The average pooch lives by a pretty bland diet of dry, processed foods. So, it can be tempting to want to liven things up a little for your furry best friend. But first, it’s best to learn all about the human food that dogs can eat, and the foods that dogs should never eat.
If you have questions about whether or not to give your pet a certain food, talk to your veterinarian first.
Human Food That Dogs Can Eat: Whole Food Diets Can Be Good For Dogs
Processed food for dogs is relatively new on the timeline of dog history. Once upon a time, pets simply ate whatever scraps their owners could spare. Dog owners didn’t have access to mass-produced, commercial dog food. So, the family pets often ate what their owners were already eating: meats, vegetables, and grains.
Certain human foods may have many benefits for your pet and, it’s certainly a lot easier to identify foods that may be upsetting your pup’s tummy when you know exactly what’s in your dog’s food.
However, not all human foods are safe for dogs. Some are extremely toxic.
So, always do your research and check with your veterinarian before feeding your dog a new food.
Foods That Are Toxic To Dogs:
Chocolate, Macadamia Nuts, Grapes, Raisins, Garlic, Xylitol, And More
Let’s start with foods dogs can’t eat. These are foods you should never feed your dog. This is a really important area to cover, as some foods are so toxic to dogs they can be lethal.
This may be a real treat for humans, but the theobromine in chocolate is toxic to dogs and may cause potentially life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias. Dark chocolate is the most toxic, as it contains higher levels of cocoa.3
Even in small amounts, the macadamia nut is exceptionally toxic to dogs. It’s not known what the toxin is, but it can severely affect a dog’s muscles, digestive system, and nervous system. Macadamia nuts are commonly added to cookies and other baked goods, so always read ingredients before giving a small bite to your dog.4
Grapes and Raisins
These tiny snacks can easily be dropped on the floor, so you’ll want to be careful of having these around your pooch. Studies have shown that grapes and raisins can cause renal failure in dogs.5
Garlic and Onions
Garlic and onions contain an amazing phytochemical called allicin. But it’s not so amazing for dogs. Quite the opposite. The allicin in garlic and onions can cause damage to a dog’s red blood cells, leading to haemolytic anaemia.6
The artificial sweetener xylitol is found in many diet versions of popular foods – candy, sugar-free gum, baked goods, yogurt, and even some peanut butters.
Xylitol can cause a significant hypoglycemic crisis in dogs – a rapid decrease in blood sugar levels. This can lead to seizures, collapse, and potential liver damage.7
Unbaked bread, or cookie dough that’s made with yeast, should also be kept away from your pup. The uncooked dough expands in your dog’s moist stomach environment. This can result in a bloated or distended stomach and potentially life-threatening intestinal twisting.
Meanwhile, the sugars in the yeast produce alcohol. This alcohol could cause dangerous drops in your dog’s blood sugar, blood pressure, and body temperature. Cooked baking goods are fine (so long as they contain other safe ingredients).8
Foods That Are Safe For Dogs: Cooked Chicken, Eggs, Blueberries, Carrots, Banana, And More
So, what can you feed your pup? Can they nosh out on carrots or bananas? What snacks are safe for dogs? The answer is –– plenty.
However, like humans, dogs can have individual food allergies. So, if a particular food appears to be upsetting your dog’s stomach, it’s time to talk with your vet.
Cooked chicken is a terrific protein food for dogs. Just be sure to serve it unseasoned and plain, without the bones.9
Eggs are a great source of protein and nutrients for your pup. They’re packed with vitamins and minerals, and they contain plenty of beneficial fatty acids. Just avoid raw eggs for this nasty reason: salmonella poisoning.10,11
Blueberries are great little snack fruits that can be enjoyed safely in moderation by your dog. They’re packed with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C.12
If you’re looking to serve your pup a balanced diet, then don’t forget the veggies. Vegetables like carrots (packed with skin-healthy beta carotene), green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, celery, peas, and spinach are all great choices.13
Bananas and Other Fruits
Bananas are a great low-calorie treat, and they’re high in potassium, biotin, and fiber. But they do have a high sugar content, so give them only as a treat. You can also feed your pup other vitamin-filled fruits like apples, cantaloupe, cranberries, peaches, pineapple, watermelon, and mango. Always remove the seeds of any fruit before giving it to your pet.14
Like to watch movies snuggled up with your furry one? Then you’ll be happy to know that a little popcorn here and there is fine for dogs. However, make sure it’s air-popped without any added butter, oil, or salt. Discard any unpopped kernel seeds.They can be a choking hazard.15
Plain Greek, sugar-free, unflavored yogurt is a great calcium-booster for your dog. You can even add a spoonful to their dry kibble. Be sure to always read the yogurt’s ingredients – some contain xylitol.16
Coconut oil is renowned for its health benefits for humans. Turns out, it may also help increase energy levels and improve digestion and skin coat in dogs. However, use with caution. Some dogs may have an allergic reaction, and too much of the oil could result in diarrhea or excessive fat in the dog’s diet.18
Food For Dogs: Upset Stomach, Vomiting, And Weight Gain
If you feed your dog human food and they present with an upset stomach, vomiting, or worse, it’s vital that you talk to your veterinarian. An upset stomach or vomiting may be attributed to an allergy or intolerance, so it’s better to be safe.
Meanwhile, weight gain from a change in diet should also be discussed with your vet. Canine pancreatitis from excessive fat consumption is a serious issue.
Playing around with a variety of foods for dogs can be exciting for both you and your pet. Just remember that moderation is key, and that your dog’s health should always come first. If in doubt, call your vet.
If you have small children, also be aware of what they throw on the floor. Aside from toxic foods, anything with seeds can present a real choking hazard for your pooch.
Human Food for Dogs: Can Dogs Eat Carrots?
Human Food For Dogs: Can Dogs Eat Oranges?
Human Food For Dogs: Can Dogs Eat Avocado?