15 Human Foods Dogs Can Eat and 6 They Shouldn't (2023)

Dogs should never be fed too much human food. But how much is too much?

According to the World Small Animal Veterinary Association, no more than 10% of your dog's diet should consist of treats, including human food. Just because a food is good for us doesn't necessarily mean it's safe for dogs.

Keep in mind that every dog is different, so try any new food in small amounts. If your dog has a reaction, consult a veterinarian. The consequences of feeding your dog the wrong food can range from loss of appetite to heart damage or even death.

Here's a list of dog-approved people foods, as well as several items you should never share with your canine companion.

Foods That Dogs Can Eat

If you want to give your dog a few treats from your kitchen, start with a small amount and watch for sensitivity. Keep in mind that treats and snacks—even healthy ones—should only be a small part of a dog’s balanced diet. This list of human foods that are good for dogs is not comprehensive, but it’s a good place to start if you’re looking for a healthy treat to share with your pup.


Oatmeal is a good source of fiber, making it great for dogs with bowel irregularity issues, and also safe for dogs with wheat allergies. Before serving oatmeal to your pup, check the label. Only offer whole grain oats with no added sugar or flavoring. An appropriate serving size for a 20-pound dog is about one tablespoon. You don’t want to offer too much oatmeal as it can lead to gastrointestinal and weight issues.

Cook the oatmeal in water (not milk, which can upset dogs’ tummies) and allow to cool a bit before serving. Oatmeal can be added as a food topping or served on its own.

Cottage Cheese

This bland food is high in calcium and protein, so it can be a good addition to dog food. However, avoid cottage cheese if your dog has issues digesting dairy.

Add just one or two teaspoons of cottage cheese as a treat. Or, mix with cooked rice and serve a little to your dog to soothe an upset stomach.


This vegetable is low in calories and high in fiber and vitamins. Plus, crunching on carrots can be good for dogs' teeth.

Serve carrots raw or cooked, but make sure to cut the vegetable into bite-sized pieces to avoid choking. In order to maintain a balanced diet, don’t feed your dog more than one medium carrot per day as a treat.

Green Beans

Nutritious and low in calories, green beans are a healthy vegetable that will load dogs up with iron and vitamins. Make sure to feed your dog only fresh cooked green beans or canned green beans with no added salt.

Most types of beans contain lectins, a type of protein that, depending on the amount, can be harsh on the digestive system. The safest method is to make sure to cook green beans thoroughly before you serve them to your dog.

(Video) 22 Common Foods That Will Kill Your Dog

Peanut Butter

Giving your dog the occasional tablespoon of unsalted peanut butter is a treat you can both enjoy. It's a great source of protein and healthy fats for dogs. You can offer your dog crunchy or smooth peanut butter. Make sure the peanut butter you choose doesn’t contain salt, which can cause your dog to experience excessive thirst and urination, and can lead to sodium ion poisoning.

It’s critical that the brand of peanut butter you feed your dog does not contain xylitol. In dogs, xylitol is absorbed quickly and can result in a high release of insulin and a potentially life-threatening decrease in blood sugar level.


High in protein and calcium, plain yogurt is an ideal treat for dogs, especially if your pooch suffers from digestion problems. Make sure you opt for yogurts that don't contain fruit, added sugar, or artificial sweeteners, including xylitol.

To avoid added fat, which can cause gastrointestinal distress in dogs, opt for Greek or regular, low- or non-fat plain yogurt. If your dog is lactose intolerant, skip the yogurt altogether.


If your dog requires extra protein in its diet, cooked, unseasoned chicken is an easy addition to its regular food. A serving no larger than one half ounce of baked, boneless chicken is appropriate.Make sure you only serve your dog chicken that has been thoroughly cooked. According to theAVMA, raw or undercooked meat, including chicken, can cause the same pathogens humans’ contract by eating undercooked meat, including Salmonella, E.coli, and Listeria.

It’s also important to make sure that your pup isn’t allergic to chicken. Protein, including chicken, is a common allergen that causes an adverse reaction in some dogs.


