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Dedicated dog lovers tend to be very kind people. We share our hearts and homes (and for some lucky pups, even the foot of our beds) with our canine pals. Surely there is nothing wrong with sharing our favorite people foods with our dogs too, right? Not necessarily. Many of the foods, such as fruits and vegetables, that people digest just fine can wreak havoc on a dog’s body, causing severe health problems. On the other hand, some of the foods people eat can be introduced to a dog’s diet just fine, and even provide health benefits such as joint strength, better breath, and allergy immunity.
But before giving your dog foods thatyoucrave, read on and learn which foods are safe, and which can send your dog straight to the emergency vet. And always be mindful that even healthy foods fed in excess can lead to canine obesity, a major health concern for U.S. dogs. Always choose a quality dog food as your dog’s main diet.
Human Food Safety for Dogs
Almonds: No, dogs shouldn’t eat almonds. Almonds may not necessarily be toxic to dogs like macadamia nuts are, but they can block the esophagus or even tear the windpipe if not chewed completely. Salted almonds are especially dangerous because they can increase water retention, which is potentially fatal to dogs prone to heart disease.
Bread:Yes, dogs can eat bread. Small amounts of plain bread (no spices and definitely no raisins) won’t hurt your dog, but it also won’t provide any health benefits either. It has no nutritional value and can really pack on the carbohydrates and calories, just like in people. Homemade breads are a better option than store-bought, as bread from the grocery store typically contains unnecessary preservatives, but it’s best to avoid it altogether.
Cashews:Yes, dogs can eat cashews. Cashews are OK for dogs, but only a few at a time. They’ve got calcium, magnesium, antioxidants, and proteins, but while these nuts contain less fat than others, too many can lead to weight gain and other fat-related conditions. A few cashews make a nice treat, but only if they’re unsalted.
Cheese:Yes, dogs can eat cheese in small to moderate quantities. As long as your dog isn’t lactose intolerant, which is rare, but still possible in canines, cheese can be a great treat. Many kinds of cheese can be high in fat, so go for lower-fat varieties like cottage cheese or mozzarella. Many dogs enjoy their very own dog-specific Himalayan dog chew made of dried cheese (but we don’t recommend sharing it).
Chocolate:No, dogs should never eat chocolate. This isn’t just an urban legend. Chocolate contains toxic substances called methylxanthines, which are stimulants that stop a dog’s metabolic process. Even just a little bit of chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can causediarrheaandvomiting. A large amount can cause seizures, irregular heart function, and even death. Do not have chocolate in an accessible location for your dog. If your dog does ingest chocolate, contact a veterinarian orPet Poison Helplineas soon as possible.
Cinnamon: No, dogs shouldn’t eat cinnamon. While cinnamon is not actually toxic to dogs, it’s probably best to avoid it. Cinnamon and its oils can irritate the inside of dogs’ mouths, making them uncomfortable and sick. It can lower a dog’s blood sugar too much and can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, increased, or decreased heart rate, and even liver disease. If they inhale it in powder form, cinnamon can cause difficulty breathing, coughing, and choking.
Coconut: Yes, coconut is OK for dogs. This funky fruit contains lauric acid, which can help combat bacteria and viruses. It can also help with bad breath and clearing up skin conditions like hot spots, flea allergies, and itchy skin. Coconut milk and coconut oil are safe for dogs too. Just be sure your dog doesn’t get its paws on the furry outside of the shell, which can get lodged in the throat.
Corn:Yes, dogs can eat corn. Corn is one of the most common ingredients in most dog foods. However, the cob can be hard for a dog to digest and may cause an intestinal blockage, so if you’re sharing some corn, make sure it is off the cob. (Or just opt for a squeaky corn toy instead.)
Eggs: Yes,dogs can eat eggs. Eggs are safe for dogs as long as they are fully cooked. Cooked eggs are a wonderful source of protein and can help an upset stomach. However, eating raw egg whites can contribute to biotin deficiency, so be sure to cook the eggs all the way through before giving them to your pet.
