What Human Food Can Dogs Eat?

by Irene Hislop

01 August 2019



Dogs are very, very keen on persuading us to share our food with them. It’s hard to resist those pleading eyes, and many dog owners do indulge their best friends with some table scraps. The really dangerous foods such as chocolate, grapes and anything with xylitol are well known. But what about the safe foods? What human food can dogs eat? What’s good for them and what’s okay as an occasional treat or in small amounts? Things that are unhealthy for us are generally unhealthy for our dogs. Take aways, fried foods and sugary treats are all no-nos. But there are plenty of human foods dogs can eat.

Here’s our list of 50 human foods that are safe for dogs. We’ve divided it into two sections – foods that completely fine for your dog to enjoy and foods that are okay in small amounts or as an occasional treat. Remember, how the food is cooked is very important. Most sauces contain garlic, onion or other dangerous foods so should be avoided.

12 Meats & Proteins Your Dog Can Enjoy

These 12 foods are healthy sources of protein for your dog. Remove any bones, especially with chicken, duck, turkey and fish, and your dog can enjoy cooked meat. While dogs can be lactose intolerant, few are.

  1. Beef – Aside from fast food burgers, your dog can enjoy beef cooked in many different ways.
  2. Lamb – Many dogs with sensitive stomachs have an easier time digesting lamb.
  3. Pork – Roasts and boneless chops are fine, but don’t give your dog bacon or sausages. A very small bit of ham occasionally is no harm.
  4. Chicken – Be sure to remove any bones to prevent choking and protect your dog’s digestive tract from sharp bone fragments.
  5. Turkey – Turkey has a bad rap for dogs, but if you leave out the Christmas seasonings, take off the skin and remove any bones, it is healthy protein for your dog.
  6. Duck – Rich in protein, duck is popular with pups. Just make sure it is free of bones or sauce.
  7. Salmon – A great source of omega 3, salmon is a very healthy choice as long as bones are removed.
  8. Herring – Similar to salmon, boneless herring is a real treat for your dog.
  9. Sardines – Dogs like the strong flavour, but avoid prepared salty versions.
  10. Peanut butter – Natural, unsweetened peanut butter is a firm favourite with Fido; just avoid brands with added sweetener, especial xylitol, which can kill dogs.
  11. Yogurt – Natural, probiotic yogurt can be a tasty option for dogs with dodgy tummies. Flavoured or sweetened yogurts are, however, dangerous.
  12. Eggs – Boiled, scrambled or poached, eggs give your dog’s coat a great glossy shine.

14 Veggies that Get Tails Wagging

Canines are omnivores. While most of their food should be meat, fruits and vegetables are also part of a healthy diet. Raw is usually best, but cooked leftovers are fine if they are free of sauces, seasonings and sweeteners. Thaw frozen fruits and vegetables before giving them to your dog. Seeds, pits, rinds and peels should always be removed.

  1. Carrots – Crunchy carrots are a satisfying and healthy snack for dogs that love to chew.
  2. Pumpkin – Cooked pumpkin is an effective help for dogs with digestive woes.
  3. Sweet Potato – Cooked and peeled well, sweet potato provides dogs with vitamins A and C, iron and fibre, but dogs at risk of diabetes or heart disease should avoid them.
  4. Potato – The humble spud’s safety for your dog depends on how it is cooked. Baked, boiled or mashed is grand, but don’t share chipper chips with your dog.
  5. Green peas – Unless your dog has kidney problems, fresh or frozen green peas are a healthy treat, but avoid canned ones because they have too much sodium.
  6. Green beans – Like peas, fresh and frozen are fab but canned are not cool.
  7. Broccoli – Cut into small pieces to avoid choking, raw or cooked broccoli is a good source of fibre.
  8. Cauliflower – Cut up small, the biggest risk of giving your dog a bit of raw or cooked cauliflower is flatulence.
  9. Courgette – If your garden has given you a bumper crop of courgettes, your dog can help you eat them. Low in calories and high in nutrients, courgettes are a healthy snack.
  10. Cucumber –  This veggie is a fun, crunchy snack that helps your dog stay hydrated in hot weather.
  11. Celery – Chop too much celery for your recipe? It is totally fine to put a little in your dog’s dish.
  12. Lettuce – As long you have not added dressing to it, you can share this salad basic with your dog.
  13. Mushrooms – Avoid wild mushrooms because they can be poisonous, but store-bought ones are fine for dogs.
  14. Spinach – This is a fantastic source of iron for people and dogs.