Dogs can benefit from omega 3 fatty acids too, so slip some cooked salmon into the food bowl for a healthier, shinier coat. You should only serve your dog salmon that has been either poached, grilled, baked, or steamed with no seasonings or added oil. Never serve raw or undercooked salmon to your dog. Salmon can become infected with a parasite that causes poisoning in dogs.

Check any fish prior to serving for bones, as even small bones can cause choking or damage to a dog’s internal organs.


This vitamin-rich vegetable can be a great occasional nutrition boost for dogs. However, it should only be offered in small quantities as broccoli can cause gastrointestinal irritation.

Small pieces of broccoli can be served raw or cooked, with no added seasoning or oil. Broccoli stalks can be a choking hazard, so make sure to cut up the stems before giving them to your dog.


You can serve your dog raw or canned pumpkin as an additional source of fiber and vitamin A. It's also a helpful addition to a doggie's diet if your pooch is experiencing digestion problems.

Canned pumpkin can help dogs with mild diarrhea or constipation. Depending on the size of the dog, up to one to four tablespoons of pumpkin can be added to a dog’s regular canned food to help alleviate constipation.

Other Cheeses

In small quantities, cheese is a great treat for pets, says the American Kennel Club, as long as your dog isn't lactose intolerant. Choose plain, low-salt, low-fat cheese options like mozzarella and goat cheese to avoid increasing the amount of salt and fat in your dog’s diet.

(Video) Dangerous Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat

Because most dogs enjoy it so much, owners often find that cheese is a great place to hidemedications. However, cheese (and other milk products) should not be given with antibiotics as the high amounts of calcium can prevent proper absorption of the medication.


If your pooch needs a protein boost, scramble or hard cook an occasional egg for a healthy snack. Eggs are high in protein, but they're also high in fat, so don't feed them to your pet too often.Due to the risk of illness due to Salmonella contamination, never feed raw or undercooked eggs to your dog.


High in potassium and vitamins B6 and C, bananas are a healthy treat to share with your pup.You can offer your dog small slices of banana, or you can mash it up and mix it with your dog’s regular food. Banana peels are hard to digest, and should not be given to dogs.

Bananas are also a gentle food that can be a soothing treat for a dog with an upset stomach.


A few chopped up pieces of apple is a great snack for dogs. Remove the core and seeds before offering the fruit to your pup. While cyanide poisoning from the consumption of apple seeds is rare, it is best to avoid the risk by removing all seeds.

Apples add fiber and vitamins to your dog’s diet, and are a sweet, satisfying, low calorie treat. An added benefit is that crunching on apples helps keep your dog’s teeth healthy.


Another delicious vitamin-rich fruit treat for your canine companion is strawberries. Remove stems, wash, and cut up fresh strawberries before serving them to your pup. Do not use frozen or canned strawberries that contain added sugar and artificial ingredients.

For a refreshing snack, you can also freeze strawberries before offering them to your dog. As with any treat, make sure that strawberries do not constitute more than 10% of your dog’s diet.

Foods Dogs Should Never Eat

The foods that are not safe for dogs cause symptoms ranging an upset stomach to breathing difficulties and even death. Some of these foods cause an instant reaction, while others cause a delayed response that appears over time. When you have a pet, it’s important to keep the phone number for your local emergency veterinary clinic and animal poison control center handy. If you believe your dog has consumed a toxic food, seek medical attention immediately.


You've likely heard that you're never supposed to feed a dog chocolate, and there's a reason for that. The delicious candy contains the caffeine-like stimulant theobromine, a methylxanthine which can cause a range of health problems if ingested in large amounts.

Most dog poisoning cases are the result of consuming chocolate, and many of those occur during holidays when more chocolate is present in the home. It's important to keep chocolate products out of reach of your pup at all times.

Grapes and Raisins

While nutritious for humans, grapes and raisins are extremely toxic to dogs. Even very small quantities of these fruits can cause irreparable damage. It makes no difference if the fruit is consumed raw or cooked; grapes and raisins are lethal to dogs and should be kept out of reach at all times.


