Have you ever asked yourself what human foods your dog can eat?
The truth is, there’s no such thing as "human" food for dogs. Food is just food. Our dogs eat food. And like us, some foods are better for our dogs than others …
But that's not the answer you want, is it? You want to know which foods are safe and which ones you should stay away from. And that’s a great question! Because even though dogs can eat many of the same foods we do, some aren’t good for them.
So here is a list of common foods you can share with your dog as a treat or as part of his regular diet.
1. Can Dogs Eat Apples?
Yes, they can. Apples are a great source of vitamins A and C. Most dogs love the sweet taste and crunchy bite. If you want, core the apples first.
Although a few apple seeds aren’t likely to be a problem, they can cause issues if your dog eats apple seeds a lot. That's because they contain cyanide, which over time builds up in the system. It can prevent the blood from carrying oxygen throughout the body.
2. Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin?
Pumpkin and other winter squashes are a good source of fiber and beta-carotene. Fiber helps food move through the digestive tract. And that helps keep the cells in the stomach and colon healthy.
Pumpkin is also good for both diarrhea and constipation. It’s gentle and easy to digest.
And it isn’t just the flesh of the pumpkin that’s good for your dog. Pumpkin seeds are a great natural dewormer!
3. Can Dogs Eat Eggs?
They sure can! Eggs are a good source of protein, iron, fatty acids and selenium.
Selenium is a trace element that's thought to have anti-cancer and antioxidant properties. If your dog has some digestive upset, he may be able to tolerate cooked eggs to get protein while he’s not feeling so good.
And while you may not want to eat them raw yourself, it’s actually way healthier for your dog. Once you cook eggs, they lose many of their benefits. Cooking eggs reduces and denatures the nutrients, so serve them raw.
4. Can Dogs Eat Fish?
It depends on the fish.
Fish can be a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. As with humans, omega-3s support the immune system and are beneficial to skin health.
But many fish are also high in mercury, heavy metals and other toxins. There are even reports that Pacific fish (such as Pacific salmon) are beginning to show signs of radiation from Fukushima, so it's best to avoid them.
Bigger fish will have more toxins in their bodies than the plant-eating fish at the bottom of the food chain.
- Good fish - small ones like sardines, anchovies or mackerel
- Bad fish - high-level predators that live longer like tuna, pike and king mackerel
For the greatest benefits, feed fish raw. But always freeze them for a week or two to kill off any parasites first. You can also try an omega-3 supplement in place of fish.
5. Can Dogs Eat Berries?
Lots of dogs love blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. Some will even eat cranberries. And that’s great! These fruits are full of antioxidants and vitamins, plus they’re low in calories.
Blueberries are especially good for your dog because the antioxidants in them can cross the blood-brain barrier. That means they’re one of the only antioxidants that can help keep your dog’s brain strong.
Feed berries fresh or frozen. Or try a berry supplement.
6. Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?
This one’s controversial …
Can dogs eat peanut butter? We say no. Here’s why:
- Peanuts contain aflatoxins, naturally occurring mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are one of the most carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substances out there. They’re also toxic to the liver.
- Most peanut butter has added sugar. Sugar can lead to diabetes, obesity, heart disease …
- The fats are not balanced. One cup of peanuts contains 35578 mg of omega-6 fatty acids and only 196 mg of omega-3 fats. When these aren’t balanced in your dog’s body, inflammation may be the result.
- Peanut butter can also contain xylitol. This sugar substitute is highly toxic to dogs, even in small amounts.
We know how popular it is, so we hate to break your stride, but peanut butter's just not good for your dog.
7. Can Dogs Eat Green Beans?
You bet. Green beans contain fiber, vitamins K and C and manganese. Vitamin K helps with blood health, ensuring that the blood will clot if your dog gets an injury.
Frozen green beans can be a real treat. As with apples, look for organic green beans to avoid the added toxins from pesticides.
8. Can Dogs Eat Garlic?
If you've been staying away from garlic because you've heard it's toxic, this one might surprise you … Dogs can eat garlic, in moderation. It's actually really good for dogs.
Garlic is ...
- An expectorant
It's also packed full of nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. .
Make sure you use fresh, raw garlic. Finely chop or crush the garlic clove, then wait a few minutes before adding it to your dog's food.
9. Can Dogs Have Dairy?
Some dogs can have dairy products, but many are lactose intolerant. As an alternative, look for products made from raw goat milk … it’s easier for most dogs to digest.
Dogs who aren’t lactose-intolerant can eat cheese in smaller quantities. Choose low-fat varieties that are on the milder side, such as cottage cheese or mozzarella. You may also want to check the salt content of the cheese.
If your dog is lactose intolerant, he may be okay with aged cheeses. These tend to have a lower lactose content. But start small and work your way up. If there are any signs of discomfort, you may be better off with a different treat.
10. Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?
You can find sweet potatoes in lots of dog treats and dogs tend to really like them. The problem is, sweet potatoes are starchy carbs and carbs equal sugar.
These have a higher glycemic index that will spike blood sugar in the dog eating them. Though serving them boiled vs baked keeps the glycemic index much lower.
They can also cause a growth of bad bacteria and yeast in your dog’s gut which leads to itching.
11. Can Dogs Eat Carrots?
Carrots are low in calories, high in fiber and contain many vitamins. You can give your dog fresh, raw carrots but grate them first to make the nutrients more digestible. You can also boil them lightly and serve them cooked.
Also, keep in mind that baby carrots get a chlorine bath as part of the process. So when you can, opt for full sized carrots.
12. Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?
The fruit of the watermelon is safe for dogs but don’t give your dog the rind or seeds. They can be choking hazards or cause bowel obstructions.
Watermelon is full of vitamin A and C, plus it’s very refreshing. It’s also low in calories. Cantaloupe and honeydew melon are also good. Again, because of the sugar, feed in moderation.
Just like us, dogs enjoy a little variety in their diet. Switch things up. Give your dog healthy meals that taste good and offer something different.