12 Fabulous Fruits for Fido

Some dogs have a real sweet tooth. That’s why chocolate is such a risk – it’s poison to them, but dogs can’t resist it. In moderation, these fruits can safely satisfy your dog’s cravings for sweet things.

  • Apple – Dogs love crunchy sweet slices of apple, but should not have the core or seeds.
  • Pear – They are softer and sweeter than apples, but the same rules apply.
  • Apricots – Full of iron, apricots can be fed provided you carefully remove any stem, leaves or seeds. Those are toxic, and the pit is a lethal choking hazard.
  • Bananas – All that potassium and magnesium makes bananas a good treat for a dog with a sweet tooth.
  • Blueberries – This superfood is super for your dog too.
  • Cranberries – Fresh or frozen unsweetened cranberries are another superfood you can share.
  • Cantaloupe – Yes, some dogs love it, and yes it is fine to give them a bit of the flesh but not the rind or seeds.
  • Watermelon – Nothing says summer like watermelon, and your dog can share a bit of yours if you are willing to pick the seeds out and cut the rind off.
  • Mango – Full of vitamins, mango is actually good for your dog in moderation, but be sure he doesn’t get any of the pit.
  • Raspberries – While you should never assume berries you encounter in the countryside are safe for you or your dog, raspberries are a sweet treat he can enjoy.
  • Strawberries – This garden favourite is safe for your best friend.
  • Pineapple – Your dog is not likely to beg for this, but if she does, she can have a little pineapple flesh.

4 Grand Grains for Your Dog

Grains for dogs are a hot topic. The reality is that all dogs are different. Some have intolerances to some grains, but a bit of these is a normal, healthy part of most dog’s diets. If you cook these grains and don’t add anything to them that isn’t on this list, your dog can safely eat them.

  • Rice – Easily digested, plain brown rice is in many dog foods and adding a little to your dog’s dinner is fine. White rice is more processed but harmless in small amounts.
  • Cooked porridge – If you haven’t added sugar, raisins or the like, your dog will happily help you dispose of any leftover cooked porridge.
  • Barley – We don’t hear as much about barely these days, but your dog doesn’t care what’s trendy. A bit of barley will agree with most dogs.
  • Quinoa – Dogs should not go vegan, but they can enjoy some of your leftover quinoa as long as it does not have any dangerous seasonings or sweetener.

8 Special Treats Safe in Small Amounts

None of these seven human foods should be a regular part of your dog’s diet, but as special treats given in small amounts, they are harmless.

  • Cheese – Dogs love cheese, and the only problem for them is that it is a bit high in fat. But if you have get pills into your dog, wrapping them in a slice of cheese helps a lot.
  • Cashews – While most nuts are dangerous for dogs, cashews are the exception.
  • Coconut – It may sound nutty, but coconut flesh, milk and oil is safe for your dog in small amounts. Just don’t give him the shell.
  • Sweet Corn – Never give your dog corn on the cob, but a little sweet corn is harmless for most dogs. Dogs with sensitive tummies should avoid it, however.
  • Popcorn – Yes, your dog can indulge in popcorn when she joins you for movie night. Prepare her a separate bowl of unsalted popcorn and ensure it has no unpopped kernels.
  • Tuna – A little tuna in water, not oil, can be great to revive a dog’s appetite or give a pill.
  • Bread – Sure your dog will love those uneaten bread crusts, just make sure it is plain bread without raisins or spices.
  • Oranges – Not the best fruit for your dog because they are acidic, oranges are harmless for dogs with sturdy stomachs. Their cousins lemons and limes, however, are not safe for any dogs.

Whenever you are introducing a new food to your dog, start with a small amount to ensure he doesn’t react badly. This is not a guide to how to feed your dog. It is simply a list of 50 items answering the question ‘what human foods can dogs eat?’. All dogs are individuals. One will carve a particular fruit and rob it from the grocery bags you are unpacking while another will turn up their nose at some meats. These 50 human foods your dog can eat are generally safe for most dogs as an addition to their regular diet.

Irene Hislop

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