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Can My Dog Eat Human Foods?

Can My Dog Eat Human Foods?

We often treat our dogs as family members, but we must acknowledge their specific dietary needs to keep them healthy. Resisting the temptation to feed human food to dogs can be difficult, especially when they turn on those big puppy dog eyes. It isn’t ALWAYS necessary to resist, however! If you’re asking, “Wait, can my dog eat human foods?” then you’ve come to the right place friend. 

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Many human foods are acceptable for your dog to eat in moderation. However, some can be harmful to them. Pet owners should be cautious when feeding their pets people food. Our food can be oily and fatty to dogs causing diarrhea and stomach upset. Furthermore, consuming toxic food is one of the most common causes of dog poisoning worldwide. Understanding which human foods are safe for dogs and which are not is vital.

Basic Human Food Guidelines for Dogs

Follow these guidelines when treating your dog with human foods:

  • Steer clear of processed foods. Stick to whole foods and foods with minimal ingredients. Processed or prepared foods may contain potentially harmful ingredients you may unknowingly serve your pet. Xylitol, for example, is an artificial sweetener in many processed foods and is extremely dangerous to pets. If you are unaware of all the ingredients in a food, you should not give it to your pets.

  • Watch the calories! Calories from snacking can add up quickly and harm your dog’s health. Your vet can help you to determine the necessary calorie intake for your dog and help you to choose the right food for your dog and factor in treats.
  • Avoid feeding your pup from your plate or the table. Doing so can breed bad habits like begging.

  • Learn which foods are toxic to dogs and avoid them. Educate yourself to keep your pup healthy and vibrant!
Can My Dog Eat Human Foods?

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Can My Dog Eat Cheese?

Yes, many dogs love cheese and can enjoy it occasionally as a snack. It can make a great training tool but should be consumed in moderation. Discontinue feeding if your dog exhibits signs of lactose intolerance or intestinal distress.

Can My Dog Eat Nuts?

Most nuts are not good options for our pets. Certain nuts can be consumed safely by dogs. Unsalted peanuts and cashews are safe for dogs to consume in small amounts. But others (such as almonds) can be a choking hazard, and Macadamia nuts are highly toxic to dogs. Other snack options provide better health benefits.

Can My Dog Eat Eggs?

Eggs are safe for dogs to consume. The protein, fatty acids, and vitamins they contain can benefit your pups! Most veterinarians advise cooking them before feeding them to your dog. 

Can My Dog Eat Fruit?

While they don’t necessarily need it in their diets, many dogs enjoy eating fruit. Fruits have higher sugar content naturally, so consuming large amounts may not be beneficial.

Can My Dog Eat Human Foods?

The top five healthy fruits for dogs include:

  1. Fresh Berries: Blueberries and strawberries are a lower glycemic index fruit and are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, making them a great choice as a snack. Beware of giving your dog raspberries, however, since they contain a natural form of xylitol which can be harmful to dogs in large amounts.
  2. Watermelon: After the rind and seeds are removed, the high water content of watermelon makes it a refreshing option during hot summer days. It also contains significant amounts of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B-6, and vitamin C.
  3. Bananas: Full of potassium, biotin, copper, and fiber, bananas make a healthy snack. However, they serve in small portions to avoid stomach irritation and weight gain due to their high sugar and fiber content.
  4. Apples: The vitamins and dietary fiber make apples an excellent canine snack option. The low protein and fat content makes them ideal for older or overweight dogs. For safety, remove the seeds and core before feeding your dog.
  5. Pineapple: In small portions, raw pineapple is a nutrient-dense treat full of beneficial antioxidants and minerals that support a healthy digestive and immune system in canines. The high sugar content in canned pineapple makes it too much for most dogs to digest well. 

Can My Dog Eat Vegetables?

Similarly, dogs may enjoy vegetables, but it is not necessary to their diet. The top 5 most nutritious vegetables for dogs to enjoy are: 

  1. Broccoli: Cooked broccoli is packed with nutrients and can be eaten in small amounts. Consuming raw broccoli can cause stomach upset.
  2. Carrots: Carrots contain high amounts of vitamin A, which is helpful in maintaining healthy eyesight and immunity. They are an excellent fiber source that helps keep a dog’s skin and coat healthy.
  3. Cucumbers: Cucumbers are a healthy treat full of vitamins and minerals! They are great for dogs that need to lose weight since they are low in calories and fat.
  4. Peas: Helpful in regulating digestion; peas are high in fiber and full of vitamins and potassium. These veggies are excellent for dogs that can’t eat crunchy foods.
  5. Celery: Celery is a crunchy, low-calorie, low-fat food with essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that many dogs enjoy eating.

Two noteworthy vegetables to avoid:

Avocados and mushrooms are popular in many human diets that may not always be safe for your dog. Read more below.

Can My Dog Eat Human Foods?

Avocados: While avocados are a nutritious snack for humans, dogs should avoid eating them. It may not be harmful in small amounts, but avocados contain a fungal toxin that can be dangerous for dogs.

Mushrooms: Mushrooms are tricky. The varieties you buy in the grocery store are ok for consumption. However, wild mushrooms can poison humans and animals alike. Over 100 species of mushrooms are poisonous and extremely dangerous if ingested. Even seasoned foragers can find it challenging to identify certain toxic mushrooms, so it’s best to keep your dog away from wild mushrooms altogether.

Can My Dog Eat Bread?

Although it should not be a regular part of a dog’s diet, they can safely eat it in moderation. 

Can My Dog Eat Raw Fish or Meats?

