Dog owners share everything with their little furry friends, including beds, living rooms, and even bathrooms. It’s about time they also share their food, don’t you think?
A lot of people are cautious about giving human food to their dogs. If you think about it, it costs less than dog food, it doesn’t require extra effort on your part, and it’s every bit as healthy for your dog as it is for you.
Here, we’ll tell you all about the best human food for dogs. Ditch the dog food for now and grab a carrot!
The 15 Best Human Foods for Dogs
Yes, there are 15 human foods that are suitable for dogs, and you probably don’t know all of them. Scroll through this list to see the nutritional value of these foods and how they’ll work wonders for your dog.
Carrots are a primary source for vitamin A, fibers, and potassium. Vitamin A helps the dog’s coat stay thick and shiny. It also boosts the immune system and protects the skin from infections.
Meanwhile, fibers are efficient for fighting digestive tract diseases. And potassium is good for the muscles. A carrot is also beneficial for dogs’ teeth as it removes plaque and promotes overall dental health.
You should add it to your dog’s diet once in a while. Dogs will eat steamed carrots, baked carrots, and frozen carrots. You can also make them into juice if your dog isn’t a veggie fan.
White rice isn’t only a good side plate for chicken curry. It’s also a nice choice of human food to give to your dog. It’s fairly easy to digest, so it won’t cause an upset stomach. If your dog is suffering from a digestive problem, feeding him white rice will relieve the pain.
Only feed your dog white rice in small amounts if he has diabetes. The meal can cause a rise in blood sugar levels when consumed regularly.
We all know what an apple a day does, and it’s not limited to humans. Apples will provide your dog with a generous amount of vitamins A and C. Vitamin C, in particular, helps fight cognitive aging and reduces inflammation.
Along with vitamins, apples contain fibers that regulate the digestive system function. With apples, you also have the advantage of the sugary taste. Your dog won’t spit it in your face after tasting it, fingers crossed!
You should feed apples to your dog in small pieces. Keep the seeds away because they contain cyanide, which is a toxic substance. Plus, it’d be wise to remove the stem as it can lead to a choking hazard.
We’re not the only ones allowed to enjoy the heavenly buttery spread. Don’t be selfish!
Peanut butter is safe for your dog to eat, and it has a number of benefits to prove it. Just make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol, which is an extremely toxic substance for dogs.
Peanut butter contains vitamin E, which protects your dog against oxidative damage. Moreover, it boosts cell function to avoid future muscle degeneration. There’s also a good amount of protein in there.
We know it tastes wonderful with jam, but keep that for yourself. This amount of sugar isn’t good for dogs.
You’ll have to break it to your cat that she should share her food with the dog. And be warned, it may not go that well!
Cooked fish and seafood have a lot of benefits for dogs. These include shrimp, tuna, and salmon. For starters, they’re rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients will keep your dog’s coat healthy, and they’ll boost his immune system.
What’s more, shrimp contains vitamin B, which improves blood circulation and regulates the digestive system function. Make sure to cook it before putting it on your dog’s plate, or he may not eat it.
Blueberries are rich in fiber and phytochemicals, and that’s not the best part yet. The most prominent value of blueberries is their antioxidative abilities.
Antioxidants protect your dog’s body from free radicals. They fight a number of diseases too, which is the main reason why you should include them in your dog’s regular diet. They’ve proven to help dogs against aging effects, as well.
As for the fibers, they regulate the digestive system and its secretions. Meanwhile, the phytochemicals that are present in the pigment of blueberries have multiple functions. For example, they protect against cancer, boost the immune system, and support vision.
A pumpkin is a superfood. It’s not only an inspiration for Halloween trick and treating, but it’s also packed with nutrients that are useful for your dog. Pumpkins are full of vitamins and fiber. They’ll clear any infection in the urinary tract and boost the digestive system.
They’re also rich in oils that regulate digestion problems and prevent diarrhea.
Despite all that, pumpkins are pretty low on calories. They actually promote weight loss. If your dog is overweight, you can replace his usual treat with a piece of pumpkin. It’ll help him shed those extra pounds.
