While some human foods are perfectly safe for dogs, others can be extremely unhealthy and toxic.
This is because a dog’s digestive system has evolved differently from ours. Dogs who eat the wrong foods can experience severe health problems and, in some cases, death.
However, there are some human foods that dogs can eat with little to no risk.
Furthermore, these foods can actually be beneficial, providing health benefits such as stronger joints, sweeter breath, and allergy immunity.
So read on to learn which human foods are safe for dogs, which human foods are beneficial, and how some require special preparation.
Quick Links To The Topics Covered:
- Popular Human Foods Safe For Dogs (18 Foods)
- Human Foods Safe For Dogs -Nuts (7 Foods)
- Human Foods Safe For Dogs – Fresh Fish And Seafood (10 Foods)
- Human Foods Safe For Dogs – Shellfish (7 Foods)
- Human Foods Safe For Dogs – Fresh Fruits (20 Foods)
- Human Foods Safe For Dogs – Fresh Vegetables (14 Foods)
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Popular Human Foods Safe For Dogs To Eat
- Cottage Cheese
- Cows Milk
- Goats Milk
Before introducing human food to your dog’s diet, please check your dog’s tolerance levels, and make any changes slowly.
Note, if your dog does show an allergic reaction to any food, then a veterinarian must be consulted immediately.
And finally, remember that anything can be toxic if not eaten in moderation.
Dogs can eat bread in small amounts but definitely no bread dough, which is dangerous to them. Whilst dogs do seem to love the taste of bread. It has no nutritional value and can leave your dog feeling bloated.
Bread can also be high in carbohydrates, calories, and preservatives, so it is best avoided.
Furthermore, do not be tempted to feed your dog garlic, spiced; or onion pieces of bread, or those which may contain macadamia nuts or various seeds. All of these can be dangerous to dogs in one way or another.
And please be aware that, unless eaten in moderation, even “safe” nuts and seeds can lead to stomach irritation and pancreatitis, thanks to their high-fat content.
Cheese is something my dog loves and will do virtually anything to get his grubby little paws onto it. It can be a great treat, a loving reward, or just something to help the medicine go down well.
Some dogs, however, can be lactose intolerant.
Therefore, you should always be careful when introducing dairy products to your dog for the first time.
Cheese can also be fattening, so only feed your dog cheeses in small to moderate quantities.
Strictly for health reasons, the cheeses you would give to dogs would be low-fat varieties, but it’s not obligatory.
3. Cottage Cheese
As cottage cheese is high in calcium and protein, it can be a good addition to your dog’s normal diet. However, it must be very fresh, and avoid it if your dog has issues digesting dairy.
Chicken is a high protein source, and for those dogs who require extra protein in their diets, cooked, unseasoned chicken is the easiest addition to make.
It also makes a great meal replacement if you’re out of dog food, and believe me; your dog will absolutely love you for it.
However, feeding raw chicken should be avoided as the bacteria often found within raw meat could give your dog worms or, even worse, salmonella.
Furthermore, avoid feeding your dog chicken bones as they are small and splinter very easily. They are known to rip and tear the digestive tract or cause blockages that put a dog in great pain with a genuine risk to life.
Dad’s tip: Small pieces of cooked chicken make excellent behavioral training treats.
Corn is one of the most common ingredients in dog foods. Fresh corn on the cob, however, is hard to digest. This means that excessive amounts could cause an internal blockage in a dog and should only be given in moderation.
6. Cow's Milk
Cow’s milk is not a natural food for dogs and can upset their delicate digestive systems. Some dogs, like humans, are also lactose intolerant, so it is usually better to stay clear of this food.
That being said, a little milk drunk by your dog once in a while should be ok; however, it is probably best to stick to plain water.
For safety’s sake, only feed your dog cooked eggs; it’s the same advice that I apply to my kids!
Raw eggs are also widely reported to aid in developing a biotin deficiency in dogs. This is true, and although rare, it can happen. This is because the egg whites contain avidin, an enzyme that interferes with biotin.
Symptoms to look out for when identifying a biotin deficiency could include:
- Scaly skin
- Skin lesions
- Dry and dull hair/coat
However, the simple truth is that you’d need to be feeding your dog about 8 eggs a day, every day, to create a biotin deficiency.
The yolk of an egg actually contains a healthy amount of biotin. So as long as you feed your dog the entire egg, the deficiency can be avoided. Fully cooked eggs are a great source of vitamins and protein, so I encourage their inclusion into a dog’s diet.
8. Goats Milk
Often referred to as the universal mammalian milk, goat milk is actually the most consumed in the world. Goat milk is also a far superior milk choice for your dog. It is easily digested and has greater health-giving properties.
Due to its formulation, cow milk contains a protein called alpha-s1-casein which can cause allergic reactions in dogs. Also, due to the pasteurization process and heat, the lactase enzyme in raw milk is destroyed.
This makes digestion difficult for dogs who don’t produce the necessary enzyme naturally. Goats milk, however, has a few tricks up its sleeve, which allows it to be easily digestible plus less allergenic for dogs.
