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Unless you’re an expert in canine nutrition, the bulk of your pup’s diet should be comprised of a high quality dog food, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy some human food once in a while.
Whether you like to mix something more interesting in with your dog’s kibble, want to feed them a little bit of what you’re eating, or simply want to give them some human food as a little treat now and again, you need to be careful about what you feed your canine companion.
Dogs’ biology is different to ours, so some foods that are perfectly safe for humans to eat are actually poisonous or otherwise harmful to dogs.
So, before you give Fido something off your plate, you need to make sure it’s safe for your four-legged friend to eat.
Can Dogs Eat Apples?
Quick answer: YES, BUT AVOID THE SEEDS!
According to Modern Dog Magazine, apples are an excellent treat for your dog.
Due to their natural sweetness, many dogs love them, which is great because they’re extremely healthy.
They contain good amounts of calcium, vitamin C and vitamin K, all of which are beneficial for good health.
The only issue with apples is the stems and seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides (cyanide) which can cause upset stomachs and in large doses cause even more serious problems.
To be dangerous though, your dog would have to consume huge amounts of apple seeds, so don’t worry if they ingest the odd one or two, but try to avoid them, just to be safe.
So, can dogs eat apples? Yes – but putting the effort in to remove the core along with the seeds is best advised.
Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?
Quick answer: SURE, BUT ONLY RIPE FRUITS.
Ripe tomatoes, cooked or raw, are fine for dogs to eat. In fact, they contain high levels of the antioxidant lycopene, which studies suggest may have anti-cancer properties.
However, unripe tomatoes, as well as the stems and leaves of tomato plants, contain a compound called glycoalkaloid which is highly toxic to dogs.
If ingested, it will cause symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting and difficulty breathing, and can even lead to coma and death.
So, if you grow tomatoes in your garden, be extra careful of your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?
Quick answer: OF COURSE!
Dogs certainly can eat peanut butter and most of them truly love the stuff.
Peanut butter contains a variety of heart-healthy fats and is packed full of protein, which is important for maintaining muscle mass.
It’s excellent for freezing as a healthy, cooling treat in the summer and is widely touted as the best ingredient to stuff into Kong toys to keep your dog busy.
It’s high in healthy fats, which are good for dogs, but that still means it’s calorific so dogs struggling to keep their weight down should eat it only sparingly.
Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal?
Quick answer: YES!
Oatmeal is high in soluble fiber, which is great for bowel health and regularity. It’s also a great alternative grain for dogs who are intolerant to wheat.
Cook oatmeal with water and don’t add any sugar when feeding it to your furry friends. A generous spoonful of peanut butter stirred in is a nice addition, though!
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?
Quick answer: YES, IF COOKED!
Avoid feeding your pup raw sweet potatoes, but cooked sweet potatoes are absolutely fine. They’re jammed full of a range of nutrients and make a great alternative to grains as a source of carbohydrates.
According to Dogtime, these super spuds contain high levels of vitamins A, B6 and C, as well as containing antioxidants that potentially have cancer-preventing properties.
They also contain fiber that can help with loose stools.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken?
Quick answer: IT’S A CONTENTIOUS TOPIC.
There are many pet owners out there who swear by a raw food diet, and would tell you that it’s perfectly safe to feed your dog raw chicken.
However, the American Veterinary Medical Association recommend against feeding any raw meat to your dog unless it has first been pasteurized.
If you do choose to feed your dog raw chicken that’s on the bone, it’s vital to supervise them while they’re eating.
Can Dogs Eat Pork?
Quick answer: IT DEPENDS.
Pork isn’t necessarily a dangerous food to feed your dog, but it might not be the best one, either, as it contains high levels of a type of fat that’s hard to digest.
It’s also possible for dogs to get a disease called trichinosis from eating pork, so it’s vital that it’s cooked thoroughly.
Can Dogs Eat Fish?
Quick answer: OF COURSE, BUT WATCH OUT FOR BONES!
