Ever find yourself googling: Can dogs eat apples? Can dogs eat bananas? It’d be great to have a list of human foods dogs can eat, right? Look no further!
Canines have different digestive systems than humans, so what they can and cannot eat is much different. There are many household staples that can be safe for your pup to enjoy with you and many that are dangerous.
First, it’s good to have some background on your dog’s digestive system as well as some of the benefits of various human foods that are safe for dogs.
Scroll all the way down for a comprehensive list and infographic of human foods dogs can eat.
Dogs are omnivores
Both dogs and humans are omnivores, which means they eat foods of both plant and animal origin. That’s why balanced dog food is comprised of meat, fruits, vegetables, and grains.
Many foods can be eaten by both humans and dogs. There are trace vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and carbohydrates that can be found in different types of food. Variety is key to a healthy human or dog diet.
So can dogs eat people food, and if so, what kinds?
What vegetables can dogs eat?
Veggies come with various health benefits and are a great source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and trace nutrients for your dog’s digestive system.
Pumpkin is a great source of fiber which is known as a healthy way to ease gastrointestinal discomfort and soothe the digestive tract. Pumpkins also contain protein, Vitamin K. Most dogs can easily digest carrots and pumpkins raw, cooked, or dehydrated.
If using canned pumpkin, make sure you are not using pumpkin pie filling with added spices. It should be 100% pumpkin puree.
TIP: When your pup has an upset stomach or loose stools, try adding canned or dehydrated pumpkin in with their bland diet. This will help resolve those tummy troubles.
Carrots are a good source of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene aids in the body’s conversion of vitamins. Carrots are also full of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium, biotin, potassium, Vitamin B6, and antioxidants. Most nutrients are found in raw or dehydrated carrots but cooked carrots could be a good option for those with more sensitive teeth.
TIP: Frozen carrot sticks can be a great and cheap option for occupying teething puppies! The coldness soothes your dog’s teeth and achy gums.
Sweet potatoes are a 5,000-year-old superfood that originated right here in America. They are high in fiber and low in fat which makes them healthy snacks for humans and their pets.
Sweet potatoes also contain beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B6, antioxidants, and other nutrients. They are safe and nutritious for dogs to eat, but should be cooked or dehydrated prior to consumption. Just like humans, raw potatoes are too tough for a dog to digest.
TIP: Dehydrated sweet potato dog treats are a healthy and natural atlernative to rawhide chews.
What fruits can dogs eat?
Bananas are a good source of potassium, which is useful for humans and our furry friends. Bananas also have vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, biotin, copper, and magnesium. Plus, they make yummy treats that can be mashed up in a treat stuffer or fed in delicious bites.
Apples (without seeds) are a healthy fruit snack for your pup. Apples are known for their abundance of vitamin A and C. Vitamin A is great for healthy teeth, bones, muscles, eyes, and skin. Vitamin C helps growing puppies in things like collagen formation, wound healing, and boosting the immune system. These yummy slices also have fiber, potassium, vitamin K, and polyphenols.
Never feed your dog the apple core as this poses a choking hazard.
TIP: Freeze cored apple slices in a treat stuffer toy and use them as a crunchy snack to keep your dog’s mind busy.
Mangos are more than a tropical delight. They are a sweet snack for you and your dog. Mango is high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin E. They are also very sweet and soft which is great for any picky eater or pup with a difficult time chewing.
Blueberries are a bite-size bubble of delicious nutrition great for your dog’s health. They are low calorie which makes them a useful training treat that your dog can eat quickly and move on to the next repetition or trick. Blueberries are full of antioxidants that help the immune system and support a healthy diet.
Toxic and dangerous foods
So most of us know no chocolate for dogs, but what else can’t they eat? Here is a list of some of the ingredients to look out for.
This list is not inclusive so remember to reach out to a professional before feeding something new.
Xylitol is a sugar substitute that can be found in candy, gum, baked goods, and sometimes diet foods like peanut butter. It is a very dangerous toxin to dogs so always check the label and keep these products out of reach.
Avocados: Hold the guacamole Avocados contain persin which is a toxin for dogs.
Alcohol: Any amount of alcohol consumption can be dangerous to dogs. No rose for Roscoe!
Onions and Garlic are dangerous for dogs. Make sure to prepare your dog’s snacks without these seasonings.
Chocolate & Caffeine: enjoy your cup of tea or joe with only your human friends. Caffeine can be dangerous to your pup and can elevate their heart rate to dangerous levels. Caffeine contains theobromine which is found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and many other household products so always check the label.
Grapes and Raisins are dangerous to the kidney system.
Macadamia Nuts can cause muscle shakes, vomiting, and fever in dogs.
Fat and Bones: fatty meat trimmings of jarred fats can cause pancreatitis in dogs. Cooked bones are also dangerous as they can splinter and cause blockages or obstructions in the digestive tract.
Extra tips on feeding safe human food for dogs
Here are some tips to help pet owners.
Read the Label
Read the label and make sure every ingredient is safe for your pet to eat. Even if it is a product you use all the time, ingredients can change.
Make sure you prepare your pup’s food separately from yours, as many common seasonings like onions and garlic are toxic for dogs. Too much butter, oil, salt, or added sugar can also upset your dog’s stomach too, so make sure to serve the single ingredient.
Don’t want to do all that work? Look for single and limited ingredient treats that have been minimally processed like these sweet potato treats from Wholesome Pride. You’ll know the product is safe and healthy and not have to do the prep or clean up!
To avoid reinforcing behaviors like begging, pet parents should not feed their dogs from the table. Use these treats as high-value training treats or add them to a treat stuffer or slow feeder bowl to elongate the mental stimulation. Here are some treat stuffing products to help keep your pup busy while you are at work.
Small pieces or bite-sized treats like blueberries are great for training, while larger pieces like slices of dehydrated sweet potatoes are great for longer-duration chewing. Make sure the treat is the proper size for your dog to safely chew without the risk of choking.
Always supervise your dog when eating or chewing. Moderation is key so avoid feeding your dog large amounts at once, even if they are healthy treats. Obesity is the most preventable disease out there.
Always check with your veterinarian before feeding anything new. If your doggie ate something that you are not sure is safe, reach out to your veterinarian, ASPCA hotline at (888) 426-4435, or Pet Poison Helpline immediately at 855-764-7661
Human foods SAFE for dogs to eat in moderation
- green beans
- sweet potato
- romaine lettuce
- iceberg lettuce
- watermelon (seedless)
- salmon (great source of omega-3 fatty acids)
- cheddar cheese
- plain Greek yogurt (great source of calcium and probiotics!)
- cottage cheese
- plain popcorn
- unsalted peanut butter
- white rice
- eggs (cooked)
- coconut oil
Human foods dogs CAN’T eat
- corn cob
- certain mushrooms
- citrus fruits
- apricot pits
- peach pits
- apple seeds and core
- watermelon rind
- raw meat* (salmonella risk)
- raw fish
- flavored or sugar-free yogurts and ice creams with artificial sweeteners (xylitol risk)
- all dairy products if your dog is lactose intolerant
- macadamia nuts
- super salty foods (too much salt can cause kidney failure)
- bread dough
- raw eggs
*While raw diets have become popular with some pet owners, research has shown that feeding your dog a raw diet poses a public health risk.
Written by Amanda Smith for Wholesome Pride
Editor’s note: This post has been updated as of June 2022.