The two main contributory factors are that the fat molecules of goat’s milk are one-fifth the size of cow’s milk. The other being that the alpha-s1-casein protein reacts differently when a goat produces it.
Raw goat milk also has easily digested probiotics that can help with many chronic diseases that may affect your dog.
Some of these diseases include:
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Kidney stones
- Poor digestion
Fermenting goat milk increases the number of probiotics. These then metabolize the lactose in the milk and combine other nutrients to create health-supporting compounds.
There are many ham variations; however, most of them are high in fat and sodium content. This means that although ham is not one of the healthiest foods for dogs. In small quantities, it is ok to give it to them.
Honey works for dogs in much the same way as it works for humans. Small amounts of locally produced honey can help dogs to fight off local allergens in your area. It does this by introducing small amounts of local pollen to its systems. This, in turn, then builds up immunity to the allergen in their system.
Honey is, however, very sweet and can contribute to tooth decay.
Care must be taken, therefore, when introducing it to the dog’s normal diet. On the plus side, however, honey is packed full of essential vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients.
For these reasons honey, is an excellent human food for dogs.
Oatmeal is an alternative source of grain for dogs that are allergic to wheat. It and is also a great source of soluble fiber for their diet.
It must be noted that oatmeal should always be fed cooked, cooled, or warm and served plain with no sugar or flavorings.
A full stomach of swelling oatmeal can cause a dog to experience excruciating pain.
Unprocessed popcorn free of all additives, flavorings, salt, and butter is perfectly ok to give to your dog in moderation. Air-popped popcorn is best, but please don’t feed your pouch unpopped kernels.
It is very easy for these kernels to become wedged between the teeth and cause irritability or dental problems.
Popcorn, however, does contain riboflavin, thiamine, iron, and protein. All of which contribute greatly to the overall health of your dog.
Pork is a great food to give to your dog as it is tasty, full of protein, easily digested, and high in calories. It is also one of the cheaper meats and is less likely to be rejected by your dog.
Surprisingly quinoa is favored by dogs and is included in some high-end dry dog foods as an active ingredient. It is full of protein and is favored by humans for its high nutritional value and other health-giving benefits.
For humans, however, the raw seed has a bitter taste; therefore, it is quite often mixed with other flavorings to make it more palatable.
Whilst the quinoa on your plate is good for your dog; the flavorings are not.
Flavorings such as onion and garlic may prove to be dangerous to your dog, even in relatively small amounts. For this reason, I would not recommend feeding your dog flavored quinoa directly from your plate.
If you want the health benefits without the dangers, wash and cook the quinoa before feeding it to your dog. However, some dogs can have difficulty digesting quinoa, so start small and work your way up.
If your dog shows signs of constipation, bloating, vomiting or diarrhea, then remove the quinoa from the diet.
Rice is good to feed when your dog has an upset tummy and needs a bland meal. White or instant rice is an easily digestible carbohydrate which makes it good when your dog has an upset tummy.
Processed white rice has no nutritional benefit, so don’t substitute your normal dog food for this cheaper alternative. The only exception to this processed white rice rule is basmati rice.
Turkey is a great meat for dogs. However, you must avoid giving turkey bones to your dog no matter how much begging is done.
Poultry bones can easily break or splinter internally during digestion.
This causes extreme blockages or even tears to the intestines. If you are feeding turkey scraps from your plate, do not do so if it has been seasoned with salt, onion, or garlic.
17. Wheat / Grains
Wheat and grains are a great source of protein, fatty acids, minerals, and fiber and can be found in most dog foods to bulk out the meal. However, some dogs are allergic to wheat and grains.
If you believe this to be the case, have your dog testing by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Avoid flavored yogurts and those with added sugar, sweeteners, and added chocolates. When choosing yogurt, pick one with live active bacteria as the active bacteria may act as probiotics.
Indeed those dogs that can handle probiotics can benefit from the digestive element in the same way humans do.
Dad’s tip Frozen yogurt is a nice summer treat for dogs.
You should always gradually introduce any new foods to your pet’s diet to avoid any stomach upsets. Feed your pet small amounts of the new food type, to begin with, and always introduce one new type of food at a time. This way, if your pet does have an adverse reaction, it will be easier for you to determine the cause.
Nuts Safe For Dogs To Eat
- Cashew Nuts
- Coconut Milk/Water
- Peanut Butter
Nuts are very high in fat, and so all “safe” nuts should be fed in strict moderation without exception.
Also, nuts are not recommended when it comes to your dog’s regular and established diet. For example, macadamia nuts may lead to neurological abnormalities, vomiting, fever, and weakness and should never be given.
Although some nuts contain toxins that can be highly dangerous to dogs, these nuts’ shells can be even more deadly. Most nutshells are also indigestible; therefore, they will rip and tear at a dog’s digestive tract.
Blockages can also a problem as the shells work their way through a dog’s digestive system.
Many commercially available nuts are also covered in additives, flavorings, salt, or chocolate. Chocolate is especially toxic to dogs and can very quickly kill a dog if eaten in quantity.
The same is true for nut and raisins mix, where the raisins are the problem here.
Old nuts can contain mold, which can cause various problems, including seizures, neurological distress, and liver problems for dogs.
