Most of us are so crazy about our dogs that we even think of sharing our food with them.
And I’m not just thinking mainstream here.
After all, we know that there are many foods that we eat that are also safe for our dogs to eat.
But what about the flavours that we add to our foods that give them that little something extra?
How dog friendly are some of the seasoning and spices that we use?
In today’s article, I will be focusing on one particular seasoning, lemon pepper.
And working out if it is ideal or even safe to add a little bit to our dog’s food as we add it to our own.
Read on to find out more…
What does lemon pepper seasoning contain?
Lemon pepper contains: Black Pepper, Salt, Modified Corn Starch, Citric Acid, Lemon Peel, Sugar, Garlic, and Onion.
Are any of these ingredients toxic to dogs?
Common symptoms displayed by a dog experiencing inflammation or irritation of the GI tract is excessive drooling, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea.
These conditions will make things miserable for your dog, but thankfully highly unlikely to be fatal.
A more deadly aspect of this toxicity is that these toxins may target the red blood cells, causing them to rupture.
The snowball effect of red blood cell destruction is anaemia, increased heart rate, elevated respiration collapse and even death.
It is also worth considering that the probability of this happening is highly dependent on the size of the dog.
How might the other, non toxic ingredients affect your dog?
Thankfully the other ingredients found in lemon pepper seasoning are not toxic to your dog. But not so fast!
Don’t think that just because the other ingredients are non toxic that the coast is clear. Far from the truth, just as us human beings can eat a lot of different foods, there is always the matter of having too much of a good thing to keep in consideration.
Everything in moderation like they say. Even more so when caring for our furry friends. Their gastrointestinal tracts are very sensitive.
So as far as the other ingredients found in lemon peppers, black peppers as one example is generally considered to be safe for dogs when given in small amounts, large quantities of black pepper can cause stomach upset in dogs.
Therefore if you are eating a peppercorn-crusted steak or other food heavily seasoned with lots of black pepper, it’s best not to feed that to your dog as there may be complications that arise from it.
Let’s use one more example to illustrate this point of having a healthy moderation, lemon peels. Now lemon peels can be very dangerous for dogs.
While the whole lemon fruit may be safe to dogs in small amounts, the peel or skin of lemon is a severe choking hazard, primarily but not exclusively for smaller breed dogs.
A large peel can easily obstruct the gastrointestinal tract which in of itself will lead to a whole host of problems.
Favourite lemon pepper dishes: chicken, tuna, salmon and wings.
With the dangers of using lemon peppers when feeding your dog put in place. Let’s get to the fun part! There are countless delicious recipes we can cook for both us and our dogs to enjoy. While all the limitless options will go beyond the scope of this article, let’s go over just a few of them.
Lemon pepper chicken
Chicken breasts are a good choice, they often get a bad reputation for being bland, but there is something we can do about that. When you add layers of bright and fresh flavors (like seasoning your food with lemon pepper!) eating healthy can be extremely easy and delicious.
Lemon pepper tuna
Are things getting a bit fishy? Well crack out the tuna and make yourself a delicious lemon pepper tuna salad. It goes great by itself for a healthy, non groggy lunch which you can also pair with bread to make a tasty sandwich. And of course, the tuna salad can also be served for dinner as well.
Why lemon pepper chicken wings might be dangerous
Another consideration you should have when feeding your dog these delicious foods is that of choking hazard.
Now we humans are blessed in having opposable thumbs that make the art (yes the art) of eating around the bones of a piece of meat a breeze compared to our mammalian counterparts.
We can pick and tear at the meat with not just our teeth but our hands as well making eating around any obstacles in our way a breeze compared to other meat loving creatures.
One of which is our dogs, because they tend to only have their mouths to work with when gnawing at a piece of meat, they are not so skilled at maneuvering their way to getting at the flesh on the bone.
This makes them especially prone to choking. The choking hazard is especially true when dealing with small bones. Think chicken wings. Most of us eat them greedily with a hand on each tip, dogs don’t have this luxury which makes the consumption of chicken wings especially difficult.
Therefore, don’t give you dog cooked bones of any kind.
Besides the choking hazard, they splinter into shards that can cause serious damage to the dog’s mouth, throat, or intestines. Cooking can also remove nutrients from the bone.
If you still insist on giving bones to your dog, it’s best to heed to some basic guidelines such as giving them raw meat bones rather than cooked (less prone to splintering).
Additionally, take the bone away from your dog after 10 to 15 minutes, and put it in the refrigerator. Dispose of a bone after three or four days as a bone after having had an extended amount of chew time will not be as dense and resilient as a fresh piece.
Give large breeds, such as German Shepherd Dogs, Bloodhounds, and Mastiffs, large bones suitable for their size and be sure to supervise your dog when you give him a bone no matter how big or small.
What other spices can dogs eat?
We’ve discussed so much about the dangers and pitfalls of giving dogs certain foods, it is also important to discuss the spices which are completely safe for our dogs.
Basil is a good spice for starters, basil is a herb that is rich in antioxidants with antiviral, and antimicrobial properties. It can help diminish the painful effects of arthritis, elevate the mood, and provide a remedy for stress and anxiety.
Cinnamon is another good option, cinnamon contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and can help to counteract the effects of diabetes.
Additionally, who likes dog breath? Cinnamon to the rescue! The herbal properties of cinnamon also helps in counteracting the effects of bad breath. Good for you and your furry pet!
One last example of spices for your dog is parsley. Parsley contains healthy antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It helps improve organ function, flush toxins from the body, and just like cinnamon, improves bad breath.
And another plus is it can be easily grown in most parts of the United States.
What is the best way for your dog to eat chicken?
Bones can be a real hazard for your dog, so it is best to opt for boneless, skinless chicken breast and boil the chicken in water (or cook in a pressure cooker) until it’s cooked through and the extra fat has come off.
Raw chicken should be frowned upon since the risk of your dog contracting a bacterial infection such as salmonella is high. As for serving the chicken, it can be served on its own, mixed into their dog food, or even given as a treat.
Can Dogs Eat Lemon Pepper?
I think we know now that dogs have very sensitive stomachs and are not so adept in adapting to a human diet. This needs to be taken into consideration for all dog owners if they wish their canine friends to be healthy and happy.
It is only natural that we want to share the things we love with our friends. And it’s also worth considering that the things we love aren’t always right for our friends.
In terms of our dogs, one of which is our love of rich and flavorful spices. The lemon peppers we so much so enjoy aren’t the best of things we can give to our pets.
These colorful flavors aren’t a necessary part of their diet. Some spices such as cinnamon and basil help, but most are not necessary.
So if we truly loved our furry companions, we would want the best for them. And what’s best for us is something that may not be the best for them.