We are sure there isn’t a dog on the planet who doesn’t peer up at you, with those wide puppy eyes, when you are eating your human food.
If they are sneaky enough, they may get a lick, or you may give in and offer them a small scrap!
Sometimes, you don’t even think about it, but how safe are human foods for our pets and what can dogs eat?
Some of the common human foods are perfectly safe to offer as a treat, like watermelon or carrots but, some are not only dangerous but potentially fatal, like grapes and macademia nuts.
So keep on reading to find out which foods are safe for dogs and which are dangerous.
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Can Dogs Eat:
Sesame Seeds: Yes. Sesame seeds won’t cause harm to your dog, but being high in carbohydrates and calories, they’re not an ideal choice for feeding, especially if they’re sprinkled on a bagel! Whilst high in magnesium, iron, calcium and fiber, they should be rationed. Carefully!
Limes: No. Causing vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy, limes are classed as toxic to dogs. Be mindful if you have fruit bowls at dog height!
Asparagus: Yes. Dogs can safely eat asparagus, but as it’s quite tough, some dogs will turn their nose up at it! It’s easier to eat in it’s cooked form, but then loses some vital nutrients. The long and the short of it, it’s safe, but not particularly beneficial to dogs.
Grapes: No. Just like raisins, grapes are classed as toxic to dogs. Just the accidental one can be fatal as it leads to acute and sudden kidney failure. Stay away!
Peanuts: Caution. Whilst peanut butter is often given to dogs, peanuts in their true form are a different story. Many shop bought peanuts are high in salt which is harmful to your dog’s health. They are also high in fat which can be a risk for dogs with pancreatitis. Peanuts are high in protein, Vitamin B6, E and Niacin, but you must weigh up both the pros and cons.
Peanut Butter: Yes. Just make sure it has no added xylitol. This sweetener is toxic to dogs.
Sugar: Yes. Dogs can use cooked carbohydrates for energy, but they primarily need fat and protein. Just like in humans, too much sugar causes a range of health issues in dogs!
Sugar Snap Peas: Yes. High in Vitamin A, K and a range of B’s, they are an easy snack for your dog to digest. You can feed fresh or frozen and yes, they can eat the pod too!
Cheese: Yes. Cheese is safe for dogs to eat, but like in humans, only in moderation. You may notice some trainers use it as a high value treat. It’s also a handy way to hide medications! Just avoid blue cheese as the mold can make your pooch poorly!
Cottage Cheese: Yes. Cottage cheese is also safe for dogs to eat, in moderation. High in protein and calcium it is sometimes offered as a kong stuffing! Be mindful, not all dogs tolerate dairy, so any sign of digestive discomfort – stop feeding!
Basil: Yes. Safe for both dogs and cats, some owners will sprinkle it on top of their pet’s meal for it’s anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant benefits! Again, only use in moderation and speak with your vet before supplementing for any health issues.
Cat Food: Yes. Cats and dogs have very different nutritional needs. Whilst the odd scrap of cat food stolen from the bowl isn’t the end of the world, your dog should be fed a food that meet’s his own needs.
Blueberries: Yes. Nutritional powerhouses, blueberries contain potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6. They also contain flavonoids which support neurological function.
Watermelon: Yes. Perfectly safe for your dog to eat, just don’t overdo it! Chop into chunks and remove the seeds before feeding! Packed full of nutrients, it is also a great hydrator on those warm days!
Watermelon Rind: No. Always remove the rind before feeding watermelon to your dog.
Brussel Sprouts: Yes. Loaded with nutrients like vitamins C, A, B1, B6 and K, whether you love them or hate them, brussel sprouts are good for you and your dog! However, like in humans, sprouts cause a lot of gas, so perhaps don’t feed them if you’re having guests around! Cook them first, steamed or boiled is best!
Ice Cream: Caution. Not necessarily bad for your dog, ice cream isn’t exactly great either! Loaded with sugar, it’s not the best snack to offer! A lick of your spoon isn’t toxic, but we’re sure you can find better treats for your furry friend!
Nuts: Caution. We’ve already mentioned peanuts, and despite them being high in sodium and fat, they aren’t toxic. However, as you know there are so many nuts on the market. Most nuts, although not ideal, are safe to feed, but macadamia and black walnuts are toxic to dogs. Never feed them. Also stay away from any chocolate coated nuts!
Walnuts: No. Black, Japanese and English walnuts can also cause gastric upset in dogs. The mycotoxins found in the mold can also cause neurological symptoms!
Coconut: Yes. Dogs can eat coconut meat and coconut oil. Being high in lauric acid it can help fight off viruses and infection. Coconut also has great anti-inflammatory properties!
