How to Choose the Best Dog Food

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Macadamia nuts: No, dogs should never eat macadamia nuts. These are some of the most poisonous foods for dogs. Macadamia nuts, part of the Protaceae family, can cause vomiting, increased body temperature, inability to walk, and lethargy. Even worse, they can affect the nervous system. Never feed your dog macadamia nuts.

Milk: Yes, dogs can have milk. But be cautious. Some dogs are lactose-intolerant and don’t digest milk well. While it is OK for dogs to have a little milk, owners should be cognizant of the symptoms of lactose-intolerance and might want to stick to giving their dogs water.

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Peanut butter: Yes, peanut butter is OK for dogs. Peanut butter can be an excellent source of protein for dogs. It contains heart-healthy fats, vitamins B and E and niacin. Raw, unsalted peanut butter is the healthiest option. Read the label carefully to be sure the peanut butter does not contain xylitol, a sugar substitute that can be toxic to dogs.

PeanutsYes, dogs can eat peanuts. Unlike almonds, peanuts are safe for dogs to eat. They’re packed with good fats and proteins that can benefit your dog. Just be sure to give peanuts in moderation, as you don’t want your dog taking in too much fat, which can lead to pancreas issues. Also, avoid salted peanuts. Too much salt is hard for dogs to process.

Popcorn: Yes, dogs can eat popcorn. Unsalted, unbuttered, air-popped popcorn is OK for your dog in moderation. It contains riboflavin and thiamine, both of which promote eye health and digestion, as well as small amounts of iron and protein. Be sure to pop the kernels all the way before giving them to your dog, as unpopped kernels could become a choking hazard.

Pork: Yes, dogs can eat pork. Pork is a highly digestible protein, packed with amino acids, and it contains more calories per pound than other meats. Pork also may be less likely to cause an allergic reaction in some pets compared to other proteins.

Quinoa: Yes, quinoa is OK for dogs. You can now find quinoa in some high-quality dry dog foods. The strong nutritional profile of quinoa makes it a healthy alternative to corn, wheat, and soy — starches that are often used to make kibble.

Salmon: Yes, dogs can eat salmon. As mentioned above, fully cooked salmon is an excellent source of protein, good fats, and amino acids. It promotes joint and brain health and gives dog-immune systems a nice boost. However, raw or undercooked salmon contains parasites that can make dogs very sick, causing vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and, in extreme cases, even death. Be sure to cook salmon all the way through (the FDA recommends at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit) and the parasites should cook out.

Shrimp: Yes, shrimp is OK for dogs. A few shrimp every now and then is fine for your dog, but only if they are fully cooked and the shell (including the tail, head, and legs) is removed completely. Shrimp are high in antioxidants, vitamin B-12, and phosphorus, but also low in fat, calories, and carbohydrates.

Tuna: Yes, dogs can eat tuna, but only in small amounts. In moderation, cooked, fresh tuna is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which promotes heart and eye health. As for canned tuna, it contains small amounts of mercury and sodium, which should be avoided in excess. A little bit of canned tuna and tuna juice here and there is fine — prepared only in water, not oil — as long as it doesn’t contain any spices.

Turkey: Yes, dogs can eat turkey. Turkey is fine for dogs, but be sure to remove excess fat and skin from the meat. Don’t forget to check for bones; poultry bones can splinter during digestion, causing blockage or even tears in the intestines. Any meat with excessive salt, seasonings, onions or garlic should not be fed.

Wheat/grainsYes, dogs can eat wheat and other grains. Dogs do not have to be grain-free; it is perfectly OK for them to have grains. In fact, grains like wheat and corn are great sources of protein, essential fatty acids, and fiber. If your dog has certain allergies, however, it might be best to avoid grains, but it truly depends on your dog. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations.

Yogurt: Yes, yogurt is OK for dogs. Plain yogurt is a perfectly acceptable snack for dogs. However, some dogs may have trouble digesting dairy products. If your dog can digest it, the active bacteria in yogurt can help strengthen the digestive system with probiotics. Plain yogurt is the best choice. Avoid any yogurts with added sugar, and skip all yogurt with artificial sweeteners.

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