The problem with fish is bones can be dangerous for your dog, as they can get lodged in the throat or splinter and cause serious problems, such as internal bleeding.
As such, you should always triple check that all bones are removed from fish before feeding it to your dog.
Fish is a healthy source of protein for dogs. It’s rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which are good for joint health, mobility and for maintaining healthy skin, and is an ingredient added to many large breed puppy foods for this very reason.
Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?
Quick answer: YES, IF IT’S COOKED!
Cooked shrimp is perfectly safe for your dog to eat, but raw shrimp can cause shellfish toxicity, according to Hound Dogs Drule.
It’s also advised that you only feed peeled shrimp to dogs.
That said, shrimp is an allergen, so there is a slight risk your dog could be allergic to it, but no more so than with any other allergen.
Can Dogs Eat Bananas?
Quick answer: IN MODERATION!
Bananas are not only safe for dogs to eat, they have a range of nutritional benefits. They’re rich in potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper, fiber, and biotin.
According to Pet360, veterinarians say that bananas are fine to have as a treat, but shouldn’t be fed in large quantities due to their high sugar content.
However, this natural sweetness makes them an excellent addition to homemade dog treats.
Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?
Quick answer: SURE THING, BUT WITH A COUPLE OF PRECAUTIONS.
The AKC say it’s fine for dogs to eat watermelon, but a couple of precautions should be taken.
Firstly, dogs shouldn’t eat watermelon seeds as they can potentially cause intestinal blockages, so be sure to remove them before feeding watermelon to your pooch.
Secondly, don’t let your dog eat watermelon rind, as this can cause a stomach upset.
Other than that, go for it, as the fruit is packed with vitamins A, B6 and C, and is great for hydrating your hound on a hot day.
Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?
Quick answer: NOW AND THEN!
Your dog absolutely can eat strawberries, but as with any fruit, they need to be fed as an occasional treat – rather than a main part of their diet – because they’re relatively high in natural sugars.
According to Red Barn Inc., no more than one strawberry per day is a good amount as a treat.
In moderation, strawberries are excellent treats for dogs, because they contain important nutrients, including iodine, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B1, and folic acid.
Can Dogs Eat Blueberries?
Quick answer: AS A TREAT!
Much like strawberries, blueberries make a great treat, but only feed your pup a few a day, because of the sugar content.
Again, blueberries are very healthy, as far as snacks go! They’re jammed full of disease-fighting antioxidants, as well as vitamins A, B, C and E.
Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms?
Quick answer: YES, BUT ONLY STORE BOUGHT VARIETIES.
Mushrooms tend to be high in vitamin D and are said to be generally beneficial for dogs’ immune systems.
However, some people are wary of feeding their dogs mushrooms. This isn’t a completely unfounded fear, since there are obviously poisonous kinds of mushrooms and other fungi out there, that neither dogs nor humans should be eating.
By all means, you can feed your dog the kinds of mushrooms you might find in the supermarket – such as button, portabella or crimini – but, never let your dog eat wild mushrooms that you might see out and about.
Many of these are so highly toxic that ingesting them could be fatal.
Can Dogs Eat Popcorn?
Quick answer: ABSOLUTELY, IF IT’S HOMEMADE.
Popcorn is safe for dogs to eat. In fact, it makes for a tasty, low calorie treat to give your canine companion.
That said, be wary of feeding your dog the pre-packaged kind, whether it’s microwave popcorn or the type that comes already popped in a bag.
These varieties tend to be loaded with fat, salt and sugar, making them unhealthy for your pup. Some brands even contain sweeteners, which can be dangerous for dogs to eat.
This is why it’s best to pop the popcorn yourself, on the stove or in an air-popper. Then you can feed to to your pup plain or drizzled with something healthy they may like.
Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream?
Quick answer: NO!
According to WebMD, you should avoid feeding dairy products to dogs, as many canines lack the enzymes to properly digest them, leading to diarrhea and other stomach complaints. Dairy can also trigger skin allergies in some dogs.
