When it comes to their diet, there are many human foods dogs can eat. While healthy dog food can offer a complete and balanced diet, some owners like to share things with their pets. Whether you want to feed your dog something sweet as a treat or just need your puppy to have a healthy diet, there are several good and bad foods to consider. Some owners may want their dogs to have apples, blueberries and carrots for their natural vitamins and health benefits, while others should know that raw chicken, ice cream and alcohol can be potentially dangerous for their pets.
With so many different foods to consider, it can be a challenge knowing which options are good and offer benefits for your canine companion. To help you learn, we’ve compiled a list of human foods dogs can and can’t eat. From bananas and strawberries to peanut butter and shrimp, explore these safe and toxic foods for dogs to find good treats that will keep your pet healthy and bad ones to avoid.
- 1 Toxic Foods For Dogs
- 2 Safe Foods For Dogs
- 2.1 Bread
- 2.2 Cashews
- 2.3 Cheese
- 2.4 Coconut
- 2.5 Corn
- 2.6 Eggs
- 2.7 Fish
- 2.8 Bok Choy
- 2.9 Honey
- 2.10 Milk
- 2.11 Peanut Butter
- 2.12 Peanuts
- 2.13 Popcorn
- 2.14 Pork
- 2.15 Quinoa
- 2.16 Salmon
- 2.17 Shrimp
- 2.18 Cereal
- 2.19 Turkey
- 2.20 Wheat
- 2.21 Yogurt
- 2.22 Tortillas
- 2.23 Cool Whip
- 2.24 Cilantro
- 2.25 Eggplant
- 2.26 Persimmons
- 2.27 Cream Cheese
- 2.28 Radishes
- 2.29 Sausage
- 2.30 Beef Jerky
- 2.31 Wheat Thins
- 3 What Foods Can Dogs Eat and Not Eat
Toxic Foods For Dogs
Garlic contains thiosulfate which is highly toxic to dogs. Therefore, you should avoid letting your dog consume this food at all costs. Thiosulfates can damage your dog’s red blood cells and make them extremely fatigued due to poor circulation. This red blood cell damage can then cause anemia, which will elevate your dog’s heart rate and potentially lead to collapse. Frustratingly dogs find the smell of garlic enticing, so you should keep this toxic food out of reach in a locked cupboard or fridge drawer.
While these nuts aren’t toxic, dogs should not eat almonds. Although your pet may feel okay after accidentally having almonds, the sharp edges of raw almonds can block your dog’s esophagus and windpipe as well as cause gastrointestinal issues. Plain almonds contain high levels of phosphorus, which can lead to painful bladder stones and urinary issues. These nuts can also contain Aspergillus mold that will poison your dog when ingested in large quantities.
Never feed your dog chocolate under any circumstance. When consumed in large quantities, the theobromine and methylxanthines in chocolate may cause your dog to seize, experience kidney failure or even die. This is because theobromine interferes with your dog’s ability to metabolize. If they eat any chocolate, keep an extremely close eye on them and call an emergency vet immediately.
Cinnamon shouldn’t feature in your dog’s diet as it can damage their digestive systems and the inside of their mouths. Once digested, cinnamon can also cause diarrhea and vomiting in dogs. As well as causing sensitivities in these areas, dogs inhaling cinnamon dust can also cause problems. Cinnamon particles are small and they can easily invade your dog’s airways and make breathing labored.
Jello is slightly complex, as it’s often sweetened with xylitol which is toxic to dogs. Giving your dog small amounts of Jello shouldn’t cause them harm, but it’s best to stick to pure gelatin if you want to give them a healthy yet wobbly boost of protein. Not only is gelatin an anti-inflammatory agent, but it contains the amino acid Glycine which may reduce the chance of seizures.