Butternut Squash: Yes. Non-toxic to dogs, squash is perfectly safe to feed in moderation! Cook it first, it can even be helpful in cases of digestive discomfort!
Corn: Yes. Being a regular ingredient in many dry dog foods, corn is safe for dogs. However, like with any food, some dogs do have sensitivity to corn.
Popcorn: Yes. As corn is safe for dogs to eat, it stands to reason that popcorn is too! Just be mindful if you add any toppings; the added salt or sugar aren’t necessary in your dog’s diet!
Corn Cobs: No. The cob isn’t easily digested by dogs, so can cause digestive issues along with obstruction! Keep your dog away from the BBQ, or cut some corn off the cob if those puppy dog eyes are getting too much to bear!
Onions: No. Containing the toxic N-propyl disulfide, onions cause a breakdown of red blood cells which leads to anemia. In short, onions are absolutely toxic to your dog and should not be fed!
Pork: Caution. Some dogs foods contain pork and are well-tolerated. Others argue that dogs should only be fed the meat from true herbivores. The jury is still out, if it suits your dog, then feed it, if it doesn’t, then don’t. Always seek veterinarian advice if you are concerned!
Garlic: No. Another one that the jury is still out. It is classed as a poison by many lists, but then other owners feed garlic for it’s flea repellent properties and various health benefits! Although it is advised not to feed it to pregnant bitches, puppies under 6 months or breeds like Akitas and Shiba Inus. It can also interact with a range of medications. If you do want to feed, research in detail and speak with your veterinarian.
Bread: Yes. Bread isn’t necessarily bad for dogs, it just doesn’t have any nutritional value! In short, there are much better things to offer as a treat or snack!
Celery: Yes. Celery is safe for dogs to eat and can be as great chewing aid! It is full of dietary fiber, aiding your dog’s digestion. It also contains vitamin K, potassium, B vitamins, magnesium, calcium and manganese. Cut it lengthways to avoid posing a choking hazard though!
Hot Dogs: Yes. Not bad per se, they’re not a great choice either! Just take a look at the list of ingredients! A scrap at the BBQ isn’t the end of the world, but again, there are better snacks out there!
Turkey: Yes. Turkey is a lean protein that some dogs love! If it’s cooked, remove all the meat from the bone. Never feed cooked bones to your dog as they can splinter.
Marshmallows: No. Though not all marshmallows are toxic to dogs, the majority are, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry! Filled with sugar, corn syrup, cornstarch and often xylitol, there’s not one ounce of nutritional goodness in there for your pup! High in calories, they’re not great for us humans either, but we can make our choices around the campfire! Keep those mallows away from Fido!
Blackberries: Yes. Safe for your pooch to eat, blackberries are rich in a range of vitamins and minerals. Just be mindful of blackberry desserts or preserves, the added sugar is not great for your pup!
Cherries: No. Dogs should never be given cherries. Their pit, stem and leaves contain cyanide which is poisonous and potentially fatal! The pits can also cause an obstruction.
Almonds: No. Whilst not toxic, almonds are not digested easily by dogs leading to a range of gastric issues! Watch for sickness, lethargy and diarrhea if your dog has gotten a hold of them!
Pineapple: Yes. A tasty treat for your pooch, pineapple is safe to feed Fido. It can be fed in chunks, raw or frozen. Pineapple is high in water and Vitamin C. Feed in moderation and only if your dog tolerates it!
Cantaloupe: Yes. A good source of dietary fiber, this melon is safe to feed your pup! Low in calories and high in water it’s a great way to stay hydrated in the warmer months!
Shrimp: Yes. Full of nutrients like Vitamin B12, niacin, phosphorus and anti-oxidants, shrimp can offer some health benefits to your pooch! Low in fat, calories and carbohydrates, they aren’t going to start packing on the pounds. However, they are high in cholesterol, so be mindful of quantity!
Zucchini: Yes. In moderation, zucchini is a great treat for your dog. Full of fiber, vitamins and minerals it is a great alternative to high carbohydrate treats!
Peaches: Yes. Whilst dogs don’t need fruit in their diet, it can be a welcome alternative to normal treats. For some dogs peaches can cause digestive discomfort, so be mindful when feeding and watch for any signs.
Beets: Yes. In their cooked form, beets are safe to feed to your pup, in moderation. This root vegetable is non-toxic and full of fiber! Cook it and chunk it for some added color to your dog’s dinner!
Strawberries: Yes. Fed in moderation, strawberries are a tasty treat for Fido. Not making up more than 10% of your dog’s diet, treats can get a little boring! Having a high water content, they help keep your dog hydrated, but they are also high in natural sugar so even more reason to keep the portion small!
