Human Foods That Are Good For Dogs

Human Foods That Are Good For Dogs [healthy people food dogs like]

There are many human foods that dogs can safely enjoy, and several of them have beneficial vitamins and minerals. However, some human foods can cause severe health problems for dogs and should be offered only in limited quantities or avoided completely.

Keep reading to learn about which human foods are safe to feed your dog and which are not.

What Human Foods Dogs Can Eat
What Human Foods Dogs Can Eat

What Human Foods Dogs Can Eat?

Some might seem obvious. Meat is probably on your list of ‘safe’ foods. Other foods, like chocolate, are known to be dangerous for canines and should not be given to them.

However, there are other considerations. Some foods are great for your dog, as long as they’re consumed in small amounts. Some need to be prepared a certain way to make sure they’re safe.

Dogs, like humans, can also develop allergies to certain foods.

As dogs age, their nutritional requirements and sensitivities change. So what your dog can eat as a puppy may be different than what it can eat as an adult. 

Every dog is different, so no matter what you consider feeding them, you’ll encounter some trial and error. It’s a good idea to consult with a vet before changing your dog’s diet too much. 

They’ll be able to point you to the best recommendations for your pet. They’ll also be there to help you out if a problem arises.

What is the Ideal Diet For a Dog?

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the perfect diet for a dog answer depends on a variety of factors.

What is the Ideal Diet For a Dog
What is the Ideal Diet For a Dog?

First: The dog’s age. Puppies need different nutrients when compared to adults. Elderly dogs may have different needs than they did when they were younger.

Second: Size. Large breeds have different dietary requirements than smaller breeds do.

Third: Breed. Certain breeds may be more prone to certain sensitivities or health conditions. For example, some experts say that collies are more prone to problems digesting grains like rice.

Fourth: Individual health concerns. Sensitive stomachs or food allergies may affect what your dog can eat. So can factors like obesity or other health problems.

All that being taken into account, there are some general commonalities. 

Meat is an excellent source of protein for your dog. Experts recommend cooked and unseasoned meat of almost any variety. Raw meat can be dangerous to your dog, as it may carry certain bacteria.

Your dog will require a balanced diet, which includes appropriate amounts of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. 

Make Sure Your Dog Gets Their Veggies!

Despite popular myths, dogs are not solely meat-eaters. Dogs also require certain amounts of veggies and carbs in their diet to remain healthy.

Commercial dog food blends all these necessary ingredients for you. However, if you’re looking to supplement your dog’s diet with ‘people’ food, you’ll want to make sure you’re picking the right options for your dog.

What Human Foods are Good to Feed Your Dog?

There are some foods that are absolutely great for dogs. There are other foods you can give your dogs as treats to help balance out their diet. 

Some foods also need a certain amount of preparation before you give them to your dog.

Good Human Foods for Dogs

Good Human Foods for Dogs
Good Human Foods for Dogs
  • Carrots:

Low in calories

Plenty of fiber and vitamins A and C

Chewing can help clean a dog’s teeth

Beta carotene can help their eyesight

Vitamin A can support the immune system, healthy skin, and coat

  • Blueberries and Blackberries:

High levels of health-promoting antioxidants

Rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber

Low calories and small size are optimal

Excellent for dogs, frozen or fresh

  • Corn:

Good source of vitamins and minerals

Used in many commercial dog foods

Plain, whole kernels are recommended

Avoid corn on the cob as the cob may present a choking hazard

  • Green Peas:

Considered a healthy, low-calorie food for dogs

Frozen or fresh is recommended

Often used in commercial dog food

  • Oatmeal:

Loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals

Plain oatmeal only. Flavored may have unhealthy additives

Less likely to cause issues with gluten sensitivity

Easy grain to digest

Contains Vitamin B6 and Linoleic acid

Soluble fiber can help regulate blood sugar

  • Sweet Potatoes:

Easy for dogs to digest

Rich in Vitamin A

Good for the eyes and immune system

Moderation is recommended

Too much may lead to bone and muscle problems

  • Turkey and Chicken:

