What human food can dogs eat?

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What human food can dogs eat? – Foods that are safe for dogs

The best human foods that you can feed your dog!

It has happened to all of us dog owners. You are sitting at the dinner table and your dog is sitting right by your feet.

He has a look that says he has not eaten in 1,000 years even though you know for a fact that he ate only minutes ago. He is drooling and your heart breaks to see him craving bits and pieces of your meal. Finally, you cave in and want to share some scrapes with him. Before you do so, however, it is crucial to find you what human food can dogs eat. This is a really important issue regarding dog safety. Dog owners generally worry about things like ticks and whether or not their dog is eating poop.

To find the answer, we called upon Liz Palika, author of “The Ultimate Pet Food Guide,” and animal nutritionist, Susan Lauten, PhD, of Pet Nutrition Consulting, to explain which fresh, frozen and canned foods people typically eat that are safe for dogs to consume too. Here is the top TEN list of human food that is safe for our canine friends to eat.


Watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew are all healthy options for your pooch. “My dogs will take me down over cantaloupe,” says Lauten. “I am required to share the whole thing with them.” Consult animal poison control before feeding your dogs any of the more exotic melons.

Sunflower seeds (shelled)

Skip the salt if possible, or serve in moderation, recommends Lauten. “Remember, treats should not comprise more than 10 percent of your dog’s daily calorie intake. If your dog gets 500 calories a day, 50 calories could come from treats.”

Peanut butter

Peanuts don’t appear to cause allergies in dogs like they do in people, says Lauten. “I have some highly food-sensitive dogs for whom peanut butter is a large part of their diet.”

Berries (fresh and frozen)

Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, huckleberries or raspberries — all are good for your furry friend for the same reason they’re good for humans: free-radical-fighting antioxidants. “A lot of dogs like them frozen,” says Lauten.

Cooked chicken

Ran out of your dog’s regular food? Whether boiled, baked, served rotisserie-style or grilled, this food is a healthy substitute. “Dogs will eat a freshly cooked chicken any way they can get it,” says Lauten.

Healthy dogs can handle cooking oils and seasonings. Just be sure to avoid adding onion or too much garlic. If you’re concerned, non-salt seasonings can be used, but that matters more for the human eater than the dog, explains Lauten. Scrambled eggs, hamburger, rice, pasta and/or oatmeal can serve as meal replacements in a pinch, adds Lauten.


Cheese is a safe snack for dogs, but just like humans, they can experience lactose intolerance, so monitor your dog’s reaction. “Many families use a dollop of cottage cheese with every meal,” says Lauten. To avoid overfeeding, consider giving your dog low- or reduced-fat dairy products.


“My dogs love bananas and I share mine with them regularly,” says Lauten. “All fruits have phytonutrients and required nutrients. They are good for all of us. If the foods are healthy for me, they are more apt to be healthy for the dog,” says Palika.

banana dog

Apple slices

Lauten recommends serving your pup seedless, organic apple slices, because apple seeds naturally contain cyanide. Citrus fruits such as oranges are good too, but leave off the rinds; they contain many oils and could be too strong for a dog’s digestive system.

Baby carrots

Fresh, crunchy vegetables are good for your dog’s teeth, says Lauten. Plus, it’s a bit easier not to overfeed with veggies. “If you’re giving your dog vegetables, you can give a lot more in volume,” because these are low-calorie foods.

Green beans

Because this veggie fills dogs up, weight-management programs often include green beans, usually canned with no salt added, says Lauten. “An entire can of green beans contains 70 calories. What a bargain, and filling too!”

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  1. Bunk this is wonderful!
    I’m on a diet and the Vet said that I only have my prescription dog food, but my Pawrents, being rebels like to give me fruit and veg as a snack and if given when they eat their food it deters me from jumping up and begging for scraps! Dad likes to give me Carrots and Apple and Mum loves to give me Broccoli, peas and green beans she also sneaks me cucumber, blueberries and banana! I love to eat peanut butter and it is usually given to me as a treat if I’m left alone in the house, Mum puts it on the inside of a Knog toy to keep me occupied for aaaaages trying to lick it all out! I’ve loved your post today! So many people are confused at what to give their dogs, so it’s good to educate them! Maybe you can do a food no-no list too to make people aware of foods not to give dogs, my friend’s dog died due to liver failure from feeding the poor dog grapes! Mum is over protective of me, she won’t even have a grape in the house and make sure I’m well out of the way when she is cooking, especially with onions! I’m not impressed that I can’t have chocolate either! That’s a bummer! Love and Licks from Frank xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  2. We’ve got to show this to Mom, because she should TOTALLY cook some lamb for us. (Well, we might let her have some, too. Maybe.) I think she’s been holding out on us. But she is generous with the watermelon, the chicken, the cheese, the carrots, the apples and the peanut butter. So maybe I shouldn’t complain TOO much! 😉