Along with other members of the genus Allium like shallots, leeks, and chives, onions and garlic can make dogs very sick by damaging their red blood cells, which can result in anemia, and even death.

(Video) 14 Foods That Could Kill Your Dog

Depending on the amount ingested, the dog may not immediately show symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, depression, and loss of appetite. If you suspect your dog has consumed onions, garlic, or other plants in the genus, immediately contact your veterinarian for help monitoring your pet’s condition.


Avocado leaves, fruit, seeds, and bark all contain a toxin called persin that can cause upset stomach in dogs. While birds and other mammals including horses, rabbits, and guinea pigs are more at risk of serious complications like heart damage and breathing difficulties from eating avocado, the vomiting and diarrhea symptoms the fruit can cause in dogs make it a food to avoid.

Macadamia Nuts

Even a small amount of macadamia nuts can cause symptoms such as vomiting, weakness, tremors, and depression in dogs. Symptoms usually occur within 12 hours and last about 12 to 48 hours. It’s important to contact your veterinarian if you believe your dog has consumed any macadamia nuts.

In order to keep your pup from trying these nuts, it's best to keep any baked goods that contain macadamia nuts out of your pup’s reach.


Even drinking a small amount of alcohol can result in significant intoxication for a dog, which can lead to severe illness. In addition to alcoholic beverages, dogs can suffer from ethanol intoxication after drinking perfume, medication, paint, and antifreeze; or after eating rotten apples, sloe berries, or uncooked dough.

If you believe that your pet has consumed anything containing alcohol, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much chocolate is toxic to a dog?

    The American Kennel Club says a dog can experience mild symptoms of toxicity if it eats 20 milligrams of methylxanthines (the toxic ingredient in chocolate) per kilogram of body weight. Cardiac symptoms and seizures can occur if the dog eats more than 40 milligrams per kilogram.

  • Is human food better for dogs than dog food?

    (Video) 15 Human foods, dangerous for dogs

    Studies show that human-grade is easier for dogs to digest than regular dog food. Pet food is often made from 4D meat—meat from dead, diseased, dying, or disabled animals. That said, you should always make sure the human food you feed your dog is healthy, balanced, and safe.

  • What should you do if your dog eats something bad?

    If you suspect that your dog has eaten something toxic, you should call your vet immediately. Use the Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661) as a backup. Your veterinarian will advise on whether to bring your dog into the clinic or monitor its symptoms from home.

  • How long after eating something will a dog get sick?

    If your dog eats something it shouldn't, you might notice symptoms—including vomiting, urinary incontinence, restlessness, shaking, and/or diarrhea—after a couple hours. Depending on what it ate, though, symptoms could show up as far out as a few days.

Why This Matters to Treehugger

At Treehugger, we are advocates of animal welfare, including our pets and other domestic animals. The better we understand our dogs, the better we can support and protect their wellbeing. We hope our readers will adopt rescue pets instead of shopping from breeders or pet stores, and will also consider supporting local animal shelters.

(Video) 15 Foods Your Shih Tzu Should Never Eat


What are the five human foods that are toxic to dogs? ›

5 Human Foods That Are Harmful for Your Pet
  • Artificial Sweeteners. Many sugar-free foods, including baked goods, gum, and candy, have xylitol. ...
  • Onions and Garlic. ...
  • Grapes and Raisins. ...
  • Chocolate. ...
  • Nuts.
May 3, 2017

Can dogs eat canned tuna? ›

Tuna is not inherently toxic to dogs, and a tiny amount will not cause mercury poisoning. If you own both a dog and a cat, make sure your pup isn't eating the feline's food, as wet cat food often contains tuna.

What are the top 10 things dogs can't eat? ›

10 Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat
  • Chocolate. Chocolate contains a very toxic substance called methylxanthines, which are stimulants that can stop a dog's metabolic process. ...
  • Avocados. ...
  • Onions and Garlic. ...
  • Grapes and Raisins. ...
  • Milk and other Dairy Products. ...
  • Macadamia Nuts. ...
  • Sugary foods and drinks. ...
  • Caffeine.

