We all love our dogs. They’re there for us through thick and thin and are often more reliable than our family and friends. That’s why it’s tempting to sneak our dogs a little treat from our own plates during dinner time. We’ve all done it. A little bit of leftover turkey at Christmas, the brown bit of banana you don’t like the look of, maybe some raw pork that fell off the chopping board. It probably won’t be so bad, right?
Well, did you know that there are certain foods you should avoid feeding to your dog? Most owners know the potential dangers that come with feeding a dog chocolate, but did you know you also shouldn’t give your dog blue cheese? Or macadamia nuts? Or onions?
Dogs’ stomachs aren’t the same as our own, which means certain foods can be toxic to them. But, exactly what human foods can dogs eat that aren’t bad for their health? What fruits can dogs eat, or nuts, or drinks? Basically, what human foods can dogs eat that won’t upset their stomachs, make them ill or worse?
In this guide, we’ll go into detail about all the human foods our four-legged friends can safely enjoy so you can continue feeding your dog the occasional treat from your plate without having to worry. To discover more about your dog's digestive health, an advanced pet sensitivity test can tell you exactly which foods your dog can and probably shouldn’t enjoy.
What fruits can dogs eat?
Because dogs produce their own vitamin C, they don’t need to eat fruit like we do. However, as an occasional treat, they can eat some fruit so long as it’s cut into small pieces. Just make sure it’s not too much because fruit contains natural sugars.
Fruit that is safe for dogs include:
- Apples (but not the seeds or core)
- Bananas (but not the peel)
- Oranges (but not the peel)
- Peaches (but not the stone)
- Melon (but not the seeds)
- Pears (but not the seeds)
What fruits can’t dogs eat?
Due to them containing acid, cyanide and other toxins, there are some fruits that dogs shouldn’t eat. Not only does it risk them getting sick, but some can cause blockages or severe health complications. The following fruits should be avoided, even in small quantities, and never given to your dog:
- Grapes and raisins
- Lemon and lime
What vegetables can dogs eat?
The good news is, there are vegetables your dog can eat in small quantities. Unlike humans, it’s certainly not recommended that dogs eat five a day, but small amounts of the following make for a lovely treat so long as they’re not cooked in fats, oil or butter:
- Brussels sprouts
- Butternut squash
- Green beans
- Fresh peas (including sugar snap, garden peas and mangetout)
- Cooked potatoes and sweet potatoes
- Sweetcorn (not corn on the cob)
What vegetables can’t dogs eat?
Avoid feeding the following veggies to your dog to prevent them from becoming sick or causing blockages:
- Corn on the cob
- Raw potatoes or sweet potatoes
What dairy products can dogs eat?
Dairy is a common food intolerance for dogs, which may mean your dog’s digestive system struggles to process lactose, resulting in unpleasant symptoms (for both you and your dog). However, if your dog doesn’t experience symptoms after eating dairy, you should be fine to feed them very small amounts as an infrequent treat. This includes cheese and ice cream.
However, some types of cheese are toxic to dogs, such as blue cheese and other types of cheese that contain mold. If you do intend to give your dog cheese, make sure it’s fresh and not close to its use-by date.
Usually, the smaller the amount of lactose in a dairy product, the more easily your dog should be able to digest it.
What meat can dogs eat?
Dogs love meat, and any meat that humans can eat can also be enjoyed by dogs. This includes chicken, turkey, beef (including beef jerky) and pork. However, make sure meat isn’t too salty, as eating too much salt can lead to salt toxicity. You must also make sure the meat is thoroughly cooked and isn’t spoiled. Don’t be tempted to give your dog meat that’s past its use-by date, as any sign of mold can be harmful to your dog. If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t let your dog eat it either.
When giving your dog meat, make sure it’s cut into easily digestible chunks and doesn’t contain any bones.
There are also some meats your dog can't eat such as bacon.
Can dogs eat raw meat?
While wild dogs do eat raw meat, it’s not recommended that you feed it to your dog at home. Domestic dogs don’t have stomachs and digestive systems that are as hardy as their wild cousins, and raw meat can potentially cause problems such as food poisoning. So, it’s best to cook any meat you intend to give to your dog.
What other human foods can dogs eat?
Most dogs will eat anything you give them, but that’s not to say they should eat anything and everything. As well as some fruit, vegetables and meat, there are other human foods that you shouldn’t feed to your dogs. Read on to discover more and answer the questions, what can dogs eat?
Can dogs eat chocolate?
No, you should never give your dog chocolate, even in very small quantities. Chocolate contains theobromine, which humans can easily metabolize. However, dogs cannot, which causes toxins to build up in their system and can be incredibly harmful.
Can dogs drink beer or other alcoholic drinks?
No, you shouldn’t give your dog beer or other boozy drinks because dogs can’t metabolize alcohol in the same we humans can. You risk giving your pooch much more than a hangover if you do.
Can dogs eat fish?
Yes, dogs can eat fish and it can be a good addition to their diet, helping keep their heart and coat healthy. However, just make sure any fish you feed your dog doesn’t contain any bones and has low levels of mercury. This means it’s probably best to avoid giving them tuna or swordfish to be on the safe side.
The types of fish you can feed your dog include:
Can dogs eat seeds?
While some seeds can be a healthy addition to your pup's diet, others may pose risks. We dive into the world of seeds and explore which seeds are safe and which are best left out of your canine companion's bowl. You can read our detailed guides to different seeds below:
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
Can dogs eat nuts?
Some nuts are fine to give to your dog as a treat, while others can be toxic. Even nuts that aren’t toxic to dogs can be bad if eaten in large quantities, as the high fat content can cause pancreatitis.
Nuts that your dog can eat in small amounts are:
- Peanut butter that doesn’t contain xylitol
- Cashew nuts
Nuts that you shouldn’t give to your dog are:
- Pistachio nuts
- Macadamia nuts
Can dogs eat pasta?
It’s generally fine to give your dog plain, cooked pasta in small quantities. Don’t be tempted to give them sauce, though, which might contain onions, tomatoes and garlic, which can be harmful to dogs.
Can dogs eat eggs?
A cooked egg as an occasional treat is absolutely fine to give to your dog, unless they have a condition such as diabetes.
Other food items
What can dogs drink?
Water is the best drink you can give your dog, which you can cool down with ice cubes if it’s a hot day or your dog is especially active.
You can also give your dog a small amount of fruit and vegetable juice, so long as it’s natural and low in sugar, doesn’t contain any ingredients toxic to dogs and doesn’t contain xylitol.
Unsalted bone broth is also a lovely treat, as is dog beer, which is alcohol-free and perfect for thirsty pups. Avoid giving your dog human beer or any alcoholic drinks because dogs can’t metabolize alcohol.
Common dog food intolerances
Like humans, dogs can develop food intolerances which mean they may struggle to digest a certain type of food, in addition to the list of foods that are naturally toxic to them.
Some of the most common dog food intolerances are proteins, including meat, but as well as plants, eggs, dairy and grains.
Any breed of dog is susceptible to a food intolerance, and a dog can develop an intolerance at any stage of its life.
Test your dog for an allergy or intolerance
If your dog shows signs of an allergy or intolerance after eating, there’s a fast and simple way to find out more about your dog's digestive health.