One common question among new and old dog owners is, “what human food can dogs eat?”. We’re here to help you answer that question.
We love our dogs, and knowing how hard it can be to resist those puppy eyes, most of us are guilty of sharing our meal with them. Sometimes, we give them “healthy” food thinking it will be beneficial to them. But that’s not necessarily true.
We will go over an extensive list of some typical food found in our homes that are safe for our pets — and some that are not.
What Veggies Can Dogs Eat?
Veggies can provide a significant nutrient and vitamin boost to our dogs. But some veggies are off-limits due to toxic substances in them. Read below for more information on those vegetables.
Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?
Ripe tomatoes are okay in moderation and as an occasional snack. However, the green parts of the tomato, the stem, and leaves are toxic to dogs. The same applies to green, unripe tomatoes. They contain a substance called solanine, which is harmful to dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers?
Yes, cucumbers are safe for our furry friends. You can give some cucumbers as a treat since most dogs like the crunchiness. Cucumbers are especially beneficial in the summer because they are full of water, meaning that they can help your pet stay hydrated in the heat.
Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?
Yes, in small quantities. Both cooked and raw broccoli are packed with vitamins and fiber, and they are low on fat. In other words, your dog can benefit from it as long as there is no extra oil or seasoning added.
That being said, broccoli does contain isothiocyanate, an ingredient harmful to dogs, so again — give them only small quantities.
Can Dogs Eat Potatoes?
It depends. Potatoes are in the same family as tomatoes, so never give a raw potato to your dog. Only boiled and baked potatoes should be given to your dog — fried ones (including chips) are too unhealthy and can lead to obesity.
That being said, if your dog is diabetic, potatoes should be off-limits because they can lead to sugar spikes.
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?
Yes, sweet potatoes are a healthier alternative to regular ones. They contain a lot more vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your pet. But just like regular potatoes, remember to fully cook them and give them in small quantities.
Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms?
It depends. Store-bought mushrooms are generally safe, but make sure they are fully cooked with no oils, sauces, or spices. In other words, only plain mushrooms are okay for dogs. Also, never give your dog wild mushrooms — they can be lethal.
Are Onions Bad for Dogs?
Yes, onions are toxic to dogs. They are in the Allium family and contain a chemical called N-propyl disulfide, which causes the breakdown of red blood cells. That leads to anemia and more health issues.
So how much onion is toxic to dogs? About 0.5% of their body weight will make dogs sick. So, a regular-sized onion could make a medium-sized dog sick. The smaller the dog, the less it can consume.
Is Garlic Bad for Dogs?
Yes, like onions, it’s part of the allium family, which means it’s toxic. For your dog, eating more than 0.5% of its weight could lead to severe issues. To put this into perspective, one clove weighs about 0.1 oz.
So, when it comes to what human food can dogs eat, a clove or two won’t kill your dog, but you should still keep it away to be safe.
We should point out that some websites claim that garlic helps fight fleas and ticks. However, that has not been scientifically proven, and it’s not worth the risk.
Is Lettuce Good for Dogs?
Yes, lettuce is good for dogs. It can be a great low-calorie snack, especially in summer. Just make sure you cut it into smaller pieces for easier digestion. Moreover, remember to give it only in moderation — too much of it might cause stomach problems and diarrhea.
Are Legumes Among the Foods Dogs Can Eat?
Yes, in moderation. Legumes are high in fiber and protein, making them suitable for dogs. However, they are also high in calories and carbs, so they should still be given only in moderation. Let’s take a look at the most common legumes.
Can Dogs Eat Beans?
Yes — as long as you avoid refried, canned, or baked beans with lots of spices. Let the beans soak before cooking to help with flatulence. Always cook without any seasoning for your dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Lentils?
Yes, they are a great source of iron and vitamins. Lentils pack the most protein of the legume family. Like beans, make sure you soak them first and cook them without adding any spices.
Can Dogs Eat Sugar Snap Peas?
Yes. Peas are easier to digest than other legumes and are full of nutrients. For that reason, peas are often included in commercial dog foods.
That being said, dogs with kidney problems should stay away from them, as peas contain purines, which produce uric acid. Too much of it can result in kidney stones and other issues.
Can Dogs Eat Pumpkins?
Yes, pumpkin is an excellent food for dogs as it supports digestive health. Pumpkin seeds, for example, can help with worms and other intestinal parasites.
Raw pumpkin, although edible, might not be as appealing to dogs. So, the best way to serve it is to cook it, make a puree, and add it to their food or serve it as a treat. Also, stay away from pumpkin pie mixes, as they usually contain sugar and other spices.
What Fruit Can Dogs Eat?