Fish:Yes, dogs can eat fish. Fish contains good fats and amino acids, giving your dog a nice health boost. Salmon and sardines are especially beneficial — salmon because it’s loaded with vitamins and protein, and sardines because they have soft, digestible bones for extra calcium. With the exception of sardines, be sure to pick out all the tiny bones, which can be tedious but is definitely necessary. Never feed your dog uncooked or undercooked fish, only fully cooked and cooled, and limit your dog’s fish intake to no more than twice a week.
Garlic: No, dogs shouldn’t eat garlic. Like onions, leeks, and chives, garlic is part of the Allium family, and it is five times more toxic to dogs than the rest of the Allium plants. Garlic can create anemia in dogs, causing side effects such as pale gums, elevated heart rate, weakness, and collapse. Poisoning from garlic and onions may have delayed symptoms, so if you think your dog may have eaten some, monitor him or her for a few days, not just right after consumption.
Ham: Yes, dogs can eat ham. Ham is OK for dogs to eat, but certainly isn’t the healthiest for them. Ham is high in sodium and fat, so while sharing a small piece is all right, it shouldn’t be a continuous habit.
Honey: Yes, dogs can eat honey. Honey is packed with countless nutrients such as vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K, potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, and antioxidants. Feeding dogs small amounts of honey can help with allergies because it introduces small amounts of pollen to their systems, building up immunity to allergens in your area. In addition to consuming honey, the sticky spread can also be used as a topical treatment for burns and superficial cuts.
Ice cream:No, dogs shouldn’t eat ice cream. As refreshing of a treat as ice cream is, it contains lots of sugar so it is best not to share with your dog. Also, some dogs have an intolerance to lactose. To avoid the milk altogether, freeze chunks of strawberries, raspberries, apples, and pineapples to give to your dog as a sweet, icy treat.
Macadamia nuts: No, dogs should never eat macadamia nuts. These are some of the most poisonous foods for dogs. Macadamia nuts, part of the Protaceae family, can cause vomiting, increased body temperature, inability to walk, and lethargy. Even worse, they can affect the nervous system. Never feed your dog macadamia nuts.
Milk:Yes, dogs can have milk. But be cautious. Some dogs are lactose-intolerant and don’t digest milk well. While it is OK for dogs to have a little milk, owners should be cognizant of the symptoms of lactose-intolerance and might want to stick to giving their dogs water.
Peanut butter: Yes, peanut butter is OK for dogs. Peanut butter can be an excellent source of protein for dogs. It contains heart-healthy fats, vitamins B and E and niacin. Raw, unsalted peanut butter is the healthiest option. Read the label carefully to be sure the peanut butter does not containxylitol, a sugar substitute that can be toxic to dogs.
Peanuts:Yes, dogs can eat peanuts. Unlike almonds, peanuts are safe for dogs to eat. They’re packed with good fats and proteins that can benefit your dog. Just be sure to give peanuts in moderation, as you don’t want your dog taking in too much fat, which can lead to pancreas issues. Also, avoid salted peanuts. Too much salt is hard for dogs to process.
Popcorn: Yes, dogs can eat popcorn. Unsalted, unbuttered, air-popped popcorn is OK for your dog in moderation. It contains riboflavin and thiamine, both of which promote eye health and digestion, as well as small amounts of iron and protein. Be sure to pop the kernels all the way before giving them to your dog, as unpopped kernels could become a choking hazard.
Pork: Yes, dogs can eat pork. Pork isa highly digestible protein, packed with amino acids, and it contains more calories per pound than other meats. Pork also may be less likely to cause an allergic reaction in some pets compared to other proteins.
Quinoa:Yes, quinoa is OK for dogs. You can now find quinoa in some high-quality dry dog foods. The strong nutritional profile of quinoa makes it a healthy alternative to corn, wheat, and soy — starches that are often used to make kibble.