All that being said, nuts are high in fat and protein, and one or two of the nuts listed below should be fine. However, this is only true if your dog is not nut intolerant and the nuts are served plain.
As with most of the nuts, almonds are not … technically toxic for dogs. However, as with most nuts, almonds are high in fat, making them difficult for dogs to digest.
Fatty foods can be dangerous for dogs as the fat can exceed the pancreas’ capability, as it tries to break it down and process it.
Too much fat in a dog’s diet can lead to pancreatitis. Inflammation of the pancreas is a very painful and sometimes fatal condition.
20. Cashew Nuts
Dogs can eat cashew nuts but only a few at a time, and they must be unsalted. Cashews are a good source of magnesium, calcium, protein, and antitoxins whilst also being a tasty treat.
As with all nuts, though they can lead to weight gain due to their fat content, they must be given in moderation for this reason.
Surprisingly, coconut can be very beneficial for dogs, and they generally handle it well. This is because coconut contains lauric acid, which helps them fight off various bacterias and viruses.
As a bonus, it can help with bad breath, although my dog, “Leo,”; would seem to be the exception to that rule!
Lauric acid found in the meat of the coconut is good for my dog’s allergies. This helps him to combat his itchy skin, hot spots, and inflammations due to scratching.
22. Coconut Milk / Water
Here the jury is divided! The AKC says both are safe for dogs. Just make sure to keep your dog away from the coconut shell due to its sharp edges and roughness.
The ASPCA, however, says the liquids are OK but only in small amounts. By giving your dog too much coconut milk, you may end up dealing with greasy stools, diarrhea, or stomach upset.
They also recommend avoiding coconut water because it’s high in potassium, which can cause health issues.
Maybe your veterinarian, who knows your dog well, could be the judge?
Dogs can also eat raw unsalted peanuts; however, they should be eaten in moderation due to their high-fat content. An excess of peanuts or peanut butter; could lead to excessive fat intake and allow future pancreas problems to develop.
24. Peanut Butter
Avoid peanut butter products that contain xylitol. This compound is a sugar substitute that can be very toxic to dogs.
However, dogs love peanut butter and will often behave admirably if there is a chance of a peanut butter treat. Raw unsalted peanut butter is high in healthy fats and vitamins; moreover, it is an excellent natural protein source for your dog.
Firstly, walnuts are very tough and high in fat, and these are the main problems with ingesting multiple walnuts. Secondly, the hard, sharp shells are very dangerous externally; teeth, gums, feet, and internally; throat, stomach, intestine.
I would not claim that walnuts are a good example of human foods safe for dogs to eat; however, if your dog eats one, it should be ok.
Do not feed Black Walnuts: Black Walnuts, native to the Northeastern U.S. and Canada, are toxic to dogs.
Dogs ingesting old walnuts off the ground are running a hazardous risk. Here they can develop tremors and seizures from walnut hulls that are moldy and contain penitrem A.
Fresh Fish And Seafood Safe For Dogs To Eat
- Canned Fish
- Fish Sticks
Fish, in general, is a great source of protein, calcium, selenium, niacin, and Omega-3 fats for your dog.
Many species of fish, when eaten raw, are not good for dogs, and the bones can be especially harmful when ingested. That being said, cooked fish with the bones removed can be extremely beneficial for dogs. Fish contains good fats, amino acids, calcium and is high in proteins and vitamins.
As with all foods, if you are going to introduce new food to your dog’s diet, please start small; and seek a veterinarian’s advice first. Introducing a new food source into their diet is always risky. This is because different dogs, even those from the same litter, may have different reactions to it.
Seafood, in particular, should be approached with caution. If you do not know the source of the fish, it should be avoided altogether. This applies to all types of seafood, whether finfish, shellfish, or even fish sticks! Some dogs, however, do love fish and have no problems with it, so if in doubt, say no or just use your best judgment.
Fresh seafood may be attempted as a small treat. However, it must have been fully cooked, and in some cases, fully cooled. It must have all bones, shells, and potentially sharp bits removed as even a thin shell can lacerate an intestine.
Raw fish carries with it many parasites, which can be potentially fatal for dogs, so this is generally a “No-No” at all times.
The most common parasites found in raw fish are:
- Flukes (parasitic flatworms), known as flukes.
- Roundworms (have tubular digestive systems with openings at both ends).
- Tapeworms ( A tapeworm infection can be seriously harmful. Your dog can become unwell, and infected puppies can suffer from anemia, slow growth, and intestinal blockage.
The only exception to the no raw rule is when the fish has been stored, frozen, and sold by a reputable dog food company. This is because this company will have ensured that the parasites have been eradicated in the production process.
Depending on your dog’s taste, you can either give them the fish thawed or still frozen. (some dogs prefer their fish on the crunchy side). Always ensure that the fish has been thoroughly deboned before giving it to your dog.
What are the benefits of feeding seafood to Dogs?
Wolves will take fish from rivers and streams. However, fish is not the main part of their diet, so why give it to your dog? The short answer is that the domesticated dog now has a different digestive system than its wild counterpart.
This means that your furry friend can profit greatly from the benefits that finfish and shellfish offer.
