By Saro Boghozian, Expert Family Dog Trainer

1. Apples are wonderful for dogs if given in small amounts, especially quartered apples with the skin left on. First remove the seeds as they are extremely toxic to dogs. The seeds contain the poison “amygdalin” which is a form of cyanide. Cyanide from the apple seeds prevents the blood from carrying oxygen throughout the body, especially if too much is consumed.  The apple itself is a very crisp and sweet which dogs enjoy and love to munch on. Eating apple skins will make their own skin very healthy, containing plant chemicals referred to as phytonutrients. These chemicals are thought to be cancer preventives in humans and a source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and fiber.

2. Flax seed (ground or oil) is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential fatty acids that are good for skin and coat. Whole flax seeds are best if ground right before feeding as this type of fat can go rancid quickly. Flax seed can also be added to your dog’s diet as a source of fiber. Flax oil is a more concentrated form of omega- 3 fatty acids without the fiber. Make sure that you store the oil or seeds in the fridge in an air tight dark container.

3. Pumpkin is a good source of fiber and beta carotene (a source of vitamin A). Dogs need fiber in their diet. The current trend is towards highly digestible diets that lower stool volume and this is not necessarily a good thing. Keeping the GI tract moving helps keep the cells lining the gut healthy. Squash, like pumpkin, can be added to bulk up his stool and is a good source of beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A). Hint: remove the seeds and then slice and freeze the squash to make it a fun, crunchy snack for your dog.

4. Sweet potatoes are another source of dietary fiber and contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, beta carotene, and manganese. Sweet potatoes are great sliced and dehydrated as a chewy treat for your dog. There are so many dog treats on the market that we often overlook the simple, healthy, and reasonably priced treats available at our grocery store.

5. Green beans are a good source of plant fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, and manganese. If your dog has a tendency to put on weight, then replacing some of her regular food with

green beans is a great low calorie way to fill her up and help her maintain a healthy weight. Many dogs enjoy green beans frozen.

6. Pineapple can be a special treat for your dog. Pineapple contains mostly sugar but it also contains calcium and potassium. Frozen pineapple can be a fun summer treat for your dog.

7. Rice is good to feed when your dog has an upset tummy and needs a bland meal. There are a variety of different types of rice. Brown rice is a little higher in protein and a little lower in fat when compared to white rice but hard to digest. White or instant rice is an easily digestible carbohydrate which makes it a good source of energy when your dog has an upset tummy or if you are feeding an older dog.

8. Parsley has long been thought to improve doggie breath, so next time you are baking treats for your dog, try adding a few tablespoons of chopped parsley for added flavour and colour. Parsley can also be a good source of calcium, potassium, and beta- carotene.

9. Peas can be added right to your dog’s food, frozen or thawed. Peas are a good source of the B vitamin Thiamin, phosphorous, and potassium.

10. Brewer’s yeast is the yeast that’s left over from making alcohol. Dogs seem to really enjoy the tangy taste of brewer’s yeast. It’s full of B vitamins which are good for skin, coat, and carbohydrate metabolism. Make sure you’re using brewer’s yeast (available at health food stores), not baking yeast which will make your dog sick. Brewer’s yeast can spice up your dog’s appetite. Just sprinkle a little on the food of a picky eater and watch her dive into her food.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://www.jonahsark.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/saro-boghozian.jpg[/author_image] [author_info] Saro received his expert dog trainer certification from The College of Canine Behavioural Science and is also a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers and does volunteer behaviour consultation with a number of dog rescue organizations. Saro’s play, praise and reward training classes are always in high demand as are his private one-on-one training sessions. Rather than using treats or gimmicks like shock collars, Saro’s training methods help owners understand how to use a dog’s natural intelligence to achieve success. [/author_info] [/author]