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Dinner for You & Fido: Cooking Tips for Dog Owners

If you think pet nutrition is important, check out these safe, healthy recipes you can prepare for the entire family—including your furry friend.

Dog owners represent nearly 50% of the population. That statistic is staggering, but it’s even more interesting when you consider how pets play an integral role in the American family. Today’s puppy parents take their dogs shopping, bring them on vacations, pamper them with extravagant treatments, and even let them sleep in their beds. In short, our beloved pooches may as well be people.

But when it comes time for dinner, we remain segregated. Owners are quick to feed their pets kibble and the occasional treat. They rarely consider cooking a unique meal for their dogs as they would the rest of the family, let alone preparing one dish that everyone can enjoy—whether four legs or two.

So, can dogs eat people food?

The short answer is absolutely. However, pet nutritionists have a few important reminders. First, while certain human foods may be perfectly safe for Fido, he should be eating far fewer calories. Always do research beforehand and have consideration for your dog’s age, size, and breed. You also want to monitor the pup’s reaction since they sometimes have a difficult time digesting new foods. Portioning is important, and the more natural ingredients, the better.

We’ve rounded up a couple of popular recipes you can try introducing to your furry pal. By replacing or supplementing their typical dry or wet food with home-cooked meals, you cut back on the harmful table scraps while keeping them happy and healthy in the process.

Recipes for Dogs and Humans

Vet Tip: Remember that some ingredients are toxic to dogs, so always check prior to changing a recipe. Dangerous foods include macadamia nuts, avocado, chocolate, salt, onion, and xylitol (sweetener).

Chicken and Brown Rice

Homemade Dog Food

Photo: The Bark 

The ingredients are seemingly bland, but trust us—it makes for a tail-waggin’ good time. Featuring chicken, brown rice, green beans, sweet potatoes and carrots, this simple weeknight recipe is surprisingly versatile.

Since dogs don’t react well to toxic seasoning like garlic powder, keep things plain. If the entire family is partaking, you can always doctor up their plates after the fact. For Fido, make sure the rice is extra moist, and shred the chicken into tiny pieces for easier digestion.

Spinach Omelet

Dog Omlette

Photo: The Cheat Sheet

Breakfast, lunch or dinner, everyone loves a good omelet—and dogs are no exception. To help maintain a healthy weight, little guys and gals need regular vitamins, minerals, fiber and other key nutrients as part of their diets. Skip the fat-packed bacon and other proteins, and use just one or two eggs (whites preferably) to avoid overindulging your fur baby. 

Some savory baby spinach will keep their coats shiny and strong. Best of all, omelets are so easy to personalize. If you want to share a meal with your dog, just sprinkle in some cheese (or other extras for yourself) toward the end.

Peanut Butter Banana Cookies

Dog Food Cookies

Photo: Spoon University 

Who said canines can’t have dessert? There are so many dog-approved cookie recipes available online, but we chose one irresistible to humans as well. These snacks include three simple ingredients: ripe bananas, quick oats, and peanut butter.

You spoon the mixture onto a baking sheet, pop in the oven at 350°, and in 15 minutes, you have an all-natural, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free delight for all to enjoy. This is a perfect treat to serve at a doggie birthday party or other pet-friendly gathering.

Inspired by these practical puppy foods? Send us your canine-approved culinary ideas for a future feature!

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