What do dogs love to eat the most? ›

Studies show that the average dog prefers beef and pork over chicken and lamb. They also like warm, moist food over cold, dry foods. Like humans, these preferences can come from what they ate growing up. Dogs like a variety in their diet, and if they have to eat the same thing every day, they could get sick of it.

What can I feed my dog instead of dog food? ›

Here are some things you can feed your pooch from your fridge or cupboard:
  • Bananas.
  • Blueberries.
  • Broccoli.
  • Carrots.
  • Cooked boneless lean meat (chicken, beef, or turkey)
  • Onion-free gravy for taste.
  • Plain boiled rice.
  • Plain, unprocessed oatmeal.

Can dogs eat scrambled eggs? ›

Eggs should be cooked before given to a dog. Cook or boil eggs plain without oil, butter, salt, seasoning, spices, or other additives. It doesn't matter how your dog likes their eggs — sunny side up, scrambled, or hard boiled — as long as they are cooked.

What vegetables are poisonous to dogs? ›

What veggies are bad for dogs?
  • Garlic, Onions, Shallots, & Chives: Garlic, onions, shallots, and chives are toxic to dogs, whether raw or cooked. ...
  • Mushrooms: Store-bought mushrooms are safe for dogs to eat, but wild mushrooms should be avoided because they may be toxic.
Jan 15, 2023

Can dogs eat peanut butter? ›

Don't keep your pup in suspense any longer. Yes, dogs can eat peanut butter as long as it is fed in moderation and does not contain xylitol, so get out that pet-safe peanut butter jar and share the good news.

What is the number one most toxic food for dogs? ›

1. Chocolate and caffeine: The chemicals found in chocolate and caffeine are toxic and can lead to health issues including increased heart rate and seizures. Ingestion of chocolate can be fatal—dogs should get treatment immediately if they have consumed chocolate.

Can I feed my dog homemade food instead of dog food? ›

Homemade food is a great option for many pets, but we recommend that owners avoid general recipes from books and the Internet and instead consult with a board-certified veterinary nutritionist,” Larsen said.

Can dogs eat ice cream? ›

Dogs Don't Digest Milk Well

Ice cream can cause your dog gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea or vomiting. Remember, your dog can't voice their concerns to you, so while they might look OK on the outside, they could be experiencing some major digestive issues on the inside.

What vegetables can dogs eat everyday? ›

Dog-Friendly Vegetables
  • Kale. Benefits: Kale's key vitamins like K, A and Iron provide bone health, proper vision and immune function, fetal development and energy metabolism. ...
  • Spinach. ...
  • Carrots. ...
  • Green Beans. ...
  • Broccoli. ...
  • Beets. ...
  • Celery. ...
  • Cucumber.

Can dogs eat hot dogs? ›

Because they contain so many added ingredients that are not healthy for dogs, hotdogs are not a good choice for your pooch. If you want to give your dog a treat at the barbecue, it's best to give him some plain beef, pork, or chicken that has no salt or other seasoning on it.

Can dogs eat popcorn? ›

Plain, air-popped popcorn is safe for dogs to eat in small quantities. Buttered popcorn or popcorn with other toppings is not safe for your dog on a regular basis, although eating a few dropped pieces here and there probably won't hurt them.

Can dogs eat shrimp? ›

Shrimp are also low in fat, calories, and carbohydrates, which makes them a good choice for dogs on a diet. However, shrimp are high in cholesterol. This means that while an occasional shrimp can be a healthy treat, too many can contribute to unhealthy cholesterol levels.

Can dogs eat spaghetti? ›

Can dogs eat spaghetti? The good news is that dogs can have spaghetti too, but only the plain kind. Although the sauces we use are the best part about this dish, the ingredients in them can bring about a world of problems for your dog. It's not just because of ingredients such as garlic which is toxic for them.

Can dogs eat pizza? ›

Additionally, pepperoni, sardines and sausages all have high salt and fat which could aggravate underlying pre existing disease. The bottom line is that you should never give pizza to your dog, whether as a meal or a treat.