Although dogs love licking ice cream due to its sweet and refreshing taste, it’s full of lactose and sugar which can give dogs an upset stomach. If your dog starts licking a discarded ice cream cone at the beach, then it won’t cause them any harm. However, as they don’t possess the correct enzymes to digest lactose, it’s best to avoid ice cream where possible. A couple of excellent alternatives to ice cream on a hot summer’s day are fat-free cubed frozen yogurt and frozen fruit. Not only are these options much lower in sugar, but they’re more nutrient-dense than ice cream.
Butter isn’t toxic to dogs, but it’s extremely high in saturated fat and won’t benefit your pet. While dogs may enjoy the taste of butter, too much of it will give your dog bad diarrhea and make them uncomfortable for a few days. Although it does contain vitamins A and B12, there are better options out there that are lower in calories and more nutritionally dense.
Bagels are often topped with seeds and garlic that make them toxic to dogs. In addition to being nutritionally poor, bagels are high in calories and can contribute to obesity in dogs if eaten too often. Bagels slathered with cream cheese and jams are even worse for dogs, as they become high in fat and sugars which can make your dog feel sluggish.
No, dogs can’t have Oreos. While any food containing chocolate is bad for dogs, Oreos don’t have enough baking chocolate to be bad. However, these human snacks are also extremely high in sugar so they should be avoided. Luckily, Oreos are won’t cause much harm if eaten accidentally in small amounts. If your dog eats too many Oreos, you may want to visit your veterinarian.
No, dogs shouldn’t eat donuts even though this sugary treat is non-toxic. While safe to have, donuts are high in sugar, fats and oils. To maintain a healthy weight and keep your dog’s digestive system functioning optimally, we don’t recommend you give your pet this unhealthy snack.
Sugary cereals will not only give your dog an upset stomach, but they’re often packed with damaging preservatives that can make your dog very sick. Stick with healthier cereals for the best dietary benefits.
Curry is a dish that dogs should avoid at all costs. Both spicy and packed with garlic and onions, curry will cause an extremely upset stomach that may even be fatal. If your dog exhibits worrying systems after a run-in with curry, call your vet immediately.
Due to their high sugar content and the inclusion of xylitol on the ingredients list, Twizzlers should never be eaten by dogs. If ingested in large amounts, Twizzlers may cause liver failure, low blood sugar and even death.
Although your dog can consume Cheetos on occasion since they’re not strictly toxic to dogs, your pet should not have these puffed cheesy chips. Original Cheetos are made without dangerous ingredients, but Hot Cheetos and spiced Cheetos are often full of garlic powder which is extremely toxic to dogs. Even plain, Cheetos can cause an upset stomach if consumed too often, so be careful when leaving bags around the house!
Due to potential health problems, dogs shouldn’t eat tuna and you should avoid feeding your canine most saltwater fish. Most fresh tuna have high levels of mercury, which can cause severe or fatal health issues. If you want to give your pet fish as a treat, we recommend a type of fish with lower levels of mercury such as salmon. For owners who insist on occasionally giving their dogs tuna, we suggest you prioritize freshly cooked fish since canned tuna will increase the chances of mercury poisoning. Make sure to choose tuna chunks in water instead of oil or brine to ensure you avoid harmful spices that may be toxic to your dog.
Cake is unhealthy for dogs because it contains high levels of sugar and fat. In addition, you should specifically avoid any chocolate cakes since chocolate is toxic to them. Small crumbs and segments can be consumed without issue, but if your dog has scarfed down an entire slice of cake you should keep an eye out for vomiting and diarrhea.
Ritz Crackers are high in calories, sodium and fat and should not be given to your dogs. In addition, they offer very little nutritional value in return for their high caloric content.
Dogs should not eat ham because it is high in sodium and fat. You can give your pet a small piece but this food does not offer any real health benefits. Too much ham can give dogs an upset stomach and if consumed to excess over a prolonged period, ham may affect dogs that are prone to heart disease.