Remember, though, that moderation is the key to a healthy diet. Whilst dogs can, and do, benefit from seafood as an occasional meal, this type of food should only account for a small part of their diet.
The major benefits of feeding your dog seafood are:
- They are high in Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Seafood is generally High in protein.
- Finfish and shellfish are generally Low in levels of fat.
- They are an excellent alternative food for dogs with allergies. (If given in moderation)
This is not always the case, though, and sometimes the risks can outweigh the advantages. Remember, shellfish is not a natural part of a dog’s natural diet.
What are the major risks of feeding your dog seafood?
- Your dog might be allergic to a certain type of finfish or shellfish and experience a strong allergic reaction.
- Many fish have a presence of toxins, heavy metals such as mercury, and other pollutants.
- There is a risk of contracting bacteria such as salmonella and listeria (if raw or not cooked properly)
- Raw salmon has been known to contain a parasite called Neorickettsia helminthoeca, which leads to salmon poisoning in dogs.
- Fishbones can tear through your dog’s intestine wall, block the gut, and/or pose a choking hazard.
Anchovies are very similar to other fish in terms of nutrient profile. However, their small size makes them ideal as a low-calorie snack for your dog, at just 8 calories each. Smaller dogs can safely eat two to three anchovies per day, while larger dogs can eat up to five.
Moreover, you can feed them to your dog whole as his treat; or add a few fish to his regular food. Anchovies are packed full of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fats, calcium, selenium, and various B vitamins.
27. Canned Fish
Any canned fish you feed to your dog must be free of additives, flavorings, and salt. It is safe to put a quarter of a can or so into your dog’s daily food. This will ultimately add some extra protein and nutrients.
Dad’s Tip: Try adding the water from tinned fish to some kibble, treats, or fresh veggies and freeze them into fishy pops.
Cod is another excellent fish for dogs to eat, and unlike mackerel, most dogs will immediately take to it. A cod’s skin is a particular favorite for most dogs, but, as with all fish, ensure it has been cooked thoroughly before giving it to little Fido!
29. Fish Sticks
As a small treat, no harm will come to your dog eating a fish stick or two. However, they have no nutritional value and can only hydrate your dog at best.
Mackerel is a fish that is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids but can be an acquired taste. For those dogs who will take to it, the acids can help improve skin conditions, reduce allergies and improve a dog’s coat. It can even help to reduce shedding.
When served in moderation and not regularly, it can be a very beneficial part of your dog’s diet.
Raw or undercooked salmon contains parasites, and these can make a dog very sick.
For small, weak, or older dogs, these parasites can cause many problems. These problems can be severe enough to be life-threatening or even fatal in some cases.
The symptoms include severe diarrhea, cramping, vomiting, and dehydration, and in all cases, veterinarian advice must be sought.
You can find more information on salmon poisoning disease on the Washington State University website.
Cooked salmon, however, is an excellent food for dogs due to its omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, low mercury levels, and high protein content.
Salmon is also included in many commercially bought dog foods and carries with it many health benefits. These benefits include a boosted immune system, stronger joints, bright eyes, and improved cognitive function.
Dogs can also eat salmon skin so long as it has been cooked thoroughly and is free from seasonings. This is also true of plain canned salmon stored in water, not oil or other additives.
The bones found in canned salmon are very soft and will not cause a dog any gastrointestinal issues; whilst also being an excellent calcium source.
Sardines are excellent fish to feed your dog and have a high nutritional value. As they are small and only have a short life span, their overall exposure to heavy metals and toxins is minimal; thus making them less of a threat than larger, longer-living fish.
Sardines also have very soft bones and do not need deboning before being given to your dog. In fact, cooked sardine bones are highly digestible and are an excellent source of calcium.
33. Squid / Octopus
Yes, most dogs can eat squid and octopus without any problems. They are protein-rich, low in fat, and high in essential vitamins and vitamin B enzymes.
Squid and octopus are also rich in zinc and copper. This aids tremendously in the production of red blood cells and the strengthening of the immune system.
Tilapia is rich in phosphorus, Vitamin D, folate, and potassium and low in mercury levels, making it excellent for dogs. Vitamin D is essential for strong bone growth, and the folate can help with intestinal problems within your dog.
Farmed tilapia, however, is low in Omega-3s because these “farmed fish” don’t eat phytoplankton and aquatic plants. These fish are usually fed on GMO corn and soy meal-based diets. This means that they are also low in nutritional value and have a higher risk of parasitic infection.
I addition to this, farmed fish, in general, are often fed low-quality foods and dosed with antibiotics, pesticides, and hormones in large quantities. If you must buy farmed fish, then look for the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) seal.
Farmed fish-bearing this seal will be safe for your dog to eat.
Tuna is a long-lived and large sea fish. This means it could contain higher levels of mercury compared to other fish. Simply put, the larger the fish and the longer it lives, the higher the concentration of mercury within it.
For this reason, there is a fair amount of debate about whether or not; it is entirely safe for dogs. (The great fish debate).