Salmon:Yes, dogs can eat salmon. As mentioned above, fully cooked salmon is an excellent source of protein, good fats, and amino acids. It promotes joint and brain health and gives dog-immune systems a nice boost. However, raw or undercooked salmon contains parasites that can make dogs very sick, causing vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and, in extreme cases, even death. Be sure to cook salmon all the way through (the FDA recommends at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit) and the parasites should cook out.
Shrimp:Yes, shrimp is OK for dogs. A few shrimp every now and then is fine for your dog, but only if they are fully cooked and the shell (including the tail, head, and legs) is removed completely. Shrimp are high in antioxidants, vitamin B-12, and phosphorus, but also low in fat, calories, and carbohydrates.
Tuna:Yes, dogs can eat tuna, but only in small amounts. In moderation, cooked, fresh tuna is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which promotes heart and eye health. As for canned tuna, it contains small amounts of mercury and sodium, which should be avoided in excess. A little bit of canned tuna and tuna juice here and there is fine — prepared only in water, not oil — as long as it doesn’t contain any spices.
Turkey:Yes, dogs can eat turkey. Turkey is fine for dogs, but be sure to remove excess fat and skin from the meat. Don’t forget to check for bones; poultry bones can splinter during digestion, causing blockage or even tears in the intestines. Any meat with excessive salt, seasonings, onions or garlic should not be fed.
Wheat/grains:Yes, dogs can eat wheat and other grains. Dogs do not have to be grain-free; it is perfectly OK for them to have grains. In fact, grains like wheat and corn are great sources of protein, essential fatty acids, and fiber. If your dog has certain allergies, however, it might be best to avoid grains, but it truly depends on your dog. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations.
Yogurt:Yes, yogurt is OK for dogs. Plain yogurt is a perfectly acceptable snack for dogs. However, some dogs may have trouble digesting dairy products. If your dog can digest it, the active bacteria in yogurt can help strengthen the digestive system with probiotics. Plain yogurt is the best choice. Avoid any yogurts with added sugar, and skip all yogurt with artificial sweeteners.
What foods must dogs never eat? ›
- Chocolate. Chocolate contains a very toxic substance called methylxanthines, which are stimulants that can stop a dog's metabolic process. ...
- Avocados. ...
- Onions and Garlic. ...
- Grapes and Raisins. ...
- Milk and other Dairy Products. ...
- Macadamia Nuts. ...
- Sugary foods and drinks. ...
Cherry pits. Candy (particularly chocolate—which is toxic to dogs, cats, and ferrets—and any candy containing the toxic sweetener Xylitol) Chives. Coffee (grounds, beans, and chocolate-covered espresso beans)What are the top 10 toxic foods for dogs? ›
- Milk & Other Dairy Products.
- Human Vitamins Containing Iron:
- Large Quantities Of Liver:
- Macadamia Nuts:
- Grapes and Raisins:
- Onions & Garlic:
- Chocolate & Anything With Caffeine.
- Chocolate and Caffeine. It's a pretty well-known fact that chocolate is harmful to dogs. ...
- Grapes and Raisins. ...
- Alcohol and Raw Bread Dough. ...
- Xylitol. ...
- Onions and Garlic. ...
- Other Foods Harmful to Dogs.
Eggs are perfectly safe for dogs, Eggs are a great source of nutrition for your canine companion. They are high in protein, fatty acids, vitamins, and fatty acids that help support your dog inside and out. Remember that eggs are only as good as the chicken they come from.Are bananas good for dogs? ›
Yes, dogs can eat bananas. In moderation, bananas are a great low-calorie treat for dogs. They're high in potassium, vitamins, biotin, fiber, and copper. They are low in cholesterol and sodium, but because of their high sugar content, bananas should be given as a treat, not part of your dog's main diet.What is the 1 meat you should never feed your dog? ›
Bacon, Ham and Fat Trimmings
Bacon, bacon grease, ham, and fat trimmed off meat or bones contains a lot of salt and/or fat and at the least can cause indigestion, vomiting, and diarrhea in both dogs and cats. These foods can also cause pancreatitis, a serious, potentially deadly inflammation of the pancreas.