Safe Foods For Dogs
Yes, dogs can eat bread. While bread can be safe and non-toxic for dogs, your pet shouldn’t have too much plain, processed, white or wheat bread. With no real nutritional value, bread can cause weight gain in dogs that have these high-carb treats. With so many calories, we recommend you not give your puppy this food. You’ll also want to avoid bread with artificial sweeteners like xylitol since this can cause liver failure. If you’re ever in doubt, stick with freshly baked loaves.
As a rule, dogs can have cashew nuts safely. Cashews contain antioxidants, calcium, magnesium, proteins and Omega-3 fatty acids, making them good for dogs in small amounts. These acids help maintain your dog’s coat and keep their skin healthy. Make sure cashews are unsalted and without shells to avoid choking and water retention. To keep your dog’s weight in check, exercise caution with portion size by limiting their consumption to a few cashews at a time.
Cheese can be safely eaten in moderation if your dog is not lactose-intolerant. Containing protein, vitamin A and plenty of fatty acids, cheese is an excellent choice for dogs that need additional motivation during training. Like other high-fat human foods, too much cheese can lead to pancreatitis and obesity in dogs, so controlling the amount they eat is important. High-fat cheeses like brie and goat cheese should be avoided, while mozzarella and cottage cheese are protein-rich options that can be given in small portions.
Coconut is safe for dogs, and even contains the medium-chain fatty acid lauric acid, which is both anti-bacterial and anti-viral. As well as fighting bacteria and viruses, the high levels of manganese in coconut may also boost your dog’s bone and metabolic health. Coconuts are also packed with antioxidants that boost your dog’s immune system. Although there are benefits to feeding your dog coconut, it does contain triglycerides which may upset their stomachs when consumed in large quantities. Coconut oil is also safe for dogs to eat and can help improve their coats, fight against infection, heal wounds, prevent diabetes, boost immune systems, and promote eye and ear health.
Dogs can certainly eat corn without issue as it’s packed with beneficial grains which digest and metabolize well in your dog’s system. As well as being a source of carbohydrates, fatty acids and proteins, corn is also one of the most antioxidant-rich foods that your dog can eat safely. It’s best to take corn off the cob before feeding it to your dog. This is because the dense fiber in corn on the cob can cause bowel obstructions in canines that require surgery to remove.
Unlike other human foods, eggs are extremely healthy for dogs. Not only are eggs packed with vitamins A and B12, but they also contain riboflavin, folate and fatty acids which help keep your dog’s coat in tip-top condition. As egg yolks contain the bulk of an egg’s fat, cholesterol and protein content, they are best given to your dog in moderation to avoid unwanted weight gain. If you want to be completely safe, just stick with egg whites! To avoid salmonella, make sure that all eggs given to your dog are fully cooked.
Fish is packed full of healthy fats and proteins, making it the perfect treat to feed to your dog. Not every pet owner will have the patience to pick out the tiny bones in fish, but it is a necessary step if you choose to feed your dog anything but sardines or boneless fish. Due to its high-fat content, it’s best to limit your dog’s consumption of fish to once or twice a week. Dogs can eat salmon in moderation but should not eat tuna.
Bok choy is a delicious vegetable that can be eaten by dogs in moderation. However, before you add this to your dog’s daily dinner, you should chop it into small pieces as it can be hard for dogs to chew. Not only will this aid digestion, but it removes the possibility of choking.
When consumed in small quantities, honey can be extremely beneficial to dogs. It contains minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that can protect your dog’s immune system and is also beneficial during allergy season. To build up a tolerance to pollen, honey can be drip-fed to your dog in small amounts to give them a heightened immune response when the pollen count rises. If your dog struggles with eczema or hot spots, then honey will prove an excellent topical soothing agent.
Milk is okay for dogs but should only be given to them on occasion. Lactose intolerance is common in dogs, so stick to the odd tablespoon of milk as a reward for good behavior. This should keep unpleasant symptoms at bay.
Dogs are fine to consume peanut butter if it’s free from artificial sweeteners like xylitol. This delicious human food contains large amounts of vitamins B and E, making it one of the more vitamin-rich sources of healthy fats that your dog can eat. If you want to err on the side of caution when it comes to peanut butter, whip up a homemade batch using unsalted peanuts to ensure that your peanut butter is free from additives and sweeteners.