    *kissey face*
    -Fiona and Abby the Hippobottomus

  3. We hope the Momster reads this carefully and files it in her brain right at the fore so we can partake in all that nommy food too. We actually do get blueberries, melon, carrots, green beans, and lots of other items on your list. Thanks for sharing – great post.

    Woos – Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

    • My Mom, Dad, Lewys and Sienna love feeding me fruit and veg! Mom feeds me watermelon, carrots and green beans. Dad feeds me apples, broccoli and cooked chicken. Lewys feeds me bananas, cucumber and peanut butter. Sienna feeds me spinach, strawberries and pasta. I can’t believe I can’t have chocolate, grapes or macadamia nuts. What a bummer. On a hot summer day, my family prepare Kool Dogz, a healthy dog treat maker where you freeze dog stuff in a large bucket. My family usually puts bananas, sausages and dog toys in it. On a day when Mom and Dad leave for work, and Lewys and Sienna leave for school, Lewys puts peanut butter in a kong and I spend AAAAAAGES trying to lick it out.
      I love all of Bunk Blog. Love and Licks, Jingles. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  4. Frankie Furter and Ernie on

    Grrrreat post Bunk. We get a lot of Deer… It is soooooo yummy… butt we were introduced slowly to it. AND we LOVE CHICKEN Hearts.. When mom can FIND them. She cooks them up and freezes them. FUR SNACKS.

    Now the One thingy I have always wondered about is PORK… you hardly EVER hear anybuddy tawkin about (OR SEE in CANS or Bags) Pork. My mom doesn’t feed it to us.. since it isn’t discussed or used.

    THANKS fur this grrrreat post!!

  5. Hi Bunk
    I loves loves loves most of the foodables on your list. I especially loves loves loves veggies. My Mommys are Vegheads and always make sure I have lots of veggies. Plain Greek yogurt, too.
    Thanks for the GR8 article.
    Love Noodles

  6. Churchill the French Bulldog on

    Hey Bunkie buddy, I absolutely agree about all igredients but…… please humans, we all know that we dogs will eat everything you give us, even oil on meat or chicken and lots of fat within peanut butter. Yes peanuts are godd, but fat isn’t. Okay if it is the rest on aspoon to lick once a week noone will care but if you write here “peanut butter is against allergies” there will be mummy feeding their puppies only peanut butter from now on…..” That’s why so much of you puggies are overweighted or fat. But it’s always different from human to human. But please, you humans, basically NO human food is made for dogs. But natural food like fruits are not only humans food. Apes like them too.

  7. Just want to let all of you crazy humans out there know that I will eat every thing you give me -so be careful! The vet says that since pugs get fat (I’m a pug in case you forgot) I can only have around two treats a day and human food counts as treats! I would love to sit around and eat peanut butter and bananas all day, but for some reason the humans want me sticking around for a long time so I guess I have to stick with the pug food.

  8. My dog each get a dalup of Cherrios each morning after giving me five and then a little prayer….only people food I feed the thou…. they love them, oh yeah and bananas too… 😀

  9. Hey Bunk, Jet here. Oh, I could wax poetic on human foods we can eat. I’ll turn this over to Mom, because she is the Kitchen Counselor and JJ and I her humble Kitchen K9s.

    Hi Bunk. Dogs historically are omnivorous (meaning they eat meat and plants), so, it’s a wide plate of goodies for you if your human chooses to give you “human” food. I would suggest that it’s easier to write what NOT to eat. Here’s a quick chart to help you. http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1659&aid=1030.

