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The Big List of Human Foods That Are Safe for Dogs & Make Healthy Treats!

When you’re eating dinner or prepping a meal in the kitchen, your dog is probably a close companion. Sometimes food gets dropped, or you have extra of one ingredient. In both situations, you’ve probably wondered whether it’s safe for your pup to munch on a human food.

There are lots of people foods that are perfectly safe for dogs to eat—most in moderation. We’ve compiled a big list of things that shouldn’t make you worry if they fall off the counter. Or get snatched by a mischievous dog!

What dogs CAN’T eat

Vet Tip: It’s fun to share food with your dog, but if you don’t want to encourage begging, be mindful of how you deliver it. Putting it in his food bowl encourages him to look for food where it belongs instead of under your feet while you cook or eat.

A Key to Nutrients

Under each food in our list, you’ll see the nutrients it provides. Here’s a key to help you understand how each benefits your pup:

Antioxidants – Protects your dog’s body from damage caused by free radicals (molecules that can harm enzymes, DNA, and cell membranes). There is research to suggest antioxidants can improve age-related issues in older dogs. Examples of antioxidants include vitamins E and C.

Calcium – Supports teeth and bone health and helps blood clot

Fiber – Maintains a healthy gut microbiome and helps food move through the digestive tract

Lauric Acid – Helps fight bacteria and viruses; freshens breath; and clears up skin conditions like flea allergies, itchy skin, and hot spots

Magnesium – Helps contract and relax muscles and regenerate them. It’s also an important part of a properly functioning liver, heart, and digestive tract.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Keep the coat shiny and healthy and support the immune system

Phosphorus – Ensures healthy kidney function and helps with muscle contractions

Probiotics – Improve coat appearance and bad breath, reduce gas and allergies, and regulate bowel movements

Protein – Helps repair and build tissue and muscles and contributes to healthy hair and skin

Selenium – Helps the thyroid function properly

Vitamin A – Aids fetal development and the function of cells and the immune system

Vitamin B Maintains the digestive system and promotes healthy blood circulation

Dairy

puddle of splashing milk

Dairy is generally fine for a dog unless he’s lactose intolerant. How will you know? He will vomit and/or have diarrhea after he eats a dairy product. Even if he doesn’t exhibit these symptoms, only let your dog eat dairy in small quantities. Dogs have low levels of lactase, the enzyme that breaks down the sugars in milk. To avoid too much fat in his diet, stick to low- or reduced-fat dairy.

Approved foods:

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Plain yogurt

Nutrients:

  • Calcium
  • Probiotics (in yogurt with active bacteria)

Cooked Meat

Unseasoned, cooked meats are great for your dog! Trim off the fat and limit portions sizes to avoid too much of it in your dog’s diet. Fat is hard for dogs to digest and can cause pancreatitis and inflammation. Also beware of meat with high salt content, like bacon and processed ham, and remove all bones.

Approved foods:

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Turkey

Nutrients:

  • Protein

Cooked Fish

Several varieties of seafood are tasty and safe for dogs. Be sure the fish is fully cooked to avoid feeding your pup parasites.

You can deliver the benefits of food via salmon oil or cooked fish skins mixed in with his regular food.

Approved foods:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Shrimp

Nutrients:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamin B (in shrimp)

Fruit

watermelon cubes

Lots of fruits are safe human foods for dogs. They are full of vitamins A, B, and C, along with other nutrients. Fruit can be high in sugar, so make it a special treat for your dog, and be sure to remove the core and seeds to prevent choking.

Approved foods:

  • Watermelon – Chewing on the rind can cause an upset stomach, so toss that part in the trash.
  • Blueberries
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Pumpkin – Read our blog post on how to get pumpkin into your dog in fun, new ways here.

Nutrients:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B-6
  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium
  • Antioxidants
  • Fiber
  • High water content

Vet Tip: Apple skins can help clean residue off your dog’s teeth, freshening his breath!

Grains

Some grains, like oatmeal, are excellent sources of soluble fiber, which can keep your dog regular. Others, like bread, are safe for your dog to eat but don’t provide nutritional value. Bread is also full of calories and carbohydrates, which are best kept to a minimum in your dog’s diet.

Approved Foods:

  • Bread
  • Cooked oatmeal – Don’t add sugar or any other flavoring.

Nutrients:

  • Fiber

Nuts

many cashews

Some nuts are safe foods for dogs, but almost all are high in fat, so they should be given in moderation.

Approved Foods:

  • Coconut – Dogs can eat the raw coconut fruit (outside the shell), coconut oil, and coconut milk.
  • Cashews

Nutrients:

  • Calcium
  • Antioxidants
  • Magnesium
  • Protein
  • Lauric acid

Other Delicious Things

There are many other people foods that are both safe and delicious for dogs! Here are the benefits of a few of the most common:

Cooked Eggs

Scrambled eggs are a quick, easy way to deliver nutrients to your pup, like:

  • Protein
  • Riboflavin
  • Vitamin B

Honey

Honey is okay for dogs to eat, but it can also be applied topically to help ease burns and superficial cuts!

Nutrients:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin C (and D, E, and K!)
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Antioxidants

Peanut Butter

bowl of peanut butter with spoon

Peanut butter is really nutritious for dogs, and it’s fun too! Put it in a Kong, let your dog lick the spoon, or use it to deliver medicine. Aim for raw, unsalted peanut butter, and never give your dog the sugar-free version. It contains xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.

Nutrients:

  • Protein
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin E
  • Heart-healthy fats

Popcorn

When you’re putting a bowl into the microwave for movie night, it can be tempting to slip your pup a piece. That’s okay if the popcorn is unsalted and doesn’t have added sugar or salt. Make sure there are no rogue un-popped kernels; they can be choking hazards.

Nutrients:

  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Zinc

Feeding your dog new foods can be fun! It’s interesting to learn what they like and what they don’t. And many of these make healthy meal replacements if you’ve run out of dog food. In almost all cases, your dog’s regular, commercial dog food gives him all the vitamins and minerals he needs, so supplementing with human food isn’t necessary. If you have questions about nutrient deficiencies or you’re wondering if a food above is okay for your dog, ask one of our vets or vet techs at Cinco Ranch Veterinary Hospital. We’re always here to help!

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The Team @ Cinco Ranch Veterinary Hospital

Cinco Ranch Veterinary Hospital serves Katy, TX and the surrounding areas with a dedication and passion for our animal friends that is unmatched. Our veterinarians are highly trained, experienced, and compassionate when it comes to giving your pet the care they deserve. If your companion is in need of emergency care, a dental cleaning, grooming, or just a check-up, we would love to see them! Call 281-693-7387 to make an appointment quickly and easily.

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