Symptoms of mercury poisoning in dogs include:
- Hair loss
- Anxiety or nervousness
- Kidney damage (inability to urinate, abdominal swelling)
- Loss of coordination
- Loss of feeling in paws
- Vomiting blood
- Watery or bloody diarrhea
All that being said, canned tuna and shrimp remain the highest consumed tinned fish in America. And many dog owners would argue that tinned tuna is a favorite dog treat.
Tuna is very high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, essential for maintaining that glossy coat, bright eyes, and a healthy heart. However, if your dog is of a small breed, maybe it would be best to give tuna a miss.
Shellfish Safe For Dogs To Eat
When cooked and thoroughly cleared of their shells, some shellfish can be eaten by dogs. Shellfish meat is of high nutritional value but must come from a reputable source to avoid problems. However, shellfish are an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and essential minerals like zinc, iron, and magnesium.
Please do not feed your pooch raw shellfish as they can carry intestinal parasites. It would be far safer for you and your dog if you always cooked raw shellfish first.
36 - 37 - 38 Oysters / Clams / Mussels
Oysters, clams, and mussels are generally rich in vitamin B12, protein, iron, zinc, copper, calcium, and phosphorus. They are also rich in selenium and Omega-3 fats. When it comes to toxic heavy metal contamination, they are low risk; and they are generally nutrient-dense, as they live in mineral-rich waters.
If you are feeding these foods as scraps from your plate, then everything should be ok. This is because they have been passed as fit for human consumption. However, oysters, clams, and mussels from other (non-confirmed) sources should be avoided because they are filter feeders.
Filter feeders pump water through their systems, filtering out and eating algae and other food particles. When shellfish eat biotoxin-producing algae, the biotoxin can accumulate in their tissue.
This means that they can take toxins from microalgae such as dinoflagellates which can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) in both humans and dogs. If you want to feed these foods to your dog for the nutrients they provide, make sure you know their origins.
These shellfish should be only be harvested from clean, cool, regularly tested waters. Therefore it is best practice to only purchase these foods from reputable suppliers who regularly test their products for signs of contamination.
Yes, dogs can eat crab meat; it’s highly nutritious and very flavorsome to most dogs. The best way to prepare the dish is to steam the meat and don’t season or add anything to it. The meat itself is nutritious enough.
However, crab meat must only be fed to dogs in strict moderation.
Crab is naturally high in sodium, iodine, and cholesterol, which, when consumed to excess, can be difficult for a dog to digest.
Too much sodium leads to hypernatremia which can cause heart disease, high blood pressure, and problems with circulation in dogs.
Crabmeat is also high in iodine, and while it’s not common, some dogs can be allergic to iodine.
If your dog is allergic to the iodine in crab meat, he will begin to show the symptoms within 5 hours of consumption. Iodine allergy symptoms include watery nose and eyes, lethargy, and diarrhea; however, most dogs recover relatively quickly.
If your dog is distressed and these symptoms persist, talk to your veterinarian for advice.
Cooked lobster is an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and essential minerals like zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Please note that lobster shells and shell pieces, no matter how small, are very dangerous to dogs. These shells are not digestible and are very sharp; therefore, take care when giving your dog lobster meat.
Cooked prawns are an excellent source of protein, B-vitamins, and phosphorus. Cook prawns before consumption as these raw shellfish can carry intestinal parasites. Remove all shells as they can be a danger to small dogs
Not a regular food for dogs, but so long as it’s fully cooked, the odd shrimp will be fine. Be sure to give your dog only the shrimp’s main body for your complete mental security; (no shell, head, tail, or legs).
The shell and tail are of particular concern as the tough covering can lacerate a dog’s mouth and digestive system.
Shrimp are full of antioxidants, low in calories, high in minerals, and easy for dogs to digest. The minerals include iron, calcium, and phosphorous, which help to strengthen the bones and teeth. Like salmon, however, raw shrimp is loaded with bacteria. It must, therefore, be fully cooked to be safe for your dog.
A word of warning, though, fried shrimp contains large amounts of fat. This, if excessively eaten, could cause digestive problems or even inflammation of the pancreas. Shrimp is also high in cholesterol, so you should not feed it to a dog with weight problems or a poor cardiovascular system.
There is little nutritional value to be gained from feeding fried fish to your dog. Adding extra oils to fish will only result in extra fat storage. This will eventually lessen a dog’s health over time.
Final Thoughts on Fish for Dogs
- There is a way to prevent your dog from getting parasites from raw fish; freeze it for 10 days minimum! Freezing will kill parasites in the fish, making it safe for your dog to eat.
- When it comes to feeding fish to your dog, the basic rule of thumb is to cook the fish as simply as possible.
- Always introduce a new food to your dog’s diet in small increments and check for unexpected reactions.
- If your dog has not eaten fish in the past, please check with a veterinarian before this diet change.
- Avoid a lot of added unnecessary calories, fats, and spices when preparing the fish. You want healthy treats, not unhealthy treats that send them to the veterinarian.
- Fishbones can tear through your dog’s intestine wall, block the gut, and/or pose a choking hazard.
- Avoid a lot of added unnecessary calories and fats when preparing the fish. You want these to be healthy treats for your pup, not something that sends them to the vet.