    Jet again. Bunk, here are some foods JJ and I LOVE when Mom shares: carrots, daikon, radish, cucumber (no seeds), jicama, sweet red pepper, collard greens and stems, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, cooked sweet potato, cooked pumpkin, cooked malanga, mango, strawberries, melons, blueberries, apples… oh BUNK… we get teensy tidbits and we’re in the 60-75 lb range… too many tidbits lead to tummy trouble!

  10. thanks for the information i have a new pug and she wont eat dog food but she will eat people food so i was trying to see what was safe to feed her and the information u provide was very helpful thanks.

  11. dear bunk,
    thank you so much for this list. mommy has been so worried bout all the dog foods out there that dont have enough nutrition or real products in them so she decided to start making her own food for me and this helped out alot. now i can start eating the same foods as mommy and daddy
    with all the thanks in the world

  12. :))) I love this article! Great job. My dogs are fed carrots and red beets with every meal and they are very happy and healthy. I work for a dehydrated carrot distributor…www.olewousa.com I love my job because its dogs and its making those dogs healthier.

  13. Duker & Rollo's mom on

    I have worked for vets in the past and I was always told that tomatos are not good for dogs. I have searched alot of websites and each one tells me different. Also recently, I have learned of people sprinkling a tad bit of garlic powder on there dogs food to prevent fleas. Is this true? I enjoyed reading this and found this very helpful. Thank you

    • Thanks for that bit of information. We are not experts and simply do our best to provide our readers with what we have learned over the years. As with humans, every dog is different, and I have heard of people feeding their dogs all sorts of things that I would never feed Bunk. As pet owner, we feel that it is better to be safe than sorry, and make sure that Bunk only gets foods we know are safe.

  14. I really enjoyed your article–especially because it boosts the fruits and veggies I already feed my dog along with her home-cooked meals (grass-fed lean bison is the protein due to her past bouts with pancreatitis). Her faves are bananas (she shares one with me every morning) and cored apples. I only feed her certified organic produce–just as I eat–because both my mini schnauzer girl and I are better off without pesticide residue and GMOs. During much of the year, I buy our food from the farmers’ market to have locally grown organics.

    One question: Does anyone know if it helps a dog’s teeth (preventing tartar) for a dog to chew apple slices after a “wet” meal? I brush her teeth, but not twice a day, so I’ve been giving her the apple following her mid-day meal in hopes it works on dogs as it does for humans–to prevent plaque from forming on the teeth.

  15. I forgot to mention that I’ve been feeding my dog this way for well over a year, and she NEVER has tummy troubles. I also add powdered probiotics for dogs to her food and give her a senior dog multi-vitamin-and-mineral supplement daily with her home-cooked food. I would NEVER buy commercial dog food again and wish I’d never fed it to her in her entire life. We will celebrate her eighth birthday January 3.

    • That’s great and I hope she has a happy birthday. I really appreciate your information and perspective. We feed Bunk Blue and are not quiet ready to go the non-traditional route. I know there are a lot of benefits to feeding your dog “natural” food, but it is a big commitment and a bit scary.

  16. I sometimes drink tea with honey and lemon or tea with honey and milk and my boston will sneak in when it’s cold on the coffee table and drink up whatever is left behind. Any harm with this? I usually drink black teas.

    • Nicole, caffeine is generally a no-no for dogs, including coffee and tea. Enough caffeine can give them caffeine poisoning for which there is no cure.

  17. Thanks for the answers!
    I really needed to know them because I just found a dog and lost it and really willing to get it back!

  18. this is great. i love berries an mum is reluctant to give me more than noe or two a WEEK as i have a sensative stomach but if they are as good for me as they are for mum an dad, she will be happier to give me more. i will bite ANYONE for a couple of strawberries <3 even my mummy, its my second favorite food to pancakes and…… hmmmmmm….

