Which Human Foods Can Dogs Eat? Everything You Need To Know

Here we go through some common human foods which are safe for dogs to eat, and some foods that aren’t.

Of course, the question is, “Should dogs be eating human foods?” The thing is, dogs and humans metabolize foods differently. It’s important to understand that the wrong kind of table scraps can result in digestive issues, obesity, and sometimes even a life-threatening condition and a trip to the vet for dogs. However, carefully selected, healthy choices can actually benefit dogs by adding additional nutrition and variety to their diet. Table scraps can be seen as a healthy treat, rather than a substitute for a balanced diet.

Human Foods That Dogs Can Eat

Turkey and Chicken

  • Cooked turkey and chicken are great for dogs
  • Avoid and watch for bones, salt, onions, and seasoning made from onion

Lean Red Meat

  • Shreds of lean beef are full of highly absorbable nutrients, and dogs really love the flavour and texture

Boiled or Scrambled Eggs

  • Eggs, especially those of the free-range variety, will provide a lot of healthy vitamins, minerals, and fats
  • Avoid feeding your dog raw eggs. The raw egg won’t hurt the dog, but he could transfer bacteria onto his human and that could be harmful (bacteria such as Salmonella)

Sweet Potatoes

  • This is a good option if your dog has a sweet tooth!
  • Cooked, they’re a great source of Vitamin A

Carrots

  • Dogs usually love the texture of carrots, and of course these are super healthy and a great source of beta carotene
  • Raw or cooked carrots are fine; be sure to chop raw carrots into small pieces to prevent choking
  • A good source of vitamins, minerals, and fibre

Green Vegetables

  • Avoid anything that has been heavily seasoned
  • Avoid anything that has been covered with sauce
  • Green vegetables are a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals
  • Broccoli, green beans, are a few examples

Fish

  • Use boneless fresh or frozen cooked fish, or cold water fish
  • Fish provides protein as well as absorbable vitamins and Omega-3 oils, which can help keep your dog skin and fur healthy
  • Avoid raw salmon, which could contain a harmful parasite (salmon poisoning disease)

Apples

  • Dogs will love having an apple as an occasional treat
  • Avoid any apples that have been sweetened
  • Chop into smaller pieces to avoid choking

Unsweetened Yogurt

  • Yogurt can be beneficial as it contains ‘friendly’ bacteria
  • This helps digestion and the immune system

Blueberries

  • Dogs can eat blueberries, too!
  • They’re a low-calorie, healthy antioxidant, and offer vitamins, minerals, and fibre to benefit your dog’s health

Popcorn

  • Popcorn is okay for your dog as an occasional treat, as long as it is plain and unsalted, with no extra ingredients
  • Salt, butter, and oil – often added to popcorn – can be hazardous to the health of your dog if too much is consumed, so be sure to limit these to avoid health problems such as the pancreatitis that can occur
  • Kernels are also a possible choking hazard and can get stuck in your dog’s teeth, to make sure to only give him fully popped, plain kernels

Human Foods that Should Be Given in Moderation or Not At All

Cheese

  • Cheese can cause digestive issues, bloating, stomach cramps, gas
  • Cottage cheese is easer on the dogs’ digestion
  • Limit your dogs cheese intake to small amounts
  • Introduce cheese gradually
  • Start with low-fat cheese, such as mozzarella

Cashews

  • Limit cashews, as they are high in fat and calories and can lead to weight gain and pancreatitis if too much is consumed
  • Plain, unsalted, roasted cashews are safe for most dogs in moderation

Peanut Butter

  • Peanut butter can be a healthy snack in moderate amounts
  • Peanut butter can be high in fat and calories, so it can lead to weight gain if eaten frequently or in large amounts
  • Make sure you are using plain, unsalted peanut butter, as salt should be avoided and can be harmful to dogs, salt it often added to peanut butter

Cooked Potatoes

  • Peeled, cooked, ripe potatoes can be a good snack but have little nutritional value
  • Unpeeled, unripe potatoes are dangerous to dogs

Beef Liver

  • Too much can be toxic, as it contains high amounts of Vitamin A

Beans and Soy Products

  • A little sample of tofu can provide some minerals and protein
  • Many animals become gassy after eating these types of foods

Whole Grains

  • Small amounts of whole wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa can be a healthy source of fibre or vitamins
  • The nutritional profile is not really beneficial for dogs

Tomatoes

  • Unripe tomatoes are toxic to dogs
  • Ripe tomatoes are not harmful

Ham

  • Ham contains too much sugar, salt and fat to be considered healthy
  • Consider giving in small amounts, occasionally, as a treat

Cow’s Milk

  • Avoid giving milk to your dog
  • Cow’s milk may cause gas, bloating, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Dogs can not digest it

Canned Fish

  • Canned fish often contains a lot of salt
  • Opt for low sodium versions
  • Don’t feed more than once a week (due to heavy metals in the fish)
  • Opt for darker, flakier types

Human Foods Your Dog Should Avoid Completely

Tea and Coffee

  • Tea, coffee, coffee grounds, and tea bags can be fatal to dogs
  • Keep these out of reach at all times

Grapes and Raisins

  • Long term damage can occur after a dog eat these – though it may not be obvious at first after eating them
  • Rapid kidney failure and death could occur
  • They contain potent kidney toxins
  • Even a small amount can hurt your dog, so it’s best to avoid these completely

Salt and Salty Foods

  • Salty foods like chips, pretzels, hot dogs, deli meats, soup from a tin, contain too much sodium that can be harmful to dogs
  • This can cause a lot of problems such as kidney failure, electrolyte imbalance, seizures, vomiting, and even death
  • Salt poisoning or water deprivation can occur
  • Always make sure your dog has enough water

Alcohol

  • Dogs are very sensitive to alcohol
  • Alcohol can cause liver failure, vomiting, lethargy, among other problems in dogs to be sure to avoid this completely

Sugar and Sweet Desserts

  • Dogs are sensitive to sugar and can easily develop diabetes
  • Dogs are poorly equipped to handle sugar and sweet stuff, and these treats offer no nutritional value anyway

Onions

  • Onions can destroy a dog’s red blood cells
  • This can cause problems like anemia, breathing problems and muscle weakness
  • This could even cause death

Chocolate

  • Dark chocolate is the worst, but all chocolate is bad for dogs
  • It contains caffeine and theobromine
  • This can lead to life-threatening problems with the central nervous system and even death, avoid this completely

Spoiled or Mouldy Food

  • Maybe this is obvious, but dogs won’t benefit from this type of food, ever!
  • They can contain toxic fungal compounds

Cooked Bones

  • Raw bones are great for dogs and offer a lot of health benefits
  • However, cooked bones aren’t the same. They easily splinter and could snap
  • This could cause serious internal problems if swallowed

Gravy and Sauces

  • Avoid these, as they likely contain fat and/or seasonings and/or sugar and/or cream that can upset a dog’s digestion
  • These are too rich for a dog
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