- Fishbones can tear through your dog’s intestine wall, block the gut, and/or pose a choking hazard.
- Some fish are high in the presence of toxins and heavy metals such as mercury and other pollutants.
- Raw fish should only be purchased if you know the supplier is reputable.
Fresh Fruits Safe For Dogs To Eat
Although this is a safe list of foods to eat, this is so serious I felt obliged to mention it!
For dogs, eating grapes, raisins, sultanas, and currants can quickly lead to acute renal failure and death.
Unfortunately, there’s no clear link between the size of your dog and the amount eaten when determining the seriousness of the poisoning, so it’s best not to feed any grapes, raisins, sultanas, or currants to your dog.
For a list of essential oils dangerous to dogs, please read; Essential oils and the danger to cats, dogs, and birds.
Many dogs consistently benefit from a healthy measure of fruit and vegetables added to their diet. The addition of fruits and vegetables to your pet’s diet will also ensure that they’re getting plenty of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
This will help them stay active, be strong and healthy, strengthen their immune system and live a long life. It should come as no surprise to learn then that most canned dog food and kibble; is a combination of meat, protein, and vegetable matter.
This is not just a way to keep costs down but also recognizes the importance of change to a dog’s metabolism.
Dogs are now omnivores!
Domesticated dogs are now omnivores, meaning that they can eat meat or plant-based foods. This also means that they and can benefit from the large range of nutrients held within them.
It is therefore critical to learn which fruits and vegetables dogs can eat. Dogs eating the wrong foods can suffer from long-term health problems and, in extreme cases, death.
Read on to find out which fruits and vegetables are safe for dogs and which parts of them to avoid.
Dad’s tip: Dog treats can be high in additives, preservatives, and calories, so fruits and vegetables can provide a cheaper and much healthier alternative.
Introducing new foods into your dog’s diet may cause upset stomach issues such as vomiting or diarrhea, or worse! Be cautious, and only introduce one new food at a time to help you spot any health changes.
Apples are a great source of vitamins and fiber for your dog. They are also a great moist yet crunchy treat, although not all dogs will eat apples; however, apple seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide.
Therefore please do not allow your dog to eat them for this reason.
Though the effects of a few apple seeds will most likely not harm your dog, the cumulative effect of many seeds may be unforgiving.
Leo, however, won’t touch them. (I think he has been watching the local teenagers)!
Dogs can safely eat apricots. However, the seed/pit can be a choking hazard and contains a small amount of cyanide.
The fleshy fruit, however, is very nutritious and contains many essential vitamins and minerals. They are full of potassium and beta-carotene, which can help the fight against cancer.
Apricots are great when fed to your dog as a frozen treat on a hot day.
Bananas are naturally high in sugar and stimulate the fat-storing gene, so don’t feed your dog too many bananas. They are also high in potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, and fiber whilst being low in sodium.
Dad’s tip: If your dog has an upset stomach or just isn’t feeling too well, mash up a little banana into his regular meal. As it will help his tummy settle.
Cultivated blackberries are notable for their significant dietary fiber contents, vitamin C & K, manganese, and folic acid. However, the sugar to fiber content is about even, so they are not as good for your canine as raspberries are.
Definitely on the safe list.
This is due to their low calorie, low sugar but high antioxidant levels, which help prevent cell and tissue damage. They do make a healthy treat; however, they can discolor the feces, making for an interesting day out!
Blueberries are also a good source of fiber and Vitamin C. It is also reported that they lessen the chances of your dog developing urinary tract infections
Boysenberries contain several essential vitamins and minerals and are antioxidant-rich fruits. This helps in preventing cell damage and in promoting new cell growth. They are high in fiber which aids digestion and smooth bowel movements.
They are also rich in potassium, folate, and other vital nutrients crucial for neurological development.
Large quantities of the fruit can cause diarrhea, and as the fruit is sugar-rich, dogs should eat boysenberries in moderation to avoid weight problems.
Cantaloupe is high in sugar and should be given sparingly as a treat for dogs who are overweight. It is, however, an excellent source of fiber, niacin, folate, potassium, Vitamin C, and vitamin B6.
Care must be taken with the skin as it is hard to digest and could be a choking hazard.
Whilst cranberries are safe for a dog to eat, many dogs find the taste too tart on their own.
The main benefit derived from cranberries is that they can help with urinary tract infections. To make them more palatable to your dog, try stewing them down with a bit of water. (no additives required).
Cranberries can cause an upset stomach, so only add about a teaspoon or two to their meals to avoid this.
Cucumber is a treat needing only a wash before giving it to your dog. Beware of large portions as these can be a choking hazard (especially for small dogs and puppies); however, all of the fruit can be eaten.
They are a good low-cholesterol, low-fat, and low-sodium food for your dog but should be given in moderation. The good news is that cucumber can be a low-calorie hydrating treat, 95% water, that may help with inflammation and high blood pressure.
Packed with vitamins and minerals including; Vitamin B1, C & K, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and copper. Cucumbers are also rich in fiber and contain beta-carotene and manganese.
Fresh mango contains vitamins A, C, E, and B6 and is high in natural sugar content. The hard stone/pit contains trace amounts of cyanide and should not be fed to your dog. It is also a major choking hazard.
