Each time Fido comes begging, you look at your plate and wonder - is this even safe for him? What human food can dogs eat? There are many that are safe and even good for your dog, but there are some you have to watch carefully. To help you navigate your plate, here are 13 human foods that are safe for dogs. (See our blog post Poisonous Foods Dogs Beg For for a list of foods to avoid and skip seasonings on the foods listed below.)
Broccoli - High in protein, Vitamin E, calcium, fiber, and many more vitamins and minerals, broccoli is truly a power food. Add steamed to your dog's food or offer pieces as a treat.
Pumpkin - This and other squashes are high in fiber and Vitamin A. It's good steamed and mashed as a topper for your dog's food.
Carrots - Rich in vitamins and minerals ranging from Vitamins C and B6 to iron and potassium. Serving options abound: raw or steamed, chopped or shredded, in pieces as treats or added to food.
Sweet Potato - This is a great grain-free source of carbohydrates for dogs, and is also rich in Vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants. Make sure you peel off any trace of skin. The inside of the sweet potato is safe but some experts say the skin is not, so better safe than sorry. Steam or grill to serve as a snack, or dehydrate as a safe alternative to rawhide chews.
Rice - Bland enough to soothe an upset stomach, rice is easy to digest and a good source of carbs. Some dogs with wheat allergies do ok with rice, but some do better without any grains.
Oats/Oatmeal - Another source of fiber that is fine for dogs with wheat allergies.
Meat - Chicken, turkey, fish, and beef are all good for dogs. Whichever you choose, make sure it's free of bones and completely cooked. If you opt for chicken or turkey, remove the skins - they're really high in bad fat. Salmon is high in good fats, which are helpful in keeping your dog's skin and coat healthy.
Banana - Rich in potassium, which is good for muscles and blood vessels, as well as fiber and Vitamin B6. Smash it up, mix with a little peanut butter, then put into a tough Kong Blue for a tasty and fun treat.
Peanut Butter - Delicious, high in protein, and perfect for hiding medicine. Look for all natural peanut butter and those that are low in sodium. Because of its high fat and sodium content, it's better in small amounts.
Cheese - Dogs love cheese. It's packed with calcium and it's another good way to hide medicine. If your dog needs extra protein in his diet, cottage cheese is a good source. Like peanut butter, cheese has high fat content, and dairy is sometimes hard for dogs to digest, so feed it sparingly. Read More: Can Dogs Eat Cheese? (includes tips on how to tell if your dog is lactose intolerant)
Green Beans - More fiber as well as Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and other minerals and vitamins. Good for overweight dogs, as it helps them feel fuller when you add it to a reduced amount of food, and doesn't add fat or many calories in the process. Good steamed, though some dogs enjoy them frozen too.
Eggs - High in protein. Just make sure they're fully cooked and plain. Your dog will find even plain scrambled eggs delicious, but you can also serve a doggie omelet made with broccoli and ground lean beef.
Apples - Apples are a very nutritious food packed with A and C vitamins, and fiber. Just keep the seeds out of any pieces you give your dog - the seeds contain cyanide (yikes) so be sure to remove the core. Read More: Can Dogs Eat Fruit? (a list of fruits safe for dogs and easy recipes)
These 13 foods are great as treats, snacks, and supplements to your dog's diet. If you're looking to switch to a homemade diet for your dog, be sure to consult a canine nutritionist or a vet who specializes in nutrition. They will help you find recipes that provide balanced nutrition for your dog's specific needs.
What human foods can dogs eat? Lots of them - with a little care to watch for seeds, skins, and bones, your dog can enjoy a delicious meal of foods you enjoy too.
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Photo credit: Lauri Rantala