Excellent source of protein for dogs

Should be plain and unseasoned

Skinless and boneless are also recommended

Cooking eliminates the risk of harmful bacteria

can dogs eat chicken
Can Dogs Eat Chicken?
  • Rice:

Plain or brown rice is highly recommended over white rice as it has more nutrition

Easy to digest

Good for soothing an upset stomach

  • Lean Beef:

Excellent source of protein

Used in many commercial dog foods

Serve plain and unseasoned

Lean beef is recommended to reduce calories and fat intake

  • Mushrooms:

Store-bought mushrooms are safe for dogs

Portobello mushrooms are the most recommended

Be sure to serve plain mushrooms

Avoid wild mushrooms as they may be toxic

  • Cucumber:

An excellent snack for dogs. Especially overweight dogs

Low calories

Good source of Vitamin K

  • Green Beans: 

Good low-calorie food for dogs

Good protein source

Provides calcium, iron, and Vitamin K

Can be eaten cooked or raw

Should be plain, and chopped to avoid choking

  • Yogurt:

Can aid in digestion

High in calcium for healthy bones and teeth

High in probiotics which is good for general health

Should be plain yogurt and no added sugars or flavorings

  • Pumpkin:

All parts of the pumpkin are safe for dogs, however, seeds should be ground up

Vitamins can help urinary tract health

Oils in skin and seeds can aid digestion

Excellent source of fiber

An amino acid called cucurbitacin is reputed to be a natural deworming agent

Pumpkin is recommended for all ages

Foods that Require Preparation:

  • Eggs:

Experts debate whether eggs are healthy.

High in protein, vitamins, and minerals

Shells can be fed to dogs if boiled and ground

Whites contain fats that some consider detrimental

Don’t feed your dog raw eggs. Eggs should be cooked to avoid the risk of salmonella

  • Salmon or Tuna:

Excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and good for a dog’s immune system and skin

Must be cooked and deboned before serving to dogs

Bones can be a choking hazard

Uncooked or raw salmon may cause salmon poisoning, which can be fatal

Avoid canned salmon and tuna as the additives may be unhealthy for dogs

  • Watermelon:

Heavy in Vitamin A and Vitamin C

Also provides Vitamin B-6

The high water content helps with hydration

Remove rinds and seeds to prevent choking

can dogs eat watermelon rind
Can Dogs Eat Watermelon Rind?
  • Apples:

High in vitamins, minerals, and fiber

Seeds can be poisonous and contain cyanide

Seeds and cores should be removed for the dog’s health and safety

Apple slices are recommended

Good source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C

  • Pork:

Excellent source of protein

Should be cooked and unseasoned to avoid digestive issues and harmful bacteria

Processed porks like ham and bacon are not recommended as they have too much salt

  • Strawberries:

High in antioxidants, nutrients, and vitamins

Low calories

Be sure to cut them into smaller pieces to avoid choking hazards

  • Potatoes:

Should be cooked before feeding to dogs

Uncooked potatoes contain solanine which is toxic to dogs

Plain potatoes only

Should be served in small amounts due to the high carbohydrate count

  • Celery:

Good health-conscious snack for dogs

Low in calories

Has plenty of vitamins and minerals

Cut into bite-sized pieces before serving to avoid choking

  • Cherries:

Safe in moderate amounts

Remove pits as cherry pits contain cyanide

The recommended serving is one to two cherries at a time

  • Shrimp:

Plain, cooked shrimp is an excellent source of protein and vitamins

Should be cooked to avoid harmful bacteria

Always remove the shell to prevent the risk of choking

Source of B vitamins which help with digestion and blood circulation

Human Foods That Make Good Treats for Dogs

Human Foods That Make Good Treats for Dogs
Human Foods That Make Good Treats for Dogs
  • Peanut Butter:

Should be plain and unsalted

Can provide fiber and protein

High-calorie content and fat content can lead to weight gain

Good source of Vitamin B, Vitamin E, and Niacin

  • Cheese:

High-fat content makes small quantities recommended

Low-fat or skim cheeses are best

Watch out for signs of lactose intolerance symptoms such as stomach pains and diarrhea

Mozzarella is a good choice to start introducing cheese to a dog’s diet.