Apple slices make a delicious, healthy snack for your dog and can help keep your dog's teeth clean and their breath fresh. However, the core of the apple and the apple seeds especially can be harmful to dogs. Apple seeds contain a small amount of cyanide which is released when they're broken or chewed.Is bread bad for dogs? ›
The short answer to the question “can dogs eat bread?” is yes. Dogs can safely eat bread in much the same way as humans—in moderation. Plain white and wheat bread are generally safe for dogs to eat, provided they don't have any allergies, and it usually does not cause any stomach upset.What fruit is poisonous to dogs? ›
Steer clear of: Cherries are toxic to cats and dogs, and grapes and raisins can cause kidney damage. Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and grapefruit as well as persimmons can cause an upset stomach.
Is cheese bad for dogs? ›
According to the ASPCA, "because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other dairy-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset." The takeaway: Don't give your dog cheese as part of their regular meal plan or as a frequent treat.Can dogs eat potatoes? ›
White potatoes belong to the nightshade family of vegetables, which includes tomatoes; like tomatoes, raw potatoes contain solanine, a compound that is toxic to some dogs. However, cooking a potato reduces the levels of solanine. If you do feed your dog a potato, it should be baked or boiled, with nothing added to it.Is peanut butter bad for dogs? ›
Yes, dogs can eat peanut butter as long as it is fed in moderation and does not contain xylitol, so get out that pet-safe peanut butter jar and share the good news.What veggies can dogs not eat? ›
- Grapes and raisins. The first on our list has to be grapes and raisins. ...
- Avocados. ...
- Pips, seeds and stones. ...
- Mushrooms. ...
- Nuts. ...
- Unripe tomatoes. ...
- Onions and garlic. ...
- Kale. This supercharged leafy green contains loads of vitamins, including A, E, and C. ...
- Carrots. Crunchy and naturally sweet, carrots are loved by most dogs. ...
- Pumpkin. ...
- Sweet Potatoes. ...
- Fish. ...
- Nori (dried seaweed) ...
- Chia seeds. ...
Dogs Don't Digest Milk Well
Ice cream can cause your dog gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea or vomiting. Remember, your dog can't voice their concerns to you, so while they might look OK on the outside, they could be experiencing some major digestive issues on the inside.
Many dog foods contain fish because it is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. But can dogs eat tuna? The answer is no. You shouldn't feed your canine companion the saltwater fish because it could lead to a number of different health problems.Is yogurt good for dogs? ›
Can most dogs eat yogurt? Yes, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they should. While yogurt is not toxic to dogs, many canines might have trouble digesting it because it contains lactose. And plenty of pups have trouble with foods that contain lactose, such as milk.Can dogs have cucumbers? ›
Are Cucumbers Safe for Dogs? Cucumbers are perfectly safe for dogs to eat, and offer a low-calorie, crunchy snack that many dogs love. Cucumbers only contain about 8 calories per one-half cup of slices, compared to the 40 calories in a single medium biscuit, and are very low in sodium and fat.Can dogs have popcorn? ›
So, can dogs eat popcorn? In and of itself, fully popped, unseasoned popcorn is safe for dogs in small quantities, as long as it's popped using methods that don't require oil, such as air popping.
Can dogs have broccoli? ›
Absolutely, so long as it's in moderation. Broccoli should be regarded as a nutritious snack — not a meal. Offer this veggie alongside a well-balanced dog food formulated for your pet's specific nutritional needs.Is cheese bad for dogs? ›
According to the ASPCA, "because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other dairy-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset." The takeaway: Don't give your dog cheese as part of their regular meal plan or as a frequent treat.Is peanut butter good for dogs? ›
Most peanut butter is safe for dogs to eat, and in moderation peanut butter can be an excellent source of protein and healthy fats, vitamins B and E, and niacin.Can dogs eat peanut butter? ›
' The good news is that regular peanut butter is safe to give your dog as a treat. Just make sure to avoid peanut butter with Xylitol, a sugar substitute found in lower or sugar-free products. Xylitol is the only ingredient in peanut butter that's bad for dogs.