Of all the dairy products ice cream is a definite no-no, since it’s also packed with fat and sugar, making it extra unhealthy.
If you want your four-legged friend to enjoy an icy treat, try freezing a peeled banana for an hour, before blending it into a “Mr. Whippy” type consistency.
Can Dogs Eat Cheese?
Quick answer: MAYBE!
As explained under the “ice cream” heading above, many dogs display signs of lactose intolerance. If they lack the enzymes required to digest dairy products, they can cause digestive distress.
That said, if you know from experience that your dog can tolerate dairy, then you can feed your dog cheese, but only as a treat in small quantities. Oh, and dogs do tend to really love it!
Can Dogs Eat Avocado?
Quick answer: IT’S BEST TO AVOID IT
While avocados can cause serious poisoning when ingested by some species of animal, the ASPCA explains that, in dogs, it’s unlikely to cause anything more than a mild stomach upset, and only if they’ve eaten a large amount of flesh and peel.
However, if your dog has got hold of an avocado and eaten the entire thing whole, contact a vet, as the pit could cause a blockage in the digestive system.
Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?
Quick answer: YES, BUT NOT TOO MUCH.
Broccoli is packed full of vitamins and minerals, including antioxidants that are said to have cancer-preventing properties. So, of course, it’s a good addition to your dog’s diet.
On the other hand, it does contain isothiocyanate, that can lead to gastroenterological problems if consumed in large quantities, so you need to be careful to feed this vegetable in moderation.
Can Dogs Eat Nuts?
Quick answer: IT DEPENDS ON THE NUT!
Certain nuts can be healthy snacks for your dog, whereas others should be avoided. So, be sure to do your research before feeding any nuts to your canine companion.
According to Wag the Dog, hazelnuts, cashews and peanuts (though they’re not technically nuts) are all safe for dogs.
Nuts that should be avoided include, but aren’t limited to, pistachios (which can lead to pancreatitis), walnuts (which contain a dangerous toxin that can cause seizures), macadamia nuts (which contain a toxin that could cause neurological problems), and pecans (which can cause digestive problems or obstructions).
Can Dogs Eat Mango?
Quick answer: IN MODERATION!
As discussed above, while fruit is great for dogs in terms of nutrients, the amount of sugar it contains isn’t so good, which means you shouldn’t be feeding your dog tons of the stuff. Mango is no exception to this rule.
Many dogs love it for its delicious sweet flavor and it’s also packed full of vitamins A, B6, C and E, as well as containing potassium, alpha carotene and beta carotene.
Most dogs wouldn’t attempt to eat the huge stone inside, but it’s still worth mentioning that your pup absolutely shouldn’t try to eat this as it could cause an obstruction in their digestive tract, and also because it contains traces of cyanide.
Can Dogs Eat Chocolate?
Quick answer: NEVER!
We probably don’t have to tell you this, but in case you missed the memo, chocolate is highly toxic for dogs and they should never eat it.
If you’re wondering why dogs can’t eat chocolate, it’s because the cocoa in chocolate contains a compound called theobromine, and this just happens to be poisonous to dogs.
If consumed, theobromine can cause vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, increased heart rate and – if enough is ingested – even death.
Although we’re not suggesting it’s okay to give your dog chocolate, there is a safe amount for a dog to eat, so don’t freak out too much if your pup has managed to get their paws on a square or two.
The amount a dog can eat without incurring any major problems will depend on the size of your dog and the cocoa content of the chocolate they ate, so call your vet for advice if your dog ever finds and eats some chocolate.
Can Dogs Eat Carrots?
Quick answer: ABSOLUTELY!
Not only are carrots safe for dogs to eat, they’re one of the best snacks you could give your pup, especially if you feed them raw.
Gnawing on a raw carrot stimulates saliva production and helps to scrape plaque from the teeth, so they’re essentially nature’s toothbrush!
They’re also packed with vitamin A and beta carotene, which are good for the health of your dog’s eyes, skin, coat and immune system.
