Is cooked food good for dogs? Can dogs have some of your human food? This is a question you’ll hear a lot as a dog owner, but it’s not one that’s always given a clear answer. There are firm believers on both sides of the debate, with some sides saying that cooked food removes nutrients dogs need, while the other says that it doesn’t make a difference. As always, the truth is somewhere in the middle.
Cooked food can be good for your dog, and it still retains the necessary nutrients to keep them happy and healthy. Dogs can sometimes eat some of your human food. The trick is to ensure that you don’t overcook, burn it, or feed it to your dog when it’s too hot - that’s when it can become a poor choice. Is cooked food good for dogs? This guide will take you through everything you need to know so that you can give your dog a good diet.
Is Cooked Food Good for Dogs?
The pet food market is surprisingly aggressive, and there is a lot of misinformation out there that has the intention of fear-mongering and driving owners towards specific types of pet food. It’s like when raw feeding first became a thing - there was hysteria over the false notion that people were hindering their dogs by giving them kibble and pre-packaged wet food.
What we have to remember is that there isn’t actually any scientific evidence to show that making your dog’s food yourself is any better than giving them pre-packaged food. In fact, most commercial pet food is labelled as “complete” which means that it contains all the nutrients required for your dog to live a happy and healthy life.
The only downside is that commercial dog food isn’t particularly exciting for pets, and while most dogs don’t care about variety there are a few picky eaters out there. Plus, cooking meals for your dog is not without its risks, and there are many things that dog owners need to watch out for when preparing homemade meals.
Many recipes found online don’t contain a balanced mix of ingredients, and even some of the most popular ones can actually be dangerous as a regular part of your dog’s diet. Additionally, many owners rely on multiple diets to create a sense of balance, and this can be damaging in itself.
Before anyone begins cooking for their dogs, they should always consult a veterinary nutritionist to ensure that their dog is getting a healthy and balanced diet that won’t harm them.
Types of Cooked Foods That are Good for Dogs (and Why)
When you’re asking yourself “is cooked food good for dogs?” it’s important to have a list of foods that are good for them. Each of these foods has a strong nutritional benefit that will ensure your dog is getting the vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy.
- Cooked Chicken and Beef. Both of these meats are a high source of protein, which is essential for a dog in order to give them a healthy diet. Additionally, they contain a range of vitamins and minerals that are vital to their growth, development, and overall health. Chicken is especially good when dogs have an upset stomach as it is a bland and gentle meat. Furthermore, your dog might appreciate the warm meal, especially in the winter.
- Cooked Fish. This is another excellent source of protein that can be beneficial to your dog’s diet. However, it is also an excellent source of healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids. This isn’t just good for their joints and ocular health; it also keeps their coats soft, healthy, and shiny.
- Eggs. These are a great source of protein, but they are also rich in vitamins and minerals that are essential for your dog’s health. Eggs should only be fed once or twice a week to avoid constipation and also because they can be quite fatty. Dogs seem to love eggs - even if you just give them the scraps from the frying pan after you make yourself an omelette.
- Rice. While rice doesn’t have a massive nutritional benefit, it’s a cooked food for dogs that has its uses. Cooked rice is a bland and gentle food that should be served with chicken when your dog has thrown up or had an upset stomach. It can help to settle the digestive system and lessen vomiting and diarrhea.
- Sweet Potatoes. Generally, sweet potatoes are a filler food and shouldn’t be fed in large quantities. However, in the right amounts, they can be a good source of fiber and vitamin A. Furthermore, they are low in fat and filling, helping dogs who are a little overweight.
Vegetables that are good for dogs due to their vitamin and minerals levels (cooked or raw) include:
- Brussel sprouts
- Green beans
Cooked Foods That are Bad for Dogs (and Why)
Of course, there are plenty of foods that dogs should avoid. So, is cooked food good for dogs? Not some foods.
Some foods can cause nutritional deficiencies while others are completely poisonous. These are the foods that you should avoid when preparing homemade meals for your dog.
- Say “No” to Cooked Bones. Cooked bones become soft and can splinter as a result when they are chewed. This can rip a dog’s oesophagus and stomach lining but can also cause an internal blockage. The damage that cooked bones can do is massive, and it can be fatal.
- Chocolate. This is the classic, and yet many people still don’t know how toxic chocolate can be. The darker it is, the more dangerous, and the methylxanthines in chocolate can make your dog very sick. In fact, it can be so severe that it becomes fatal.
- Nuts. Whether cooked or raw, nuts contain toxins that are harmful to dogs and can cause them to become very sick. Additionally, they are a choking hazard and can also cause blockages in their digestive tracts.
- Corn on the Cob. Even if it is cooked, the actual cob that the corn is on can cause a blockage in your dog’s intestines that will need to be surgically removed and has the potential to be fatal. Corn is also a pointless food as it cannot be properly digested - much like in humans.
Vegetables that should be avoided (cooked or raw) at all costs include (but are not limited to):
- Tomato stems
Is cooked food good for dogs, and can dogs have human food? The answer is yes, some human food or cooked food is good for dogs, as long as you ensure you feed them a balanced and healthy diet. While there is nothing wrong with commercial pet food, homemade feeding can feel pretty good too. Just ensure you speak to a veterinary nutritionist first and follow strict recipes to ensure nutritional balance.
If you’re thinking about changing to a cooked diet, why not get your dog a DNA test from CirclePaw? The results will show you hidden breeds in your dog, nutritional information, as well as give a detailed health analysis - all important factors when you are determining the best diet for your dog.
ACVN, Are raw pet foods better than canned or kibble foods?: