We’ll answer what human foods dogs can eat, but first, we must consider:
Is it safe to feed dogs human foods?
Yes, it is generally safe to feed dogs human foods. However, there are several rules and exceptions, which will be covered in this post.
Before sharing any table food with your dog be sure that it does not contain any of the hazardous ingredients mentioned below!
For more details on the fruits and vegetables dogs can and cannot eat, please refer to our posts, “The Complete List of the Best Fruits Dogs Can Eat Plus Tips & 2 Simple Recipes!” and “The Ultimate Guide to Vegetables Dogs Can Eat PLUS Our Top 4 Favorites.”
What foods should you keep away from dogs?
- Chocolate is toxic for dogs. Chocolate contains two toxic compounds: theobromine and caffeine.
- Darker chocolate contains a higher concentration of these toxins.
- When dogs consume chocolate, vomiting or diarrhea, racing heart, and panting are among the common symptoms. Just a few ounces of chocolate will cause a small dog to become ill.
- In severe cases, where a large amount of chocolate is consumed or the dog has pre-existing conditions, ingesting chocolate could cause dogs cardiac arrest.
- Garlic is part of the allium family (which also includes leeks, scallions, chives, and shallots) and is toxic for dogs.
- As mentioned in our post on vegetables dogs can eat, members of the allium family contain a compound that damages hemoglobin.
- This damage will result in anemia and eventually may lead to internal organ damage, organ failure, or even death.
- If you share cooked food with your pet, it is crucial that the food is unseasoned for this reason.
- Macadamia nuts are toxic for dogs, even in small amounts!
- The negative effects from consuming macadamia nuts include weakness, depression, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- The fact that they are a fatty food makes them even more dangerous if consumed in large amounts by dogs because they could lead to pancreatitis.
- Grapes and raisins are both highly toxic to dogs.
- If consumed, dogs can experience symptoms such as loss of appetite, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea, and kidney failure.
- For more information on the fruits dogs can eat, please refer to our guide.
- Avocado contains the toxin persin.
- Persin can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs!
- Nightshades, including white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and red pepper spices (i.e. paprika, chili powder, cayenne) contain the poison solanine.
- Solanine can harm dogs by causing heart problems, difficulty breathing, and GI upset.
- Ethanol is found in alcoholic beverages, as well as some baked goods.
- It is vital that dogs do not consume any products that contain alcohol.
- If you’re sharing food from the table with your dog, first ensure that alcohol was not used in the cooking process.
What foods should you limit?
These foods are not toxic but their potential negative effects should still be acknowledged.
- Almonds are not easily digestible, therefore it is best to avoid them to your dog.
- There are a few risks if dogs eat almonds: consuming them may cause gastric intestinal distress, pancreatitis (due to the high-fat content), or choking.
- Beware of salted or seasoned almonds because these pose additional risks.
- Cooked eggs are a dog-friendly food BUT only when they’re cooked all the way through and prepared plain, without any seasoning.
- In an upcoming post we will get into all the do’s and don’ts of feeding dogs eggs.
- Cinnamon is not dangerous for dogs in small amounts but can irritate your dog’s mouth or cause difficulty breathing.
- In large amounts, cinnamon could cause vomiting, diarrhea, racing heart, low blood sugar, or liver disease.
- Part of the danger of feeding dogs human foods with cinnamon is that these items often also contain nutmeg.
- Unlike cinnamon, nutmeg is toxic because it contains myristicin. Myristicin affects the central nervous system and leads to hallucinations, seizures, racing heart, dizziness, nausea, etc.
What are human foods dogs can eat and how you know what is healthy and safe to feed dogs human foods from your fridge, pantry, and plate?
It can be hard to know whether it’s healthy or safe to feed dogs human foods you may be eating. So, we’ve come up with a few suggestions to help guide your decisions:
- Avoid Processed Foods. You and your dog should avoid processed foods.
- Why? Most processed foods have reduced nutrition value and more preservatives, artificial colors, and questionable additives.
- Look for Simple Ingredients: Simple, wholesome ingredients equals superior nutrition and health.
- If you want your dog to live a happy and healthy life, choose simple ingredients!
- Avoid Sugar, Salt, and Fat: It’s no surprise that sugar, salt, and fat are on the list of ingredients to avoid. While these ingredients are frequently comrades with processed foods, these days we’re seeing them paired with healthy and/or organic ingredients.
- What’s the bottom line? Your dog doesn’t need added sugar, salt, or fat so Just Say No!
- Processed Meats are Especially Concerning. Why? Most processed meats are packed with lots of salt, additives, and chemical preservatives.
- Substantial research of processed meats and their ingredients shows a strong link between them with increased risk of heart disease and cancer. Although there’s not much dog-specific research, there’s no reason to believe dogs are immune to these health consequences.
- Most Fast Food Is a No: 99% of all fast foods violate at least one if not all of the above guidelines, so it’s not surprising that they should be on your “NO” list for your pup.
- So what do you if you’re traveling or in a pinch? Say no to pizza, burgers, and subs. Instead, choose simple, high nutrition ingredients like grilled (not fried) chicken.
- Sadly, even what seems like a simple protein probably has tons of salt added to it at many fast food outlets, so packing some healthy food for your pup (and you) is always the best option.
- Don’t Overfeed Your Dog. An estimated 54% of all dogs are classified as overweight or obese in the US. Sadly, most of the foods in the typical American’s fridge, pantry, or plate have contributed to human obesity trends, and they’ll do the same for your pup.
- So, choose healthy, human foods in moderation for your dog. And when giving your dog treats, there are tons of healthy choices like our organic, human grade dog treats, Yitto Paws Granola Bites.
- Choose Organic. When shopping for yourself and your dog, organic choices that follow the above guidelines will be healthiest, especially for produce.
- Not only do organic items contain more antioxidants, they are also prepared with more care and attention to higher quality ingredients.
- Read more about why organic makes a difference before you feed dogs human foods.
- Read Ingredient Labels. Always read the label! There are tons of products out there that are marketed as healthy, but in actuality are filled with highly processed ingredients.
- You can always uncover these fraudulent foods by carefully reading labels for you and your dog! Look out for any ingredients or toxins mentioned in this post.
- Be especially careful with baked goods, as they could contain chocolate, macadamia nuts, or raisins, all of which are toxic to dogs.
- Beware of toxins like xylitol, which commonly appears in ingredient lists of cookies, pudding, ice cream, chocolate, some peanut butters, and sugar-free items (i.e. sugar-free gum, sugar-free syrup, low calorie baked goods).
What are some ways to share human foods with your dog?
Here are 3 recipes inspired by popular human foods that your dogs will love:
- Instead of sharing pizza from the table with your dog, make them their own special Pizza Dog Bones! This recipe contains Greek yogurt, an ingredient highlighted in our post on feeding dogs dairy.
- Peanut butter, oats, eggs, and Greek yogurt in this Homemade Dog Donuts recipe make it a healthy treat for your dogs! Just be sure to look for dog-friendly peanut butter brands that are not high in sugar or salt, and do not contain xylitol.
- This Fried Rice-Style DIY Dog Food recipe is jam-packed with nutritious ingredients, such as brown rice, spinach, carrots, etc.
All of these recipes are coming soon to the blog so be on the look out!