Peanuts are safe for dogs to have. With high levels of protein, vitamin B6 and niacin, peanuts are an excellent snack for your dog. Large amounts of sodium can cause water retention in dogs, which is not only unpleasant but potentially dangerous. As with many human foods, be sure to feed peanuts in moderation as they’re high in fat. Your dog may clamor for them, but they shouldn’t be given more than a couple of times a week in small quantities.
Yes, dogs can eat popcorn if it is unsalted and not buttered. Although it may be tempting, you won’t be able to share too much popcorn with your dog and should never give them kernels or buttered options. The flavor and crunch of popcorn is appealing to dogs, so it can make a nice treat for them if they don’t have it often. One major point of consideration with this food is kernels. You must ensure that all popcorn given to your dog is fully popped, as kernels are a major choking hazard for dogs and can affect their teeth and jaws.
Pork is fine for dogs if it’s properly cooked. It’s best to feed your dog lower fat alternatives like unseasoned pork loin, as processed pork like ham and sausage tend to be packed with preservatives and sodium which your dog’s stomach isn’t built to digest. Uncooked pork can be dangerous for dogs, as it may contain the trichinella spiralis parasite.
Quinoa can be eaten by dogs and is a great alternative to grains like corn and rice. Safe and healthy for pets, quinoa comes in many top-rated dog foods as a nutritional starch that bulks the product out. Not only is it packed with insoluble fibers and linoleic acid, but this grain crop also contains quercetin, B-vitamins and plenty of magnesium and iron. Despite being a great food for dogs, you should still exercise caution when giving it to your pup. Only plain quinoa is safe, as ready-made, packaged quinoa tends to contain spices like garlic and onion powder which are both extremely toxic to dogs.
A source of both omega-3 fatty acids and plenty of protein, salmon is excellent for your dog’s immune system. The high levels of good fat in salmon also keeps your dog’s skin and coat healthy. Although salmon is found in many high-quality dog foods, you should always ensure that any salmon you prepare is fully cooked. Undercooked salmon contains parasites that cause salmon poisoning in your dog and this condition can be fatal. If you haven’t purchased boneless fillets, always be sure to double-check any salmon for small bones that may pose a choking hazard.
Shrimp is one of the best foods for encouraging better joint health in dogs, as it is an excellent source of glucosamine. Even small servings of shrimp can help your dog with mobility and shock absorption. Shrimp also contains taurine, vitamin B12 and phosphorus. If your dog is struggling with obesity, then shrimp is an excellent choice as it is low in fat and calories.
Dogs can eat cereal on occasion without much trouble. However, as with many human foods, it depends on the type. Simple cereals like Cheerios, Corn Flakes and Special K are safe options, but anything with chocolate or sweeteners shouldn’t be eaten.
Dogs can have turkey if it’s cooked plain and you remove the excess fat and skin. While dogs can eat turkey meat safely, you’ll want to make sure to check for bones and moderate the amount. If you plan to give your pet turkey deli meat, be careful about high levels of salt and any seasonings, including black pepper and garlic.
Dogs can eat wheat as long as your pet doesn’t have a grain allergy. Wheat is safe and non-toxic for dogs to have because they have the amylase enzyme present in their bodies that allows them to successfully absorb wheat into their systems. The high levels of fiber in wheat are useful for dogs that suffer from constipation, making it a great human food to feed older pups who aren’t quite as regular. If you notice your dog suffering from itchy skin, hair loss or ear infections, then you may want to head to your local vet and check for allergies.