To avoid obesity and blood sugar problems, mango should only be offered in small quantities.
Oranges are high in vitamin C but are also high in citric acid.
Although they are safe for dogs, the chances are that they won’t eat them. The strong citrus smell may offend their sensitive noses, and the acid can upset their stomachs. So maybe this is one food to give a miss.
If you insist on feeding your pooch oranges, they are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. However, orange peel is also rough on their digestive systems, so only offer them the flesh minus the pips.
The papaya is a tropical fruit that is high in nutrients and antioxidants. It is another healthy fruit for your dog when given in moderation. Papaya contains vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as folate, potassium, and calcium, which aid the heart and the immune system.
However, the seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide and can cause a blockage, so be careful here.
Another thing of note is that the Papaya fruit contains high amounts of an enzyme known as papain. This enzyme works great as a digestion aid for breaking down protein, which may be of benefit to some dogs.
Please be aware that unripe papaya may cause tummy upsets.
As long as you remove the pit, then peaches are safe for a dog to eat.
The pit contains trace amounts of cyanide and is a choking hazard for small dogs is due to its size.
Canned peaches are fine to give to your dog as a treat unless they are tinned in syrup.
Pears are high in potassium, magnesium, vitamins C, K & B6, and carbohydrate content of 15%.
They make for a great snack in summer but be sure to cut pears into bite-size chunks and remove the seeds first.
Pears canned in syrup is not ok. While the syrup is not toxic, it has a very high sugar content that is not recommended for your dog.
It is safe for dogs to eat pineapple flesh but not the outer skin. It is a choking hazard, and the crowns could scratch the airway whilst being swallowed. The fruit is full of vitamin C, potassium, and manganese while also incredibly low in fat.
It also has lots of fibrous content, which is important for the dietary track.
Pineapple is very safe for dogs to consume, and my dog, “Leo,” loves to crunch frozen pineapple on a hot day.
Pumpkin is a good source of fiber and beta carotene. (Beta carotene is a precursor of vitamin A). Dogs need vitamin A for healthy skin and mucous membranes, their immune system, and good eye health.
The fiber content in pumpkin helps to keep the gastrointestinal (GI) tract moving. This, in turn, keeps the cells lining the gut strong and healthy.
Dad’s tip: Use pumpkin to help soothe a dog’s tummy as it may well get things going again!
These little fruits are great for dogs as they are higher in dietary fiber than sugar content! They also contain a good amount of calcium to support those aging bones, plus vitamin C and manganese.
Raspberries are a perfect all-around treat for your dog.
Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of manganese.
However, these little fruits carry 2.5 times more sugar content than dietary fiber. So please give them to your dog in strict moderation.
So, can dogs eat tomatoes?
The answer is both yes and no. Ripe tomatoes are nontoxic to dogs and can be eaten in moderation. Unripe “green” tomatoes and the actual tomato plant are poisonous to dogs and should be avoided.
Keep dogs away from tomato plants by fencing off your garden area or by supervising your dog when in the garden.
Watermelon seeds can be a hazard to dogs.
These seeds can clump together within the gastral tract to form a blockage. It’s, therefore, best to remove the seeds whenever possible.
The outer rind can also prove to be dangerous, so only feed your dog the inner flesh of the fruit.
Dad’s tip: Feed frozen chunks of watermelon to your dog on a hot day to keep him hydrated as it is 92% water.
Fresh Vegetables Safe For Dogs To Eat
- Bell Peppers
- Green Beans
- Sweet Potato
Asparagus is an excellent source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E, K, chromium, and potassium.
Dog’s may have difficulty digesting raw asparagus as it is so tough and extremely fibrous. Therefore the optimum way to prepare asparagus for your dog is to steam it until soft.
64. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers (red, green, orange, yellow ):
First of all, you should know that bell peppers are also known as capsicum or sweet peppers in some countries.
All bell pepper varieties provide beta carotene, fiber, and antioxidants. Make sure to cut peppers up into manageable-sized pieces and feed with the stem removed to help boost immune function.
They are rich in Vitamin A, C, E, K, and Vitamin B6 and potassium and folate.
Bell peppers can be eaten raw or cooked, but raw peppers can be hard to digest, so a little light steaming is preferable.
Broccoli is high in fiber and vitamin C whilst being low in fat. Give this vegetable in small quantities; because broccoli florets contain isothiocyanates, which can cause mild-to-potentially-severe gastric irritation in some dogs.
The large stems are also a potential choking hazard, and, therefore, dogs should only eat small pieces.
Purple, red, savoy are all types of antioxidant-rich cabbage that are safe for dogs to eat.
All cabbage varieties are high in vitamins C, B-6 plus calcium, minerals, and fiber, whilst also being low in calories. Eating cabbage can help digestion, help fight cancer, and improve skin and fur health for dogs.
The anthocyanins found in red cabbage are well-documented, anti-inflammatory compounds; and make red cabbage a standout anti-inflammatory food for this reason.
It is best to cook cabbage before feeding to allow for easier digestion.