If you want to give your dog a healthy treat, bananas would be a nice choice. They’re high in potassium and magnesium, which are essential nutrients for dogs. Bananas also taste good; you won’t have to force your dog to eat them.
All things considered, bear in mind that bananas contain a lot of sugar. You should let your dog eat them in moderation.
Popcorn without any additives is a nutritional snack for dogs as it is for humans. It’s high in phosphorus, zinc, and magnesium. These maintain muscle regeneration by regulating the contraction and relaxation.
All that being said, don’t give dogs popcorn in large amounts since it can cause dehydration. Plus, the unpopped kernels can result in choking hazards, so make sure to keep those away.
You can feed your dog yogurts in all seasons. He’ll love the different flavors of frozen yogurt in the hot summer days. The dairy treat is packed with calcium, which is good news for your dog. It’ll strengthen the teeth and bones and protect him from breaking.
The probiotics in yogurt also clear the body of infections and help with the digestion process. Not to mention that they aid in vitamin production and optimize their utilization.
Coconut has proven to be the jack of all trades. People nowadays eat it, use it for skincare, cook with it, and even use it for cleaning. Therefore, it’s not a surprise that it’s among the human foods that work for dogs too.
Coconut is rich in lauric fatty acid, which is a primary source of energy. On top of that, it’s easily digested and processed in the dogs’ stomachs. The fatty acid also protects against viruses such as influenza and fungal infections such as ringworms.
Lastly, since lauric acid is an anti-inflammatory agent, it’ll help your dog heal faster while alleviating the pain.
Oatmeal is one of the easiest meals to prepare at home. It’s also rich in nutrients. That’s why it’s the main component of a lot of people’s breakfast. Dogs can benefit from it too; it’s already found in most pet foods.
Oatmeal is rich in carbohydrates and linoleic acid, both of which are sources of energy. Linoleic acid, in particular, maintains the shine of dogs’ coats and promotes healthy skin.
These aren’t the only health benefits of oatmeal, though. It also possesses a high content of fibers, regulates the glucose level in the blood, and boosts the digestive system. They also protect your dog against some diseases such as diabetes.
Cucumbers are a nice midday snack for humans as well as dogs. They’re low on calories and full of water, thereby preventing dehydration. Because they’re so easy to chew and swallow, you can add them to any food your dog eats and they’ll pass through.
Cucumber contains fibers, vitamin K, and lots of minerals that make it an excellent treat for dogs. We recommend that you feed it to your dog in small pieces since eating a whole cucumber at once can result in choking.
Dogs love green beans. Whether they’re steamed, chopped, canned, or raw, they’ll be a nice addition to your dog’s diet. Green beans are low in calories, and they promote weight loss. They’ll help your dog shed extra weight if need be.
Furthermore, green beans have large amounts of nutrients, proteins, calcium, iron, and vitamins. Fibers are also among the long list. You won’t find any other snack that provides the same benefits.
We’re not the only ones allowed to enjoy watermelons on hot summer days. Dogs can do, too. In fact, watermelon has a bunch of benefits for dogs thanks to its high water content. It prevents dehydration and relieves an upset stomach.
Not only that, but watermelon is also rich in vitamins C, B6, and A. Your dog can’t live without vitamin B6. It’s responsible for the nervous system function. On top of that, it regulates hormones, maintains immune response, and generates glucose.
Chicken is low in fat while being rich in proteins. There’s no reason why your dog shouldn’t have some of it. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the best human food for dogs. That’s mainly because it’s a primary source of protein and fatty acids.
It enhances the skin and helps the coat stay shiny. In addition to that, it contains essential amino acids that maintain healthy bones.
Dogs can eat eggs and their shells. They won’t say no to either. They can also eat them raw or cooked, whatever you have available. Along with the proteins, eggs are rich in biotin, selenium, and riboflavin. These nutrients play a remarkable role in muscle growth and digestion.
Don’t put too many eggs in your dog’s plate because they’re high in cholesterol. It can affect cardiovascular functions.
Don’t Put These Foods in Your Dog’s Plate
Although most human foods proved to be beneficial for dogs, some are still off-limits. Here, we’ll show you four foods that you should keep off your dog’s diet.
