available foods, supplementing your dog’s diet with a healthy snack couldn’t be easier. After all, you probably already have most of these at home!