Carrots contain the essential vitamins A, C, K, and B-6 plus the minerals potassium, magnesium, and iron. They are a very healthy treat for your dog in both raw and cooked forms.
Some dogs just like to crunch on them without even eating them!
They also contain beta-carotene, which helps maintain healthy eye and skin health.
Cauliflower is a good source of fiber, vitamins K, C, B-6, calcium, potassium, iron, and folate whilst being low in calories.
This high mix of essential vitamins and minerals helps to maintain and improve the health of your dog’s vision, blood, liver, muscles, immune system, and more.
A cauliflowers mix of vitamins and antioxidants may reduce inflammation and help older pets with arthritis pain. However, too much cauliflower may lead to an upset stomach, gas, and other digestion issues.
Serve steamed, plain, without the leaves or stem, or even crushed up and placed into the dog’s regular wet food.
Celery is low in calories, packed full of nutrients and antioxidants, and vitamins A, B, and C. It also has a high water content that has been shown to help freshen your pet’s breath.
However, too much celery is also reported to cause some dogs to urinate a great deal more than usual.
You have been warned!
70. Green Beans
Green beans are a good source of protein and iron for dogs, whether raw, frozen, chopped, steamed, or canned.
On the list of the world’s healthiest foods, green beans, among other legumes, have repeatedly shown the ability to lower the risk of chronic diseases.
The list of diseases includes type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and coronary heart disease. As a bonus, green beans can make a healthy snack that can help dogs to slim down!
Dad’s tip: Dogs love a frozen, pre-cooked green bean snack in the summer.
Lettuce helps to add water and much-needed fiber to a dog’s diet—this aids in keeping them both hydrated and regular during hot weather.
It would be best if you always cut lettuce leaves into skinny slices to make them palatable. These can then be placed within or scattered on top of their usual food.
Frozen, thawed, steamed, mashed, or canned; peas can make a nice, one-off snack or a complement to a dog’s normal diet. As with all canned products, though, please check the additives and sodium contents first.
Peas contain vitamin B, thiamin, and potassium, which can boost energy levels while improving a dog’s bone health.
Widely regarded as a superfood, spinach contains almost every vitamin and mineral required to meet your dog’s dietary needs.
That being said, Spinach is high in oxalic acid, which blocks the body’s ability to absorb calcium and can lead to kidney damage.
Although huge quantities would need to be digested for this to occur, a dog with pre-existing kidney problems would do best to avoid this food.
Boiled spinach quickly loses its nutritional benefits; however, raw spinach cannot be broken down by a dog’s stomach. Therefore in truth, it may be easier to avoid this superfood altogether.
These little balls of flavor are packed full of essential nutrients and antioxidants that are great for dogs. They are naturally high in fiber, low in calories, and contain good calcium, iron, and magnesium quantities.
Just like in humans, however, Brussel sprouts can cause flatulence issues, so it is best not to overfeed your dog on these treats.
Unfortunately, Leo loves them, but I wish he didn’t!
75. Sweet Potato
Sweet potato contains vitamins A, C, and B-6 and minerals including iron, calcium, selenium thiamine, niacin, and even copper. Because of these nutrients, sweet potatoes are much more beneficial to dogs than regular white potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are also a rich source of fiber and water, which, over time, can work together with these nutrients to soothe digestive problems and can settle many stomach upsets.
The zucchini is treated as a vegetable in a culinary context, although botanically, zucchinis are fruits.
Zucchini is a good source of vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium and may offer dogs some protection from infections, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases.
5 Tips For Serving Fruits And Vegetables To Dogs
- Always introduce new foods gradually and look for any signs of discomfort before proceeding further.
- Wash and clean your fruit and vegetables in a baking soda wash. This will disinfect, rinse away dirt and remove any residue of pesticides and chemicals.
- Make fresh fruit and vegetables even easier to eat. Cut them into small bits, mash, or even puree the food for easier digestion. For larger dogs, serve by the slice or whole berry but never overfeed.
- Remember to keep these treats under the ratio of 10% of the natural dietary intake.
- Try feeding them as frozen treats. (as some dogs might not know what to do with the new texture of fruit).
When In Doubt About Any Human Foods Safe For Dogs To Eat, Ask A Veterinarian For Advice
If your dog is acting strangely or experiencing minor symptoms of weakness, lack of coordination, vomiting, diarrhea, etc., and you think they may have consumed something they shouldn’t have, seek a veterinarian’s attention immediately. If you wait too long, your dog might not make it.
What If You Cannot Reach Your Veterinarian?
In an emergency, when you cannot reach your veterinarian, immediately contact your local animal emergency clinic or call the animal poison hotline at 888-232-8870. You can also try the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.
Disclaimer: Information published on this website is intended for reference use only. The only clear option for ensuring your dog’s health is to feed commercial-grade dog foods and treats only. Feeding human foods of any sort carries some degree of risk and is not under this website’s control.
Mark Aspland is a proud father of two boys and an amateur actor and green living enthusiast. He has been sharing hints, tips, and sustainable living content on his website Sustainability Dad since august 2019.
He now has an army of like-hearted individuals passionate about the environment and how to affect positive change through peaceful action.