Fruits are a delicious snack. They are full of vitamins, antioxidants, and lots of water that can help our dogs stay hydrated. But not all fruits are safe for our furry friends. Read below for some fruits dogs can eat and a few that they can’t.
Are Bananas Good for Dogs?
Yes, bananas are safe for dogs. They contain potassium, vitamins B6 and C, and fiber. Bananas also have sugar, meaning that only small quantities should be given.
Moreover, peels are not toxic, but they may be hard to digest. Can puppies eat bananas? You should always check with your vet for puppies’ needs.
Can Dogs Eat Apples?
Yes, apples are high in vitamins A, C, and fiber. They are also low in fat and calories, making them an excellent treat. Just don’t forget to remove the core with the seeds. Also, cut it up in smaller slices or pieces for easier chewing.
Can Dogs Eat Berries?
Berries are packed with vitamins and antioxidants and are very healthy for humans. But are they safe for our pets? Read below for some of the most common ones and our verdict.
Are Strawberries Safe for Dogs?
Yes, strawberries are a great source of antioxidants and full of health benefits. Try mixing them with food, mashing them, or even serving them frozen in the summer to cool your pet.
Can Dogs Have Blueberries?
Absolutely. Blueberries are also full of antioxidants and have many health benefits, such as improving your dog’s vision and overall health. On top of that, they are very low in calories.
Can Dogs Eat Raspberries?
Yes, in moderation. Like most berries, raspberries are full of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. But they do contain high amounts of xylitol. This natural sweetener can be toxic to dogs if consumed in higher quantities. As long as you give your dog a cup or less, raspberries are safe.
While some of the most common berries are safe and nutritious, wild berries belong to the group of foods toxic to dogs.
Can Dogs Have Grapes?
No. You should never feed grapes or raisins to your dogs — they are highly toxic and can cause serious health problems. Scientists have not pinpointed yet why exactly this fruit causes such a severe reaction, so avoid it in any form.
Can Dogs Eat Melon?
Yes, they can. Melons are safe to eat and have many vitamins. Watermelons, particularly, are a great way to keep your pup hydrated. Just keep in mind that some types of melons have lots of sugar. Also, peel the skin and remove the seeds before giving the fruit to your dog.
Can Dogs Have Avocado?
It depends. The skin and pits are highly toxic to dogs, while a small amount of the flesh shouldn’t be harmful. Many vets still recommend avoiding avocado, in general. Nevertheless, if your dog accidentally eats a little bit of the flesh, don’t panic — they won’t be in danger.
Can Dogs Have Pineapple?
Yes, in moderation. While pineapple is full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, it also has lots of sugar. So, a small amount is suitable for your dog. Choose fresh pineapple over canned, as canned usually has added sugar. Also, always peel the skin and remove the core.
Can Dogs Eat Black Olives or Olive Oil?
It depends. If the olives are plain and unsalted, they can be a healthy source of fat. Remember — always remove the pit. As for olive oil, most veterinarians recommend the extra virgin type because it’s lower in acidity.
Can Dogs Eat Cherries?
It depends. The flesh is safe, but leaves, stems, and pit contain cyanide, which is highly toxic to dogs.
However, you should know that the toxin is released when the leaves and stems are wilted. Also, when the pits are crushed/chewed. So, don’t panic if your dog swallows the pit without chewing — it will simply pass through its digestive system.
That said, it’s still safer to just keep cherries away from your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Mangos?
Yes, mangos are a delicious snack that packs lots of vitamins and fiber. Just remove the pit and skin, and cut it into smaller pieces for easier digestion.
Can Dogs Eat Citrus?
While it’s a fruit category, citrus is more acidic and slightly different from other fruits. So, is citrus on the list of human foods that dogs can eat? Let’s find out.
Can Dogs Eat Oranges and Mandarins?
Yes, in moderation. The flesh is packed with vitamins and fiber. However, it also contains a lot of sugar, so give your dog small amounts only. Always remove the skin, as it can cause digestion problems.
Can Dogs Eat Lemons, Limes, And Grapefruits?
No, these fruits are highly acidic and will most likely cause digestive issues. Plus, they are so bitter, dogs will most likely stay away from them. However, they aren’t harmful in small quantities, so don’t freak out if your dog accidentally eats a little bit.
What Kind of Bones Can Dogs Eat?
About 43% of dog owners buy premium dog food. But most people, including those owners, give bones to their dogs. While bones and dogs are always pictured together, not all bones are safe. Let us break it down.
First, choose raw bones, and go for beef or lamb bones. The larger the bone, the better because they take longer to break, and there are fewer choking risks. Always supervise your dog, and give bones as treats, not as a main meal.
Regarding Bones, What Can’t Dogs Eat?