Mango: Yes. The sweet fruit is often a firm favorite with many dogs. Soft when ripe, it can even be eaten by those older pooches! Peel and chop it and don’t forget to remove the pit! It poses a choking hazard and also contains traces of cyanide!
Kiwi: Yes. If you’re snacking on a kiwi, it’s perfectly fine to offer your dog some as a treat. But feed in moderation. They don’t gain the same health benefits as us, so it’s more a sweet treat than any nutritional powerhouse!
Beans: Caution. Pet food manufacturers argue they are perfectly fine in foods, but like in human nutrition circles, legumes are often listed as things to avoid where possible. This is due to the prevalence of phytates and lectins. Not an easy call as there isn’t a consensus. Is it better to be safe than sorry and avoid?
Oatmeal: Yes. In moderation, oatmeal is safe to feed dogs and is often added to meals as a source of fiber or energy in working dogs. It shouldn’t be a staple in the diet, but certainly has its uses!
Lima Beans: Caution. As above, the choice ultimately is yours.
Pears: Yes. Whilst dogs can eat pears, moderation is key. Full of vitamin C, A and fiber, they are a healthy snack. But too many can lead to an upset tummy, so be mindful as you’re feeding!
Grapefruit: Yes. Dogs are safe to eat it, but most will choose not to due to the bitter taste. It can also cause digestive discomfort, so it seems they know instinctively what to eat and what to avoid. Don’t force your dog to eat it, if he scavenges a piece, watch for any digestive discomfort.
Cucumbers: Yes. Low in calories, cucumbers are a safe, crunchy snack for your dog. Being somewhat healthy, they can often be overfed to dogs which can result in digestive discomfort. Also ensure you chop lengthways so the pieces don’t pose a choking hazard!
Bananas: Yes. In moderation, bananas are a great source of potassium, manganese, fiber, vitamin B6 and C. Dogs aren’t able to easily digest the peel though so remember to remove this before you feed banana to your pooch.
Kale: Yes. In very small quantities, cooked kale is nothing to worry about. However it does contain calcium oxalate which can cause kidney and bladder stones and also isothiocyanates which cause gastric irritation in dogs. So, whilst it’s a powerhouse of nutrients for humans, the same can’t really be said for your faithful friend.
Avocado: No. Sharing your avo on toast with your pooch. Stop right there. There is much confusion around feeding avocado to dogs, but the Pet Poison Helpline is clear; it’s mildly toxic. The pit also poses a risk of obstruction and there is the potential of pancreatitis flare ups due to it’s fat content.
Broccoli: Yes. Feed broccoli only in moderation due the prevalence of isothiocyanates. These cause gastric upset. Your dog can eat the whole of the broccoli apart from the leaves, and remember to cook first! Keep it unseasoned as well!
Lettuce: Yes. If you can get your dog to eat it, lettuce is totally safe to feed your dog. But, like kids, they are often reluctant to eat their greens. As dogs tend to get their nutrients mostly from protein and fat sources, it’s not the end of the world if your pooch isn’t keen for some leftover salad. Make sure the lettuce is dressing free too!
Eggplant: Yes. In it’s cooked form, this nightshade is fine for your pooch. Never feed the leaves and only ever feed cooked chunks in moderation. Some dogs dislike the taste, so never force them to eat anything they don’t want to. But if they’ve stolen a piece off your plate, it’s not likely anything to worry about.
Honey: Yes. If you are looking for a way to tempt your dog to take it’s medication, then honey is sometimes an option. Not to be fed regularly due to the high sugar content, honey is fine as an odd treat. Just like other high sugar foods, too much can contribute to obesity and other associated health problems.
Raspberries: Yes. Who wouldn’t love this sweet little berry! When in season, nothing can beat the taste and you’ll be pleased to know your dog doesn’t have to miss out either. Full of anti-oxidants, fiber, vitamin C and minerals like potassium, copper, folic acid and magnesium, this little fruit really is a powerhouse! You can feed fresh or frozen as a treat and we’re sure your dog will love you for it!
Dates: Yes. After the pit has been removed, if your pooch sneaks one off your plate, it’s nothing to worry about. Dates shouldn’t form a large part of your dog’s diet though due to the high sugar content.
Apples: Yes. This crunchy treat is perfect for your pooch! Offering vitamin C and fiber, they are a healthy alternative to carby treats! Chop it lengthways so it doesn’t pose a choking risk and remove the seeds!
Oranges: Yes. Being non-toxic to dogs, they are a safe snack to offer, but they are high in sugar and they can sometimes cause gastric upset. Feed sparingly and always start with a small piece. Watch for signs of digestive discomfort; if this occurs, stop feeding.
Hummus: No. Whilst chickpeas are generally OK for dogs to eat, the added ingredients in hummus usually cause digestive discomfort. Keep that pot away from him!