There is some debate on this issue. Some dog owners choose to feed their dogs a raw diet because before, dogs were domesticated, they survived in the wild on uncooked foods. As omnivores, a dog’s diet consists of both plant and animal sources. To safely feed your dog raw foods, you must be very careful in preparing the food so that you don’t expose your dog or other family members to pathogens.

Can My Dog Have Honey?

Yes, dogs can eat honey in small quantities. The sugar content makes it a rich, once-in-a-while treat option.

Can My Dog Eat Human Foods?

Can My Dog Have Ice Cream?

There are plenty of pup-friendly options on the market that are more suitable options for dogs. Some dogs may be able to handle ice cream, but most are lactose intolerant, and it can cause significant tummy troubles. After the puppy stage, their bodies produce less lactase, an enzyme needed to break down their mother’s milk. 

Can My Dog Eat Cat Food?

Yes, dogs can eat cat food without harm. Cat food often has a strong scent and is mainly made up of meat, which may pique your dog’s curiosity. Dogs and cats have different nutritional needs, so cat food should not be their primary source. 

Is There a Quick Resource For This Info?

Of course, there’s an app for that! The Can Dogs Eat It app is a great resource that provides quick and easy access to information regarding what foods are safe for your dog. The app offers information on the nutritional value, health benefits, risks, and recommended serving sizes to help your pup maintain a healthy and balanced diet. This information can help prevent unwanted distress and vet visits for your dog! 

Top 5 Foods to Always Avoid

Some human foods are dangerous for dogs. Memorize this list and keep your pet away from these foods.

  1. Macadamia Nuts: They contain a toxin that can result in depression, fever, and tremors in dogs.


  2. Alcohol and Raw Yeast Dough: Alcohol includes ethanol, which can be hazardous to dogs, leading to poisoning, heart attack, coma, or death. As raw yeast dough ferments, it produces alcohol, which, as stated above, can be dangerous for dogs. The raw dough expands in the stomach and can cause painful intestinal blockage.
  1. Chocolate and Caffeine: Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine. Both compounds are toxic for dogs. Mild cases of chocolate poisoning may result in restlessness, increased thirst, and vomiting. Severe cases can cause seizures and heart failure.

Likewise, dogs and cats are sensitive to caffeine. Large amounts of it can cause caffeine toxicity and can be detrimental. Excess caffeine increases blood pressure, elevates heart rate, can cause seizures, and can lead to gastrointestinal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you suspect your pet has consumed caffeine in any form, do not delay veterinary care, as it can be fatal.

  1. Grapes and Raisins: The tartaric acid in grapes and raisins is believed to produce a chemical that can have deadly side effects in dogs. The impact of grapes on a dog is dose-dependent. It causes symptoms such as dehydration, seizures, kidney failure, and even death. Do not feed your dog grapes in any form (currants, grapes, grape juice, or raisins).


  2. Nutmeg: Dogs should never eat Nutmeg. It contains the compound myristicin, a known poison when consumed in large quantities. Mild cases can cause digestive issues. More severe cases can result in tremors, elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, and death. 

If your pet ingests one of these foods, seek veterinary care. Early intervention is critical to the successful treatment of poisoning in dogs.
Dog eating at a table with a yellow cloth.

How Can I Get My Dog to Eat More?

First, identify the cause of any diet changes. Every dog has different caloric needs depending on size, breed, and activity level. Is your dog a picky eater? Have recent life changes caused stress and loss of appetite, or is there an underlying health concern that needs to be addressed? If you have noticed significant changes in your dog’s appetite or those changes have become problematic, it’s time to explore why. 

Possible reasons your dog might be underweight or experience a change in appetite:

  • Illness. A decreased appetite in dogs can indicate that your dog is sick. Always discuss significant changes with your vet, especially if you notice other symptoms of illness.
  • Dental problems. If your dog is experiencing pain in their mouth due to a broken tooth, tumor, or dental disease, it will shy away from eating to bypass whatever is causing the aggravation.
  • Vaccinations. Temporary loss of appetite can be a side-effect of vaccinations.
  • Unfamiliar surroundings. Significant changes to a dog’s environment can result in a loss of appetite. Changes to their regular schedule may include travel, moving, a new baby, an owner being away from the house more often, etc. Coaxing with their favorite treat on top of their food may help! If your dog was fine until the trip, new schedule, or new surroundings, you can rest assured their appetite will return.
  • Picky eaters. Some dogs are more particular than others. Always be sure to investigate the possible causes of picky eating. Did their food recently change? Is it a preference issue? Are they eating near an aggressive dog? Is the height of their bowl uncomfortable? These things might be causing their refusal to eat. 
Can My Dog Eat Human Foods?

Final Takeaways

Pet owners should provide their dogs with a proper diet for optimal health and well-being. Dogs can consume some human foods but may not always be nutritionally appropriate. Resisting their puppy dog eyes can be challenging, but sticking to a well-balanced diet benefits their health.

It’s essential to be vigilant about foods that can be toxic to dogs. Certain foods that are safe for humans are poisonous to pets. If you are uncertain if a food is safe for your pet to eat, consult your veterinarian. Add your vet’s emergency number to your contact list in case of an emergency so you don’t have to search for it in a panic.

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The benefits of an Emotional Support Animal certification and a Psychiatric Service Dog certification are drastically different. Fortunately for you, American Service Pets’ network of active board certified doctors can help you find the right path to certification. To find out whether you need an ESA or PSD letter, take our easy, three-step Pet Owner Survey!


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