What meat should dogs not eat? ›

Common meats to avoid are any processed meats like sausage, bologna, hot dogs etc. Also avoid giving your dog any rib bones as they are extremely brittle and can damage your dog's stomach and throat.

Do dogs prefer cold or warm food? ›

You should only feed your dog food that is slightly above their body temperature, or around 101–103 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm food can increase the flavor and aroma, making it more appealing to your pooch.

Do dogs have a favorite person? ›

Just like their human pals, dogs are likely to choose a favorite person based on a number of factors. Some of these include the person's demeanor, interactions with the dog, and how well the person helps meet their basic needs.

What is a dogs favorite flavor? ›

Dogs have different taste receptors than humans, meaning they enjoy different flavors. The five most popular flavors that dogs love are vanilla mint, peanut butter, beef, bacon, and cheese. However, feeding your dog certain foods like bacon can be unhealthy because it is high in fat and sodium.

Can a dog eat scrambled eggs everyday? ›

It's generally best to keep to the 10% rule. Only 10% of your dog's recommended daily calories should be treats, with the rest of their nutrition to come from meals. So, your dog can eat scrambled eggs daily, but they're not recommended as a meal replacement.

Can I make homemade dog food? ›

Homemade dog food is easy to make with ground turkey, rice, and vegetables. I have made my own dog food ever since my dogs were puppies — 4 years now! You can also add it to their kibble. They love it!

Can dogs eat pasta? ›

Safe: Cooked White Rice and Pasta. Dogs can eat plain white rice or pasta after it's cooked. And, a serving of plain white rice with some boiled chicken can sometimes make your dog feel better when they are having stomach problems.

Can dogs have potatoes? ›

White potatoes belong to the nightshade family of vegetables, which includes tomatoes; like tomatoes, raw potatoes contain solanine, a compound that is toxic to some dogs. However, cooking a potato reduces the levels of solanine. If you do feed your dog a potato, it should be baked or boiled, with nothing added to it.

Can dogs see in the dark? ›

Obviously, his stronger sense of smell is useful, but it's also because dogs can see movement and light in the dark, and other low-light situations, better than humans. They are assisted by the high number of light-sensitive rods within the retina of their eyes. Rods collect dim light, supporting better night vision.

What fruits dogs Cannot eat? ›

Avoid feeding them to your dog:
  • Avocado. This fruit contains persin, a toxin that makes dogs throw up and have diarrhea.
  • Cherries. Cherry pits contain cyanide. ...
  • Grapes. Grapes can cause sudden kidney failure in dogs. ...
  • Tomatoes. The green parts of the tomato plant have solanine, which is toxic to dogs.
Dec 5, 2021

Can dogs eat cucumbers? ›

Cucumbers are perfectly safe for dogs to eat, and offer a low-calorie, crunchy snack that many dogs love. Cucumbers only contain about 8 calories per one-half cup of slices, compared to the 40 calories in a single medium biscuit, and are very low in sodium and fat.

Can dogs have Cheerios as a treat? ›

They won't harm your dog, but they don't provide much benefit either. Cheerios are made from mostly whole-grain oats, which provide no essential component of your pet's diet. As a result, mass-produced Cheerio treats function only as filler—they're just empty calories when dogs need a high-energy diet.

Can dogs have cinnamon? ›

The good news is that cinnamon is not toxic to dogs, though cinnamon essential oil can be toxic for pups. Your dog will not suffer fatal toxic effects from consuming too much cinnamon, but that does not necessarily mean you should be sprinkling it on kibble.

Why is pumpkin good for dogs? ›

Pumpkin is a natural source of fibre. Cooked and mashed pumpkin with no added salt can help settle down an upset stomach , improve digestion, reduce anal gland problems, prevent hairball build up and help dogs and cats with both constipation and diarrhoea.

What dog food killed a bunch of dogs? ›

Midwestern Pet Foods expanded its recall of dry dog and cat food following reports that dozens of dogs died after eating the Sportmix dry kibble, the FDA said. A pet food recall is widening after the Food and Drug Administration announced that more than two dozen dogs died after eating Sportmix brand dry kibble.

