Can Dogs Eat Human Food?

Can Dogs Eat Human Food?

For most pet parents, it's next to impossible to not want to share our food with our best furbuddies. I mean, how can you resist those puppy dog eyes staring into your soul, begging for just a tiny taste of the good stuff?

But not everything we eat is safe for our dogs to eat. In this article, we are looking at those foods and more. In fact, we are going to look at how human foods can actually improve a dog's diet.

 

Can My Dog Eat This? A List of Human Foods Dogs Can and Can't Eat

There is a long list of people foods dogs can eat and a pretty decently sized list of foods dogs can't eat. And then, just because a dog can eat a food we typically enjoy, doesn't mean it's always the best thing for their health.

Let's walk through all those foods by breaking them down based on their food group.

General Rules For Feeding Your Dog Human Foods

Before we look at individual food items and their safety, let's talk about some general rules when it comes to feeding your dog human foods.

First, even when a food item is safe for dogs, it's best to avoid salty foods so make sure to grab your dog some unsalted peanut butter next time. Too much salt can cause dehydration and elevate blood pressure. Fatty foods should largely be avoided as well because too much fat can easily lead to weight gain and upset your dog's digestive system.

Next up, unless you are looking to put your dog on a fresh diet a great idea by the way you should only give your dog human foods as an occasional treat. There is nothing wrong with the occasional snack, but to avoid weight gain, you never want them to make up more than 10% of your dog's daily caloric needs.

What Proteins Can Dogs Eat?

Meats

Dogs can safely eat pretty much every single high-protein meat that we enjoy, including chickenbeeflamb, turkey, and fish.

There is the mistaken belief that dogs shouldn't eat pork due to it causing gastrointestinal stress. However, this isn't the case. Now, fatty cuts of meats in general should be avoided as they can lead to diseases such as pancreatitis. This isn't necessarily a problem with pork, as most cuts of pork are significantly leaner than most cuts of beef.

This myth likely was perpetuated by the fact that pork is an extremely rare ingredient in commercial dog foods. However, this is because nearly every part of the pig can be utilized into food for people, making it an expensive ingredient to use when making pet food.

 

Regardless, you should avoid feeding your dog raw meat or fatty meats. Additionally, while fish has a lot of health benefits and is rich in essential fatty acids, you want to avoid large oceanic fish such as swordfishking mackerelalbacore tuna, etc., due to their high mercury levels.

Eggs

Eggs are an eggcellent source of protein, but it is best if you cook them before feeding them to your dog. In many countries, eating raw eggs is perfectly safe and won't cause food poisoning, however, raw eggs are technically less nutritious. The body can only absorb about 50% of the total protein raw eggs contain, and while a cooked egg won't have more protein, cooking will allow the body to absorb 90% of the total protein.

What Vegetables Dogs Can Eat?

The vast majority of vegetables are completely safe for dogs, and many of them, especially, fibrous greens like green beans, can have a lot of health benefits for your dog.

First, you should never give your dog garliconionsshallots, and chives, as they are toxic to dogs. All of these contain chemicals that can cause anemia and damage red blood cells. Additionally, it's best to avoid giving your dog asparagus, because while it's not toxic, it can be difficult for your dog to digest. Mushrooms safe for human consumption are likely safe for dogs to eat, but you should still check to see if the specific mushroom you're eating is safe for your dog before giving.

The best vegetables to feed your dog include carrotscelerygreen beanspeaspumpkinspinachsquash, and sweet potatoes. Carrots are a great low-calorie snack with a great sweetness and can help clean your dog's teeth. Now, many vegetables are high in fiber, and while many dogs could do with some extra fiber, excessive fiber can upset a dog's stomach, so again, feeding in moderation is the key.

What Fruits Dogs Can Eat?

Many fruits make for a sweet and delicious treat that we can give to our dogs, and they are packed with essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and disease-fighting antioxidants.

Now, there are some fruits that you should avoid feeding. It's best to avoid feeding avocado as the pit, skin, and leaves contain persin, which is a fungicidal toxin. Now, while the flesh of the avocado is fairly free of persin, it's a pretty fatty food, so it's best to just never feed your dog avocados.

A similar thing goes for tomatoes, which, yes, are a fruit. In fact, biotically, there is no such thing as a vegetable. The problem with tomatoes is that pretty much every part that isn't the fruit contains the toxin solanine, so make sure you supervise your dog when they are out in your garden.

Cherries are OK to feed your dog, but the pit must be removed.

Pretty much the only fruit you should NEVER feed your dog is grapes and raisins. Grapes are unique in that they contain extremely high levels of tartaric acid and potassium bitartrate. Dogs are highly sensitive to tartaric acid, and consuming grapes can lead to acute rapid kidney failure, especially, in smaller breeds.

Can Dogs Eat Seeds And Grains?

There is the mistaken belief that dogs shouldn't eat seeds or grains because they are more prone to causing allergic reactions. But as a matter of fact, proteins like dairy, beef, and chicken are more common allergens, and many of these items are staples in a dog's diet.

Most seeds are safe for dogs to eat, and many of them can be given as a healthy snack. These include flax seedssesame seedshemp seedspumpkin seedschia seeds, and sunflower seeds. It's best to only give your dog deshelled seeds as the shells can cause digestive stress.

You should avoid giving your dog apple seeds, which contain small quantities of cyanide. Additionally, you should avoid feeding your dog cherry pitsavocado pits, and plum pits for the same reason. But it's not like most of us are eating these kinds of seeds, anyway.

Grains have gotten a bad rap as well, but again, most are safe for dogs. In fact, grains usually contain more nutrients than the ingredients used to replace them in grain-free foods, and this is one of the reasons not feeding your dog grain could negatively impact their health. This means it's safe for dogs to eat small amounts of plain bread and plain popcorn.