Onion and garlic are highly toxic to dogs. Every pet owner should know that because they’re present in a lot of foods we eat. They’re a primary cause of anemia in dogs and cats. Besides, they sometimes cause Heinz bodies to form.
Keep in mind that all vegetables in the Allium family are harmful to dogs. These include shallots, leeks, and chives.
Tomatoes are among the nightshade veggies, which means they have solanine in their leaves and stems. Solanine is toxic for dogs; it can cause severe poisoning, confusion, vomiting, and diarrhea. You should keep it off your dog’s plate, along with all the other vegetables in the same family.
It’s unfortunate that dogs don’t get to enjoy that heavenly snack, but French fries do more harm than good for dogs’ bodies. They’re deep-fried, which causes obesity and pancreatic inflammation. Plus, the high salt content in the fries can result in kidney diseases.
You can feed your dog steamed or baked potatoes, but stay off the French ones.
Another delicious treat that dogs can’t have, but it’s for their own good. Chocolate goes as far as being toxic for dogs. The theobromine in it can cause internal bleeding and heart attacks when consumed in a large amount. Additionally, the high amount of sugar is bad news.
Tips for Feeding Your Dog Human Food
If you’re going to feed your little furry friend human food, there are some things that you ought to know. Here are six tips that you should follow to get pleasant results.
Don’t Make the Change at Once
While our digestive systems can endure sudden dietary changes, we can’t say the same about dogs. Their digestive systems won’t react well to it. Especially if you’re ditching pet food and putting human food instead.
That’s why you should do it gradually before you alter the whole diet. Start by putting little amounts with your dog’s food. For example, you can cut some pieces of apple and add them to the kibble plate.
Afterward, slowly increase the amount of human food until it compromises the whole meal.
Diversity Is Key
If your dog likes cucumbers, that’s fine. However, it doesn’t mean that you should add it to his plate every day. Dogs get bored easily; they want some diversity in their food as much as we do.
That’s why you should serve meat one day, add veggies the next day, and keep changing the food you’re providing. That way, you’ll be letting your pet get a rich diet full of different nutrients.
Lay Low on the Fats
Dogs only need a minimal amount of fats to stay healthy. Too many fats can affect their stomach and develop unnecessary weight. So, you need to watch the amount of fat in the foods you’re serving daily to your little friend.
Stay away from fatty meats, butter, and chicken skin. Keep all similar foods out of your dog’s diet, and he should be fine.
Don’t Give Your Dog Food You Can’t Eat
Sometimes when people don’t like the food’s taste, they give it to their pets. Well, that’s something no one should do. For starters, dogs have taste buds too; they won’t accept any food that they think doesn’t taste good.
Additionally, leftovers from human food will likely include fat and skin. These aren’t good for your dog to ingest. Needless to say, spoilt food is out of the question, too.
Don’t Give Your Dog Bones
We know; they do it in cartoons all the time, but bones are, in fact, bad for dogs. When consumed, they could result in a choking hazard. Even if they pass through, they can cause intestinal tearing, which is harder to treat.
You can give your dog marrow bones, but they should be long enough that the dog can’t get it completely in its mouth. However, we advise against it because it can still stick to the dog’s snout. It’s just not worth the risk.
Be Generous With Veggies
Most people only depend on meat when giving dogs human food. However, veggies are also necessary if you want to ensure your dog is getting all the nutrition he needs. Don’t be worried about the variety; dogs are omnivorous, contrary to common belief.
They can handle a variety of foods, and they accept it.
We bet you didn’t know the options were that many. Dogs are generally laid-back animals, so it’s not a surprise they don’t say no to food. Cats are a whole different story.
Human food will save you a lot of money, and it’s free of artificial substances. Therefore, you’ll rest assured that your dog isn’t consuming harmful food. We recommend it for anyone raising dogs instead of commercial pet food that costs a hefty amount of money.
Dr. Lillian is a D.V.M. passionate about promoting awareness of dogs. She shares her expertise through her blogs on canineweekly.com and provides animal care services, including internal medicine, dermatology, and emergency care. Dr. Lillian is committed to contributing to animal welfare.