by Genevieve Mellott
There’s a lot of information out there about what is and is not good for dogs to eat. I have heard everything from “chocolate isn’t so bad” to “one bite of chocolate is fatal,” and “grain is good for dogs” to “grain is a no-no.” So how do we know the truth? Well, first of all, just like people, individual dogs can have allergies and sensitivities to all sorts of things. Overall, however, there are some things known over time either to be safe and healthy for our canine companions or toxic and even fatal. So, when I wanted to know what I can safely feed my pups, I looked to the American Kennel Club (AKC.) No, my pets aren’t registered with them and wouldn’t qualify, but the organization has been around a long time priding itself on breeding and education. I figure whatever is good for a fancy dog is good enough for mine! (Actually, the AKC has a lot of resources on its website that are not limited to registered dogs.)
The following are a few interesting takeaways:
1 – Grains are fine and actually healthy for dogs that don’t have a sensitivity. Opt for whole grains.
2 – Ham and cheese are ok, but due to the sodium content, use in moderation.
3 – Peanut butter is fine (because it’s from a legume) but watch the additives like salt, sugar, and xylitol. Xylitol is toxic to dogs.
4 – Tree nuts are iffy. Almonds are tough enough to tear a dog’s esophagus, so avoid those. Some nuts are ok, such as cashews, but they can be covered in enough salt to cause problems. Nuts are also high in fat that can lead to weight gain. Scarily, macadamia nuts are one of the most toxic foods for dogs. (In my house I think we’ll just skip the nuts.)
5 – Coconut is actually good for dogs and can help bad breath.
6 – Cooked eggs are good for dogs; raw eggs are not. Raw egg white can cause biotin deficiency. Who knew?
7 – Yes, chocolate is toxic. Don’t let your dog eat it.
With these things in mind, I created a recipe that my dogs love, and it’s pretty easy to whip up. You’ll notice it has mayonnaise in it, which is mostly oil and egg. If you would rather fumble with an egg and some oil, be my guest. Keep in mind these are meant to be treats, so use sparingly. And all this stuff is human food, so yeah, I tried them. They’re no Girl Scout cookies, but they are good for your fur baby. I hope your pups like these treats as much as mine do!
Savory Parmesan Dog Cookies
1/2 c coconut flour
2 TBSP grated parmesan
1/4 cup good quality mayo
1/4 – 1/3 cup cold water
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all ingredients until a stiff dough forms. Coconut flour dough is fragile, but it will be the right consistency just when you can press it together and it stays together. Roll out between two pieces of wax paper until it’s between 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch thick. Cut out with your favorite medium cookie cutter, gently tapping the cutter to drop the cookie onto a parchment or silicone mat-lined baking sheet. Bake 12-14 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Let cool before treating your dog. Save leftovers in an air-tight container. Makes 12-14 medium-sized dog cookies.