  • Popcorn:

Must be plain, unsalted, air-popped popcorn

No additives such as butter, oil, or flavorings as these may cause pancreatitis

Make sure all kernels are fully popped

Contains minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus

  • Cashews and Peanuts:

Must be plain, unsalted, and roasted

High-fat content may result in weight gain

It May also cause pancreatitis if eaten too often

  • Almonds:

Must be plain and unsalted

Difficult for dogs to digest and may cause digestive complaints

Avoid or give in VERY small quantities

  • Pineapple:

Excellent in small quantities

Heavy on vitamins, minerals, and fiber

High in Vitamin B1, also known as Thiamine

Also contains Riboflavin and Vitamin B2

Nutrient-dense snack

Too much may lead to severe nausea or diarrhea in dogs

  • Cottage Cheese:

Less than two tablespoons a day is recommended

More may cause digestive issues

  • Bread:

Plain or whole grain bread is usually safe for dogs

Make sure there are no added flavors or things like raisins

Too much bread can cause serious weight gain

  • Tomatoes:

Need to be ripe

Too much can cause problems with nausea, heart rate, and breathing

Note: Avoid green tomatoes as they contain a compound that is harmful to dogs

  • Broccoli:

Raw or cooked broccoli is okay

Low calorie with plenty of nutrients

Too much may irritate a dog’s stomach, due to certain chemicals

  • Coconut:

Reported to help with skin and fur

High fat and calorie content mean consumption should be limited

One tablespoon or less per day is recommended

Contains Lauric Acid which can help fight infections and viruses

It Supposedly contains anti-inflammatory agents which may help with issues like arthritis

High levels of electrolytes

  • Mangoes:

As a healthy treat, they provide plenty of vitamins, minerals, and fiber

Need to be peeled as the skins can be difficult to digest

Pits should be removed to avoid choking hazards

  • Honey:

Treat with natural antibiotic properties

High in sugar and calories

The recommended limit is a spoonful every once in a while

  • Milk:

Limited amounts recommended

Watch for lactose intolerance

Too much may result in digestive issues, including vomiting and stomach pains

  • Bananas:

High in vitamins, fibers, and minerals, particularly magnesium and potassium

Some claim it can help digestion

One or two slices, whole or mashed, are recommended as an occasional treat

  • Oranges:

High in nutrients

Good source of vitamin C

Too much can cause an upset stomach

Human Foods Dogs Should Not Eat

Some foods are dangerous to give to your pet. Some might simply cause digestive discomfort or weight problems. Others, however, are highly toxic.

  • Grapes and Raisins:

Contain compounds that are toxic to dogs

Can cause rapid kidney failure

Small amounts can make dogs very sick

  • Salt or Salty Foods:

Too much salt can lead to salt poisoning or dehydration

May cause vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures

  • Chocolate:

Contains compounds such as caffeine and theobromine which dogs can’t metabolize

Can cause vomiting and dehydration

High amounts may lead to seizures, muscle tremors, and internal bleeding

can chocolate poison dogs
Can Chocolate Poison Dogs?

Chocolate can be fatal for a dog

Dark chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate

  • Macadamia Nuts:

High-fat content can result in pancreatitis

Also contain a toxin that is highly dangerous to dogs

Even small amounts may lead to hyperthermia, muscle weakness, vomiting, and depression

  • Onions:

Contain  N-propyl disulfide which is toxic to dogs

Can damage red blood cells and lead to anemia

Symptoms are weakness, lethargy, fainting

Severe cases may require a blood transfusion

Also applies to chives

  • Avocado:

Contains a compound called persin which is highly poisonous to dogs

Consumption may cause severe breathing difficulties

Oxygen deprivation and even death may result

No part of the avocado is safe for dogs

  • Coffee and Tea:

Dogs cannot properly process caffeine

Over-stimulation may result in vomiting, seizures, tremors, and an elevated heart rate

In extreme cases, may cause lung and heart failure

  • Garlic:

Contains thiosulfates which is extremely toxic to dogs

Can damage red blood cells and lead to anemia

Can cause serious issues, even require a blood transfusion in severe cases

  • Xylitol / Artificial Sweeteners:

Often found in candies and baked goods

Extremely toxic to dogs

Can cause a rapid drop in blood sugar, muscle tremors, or seizures

Even small amounts can cause serious health issues

In severe cases, may even cause liver failure

  • Alcohol:

Extremely toxic to dogs

Even small amounts can lead to ethanol poisoning

Tiredness, vomiting, and seizures can result from even small quantities

Severe cases can result in heart attacks, lung failure, or a coma

Alcohol poisoning can even be fatal

  • Lemons and Limes:

Contain psoralen which is a toxin to dogs

Small amounts may result in vomiting and diarrhea

Larger amounts may cause difficulty walking, muscle tremors, and liver failure

  • Raw Dough:

Especially raw dough with yeast

Yeast fermentation will produce alcohol which is toxic to dogs

Also may cause bloating and difficulty breathing

  • Ice Cream:

High sugar and fat content is not healthy

It may also cause issues with lactose intolerance

When Does Your Dog’s Diet Need to Be Adjusted?

With so many options, it can be difficult deciding what to feed your dog. It can be equally difficult to make sure you’ve got the proper balance of various nutritional elements.

The first thing you should do is to speak with a veterinarian or other expert in canine health. They can give you a starting point. 

Ask an expert to give you suggestions for foods your dog might enjoy, and what quantities are healthy.

Be aware that your dog’s nutritional requirements will probably change over time. Dogs, like humans, are capable of developing intolerances, deficiencies, and allergies. 

Some dogs even develop canine diabetes. 

If you’re worried about your dog’s dietary status, here are a few signs you can watch for:

  • Weight Gain
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Weakness or Muscle Problems
  • Diarrhea or Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Signs of Upset Stomach – Vomiting, Stomach Pains, Nausea, etc.

When considering adding or removing things from your dog’s diet, it’s recommended to take it slow if you can. 

Slow and careful adjustments will make it easier to spot any problems. They’ll also be easier for your dog to handle.

Related Questions

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Something Unsafe?

Sometimes dogs will steal treats like cookies or food off the table. Check the ingredients for known dangers and watch for warning signs. 

Call your vet or take them to your local clinic if you have concerns.

What Should I Do If I Think My Dog Has Been Poisoned?

Immediately call your vet or you can also call the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and can quickly provide answers to your questions about potentially poisonous substances like plants, foods, and even medications. 

On the ASPCA website, they advise a consultation fee may be charged.

How Can I Keep My Dog From Wanting People Food?

This won’t be easy to break the bad habit but the best thing to do is to avoid feeding them during your mealtime or giving them table scraps. 

Try to set aside designated times, places, and food bowls as ‘theirs’ and don’t reward begging.

Is It Dangerous to Feed My Dog Table Scraps?

It could be! When you prepare your own food you don’t always take the time to consider and research if a particular food is safe for your dog. 

You could accidentally give them a piece of food from the dinner table that can harm them. 

The best way is to never take that chance and refrain from giving your dog table scraps even though they may beg you for some!

Can Eating Human Food Cause High Blood Pressure in My Dog?

Sure, just as with humans the type of foods your dog eats will play a big role in how healthy they are. Foods that are high in sodium and contain high-fat levels may cause health issues.

And remember, health issues can cause an elevation of blood pressure. The best solution is to only feed your dog high-quality dog food. If you are unsure ask your vet!

How Do You Know If Health Warning Signs Are Related to Diet or Something Else?

If the signs appear after a recent addition or subtraction from their diet, try reversing that and see if the problem resolves itself. 

Otherwise, you can try offering them small portions of various supplements to see if it helps. Either way, you should consult with a veterinarian to be sure.


There are many options to choose from if you’re considering adding human food to your dog’s menu. 

Our best advice is to consult with your veterinarian and develop a meal plan that contributes in a positive manner to your individual dog’s health.

Supplementing your dog’s regular food or meals with healthy treats can go a long way toward helping your dog have a long, healthy, and happy life. 

Just make sure you only give them foods that are dog safe.

Dogs enjoy treats and variety just as much as people do. Fortunately, there are plenty of safe healthy food items for them to taste!

Human Foods That Are Good For Dogs

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