How I Met My Dog

10 Human Foods that Dogs Can and Cannot Eat

There are two types of people when it comes to feeding dogs table scraps: those who don't and those who do. 

I fall into the latter category, and I fall hard. I am the absolute worst when it comes to feeding my dog people food. I can't help it. Ava knows how to beg and look ridiculously cute, any self-control that I think I might have, vanishes in an instant.

So, it’s rather important that I understand what foods are safe to give as treats, and more importantly, what foods are dangerous for dogs to eat.

Even if you have a perfect record of never tossing a table scrap, it’s important to know what foods are unsafe for dogs to eat.

10 Foods Dogs Can Eat

Let's start with the fun stuff. Remember, if you feed your dog food, factor it into their daily diet. Always use moderation, especially when shredding an extra juicy rotisserie chicken you just brought home from the grocery store.

Also, if you're feeding your dog a new food, do so gradually so that you can monitor any adverse reactions or allergies you may not have been aware of.

Now for the good stuff.

1. Blueberries

Blueberries are actually good for your dog, making them a perfect bite-sized training treat. Blueberries are a rich source of antioxidants, as well as fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Feed them to your dog guilt free.

2. Pineapples

If you are inclined to feed your dog pineapple, they are not only safe; they're also a delicious source of fiber minerals and vitamins.

3. Strawberries

Sometimes strawberries get a little bruised or don't look quite as appealing as they should. Those are perfect for feeding to your dog, as they are low in calories and high in antioxidants and fiber.

4. Salmon

As long as it’s cooked, salmon is a great way add omega-3 fatty acids to your dog’s diet.

5. Peanut Butter

High in fat and calories, but oh so tasty. Peanut butter is the perfect way to mask the giant heartworm pill you give your dog every month. *Check the ingredients for Xylitol. Xylitol is a sweetener in many foods like yogurt and peanut butter and it is highly toxic for dogs.

6. Bananas

If you're feeling especially generous, maybe you're leaving the house for five hours and feel bad leaving your dog alone, you may be inclined to slather some of that peanut butter on a few banana slices and hide it in a Kong to give your dog something to do, and something delicious to eat.

7. Cheese

Cheese is safe to feed to your dog, but keep always in moderation. Dogs are known to have some lactose intolerance, so too much cheese could cause an upset stomach.

8. Eggs

Some claim that cooked eggs can relieve nausea. Also, eggs are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and protein. Do not feed raw.

9. Oranges

With a low amount of calories and a high amount of nutrients, oranges make an excellent treat for your dog. As always, feed in moderation as oranges are acidic and have been known to cause upset stomachs in dogs that eat too much.

10. Carrots

If you can get your dog to eat a carrot… they provide fiber, minerals, and vitamins all while staying low in calories. They can also be served cooked, or raw, so if you have a dog that enjoys his veggies, he’s in luck.

10 Foods That are Unsafe for your Dog to Eat

Alright, the party's over. It's time to sit up and pay attention to these 10 foods that are unsafe for your pup.

1. Chocolate

It’s a shame, but dogs should never eat chocolate. Dogs are unable to metabolize the stimulants caffeine and theobromine, which are found in chocolate. If your dog does consume chocolate, it could lead to dehydration, diarrhea, and vomiting.

2. Onions, Chives, and Garlic

You should never feed your dog onions. Onions contain a toxic compound called N-propyl disulfide which can harm your dog’s red blood cells, making them less effective at moving oxygen through the body, which can cause anemia.

3. Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins contain toxic compounds that can lead to rapid kidney failure and death. Even small amounts of grapes and raisins can be troublesome for your dog. Signs of ingestion are vomiting, tremors, lethargy, and dehydration.

4. Avocado

Avocados are a big no-no. Watch yourself with that next burrito, because avocados contain the toxin “persin,” which can cause fluid to accumulate in your dog’s chest and lungs. This can lead to oxygen deprivation, trouble breathing, and even death.

5. Macadamia Nuts

Dogs should never eat macadamia nuts. They contain a toxin that leads to tremors, muscle weakness, vomiting, and hyperthermia.

6. Lemons and Limes

Don’t let your dog get ahold of a lemon or lime peel, as they contain a substance called psoralen, which can lead to upset stomachs and nasty messes.

7. Coffee and Tea

Dogs do not react well to caffeine, so keep them away from any coffee grounds or tea bags. Caffeine messes with dogs' nervous systems and can lead to elevated heart rates, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and seizures.

8. Alcohol

Alcohol can potentially cause ethanol poisoning in dogs, so they should never consume even the smallest bit of alcohol. Consuming any alcohol may lead to a lack of coordination, diarrhea, seizures, and vomiting. Not a good idea.

9. Nutmeg

Nutmeg contains a toxic substance called myristicin. Your dog would have to consume a lot of nutmeg though before it becomes dangerous. If your dog does get ahold of too much nutmeg, it could lead to seizures, stomach discomfort, dry mouth, disorientation, and increased heart rate.

10. Flour and Raw Yeast Dough

The first issue with flour and dough is the way these two baking substances expand. This could lead to injury to your dog’s stomach if consumed.

Secondly, raw yeast dough can produce alcohol when it ferments. This could lead to alcohol poisoning, and death, making this seemingly innocuous substance incredibly dangerous.

Final Thoughts

This is not a complete list of all the foods that are safe or unsafe for your dog. While dogs can eat some people foods, always feed in moderation if at all. Too many treats from the table can throw off your dog’s diet, and it’s always safer to resist the urge and keep the people food for humans.

An easy way to practice moderation is to use people food as special treats for special occasions. Some food like blueberries that can double as healthy treats can be delicious diversions from the same old treats your dog always eats. 

Bon(e) Appetit

Feeding your dog animal bones can be deadly. Most animal bones are fairly soft and with a bit of chewing from your pooch, they can crack and splinter. Digesting a piece of pointy, sharp bone can lead to a serious trip to the Emergency Vet and could even cause death. 

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