Mint: Yes. Most types of mint are enjoyed by dogs; owners too when it freshens Fido’s breath! Use the actual plant leaves if you are making your own treats or popping it on his meals and never feed mint candy!
Parsley: Yes. Containing large amounts of vitamin K, C and A it is quite the powerhouse that can be added to your dog’s meal. Just keep it away from your pregnant bitch – it is known to stimulate the uterus.
Mushrooms: Caution. Dogs can safely eat a range of mushrooms, but there are also types they cannot. You’re relatively safe if they are store bought shrooms, but unless your foraging skills are impeccable, you could be putting your dog at risk. Perhaps best to err on the side of caution with this one, as the nutritional benefits are hotly debated anyway!
Yogurt: Yes. They can, but it doesn’t mean they should! Many yoghurts are high in sugar and calories, which you don’t need to add to your dog’s diet. Plain Greek yoghurt is often the better choice, providing your dog can digest it of course – you’ll soon know if he can’t!
Raw Chicken: Yes. Whilst the topic is hotly debated, raw chicken is safe for your dog to eat if it has been handled and prepared correctly. Dogs are better equipped at dealing with certain bacteria in their gut, which makes raw meats less of a risk.
Tums: Yes. Tums are non-toxic to dogs, but they are also not recommended for long term use by veterinarians. If your vet suggests using it as a one off solution to an upset tummy, your dog will be fine; but never give human medication without first consulting your veterinarian.
Tuna: Yes. A great source of Omega 3, tuna is a great addition to your dog’s diet. Oily fish has been known to support eye and neurological function. Puppies supplemented with Omega-3 have been found to be more trainable than those not!
Persimmons: Yes. Rich in vitamin C and A, they are healthy treats for your pooch. But again, feed in moderation. Remove the pit and seeds as these can cause digestive discomfort for your dog.
Cranberries: Yes. Fresh or cooked, cranberries can be given to your dog. If you’re feeling a little guilty around the holidays, you can spruce up his meal with some added cranberries! Easily grown a relatively cheap, these are a useful snack to have in the bank!
Chia Seeds: Yes. Another food high in Omega-3, chia seeds are fine in your dog’s diet. Introduce slowly and watch for signs of digestive discomfort. Most dogs will eat them as they are super-easy to sprinkle over their meal. Again, there’s no need to feed excessively, but if you’re making a smoothie, then save some back!
Seaweed: Yes. Most seaweed is safe for dogs to eat. But it depends where it’s from and how it’s cooked. If it’s been sautéed in garlic and oil, finish the plate yourself. Found on the beach? Leave it there! The most common use is supplemental, but as always speak with your veterinarian before adding any new supplements to your dog’s diet.
Potatoes: Yes. Who hasn’t given their dog a potato off their plate? They pretty much swallow it whole! Although they are fine for them to eat, potatoes bring little in terms of nutritional value. They are high in carbohydrate, which can provide energy for the working dog – but really, they are much better sources of energy for your pooch.
Rib Bones: No. In their cooked form, rib bones pose huge risk to your dog. Splintered bones can cause a whole host of problems in the digestive tract, so once you’ve finished your meal, throw those bones out!
Cashews: Yes. Being non-toxic, cashews cause little harm to your dog unless fed in large quantities. Like all nuts, their high fat content does pose a risk, especially to those dogs suffering with pancreatitis. If your dog has snaffled a few cashews, he’ll be fine, but perhaps don’t feed regularly.
Spinach: Yes. The only thing to consider with spinach is whether your dog will actually eat it! Many dogs dislike the taste, so will often turn their nose up. But if they do, it is a superfood for them too! Full of vitamins and minerals, it’s nothing to worry again. Like everything though, feed in moderation.
Lemons: No. Highly acidic, they cause gastric upset in even the most seasoned dog guts! Lemons are certainly ones to be avoided!
Pancakes: Yes. Their basic ingredients are fine for dogs, in moderation. However, be mindful of the toppings on them. Syrup is just sugar! Chocolate is a definite no go, as is sugar and lemon!
Mashed Potatoes: Yes. Dogs can eat them, but they pose little nutritional value. Potato has a high glycemic index, which causes a spike in blood sugar. It’s no big issue if your dog is just having leftovers, but they aren’t a great staple in their diet!
Rice: Yes. Often the food of choice when a dog has an upset tummy, paired with cooked chicken, Fido is usually fighting fit soon enough. It’s often a staple in many commercial dog foods.
Carrots: Yes. Most dogs love the crunch! Ideal for keeping that jaw strong and also those pearly whites in check, carrot can be a regular addition to your dog’s diet. Forgotten if the dog has had a carrot today? Just watch them poop – you’ll soon figure it out!
