Is giving your canine pal "human food" a good idea? - KMSP-TV

Is giving your canine pal "human food" a good idea?

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Treating your dog to table scraps, is it a good idea? Some experts say it depends on what the food is.

The owner of two dogs, Mini a 6 month old chihuahua, and Sophie a 6-year-old lab mix, Jen Helton knows a thing or two about feeding her pets people food.

"She gets yams, brown rice, and black beans, green beans," said Helton.

Helton's older dog has a sensitive stomach, so she cooks her meals. Bretta Nelson with the Arizona Humane Society says that can be a good thing.

"People often only thing of the bad foods for their pet, but there are a lot of really good and healthy alternatives," said Nelson.

Nelson says pumpkin and white rice are healthy and can help settle a pup's stomach. Low-sodium chicken broth adds flavor and vitamins, and green beans are a great fiber packed treat. But you have to watch out for foods that can do more harm than good.

"Avocados, onions, grapes, raisins," said Nelson. She said those foods contain toxins that can cause kidney failure and other problems.

"Obviously I wouldn't want my animal to be hurt in anyway, like I said I would stick to dog food, I wouldn't even chance giving them anything else," said Jacob Garcia.

Experts suggest if your dog eats too many of those bad foods to take them to a vet right away.

"The signs to look for are vomiting, they're going to be lethargic, panting, things like that," said Nelson.

Diet choices for their pets for some owners are important as their own.

"You don't want to give them stuff that's too fatty because like people they can have high cholesterol," she said.

But it turns out the healthy foods we eat can be healthy for our canine friends too.n
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