Is Human Food Bad For Dogs? What You Can and Can’t Share

Most dog owners know the struggle of saying “NO” to those big, sad puppy dog eyes that most dogs turn on when they see you eating something tasty. Of course, begging is bad behavior and too many table scraps can cause canine obesity, but is all human food bad for dogs? Some foods are safe to share in moderation, but there are some foods you should never share with your pup—the consequences could even be deadly.

10 Human Foods Your Dog Can Share

Shepherd mix dog making puppy dog eyes begging for food

“Pleeeeease mom, I need that cheese or I will certainly perish.”

  1. Cooked chicken is a great source of protein for you and your dog. Plain chicken can be added regularly to your dog’s normal diet, or used as a high-value treat.
  2. Peanut butter is a treat many dogs go wild over! Raw, unsalted nut butter is good for dogs, as they are loaded with protein, as well as heart healthy fats such as vitamin B, vitamin E and niacin.
  3. Cheese is surprisingly okay to share with most dogs, so long as portions are small and your dog is not lactose intolerant. Low or reduced fat cheeses are the safest options, with cottage cheese as one of the best dairy items to share.
  4. Greek yogurt makes a healthy addition scooped on top of your dog’s regular dinner, so long as it contains no added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Yogurt also works as a probiotic for your dog, just as it does for humans.
  5. Oatmeal gives your dog a healthy dose of soluble fiber, making it a great snack for senior dogs with irregular bowel movements. Just make sure the oatmeal is cooked and does not contain flavor additives or added sugar.
  6. Carrots cut up into small bites make a healthy and yummy snack that many dogs adore. Carrots are low calorie and high fiber, plus they are good for your dog’s teeth!
  7. Eggs are just fine for dogs to eat; in fact they can even be healthy for your dog because they contain riboflavin and selenium.
  8. Pumpkin is great for dogs, as it is rich in fiber and beta-carotene (vitamin A). Pumpkin can also help keep your dog’s GI tract healthy and ease a number of digestive issues.
  9. Green beans are a yummy, healthy treat for dogs because they are low in calories but very filling. Just make sure the green beans you share have no added salt.
  10. Salmon is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, which promote a healthy, shiny coat, and helps improve your dog’s overall immunity. If your family is not very pescatarian, supplement your dog’s food with a high quality Alaskan salmon oil.

6 Human Foods That Are Toxic for Dogs

Bulldog begging for snacks

“Look at that empty bowl, ma’am! I am starved.”

  1. Macadamia nuts can cause a toxic reaction in dogs, with symptoms including weakness in their rear legs, vomiting, lethargy, hypothermia, and tremors.
  2. Grapes and raisins are healthy for you and I, but not for your dog; ingestion can cause rapid kidney failure, or vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy in our canine companions.
  3. Avocado pits, bark, fruit and leaves contain persin, a toxin to dogs. Persin can cause an upset stomach, difficulty breathing, and fluid buildup in the chest. The pit is also easily swallowed and can choke your dog or obstruct their gastrointestinal tract.
  4. Apple cores are bad for dogs because apple seeds contain cyanide, and the tough vegetation in the core can cause intestinal obstructions. Plums, peaches, pears and apricots also contain cyanide.
  5. Caffeine contains methylated xanthine, which stimulates the nervous system and can cause vomiting, heart palpitations, restlessness and even death in canines.
  6. Bacon may be your dog’s dream food, but it can actually cause a number of issues related to digestion and nutrient absorption! Bacon is rich in fat, which contributes to the development of pancreatitis in dogs.

If your dog has ingested any of the above items, they need to see a vet immediately.