Pepper: Yes. In moderation, bell peppers are a healthy, crunchy treat for your pooch. Red, Green or Yellow – they are all safe to feed!
Sauerkraut: Yes. Dogs can eat sauerkraut, but not many want to! This strong side is often too much for our faithful friend to handle. Don’t force him to eat it, but if he snaffles some off your plate, you’ve got nothing to worry about!
Green Beans: Yes. Low in calories, but high in nutrients, green beans can be fed to your dog fresh, frozen or canned (providing they’ve not been preserved in salt). Uncooked, dogs love the crunch!
Fish: Yes. Raw or cooked, fish, especially oily fish is a great addition to your dog’s diet. Salmon, Mackerel and Herring are all full of essential fatty acids which contribute to coat and skin health, among a range of other health benefits!
Kidney Beans: Caution. Like the other beans mentioned previously, whether you feed kidney beans is personal preference.
Cinnamon: Yes. Non-toxic to dogs, small amounts are often used in supplemental form for a range of health benefits. As with anything you supplement, research thoroughly and speak to your veterinarian before adding to your dog’s diet.
Brown Rice: No. Just like other rice, brown rice is sometimes used during times of gastric upset. It can also be a common ingredient in commercial dog foods.
Licorice: Caution. Licorice root is often used for medicinal purposes so in this instance is perfectly safe. However, candy licorice is just that. Candy. Better to avoid.
Baked Beans: Yes. Regardless of the hot debate around feeding dogs beans, canned beans are full of added salt and sugar which isn’t something you want to add to your dog’s diet! If he manages to get a scrap from your plate, it’s not the end of the world, but just avoid consciously feeding them!
Ginger: Yes. Ginger is often used to support a range of health issues in both humans and dogs. Non-toxic to dogs, it’s fine to feed in small quantities. Larger amounts can result in gastric upset. It’s often used for helping with motion sickness in dogs.
Rosemary: Yes. Generally considered safe for dogs, rosemary is high in iron, calcium, vitamin B6 and acts as an anti-oxidant. It has anti-viral and antimicrobial properties too!
Sardines: Yes. Most dogs just love stinky sardines! Another oily fish, you’ll soon notice coat improvements when you add these to your dog’s diet. Fresh is best, but if you buy canned, check what they are preserved with! Avoid high salt content!
Lentils: Caution. Lentils are grouped with beans as part of the legume family, so they are debated just as hotly. However, the surge in grain free foods, using lentils as a protein source, has also gained attention for links to dilated cardiomyopathy in certain breeds of dogs. So whilst they’re technically non-toxic to dogs, they do warrant further individual research.
Lamb Bones: Yes. In their raw form, lamb bones are perfectly safe to feed your pooch! Lamb can be quite a fatty meat so be mindful if your dog struggles to tolerate higher fat proteins. As always, never feed cooked bones. From any animal!
Pickles: Caution. Whilst technically non-toxic to dogs, pickles aren’t exactly great for them. That’s even if they choose to eat them. They are high in sodium and depending on the ingredients added to the jar, they can be quite hot and spicy! Many people make their own recipes, so there’s even a chance ingredients that are toxic to dogs have found their way into them!
French Fries: Yes. Dogs can eat French fries, and they probably will; but like humans, they won’t be the best nutritional choice you ever make. Potatoes are just carbohydrates and we know dogs don’t have a requirement for them. Add the deep fry and nothing about French fries scream nutrient dense!
Nectarines: Yes. Some dogs will choose this healthy snack, but being higher in sugar than other fruits, feed in moderation. Too much can cause gastric upset. Remember to remove the pit as well!
Oysters: No. Another one that has mixed views; some say oysters are perfectly safe for dogs to eat, others say they pose a threat if they have eaten toxic algae which remains in their tissues. This can happen in humans, known as diarrheic shellfish poisoning, so it stands to reason that it could potentially happen in dogs? Perhaps again it’s better to err on the side of caution and avoid oysters for your four-legged friend.
Figs: Caution. Do a quick internet search and you’ll find many blogs saying figs are safe for dogs to eat. However, all parts of the plant is classed as toxic to both cats and dogs. Another one we’d suggest you err on the side of caution with. There are plenty of other fruits you can feed your pooch – they really aren’t going to miss a fig!
Yellow Squash: Yes. Dogs can eat squash of all varieties. High in fiber and low in calories, many dogs will chomp down squash in it’s cooked form. Another one that can be useful for settling upset tummies.
Potato Chips: Yes. Most dogs will beg for your potato chips and eat them given the chance; it doesn’t mean they are good for them. High in carbohydrate, fat and salt, they pose little nutritional value for your canine companion. The odd scrap isn’t worth beating yourself up about; but there are better snacks to offer your dog.
