What Human Foods Can Dogs Eat? Here Are 20 Options
Wondering what human foods can dogs eat? You're not alone—it's fun to share your favorite snacks with your pup!
Thankfully, the list of human foods for dogs is pretty long—just as long as you only feed your pup small amounts. However, some seemingly harmless foods can cause gastrointestinal issues when introduced to your dog's diet, or even worse, poison your dog.
We checked in with a canine food safety expert at the ASPCA to find out the best human foods for dogs, and how to share snacks safely with your four-legged friends.
Human Foods Dogs Can Eat
Dogs can eat human foods, it just depends on what the snack is. We asked Tina Wismer, DVM, DABVT, DABT, and senior director at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, to offer advice us on what human foods can dogs eat, including some favorite fruits and vegetables:
Bananas are safe for dogs, but avoid the peel and keep the pieces small so dogs don't choke. And make sure your dog isn't eating too much for his size.
Dogs can eat apples with skin and seeds removed. Many dogs enjoy small slices of apples as a treat. (But good luck getting him to try those sour green ones!) "Apples without the core and seeds are low in calories and are a good source of fiber, which will help your dog feel full and satisfied," Wisner says.
Carrots are safe for dogs and can actually be a healthy snack. "Most dogs love baby carrots, and at about 4 calories each, they make a great weight loss snack," Wismer says. "Carrots are also gentle on the tummy and don't usually make dogs gassy—a common complaint with other veggies."
Yes, it's safe to feed your dog strawberries. Be sure to give them a good rinse in the sink first.
Blueberries are another tasty berry that's OK to feed your pup (but not too much at a time).
Dogs can eat oranges but only the pulpy part of the fruit. The stem, the peel, and even the seeds contain levels of citric acid that can upset a dog's stomach.
Eggs are safe for dogs to eat, but avoid raw eggs and pointy shell pieces. Remember to always fully cook eggs before feeding them to dogs to avoid bacteria like Salmonella.
Dogs can eat green beans, and like carrots, are very low in calories and have a satisfying crunch, Wismer says. "They can be a great green snack for your dog or cat."
Rice is safe for dogs to eat as long as it's cooked and unseasoned, but only feed it to your dog for a short amount of time.
Cheese and other dairy products may be fine for dogs in small amounts or as extra-tasty treats that can help your pet swallow pills. But dogs can't digest items with lactose as easily as we can, so watch the amount and check with your vet for the all-clear.
More Safe Foods for Dogs
- Ice chips, small enough not to induce choking or injure a tooth
- Peanut butter, but stick to plain, unsalted varieties of this high-calorie treat, and feed in moderation.
- Popcorn, but no butter or salt
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter squash
- Zucchini and summer squash
Remember, even with healthy treats, moderation is key. "Giving your pets foods that are safe for them to ingest is OK in small quantities," Wismer says. "But treats should only make up 10 percent of a pet's daily calories."
Which Human Foods Are Toxic for Dogs?
Both the Pet Poison Helpline and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center include these common human foods as no-nos for dogs. Keep them for yourself to enjoy—and away from your dogs.
- Grapes and raisins
- Macadamia nuts
- Nuts, including almonds and cashews
- Raw/undercooked meat, eggs, or bones
- Salt and salty foods
- Xylitol (sometimes called sugar alcohol or birch sugar), a sweetener added to many products
- Yeast dough
If you suspect your dog has eaten something toxic, immediately call your veterinarian. If your dog is poisoned or ate the wrong thing, upon arriving at the clinic you can expect your vet to check your pup's vitals and make sure they're stabilized. Next, depending on how much time has elapsed since they ate the suspected toxin, your vet may decide to induce vomiting.
More Tips on Feeding Pets Human Foods
Finding foods that are safe to feed your pup can be tricky, especially since dogs' nutritional needs can vary based on their size, age, and breed. Wismer says to keep in mind a few basic rules to help keep your pet healthy as you hit the fridge for a shareable snack:
Even if a food is nontoxic, that doesn't mean it's healthy for your particular dog. Some human foods—even healthy fruits and vegetables—can be high in calories, fat, or fiber, which can upset a dog's stomach and cause diarrhea and vomiting. Those effects can even damage your dog's internal organs, so feed in moderation, and check with a veterinarian if you're worried that your pooch is gaining or losing weight or showing a lack of appetite.
Dogs are like people: Everyone responds differently to different foods. One dog might love apples, while apples give another dog diarrhea. One dog might wolf down chunks of banana, while another dog gets itchy and has an allergic reaction to the fruit.
Dogs need complete nutrition, and that means ensuring they have the right mix of the correct nutrients, vitamins, and minerals in their diet. It can be difficult to achieve that balance without outside help. If you're concerned about your dog's nutrition, Wismer recommends calling your veterinarian to talk over your concerns and get the right solution for your dog.