Technically, all grains are seeds, but not all seeds are grains.

Can Dogs Eat Nuts?

While there are some nuts that should never feed your dog, as they can be highly toxic for dogs to eat, the majority of nuts are actually safe for dogs. In fact, many of them, when given in moderation, can support good health.

Nuts that are toxic for dogs and should never be given include macadamia nutsraw cashews, and hickory nuts. You should be careful about giving your dog walnuts and pecans as they are prone to molding faster than other nuts. Larger dog breeds can enjoy almonds, but should be treated with caution as their size makes them a choking hazard. Then, while Brazil nuts are safe for dogs, they have some of the highest fat content and should largely be avoided.

Can Dogs Eat Dairy Products?

Dairy products like milk and cottage cheese are one of those human foods, that while aren't toxic to dogs, they should be largely avoided as they are prone to causing diarrhea and other digestive problems such as an upset stomach. Just like us, if not more so, many dogs are lactose intolerant.

 

Yogurt, especially low-fat and high-protein yogurts such as Greek yogurt, are OK to give to dogs, and in small quantities, can provide benefits to their gut by supporting the bacteria that live there.

Can Dogs Eat Sugar, Artificial Sweeteners, and Other Human Foods?

So far, most of the foods we have looked at are perfectly safe for dogs to eat. However, there are a few food items that don't fall into our previous food groups that need to be mentioned. We are talking about those items that sweeten and spice up our meals.

Honey

If you have a kid or frequently interact with them, you might be aware of the fact that honey should never be fed to babies due to raw honey's potential to contain botulism spores. The same rule goes for puppies under the age of two. However, once a dog's immune system has fully developed, honey, as an occasional treat, is safe for dogs.

Xylitol

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is found in many sugar-free products, most commonly sugar-free gum. Xylitol is highly toxic to dogs. Symptoms of xylitol poisoning in dogs include vomiting, low blood sugar, weakness, lack of energy, incoordination, seizures, and liver failure.

Now most artificial sweeteners (aspartame, erythritol, saccharin, stevia, and sucralose) are not toxic to dogs and are OK in small amounts, but they can quickly cause gastrointestinal irritation such as vomiting and diarrhea if too much is consumed.

Chocolate

You never want to feed your dog chocolate as it can make your dog sick. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which are difficult for dogs to metabolize.

Coffee

As we saw with chocolate, our dogs are more sensitive to caffeine. For larger breeds, it's perfectly OK for them to have a few laps of your morning coffee, especially, if it's low in caffeine or decaf. However, it's best to keep coffee away from small breeds and keep coffee grounds away from dogs of all shapes and sizes.

Cinnamon

While not inherently toxic to dogs, cinnamon and its oils can easily coat your dog's mouth and irritate it. Then if they accidentally inhale the powder, they can have difficulty breathing. So cinnamon isn't best for a dog's body and should be avoided.

Alcohol

Our dogs' livers are not equipped to metabolize alcohol, and anything more than a sip can quickly lead to alcohol poisoning. As such, it's highly recommended you never give your dog alcohol.

How Human-Grade Food May Be the Key to Your Dog's Health

fresh diet filled with human-grade foods can have an immense wealth of health benefits for your furry friend. Let's take a look at just some of the perks:

Digestibility: Human-grade dog food is highly digestible. Food that your dog struggles to digest can lead to vomiting, abdominal bloating, stomach pain, undesired changes in blood sugar levels, and poor nutrient absorption.

Nutrients: Human-grade dog food contains a wider array of nutrients, including high-quality proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Not only will all these high-quality nutrients care for the ins and outs of your dog's health, but you get what your money is paying for.

Variety: Human-grade dog food offers variety to a dog. Just like us, our dogs can become bored with eating the same meal day in and day out.

Hydration: Human-grade dog food can provide a high level of nutrients and hydration for your dog. Good hydration helps carry nutrients and oxygen to all the cells in the body, better convert food into energy, lubricates the joints, regulate body temperature, and protect and cushion vital organs.

Sensitive stomachs: Human-grade dog food tends to fare better in dogs with sensitive stomachs. Nausea, vomiting, excessive gas, and diarrhea with or without blood in the stool are all common symptoms of a sensitive stomach.

Gut biomes: Dogs on fresh-food diets typically have healthier gut biomes. A healthy gut biome supports the immune system, digestive system, mental health, and protects against a host of pathogenic invasions.

As you can see, human foods can have a lot of benefits for your pup's health. The problem, was in the past, feeding your dog a fresh diet created with wholesome ingredients was challenging, lengthy, and costly.

Thanks to ChefPaw, that is all a thing of the past. With the ability to prep and gently cook fresh meals in as little as 40 minutes, ChefPaw allows you to give your dog's diet the foods they deserve while also helping you save money. The fresh meals ChefPaw can create can go a long way toward supporting your dog's digestive system with the human foods dogs love to eat.

 

What To Do If Your Dog Eats a Toxic Food

If you believe your furbuddy has eaten a food item toxic to dogs, you should immediately call the vet. If you're not able to get ahold of a vet, you can contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) at 1-888-426-4435 at any hour of the day or night and any day of the year, including weekends and holidays.

If you catch your dog eating something toxic and act fast, you may be able to safely induce vomiting at home with 3% hydrogen peroxide. If your dog is already showing symptoms, however, it's unlikely that inducing vomiting will help, so the faster you can act, the better.

The Bottom Line: Focus on the Safe, Tasty Foods

Pet owners will be delighted to hear that there are many human foods that are not only safe for dogs but also fantastic at supporting their health. And we are sure your dog will be delighted to hear that because let's face it, most dogs would probably prefer human foods to their own.

And thanks to ChefPaw, it's now easy to completely make the switch over to feeding your dog solely human foods.

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