Salt: No. Like in humans, sodium is an essential mineral in the body. Dogs need it to function and maintain. So in it’s basic sense, salt is good. But not in excess. Commercial dog foods are usually balanced in their mineral content, but if your dog has kidney, liver or heart issues you may be advised to place them on a low-sodium diet. Dogs need salt, like us, but we shouldn’t be adding it to anything we feed.
Peppermint: Yes. Non-toxic, dogs can eat peppermint. But always feed fresh, from the plant and avoid candies. It can be used to settle an upset stomach or for bad breath, but only ever feed in small quantities. Too much can lead to digestive discomfort.
Butter: Yes. Dogs can eat it, and it due to the high fat content, it’s pretty palatable to them. It holds little nutritional value, so we’d say avoid feeding it out of choice. If your dog happens to lick a corner, they’ll be fine, but adding chunks to their food is a no go!
Eggs: Yes. Raw or cooked, eggs are complete food sources! A source of protein, iron, vitamins and minerals. Scrambled are often helpful to settle upset tummies, or you can add raw to your raw meat proteins for a double whammy of goodness! Avoid fried – you’re probably noticing a theme by now!
Pasta: Yes. In it’s cooked form, pasta is fine for dogs to eat – just not particularly nutritional! Another carb loaded food, it poses little use to a dog who doesn’t really need them. Alongside that, us humans don’t tend to eat plain pasta, we jazz it up will all sorts of sauces. Can you be sure the sauce is safe for your pooch to eat?
Ham: No. Ham is safe for dogs to eat, but many store bought ham is pre-formed and full of salt. So in this case, it’s certainly something to avoid. If you are boiling off a large joint and want some high value dog treats, great! If you’ve not cooked it, stay clear!
Tomatoes: No. Tomatoes contain solanine which is harmful to dogs in large quantities. The leaves, stem and young unripen tomatoes contain higher levels, which therefore pose more of a risk. Generally, a ripe tomato won’t cause any problems for your pooch. But watch for digestive discomfort.
Scallops: Yes. Non-toxic to dogs, scallops are safe to feed as long as they are cooked. Again, avoid frying and leave them unseasoned. Feed in moderation and be mindful of allergies or intolerance.
Catnip: Yes. Catnip is totally safe for dogs. It is often used in scent work as it is a totally unique smell. Catnip doesn’t have the same effects on dogs as cats, some owners have even reported a sedative like effect on their dog!
Banana Chips: Yes. Like it’s fresh brother, dried banana chips are fine for dogs to eat. Some owners even dehydrate their own foods as treats for their dogs. Just be mindful, as they are dried, it’s easy to overfeed and like anything, too much of a good thing can often disagree with your gut! Feed in moderation, but if your dog loves them, keep them in the treat bank!
Olives: Yes. Dogs can eat olives, in moderation. Whilst they are non-toxic, the pit poses a risk along with obstruction. So if you’re having your lunch, pit your olives just in case Fido snatches one! If you eat canned, these can be high in sodium, so best keep them out of his reach. Also, be mindful if you buy pre-prepared with dressing – there is risk that the ingredients in the dressing don’t agree with your pooch.
Cauliflower: Yes. Cauliflower is one of the veggies that is totally safe to feed your pooch, but in excess can cause gas! Its better digested in it’s cooked form, but then we know that many nutrients are lost, so it’s not a power house addition to their diet, but it’s fine if you’re just sharing leftovers!
Pistachios: Caution. Technically not bad for dogs, they’re not great either! High in fat, they post a risk to all dogs, but especially those with pancreatitis. If ingested in their shell, they also pose a risk of blockage, so keep that bowl of nuts in your secret stash!
Peas: Caution. Defined as a legume, peas should fall into the same argument as other beans and lentils. But, they are generally accepted as safe to feed to dogs. If you’d not realized by now, the canine nutrition world is a bit of a minefield. If you have decided to avoid legumes, then you’ll probably want to avoid feeding peas, if you want to feed legumes, then peas are a healthy snack as they are full of important minerals!
Raw Meat: Caution. Another one that is a hot topic; raw feeding. Dogs are perfectly capable of digesting raw meat, with it posing little pathogenic risk. Raw feeding owners are in their thousands, but so are those who believe it’s risky. It comes down to personal preference and on what sources of information you value.
Pumpkin Seeds: Yes. Pumpkin seeds can be fed raw or cooked, whole or ground. Just ensure the seeds have come from a fresh pumpkin and not a rotting one! Some owners use pumpkin seeds as a natural wormer and have great success. These seeds are packed full of protein, fiber, iron, copper, magnesium and calcium.