Can dogs eat pickles? ›

In general, pickles are not toxic to dogs. They contain some nutritional health benefits, which in theory would make giving them to your pup perfectly fine. However, they are extremely high in sodium and contain ingredients that could be potentially harmful to a dog.

Why is pork bad for dogs? ›

Eating raw or undercooked pork is not safe for dogs or humans due to the parasite trichinella spiralis larvae, which can cause a parasite infection known as trichinosis. An infection transmitted by pork meat, it can occur when a dog eats the muscles of animals infected with the trichinella parasites.

Do dogs live longer with homemade dog food? ›

Indeed, the statistical study showed that dogs fed with industrially processed food live an average of 10.4 years, while dogs fed with home-made food can reach an average age of 13.1 years. Increased lifespan is just one advantage of feeding your dog a raw food diet.

Can dogs eat oatmeal? ›

It is a great alternative carbohydrate for dogs that may be sensitive to wheat or grains.” Oatmeal contains vitamin B, which helps maintain a healthy coat, and linoleic acid, which is a type of omega-6 fatty acid that helps to maintain the strength of dogs' skin.

Is it cheaper to feed your dog homemade food? ›

Homemade meals may even make it possible to feed your dog well for less. Even when you add the cost of a vitamin/mineral supplement and calcium, it can still cost less than commercial food (like, as little as $3 a day).

Can dogs eat french fries? ›

Dog owners wondering if dogs can eat french fries should know that this human treat isn't toxic in small amounts. However, this popular human snack is still a high-fat junk food that isn't advisable to feed to your pet, even as an occasional treat.

Can dogs eat Ritz peanut butter crackers? ›

Ritz Crackers are Safe in Small Amounts

Only if they're fed in small amounts. For instance, one peanut butter cracker is fine for most dogs, so long as the peanut butter is dog safe. (Some peanut butters contain Xylitol, a highly toxic sweetener to dogs.)

Can dogs eat Cool Whip? ›

Cool Whip contains xylitol, which is an artificial sweetener that is toxic to dogs. When consumed in large quantities it can cause a potentially dangerous drop in blood sugar levels, as well as seizures, vomiting, and diarrhea .

Can dogs have bell peppers? ›

Bell peppers pack a punch when it comes to nutritional value for both you and your furry friend. “They're not toxic, and they are a healthy alternative snack to share with your dog,” says Dr. Carly Fox, Senior Veterinarian, Emergency and Urgent Care at the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center of New York City.

What is forbidden to feed the dog? ›

Chocolate, coffee, and tea.

Some of the harmful effects are hyperactivity, trembling and convulsions, tachycardia, arrhythmias and gastrointestinal problems. If your dog consumes any of these things, you should call the vet as soon as possible, as depending on the 'dose' they can be lethal if you don't act fast.

What food can dogs not refuse? ›

What Not to Feed a Dog
Don't Feed Your Dog:Because…
SugarSugary foods can cause weight gain and diabetes
Macadamia NutsIt can cause muscle shakes, vomiting, and other symptoms
Raw EggsThere's a risk of salmonella or E.coli
Raw Fish or MeatThere's a risk of parasites
15 more rows
Aug 31, 2020

What vegetables can dogs not eat? ›

What veggies are bad for dogs?
  • Garlic, Onions, Shallots, & Chives: Garlic, onions, shallots, and chives are toxic to dogs, whether raw or cooked. ...
  • Mushrooms: Store-bought mushrooms are safe for dogs to eat, but wild mushrooms should be avoided because they may be toxic.
Jan 15, 2023

Can you give a dog a Cheeto? ›

The occasional Cheeto probably won't cause your dog any harm. However, excessive amounts may lead to digestive upset, and large quantities of some flavors may even trigger anemia. Many owners like to share bits of people food with their pooch on occasion.

What foods do dogs hate the most? ›

At the top of the list? Citrus. Most dogs can't stand the taste and smell of oranges, lemons, and grapefruit. Here's why — plus, how to use their dislike of citrus to your advantage.


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