  19. John DeArruda on

    Thank you , excellent post my wife and I simply love and adore our Bruno our party colored yorkie we sometimes bicker over what we table feed him and question what foods are heathy or toxic to him you set matters straight and have proved once again I am right ! Lol ….thanks again

  20. Once a week my human gives me a bowl of slow cooked shepherds or cottage pie he makes for himself, I always eat all of it without even lifting my head and lick the bowl totally clean!!! I love the mashed potatoes, peas, carrots and of course the meat and gravy, he always mixes it up with a spoon so it’s all mushed together, it tastes lovely and of course the veg are good for me!!! I also have a cool milky cup of tea everyday which I love, my human is very careful about giving it me and makes sure I’m suffering no ill effects from it. My human has just taken me on (I’m a 4yo parsons Russell terrier), because his friends that were looking after me sadly work all day and were leaving me in their apartment for 12-14 hours a day with work and travelling. They were going to have to get rid of me, but they ended up telling my new uncle Daymo who is disabled but can still walk me round the park opposite his house. With uncle Daymo being on benefits my Mummy and Daddy said they’d buy my food and vet bills, all uncle Daymo has to do is spend time with me, I have a big garden to play in all day when I’m not out with uncle… I had a fungal infection on the base of my tail brought on by the stress of being cooped up all day in the day in the flat, since I came here it’s clearing up and my hair is growing back 😀 I’m a very happy young man now and want to thank all my friends for asking and looking out for me!!!

  21. My husband and I have been cooking a homemade diet for our two dogs about 3-4 years now, and both are extremely healthy and have no skin problems. Sophia is a Scottish Terrier (8) and Sasha is a Westhighland Terrier (10 & 1/2) yrs. We can’t believe now much energy they both have, especially the White Westie. You would think she’s 2 yrs. old.
    We started cooking for them back when there was the nationwide dog food poisioning scare and also to alleviate our Scotty from getting too overweight which can lead to diabetes. She was only 5 pounds over here recommended weight, but the vet prompted us to take action. After putting them on our home cooked food, the Scotty lost the weight within 3 weeks, they both maintain their recommended weight without fluctuating. Great muscle tone too!

    I was prompted to try this diet when I found the book ” The Whole Pet Diet “, written by Andi Brown, a Veterinarian.
    Read the book, it contains real life stories of sick cats and dogs that were remarkably brought back to optimal health after being put on a real food diet. It contains information on the pet food industry most of us don’t realize and it contains recipes for both cats and dogs you can follow. It also talks about vitamins, essential fatty oils etc. that you need to consider for a healthy diet. There’s lots of information about foods in general that us humans can benefit from as well.
    Basically we make a stew that last for about a week, you can make more and freeze it if you’d like.
    We usually shop for lean turkey, chicken, beef, pork or lamb. Turkey and chicken are usually our pick, you need to watch the fat content, so beef can be a bit more caloric and fatty and we don’t use as much. We typically boil the meat and then chop up if it’s not ground meat. So ground turkey is easy, just throw it in a pot of boiling water and in just about 10 min it’s cooked. We use about a 3 lb. package for the week. We then add brown rice, oats (rolled or steel cut), or quinoa. (About a cup in total).
    Typically we always add celery (anti-inflammatory), carrots, zucchinni, summer squash, green beans, or every now and then sweet potatoes. Spinach is good too. We often make them scrambled eggs and a little cheese, they love that!
    We then add a few teaspoons of flax and cod liver oil once we serve them. Not every day, but you should, that’s for their essential oils. Helps their skin and is essential to their health.
    In the morning they have 1/2 banana and for treats we give them pumpkin, yogurt or apples.
    About a cup each in the am. and pm. You need to adjust based on your dogs weight and activity level.
    They are extremely healthy and the vets say keep doing what we’re doing since it seems to be working well.
    at my local Sprout store.

    While not everyone can find the time (it takes us about 30-40 min. total each week), I feel that it’s the healthiest thing you can do for your pet. After losing a Scotty to cancer at age 7, I wanted to do everything I could to give our dogs the longest life possible. So far, so good 🙂
    Good Luck!

  22. My name is Brandy. I lost my companion (Shelby) and I have been very depressed and not eating. My Dad gave me a backed chicken breast and it was SOOO good! Now my Dad feeds me only the food he eats and I have been feeling much better and my coat is looking better and I’m far less depressed over my loss of Shelby. I’m hoping he will let me have some of that peanut butter everyone likes and some carrots. YUM. Thanks for making this website available to him. Now if he would just get me a chair to eat the table with him…. 

  23. I worked in pet nutrition for 15 years and would never recommend feeding raw, uncooked meat or eggs to a dog. Garlic, also, can be as dangerous to red blood cells as onion.

  24. Pingback: Can You Feed A Dog Human Food

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