Honeydew: Yes. Most dogs can have the odd chunk of honeydew melon as a treat, just not those who are diabetic; it’s high sugar content makes this an unwise move. Remove the skin and seeds and chop into chunks. Feed the odd one as a healthy treat, but never in excess. You’ll end up with gastric issues if you do.
Pecans: No. Pecans contain a range of toxins that can make dogs unwell. Not only that but they pose a risk of obstruction when ingested. Keep the nut stash high out of Fido’s reach; an emergency vet visit will soon follow if he gets his paws on them.
Sweet Potatoes: Yes. Having a lower glycemic index than white potatoes, you could argue they are the safer option if you are offering your dog potatoes. They are safe to feed, but pose little nutritional value as dogs don’t utilize carbohydrates (unless in their cooked form and during times of high energy needs). Leftovers are fine, but they shouldn’t be a staple!
Apricots: Yes. Dogs can eat the flesh of an apricot as a healthy snack, but always remember to remove the kernel. This contains amygdalin which is a poisonous compound for both dogs and humans. You can offer chunks if you’re eating one, but never let your dog run loose in an orchard!
Applesauce: Yes. It’s not the end of the world if you dog has some applesauce on his leftovers, especially if it’s homemade and you know exactly what’s gone into it. But, if you’ve bought it ready made from the shop, check the ingredients. Some add the sweetener xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. Also, too much added sugar isn’t great for your pooch either.
Greek Yogurt: Yes. An firm favorite in stuffed Kongs, Greek yoghurt is lower in fat than others. Just be mindful of whether your dog can tolerate it, runny stools are a good indicator that he isn’t.
Tuna Fish: Yes. Tuna is a great addition to your dog’s diet. High in fatty acids, it can contribute to skin and coat health along with cognitive function! Just make sure it’s sustainably sourced!
Steak: Yes. In it’s pure form, your pooch will adore you if you offer him a steak! Just leave the dressings for the human steaks! High in protein, the only risk is trying to get him to eat his own food again afterwards!
Pinto Beans: Caution. There’s a theme… being another Legume, whether you feed pinto beans is personal preference. Some avoid them, some don’t.
Lobster: Yes. In it’s cooked form, with it’s shell removed, lobster is fine for dogs to eat. You can offer Fido some leftovers if you’re eating it as it’s a source of protein, copper, selenium and vitamin B12.
Chicken Bones: Yes. Raw chicken bones are fine to offer to your dog, wings, necks, feet and carcass. But, never offer your dog cooked bones. These splinter and cause a whole host of associated issues. Raw bones are great for soothing that chewing urge and also for jaw strength and development!
Tomato Sauce: Yes. Most commercially available tomato sauces are high in salt and sugar – neither great for dogs. If you have made the sauce yourself with nothing but ripe tomatoes, then Fido can have a taste, but shop bought – err on the side of caution.
Banana Peels: No. Dogs aren’t easily able to digest the peel of a banana, so if you’re offering a healthy snack, peel it first! If you have a dog who likes to scavenge through the trash, always take it out before you leave home and keep a close eye on him when you’re home.
Pumpkin: Yes. Often used to settle upset tummies, pumpkin is always worth having in the house. Cooked and cubed, your dog will enjoy this tasty treat, you can even puree it and stuff it into a kong to keep him occupied. Just don’t over-feed, as ironically due to the fiber content, it can cause digestive discomfort. Everything in moderation.
Melon: Yes. Watermelon, honeydew, most melons are perfectly safe to feed to Fido. Always remove the skin and seeds and chop up. High in water, it’s a great way to keep hydrated in the warmer months, but don’t over-feed!
Potato Skins: No. As potatoes themselves have little nutritional value to dogs, their skins actually pose a risk. Especially in their raw form. They contain toxins which cause gastric upset. Just because Fido is watching you peel those potatoes, doesn’t mean he knows what’s good for him!
Fruit: Yes. Most fruit is perfectly safe for your dog to eat, but there are some like grapes, lemons and limes that should be avoided. Always double check before feeding your dog anything new.
Salmon: Yes. Cooked or raw, salmon is a protein filled treat for your dog. Full of fatty acids, it supports coat and skin health along with cognitive function. Any oily fish is a great addition to your dog’s diet a few times a week!
Spaghetti: Yes. As spaghetti is pasta, this too poses little nutritional value to your dog. It’s safe to eat, in it’s original cooked form, just won’t be of benefit. Most spaghetti will also come with sauce, so it’s essential you check the sauce ingredients for anything that poses a risk to your dog – onions being a major one.
Salmon Skin: Yes. As long as it’s not covered in a dressing, your dog will love you for offering the salmon skin! Again, still holding many fatty acids, it will support coat and skin health. Just be mindful of where you source your salmon from as it is the first line of defense in polluted waters, so will absorb that around it.
