Human Foods Dogs Can and Can't Eat

Human Foods Dogs Can and Can't Eat

Dogs are beloved members of many families, and owners often enjoy sharing food with them as a way to show affection or provide a treat. While some human foods can be safe and even beneficial for dogs, it's important to be aware of which foods are off-limits. Some foods can cause serious health problems or even be toxic to dogs. 

It's crucial for dog owners to understand which human foods are safe for their pets to consume and which should be avoided. In this context, this article will discuss a list of common human foods that dogs can eat as well as human foods that dogs should not eat, along with some reasons why.

Human Foods that Dogs Can Eat

  1. Lean meats: Cooked chicken, turkey, beef, and pork are great sources of protein for dogs.
  2. Vegetables: Carrots, green beans, peas, and sweet potatoes are all healthy options for dogs.
  3. Fruits: Apples, bananas, blueberries, and watermelon are some fruits that dogs can eat.
  4. Eggs: Scrambled, boiled, or cooked eggs are a good source of protein for dogs.
  5. Dairy: Small amounts of plain yogurt or cheese can be given to dogs as a treat.
  6. Salmon: Cooked salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help with skin and coat health, as well as joint health.
  7. Peanut Butter: Peanut butter is a great source of protein and healthy fats for dogs, and can also be used as a treat or as a way to hide medication.
  8. Brown Rice: Cooked brown rice can be a good source of carbohydrates for dogs, and can also help with digestive issues.
  9. Applesauce: Unsweetened applesauce can be a healthy and low-calorie treat for dogs, and can also be used as a way to hide medication.
  10. Pumpkin: Cooked pumpkin can help with digestive issues in dogs, and can also be a low-calorie treat.

Human Foods That Dogs Can't Eat

  1. Chocolate: Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine, which is toxic to dogs.
  2. Grapes and raisins: These can cause kidney failure in dogs.
  3. Onions and garlic: These can damage a dog's red blood cells and cause anemia.
  4. Avocado: This fruit contains persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.
  5. Alcohol: Even a small amount of alcohol can be very dangerous to dogs and can cause severe symptoms.
  6. Xylitol: Xylitol is a sugar substitute that is often found in sugar-free gum and candy. It can cause a rapid insulin release in dogs, leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, and liver failure.
  7. Macadamia Nuts: Macadamia nuts can cause lethargy, vomiting, hyperthermia (elevated body temperature), and tremors in dogs.
  8. Cooked Bones: Cooked bones can splinter and cause damage to a dog's digestive system, and can also cause choking or blockages.
  9. Avocado: While the flesh of the avocado is safe for dogs to eat, the pit and skin contain persin, which can be toxic to dogs.
  10. Caffeine: Caffeine can cause restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, and even death in dogs. It can be found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, and chocolate.

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Something They Shouldn’t Have?

If your dog eats a food that is toxic or harmful to them, it's important to act quickly. Here are some steps you should take if you suspect that your dog has ingested something dangerous:

  • Contact your veterinarian or a pet poison control hotline: They can provide guidance on what to do next and may recommend bringing your dog in for treatment.
  • Monitor your dog's symptoms: Symptoms of poisoning can include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, seizures, and difficulty breathing. Keep a close eye on your dog and note any changes in behavior or health.
  • Do not induce vomiting without consulting a veterinarian: In some cases, inducing vomiting can actually make the situation worse, so it's important to get guidance from a professional before attempting to do so.
  • Bring the food container or packaging with you: This can help the veterinarian or poison control hotline determine what specific toxin your dog may have ingested.
  • Follow your veterinarian's advice: They may recommend treatment such as administering activated charcoal or IV fluids, depending on the severity of the poisoning.

It's important to remember that prevention is the best way to keep your dog safe from harmful foods. Keep human foods out of your dog's reach, and make sure that all members of your household are aware of what foods are off-limits for dogs.

Wrapping Things Up

It's important to remember that while some human foods are safe for dogs, they should only be given in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. It's always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new foods to your dog's diet.



PetMD, L

PetMD, Last accessed 

VCA Hospitals, 


Preventive Vet, 22 March 2021,