Dogs can eat yogurt, but you may want to think twice before feeding it to them in large quantities. Yogurt is full of calcium, protein and probiotics, which are all beneficial for gastrointestinal health. However, some dogs are lactose intolerant and the high levels of lactose present in yogurt may cause some dogs problems. While a little yogurt can be a nice treat, too much can cause diarrhea, vomiting, gas and farting. You’ll also need to be mindful of preservatives and artificial sweeteners. Low-fat yogurts are often full of xylitol and aspartame, which are highly toxic to dogs and should be avoided. Stick to full-fat and plain unsweetened yogurts. For added protein and calcium, dogs can also eat Greek yogurt in moderation.
When eaten in moderation, flour tortillas are safe for dogs but generally shouldn’t be given to them because they don’t offer much nutritional value. As previously mentioned, dogs with allergies or intolerances may want to avoid grains. Although they’re tasty, there are better options for your dog out there. Tortillas are high in carbs, which makes them a problematic choice for obese dogs.
While Cool Whip is safe and non-toxic for your pets, dogs should not eat this dairy product because it comes loaded with saturated fat, sugar and artificial sweeteners. Although it’s still lactose-heavy, offering your dog small quantities of freshly whipped cream is a much safer option. You can also give your dog a Puppuccino from Starbucks once in awhile.
Dogs can eat cilantro safely and this herb can help calm your pet’s digestive system and provide several essential minerals. Cilantro is entirely non-toxic and good for dogs because it’s rich in vitamins A, C, potassium and zinc. Cilantro can also help loosen feces and repair damaged cells.
While dogs should never have raw eggplant, this vegetable can be safely eaten cooked, grilled or baked. As with many foods, there are a couple of exceptions to this. Dogs suffering from arthritis or inflammation shouldn’t be fed eggplant, as it can have an inflammatory effect. You should also keep a close eye on your dog after feeding them eggplant for the first time, as nightshade vegetables can cause allergic reactions.
Persimmons are packed with vitamins C and A, so they’re a great food to feed dogs running low on nutrients. Beware of the high fiber levels and seeds in this fruit. Too much fiber may cause an upset stomach, and large pips can become lodged in your pet’s intestine. To be safe, remove all pips before giving persimmons to your dog.
Small amounts of plain cream cheese are safe for dogs to eat, but avoid any options containing chives, onions or garlic. Even plain cream cheese is high in fat and lactose-intolerant dogs are unlikely to stomach this food well.
As well as being a good source of vitamin C and soluble fiber, radishes are also safe for your dog to eat. It may be tempting to overdo the veggies in your dog’s food bowl, but too many vegetables will cause an upset stomach. Thinly sliced radishes make an excellent topping on most dog dinners, so keep things simple and easy to chew.
While sausages are not toxic to dogs, this processed meat is not good for their diet due to their high-fat content. A typical sausage is packed with preservatives, seasonings and fat. Although these additions give a sausage its delicious flavor, they can affect your dog over time. With so many alternative meats out there, it’s best to avoid giving your dog sausage.
Plain dried jerky should be safe for your dog, but packaged beef jerky often contains an abundance of salt, onion and garlic. Although sodium won’t harm your dog in small amounts, onion and garlic are toxic to them. To be safe, purchase single protein jerky from pet stores or local markets.
Wheat thins aren’t toxic to dogs and they can safely eat a couple of crackers at a time if they aren’t allergic to grains. However, as the main appeal of wheat thins is their signature crunch, it’s better to stick with crackers and treats that are made specifically for dogs.
What Foods Can Dogs Eat and Not Eat
- Popular foods dogs can eat include apples, avocado, asparagus, bananas, cheese, cherries, blueberries, eggs, cantaloupe, cooked shrimp, cucumbers, and oranges.
- Bad foods dogs can’t eat include raw meat (untreated), onions, garlic, chocolate, macadamia nuts, nutmeg, pickles, and grapes.
- Dairy products like milk, cheese and Greek yogurt are safe for dogs in small amounts, although too much can cause digestive issues.
- For high-protein foods that are non-toxic, give your dog unseasoned cooked pork, salmon, shrimp, turkey, and lean meat.
- Most vegetables and fruits offer healthy benefits for dogs but always be careful with seeds, pits and peels.