Clams: Yes. Nutrient dense, clams are a great food for your dog. Remove them from their shells before feeding and make sure they are cooked! Steaming works best, but don’t add any garlic or butter!
Egg Shells: Yes. Crumbled and sprinkled on food, egg shells are a great source of calcium. It’s also easily absorbed by the body. Be mindful if you have a large breed puppy though – excess calcium during growth has been linked to a range of orthopedic issues.
Bacon: Yes. Technically dogs can eat bacon, but there are many types on the market. Smoked and salted should be avoided. If you are offering a tiny scrap from your pancakes, Fido will be just fine. But he doesn’t need a meal of bacon of his own, or to regularly eat it.
Canned Tuna: No. Although tuna is a health addition to your dog’s diet, canned tuna has often been preserved by a range of things. If you want to feed tuna, feed fresh, free of dressing or preservatives.
Oats: Yes. Oats are sometimes offered to bulk out a dog’s diet or during times of high energy needs (working dogs). They should only be fed when necessary though and shouldn’t become a staple for the average pet dog.
Ice: Caution. There is often disagreement over this when the temperatures peak. Some say that ice is dangerous for dogs, others feed it to cool their dog . It comes down to personal preference again. If you dog likes having ice in their water bowl to keep them cool, or to gnaw on a cube on a hot day, then do so. If you’d rather not, then don’t.
Cake: No. It’s not an ideal nutritional choice for humans, never mind pets. But, we like cake on special occasions or even when we’ve just had a rubbish day. Cake is high in sugar, which isn’t great for dogs. A crumb on your lap isn’t going to cause irreparable damage. But stay away from sharing the fruit loaf – raisins and everything else that goes with them are toxic to dogs! Chocolate cake is also a no, as is coffee cake too!
Cereal: No. Cereal poses little nutritional value to dogs, you also have a range of fruit cereals on the market which contain raisins and sultanas etc. Then you have chocolate flavored, or those brightly colored cereals which contain all sorts of e-numbers. It’s better to be safe than sorry and just say no to cereal.
Human Foods Not Safe For Dogs
It’s safe to say, that some of us humanize our pets, we think they look sad; we wonder what they think when we leave the house.
We like to think we understand them, in terms of human behavior.
It stands to reason, that we consider their nutritional needs as similar too.
If they’re putting on a little weight, we need to walk them more, like we would as a human.
The reality is a dog’s nutritional needs are as different to humans as they are to cats.
It’s not a case of there being human and dog food – it’s a case of, which foods can each digestive system tolerate and gain value from.
- Dogs can have cow’s milk, but it is often poorly digested which brings no nutritional value
- Dogs can eat ham, but if its shop bought it’ll likely be high in sodium and all sorts of other preservatives, bringing little nutritional value
- Bread is another human food that dogs can eat, but being high in carbohydrates, it brings little nutritional value to your pooch
Toxic Food For Dogs
There are some human foods which are not tolerated at all by a dog’s digestive system; these foods are known as toxic.
The condition which follows is known as toxic poisoning.
You may notice vomiting, diarrhea or the dog may be lethargic or weak.
Some toxic foods can cause neurological symptoms like seizures. You may notice shaking, trembling or a high temperature.
The most common culprits for toxic poisoning are:
|What Can’t Dogs Eat||Why|
|Chocolate||Contains the stimulant theobromine, it causes issues with the nervous system, bowels, kidneys and heart.|
|Grapes, Sultanas, Currants and Raisins||Primarily cause vomiting and diarrhea and then subsequently kidney failure.|
|Macademia Nuts||Contain a toxin which affects the muscles and nervous system of the dog. It results in weakness, panting and often swollen limbs.|
|Onions||Part of the allium family, toxic doses can cause red cell damage making them more likely to rupture.|
|Avocado||Containing persin, this toxin is fatal to birds and large animals like cows, goats and sheep. However, the bigger risk to dogs is the seed if swallowed.|
|Xylitol||Causes the pancreas to react, sending high levels of insulin into the blood, but there’s no sugar. So sugar levels drop dangerously low.|
Dog Food Safety Chart
|Food||Can Dogs Eat|
|Sugar Snap Peas||Yes|
Like you would do with your own nutrition, start to understand which foods are bad for dogs and what is safe for dogs to eat.
Avoid foods which are high in salt, sugar or preservatives.
Prepare fresh food where possible.
Most fruits and veg are safe for your pooch to eat, in moderation, because too much will often result in gastric upset.
Check before you give your dog any scraps at the table, just because those eyes are looking up at you, doesn’t mean you have to feed them.
If you are looking to prepare your own dog food, research his nutritional needs and ensure the meal is totally balanced.