The high amounts of soluble fiber contained in carrots means they’re also excellent for the digestive system and for helping your dog stay regular.
Can Dogs Eat Grapes?
Quick answer: NO!
Never feed your dog grapes (or raisins!) as they can cause kidney failure and, ultimately, death.
According to the ASPCA, it’s not yet known exactly which compound in grapes is toxic to dogs, but for some reason, it seems to cause problems in some canines on some occasions, but not across the board.
Until scientists have discovered exactly what the issue is, and whether or not any dog could be affected, you should avoid feeding your dog grapes altogether as the risks are far too high.
Can Dogs Eat Bread?
Quick answer: OCCASIONALLY!
Although there’s nothing dangerous about feeding your dog bread, it’s not the most nutritionally dense food out there, so you should only give it to your dog in small amounts, as an occasional treat.
Wholewheat bread is better for your pup than plain white bread, as it’s higher in fiber and other beneficial nutrients.
While good bread is safe, raw yeasted bread dough can be extremely dangerous if your dog ingests it, so if you make your own bread, be sure to leave the dough somewhere your dog can’t get to it while it’s rising.
Can Dogs Eat Eggs?
Quick answer: YES, IF THEY’RE COOKED.
Eggs are seen as a nutritious form of complete protein, containing all kinds of amino acids, as well as vitamin A, vitamin B12, selenium, iron, riboflavin, and more.
However, Modern Dog Magazine points out that they should only be fed to dogs cooked, as raw egg whites can cause a biotin deficiency, plus there’s a risk of salmonella.
It’s also worth noting that eggs are high in cholesterol, so they shouldn’t be fed in excess.
Other People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Dog
As well as some of the foods listed above, there are other certain ingredients most people wouldn’t consider giving their pets, but are worth briefly discussing just in case:
- Alcohol -There aren’t many among us who would even consider giving our pooch an alcoholic beverage, but if it has crossed your mind, know that it can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, interfere with the central nervous system, cause uncontrollable shakes, trouble breathing and eventually lead to coma and maybe even death. Certainly one to avoid at all costs!
- Salt -Salt in large doses can lead to insatiable thirst and cause a dog to severely over-drink water that can lead to all sorts of problems and even death. It has even been known for dogs to suffer from sodium ion poisoning through ingestion of too much salt. Therefore, avoid feeding your dog and slated snacks – and this is the main reason it’s advised to not feed them table scraps either as we often add salt to our food.
- Garlic and Onions –According to Banfield pet hospital, the entire Allium species of plants are toxic to dogs, including: Onions, garlic, leeks, chives and more. They can lead to severe tummy upset but worse than this are also known to damage red blood cells and lead to anemia. We use onions and garlic in so many recipes so again, it’s best not to give your dog any human leftovers so you do not forget one day and mistakenly feed them onions or garlic.
- Xylitol -This is an artificial sweetener added into many products marketed to humans as ‘low in sugar’ so as to keep them tasting sweet while making the claim. It can be found in candy, chewing gum and many bakery goods. If large amounts are ingested it can lead to vomiting, lethargy, hypoglycemia, a spike in insulin release and ultimately liver failure. Avoid feeding products containing Xylitol at all costs!
What Else Can or Can’t A Dog Eat?
Here are a few in depth articles we wrote about human foods dogs can and cannot eat:
While it would be near impossible to list every single food out there, this guide should give you a good idea of which common foods are or are not safe for your precious pup to eat.
You’ll notice with a lot of safe foods, it’s still important to practice moderation. You can have too much of a good thing, and the same goes for your dog’s diet.
Feeding your dog a varied and balanced diet is important for their health, so as well as feeding a nutritionally balanced food, it never hurts to make sure your four-legged friend is having plenty of healthy snacks to give them a boost.
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LabradorTrainingHQ.com assumes no responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of what’s written on this site. Please consult a professional before taking any course of action with any medical, health or behavioral related issue.
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