Never give cooked bones, as they are brittle and can choke your dog, cut its mouth and throat, or pierce its intestines. Chicken, fish, and turkey bones are also off-limits for the same reason.
Are Eggs Good for Dogs?
Eggs are an excellent example of safe human food for dogs. They are a good source of protein and are very nutritious. Just don’t forget to always cook them since raw eggs can get your dog sick. And don’t worry about cholesterol — it doesn’t affect dogs the same way it affects us.
Can Dogs Eat Dairy?
Like humans, some dogs don’t react well to dairy. So, are dogs lactose intolerant? Many dogs are, meaning that you should be careful before giving dairy to your pet. But not all dairy contains the same amount of lactose. Read below for more details.
Can Dogs Drink Milk, Eat Yogurt, or Have Ice Cream?
It depends. Milk has the highest amount of lactose. So, if your dog is known to have a bad reaction to it, it’s best to avoid it. Yogurt and ice cream contain less lactose, so small amounts should be fine.
Is Cheese Safe for Dogs?
It depends on the cheese, as some types can be harmful (blue cheese, cheeses with onions and herbs, etc.).
However, cheese is still much safer than other dairy products. So, as long as you only use it as an occasional treat, and stick to safer types, your dog should be fine.
Does Chocolate Kill Dogs?
Chocolate is often on top of the list of foods that are toxic to dogs. Many people are aware of it, but how harmful is it really? The general theory goes that the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is; the smaller your dog, the less chocolate it can handle.
So, how much chocolate can kill a dog? For a medium-sized, 50 lb dog, it would take about 1 oz of dark chocolate or 9 oz of milk chocolate to get chocolate poisoning. A regular Hershey bar can be lethal for miniature dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Seafood?
It depends. Generally speaking, cooked and cleaned seafood is okay, but let’s take a look at a few examples.
What Can I Feed My Dog?
A cooked, cleaned, and deboned fish can be very nutritious for our dogs. Wild salmon and sardines are excellent sources of Omega-3, healthy fat, and protein. Shellfish are also okay if you clean them well and cook them.
What Can’t Dogs Eat?
Raw fish, shellfish, fish bones, and shells are always off-limits. Seasoned seafood, even cooked, is also a no. Certain types of fish, like tuna, are high in mercury, so you should avoid those as well.
Is Bread Bad for Dogs?
It depends. Bread is generally safe for dogs as long as it doesn’t contain any raisins, garlic, or other ingredients known to be toxic to dogs. Also, since bread is not that nutritious, give it in moderation only.
Are Nuts Bad for Dogs?
It depends. Unsalted peanuts, pecans, and cashews are safe but, like other nuts, are high in fat.
Some nuts, like almonds and pistachios, could be a choking hazard. Additionally, macadamia nuts are one of the most poisonous foods to dogs and should be off-limits.
Can Dogs Eat Sugar?
Sugar can cause all sorts of health problems for dogs, which is why it’s generally not recommended.
Sugars in fruits are usually okay in small quantities (no grapes), but refined sugars belong to the foods that dogs can’t eat. Xylitol and chocolate, as mentioned earlier, are toxic, and you need to watch out for them.
If you find yourself thinking, can dogs eat pizza, pasta, or other leftovers, the answer is no.
Processed foods are often packed with fillers and artificial ingredients. They are very unhealthy for your dog, and even though they aren’t toxic, they can cause serious health problems over time.
What Other Human Food Can Dogs Eat
- Honey — in small quantities, as it contains sugar
- Cooked white rice — great for upset stomach
- Chia and flax seeds — good source of fat, but give in moderation
- Unsalted peanut butter — great treat, but high in fat
- Carrots — dogs like the crunchiness, good for dental health
- Plain popcorn — low calorie, high in nutrients
- Corn — found in many dog foods
A Quick Summary of What Foods Are Toxic to Dogs
A staggering 35.7% of dog spending goes towards veterinary bills. To ensure none of that goes towards saving your dog from food poisoning, let’s go over once again some of the foods that you must keep away from your dogs:
- Wild berries
- Refined sugars and xylitol
- Raw meat
- Cooked bones
- Most citrus fruits
- Wild mushrooms
Note that this list of foods dogs can’t eat is not complete, and it’s only items that can often be found at home. Always check with your vet and do some research if you’re unsure.
To Sum It Up
With the average yearly spending on dog food being around $300, we often find ourselves trying to save some money by giving our dogs human foods.
But not all of those foods are good for them. We must educate ourselves so we can keep our pups healthy.
Our list will surely help you answer the question — what human food can dogs eat? — and help you make the best choice for your furry friend.
And remember — all human foods must be given in moderation, not as the central part of their diet. Our dogs’ digestive system is different from ours, and many human foods are likely to result in stomach problems.