Every dog owner has thought to themselves at some point or another, ‘what human food can dogs eat? Can I share my snack? Do table scraps harm my pet?’ Sharing is caring!
Whether you’re looking to cook healthy meals for your pet at home, or simply want to know what tasty snacks you don’t have to feel guilty about sharing – we’ve got a great list of what human food that dogs can eat.
Interestingly, there are many foods that are perfectly healthy for your dog to eat. In fact, there are a lot of pet owners who cook their dog’s meals at home in place of purchasing a traditional manufactured dog food. It’s a perfectly real option for pet owners, so long as they educate themselves about which nutrients to always include, amount of protein to mix in, and making sure to avoid off-limit foods.
Human Foods Dogs Can Eat
Oatmeal – Cooked oatmeal is a really good component of healthy home cooked meals. There are a substantial number of dogs with wheat allergies and for them, this is perhaps the best alternative grain. It’s also super high in fiber which makes it perfect for any older dogs with poopy problems.
Lean Meats – Think chicken, turkey, even pork! As long as the meat is properly cooked, it is the best source of protein your pet could get. Find out from your vet how many ounces of protein your pet should be eating in a day, and be sure not to overfeed. Of course, you’ll want to leave out the spices, salts, and sauces that we humans typically cook our meat in. Mix the proper amount of lean protein with some of the grains and veggies on this list for a balanced, home cooked, all natural meal.
Zucchini – If your dog likes a good crunch, raw zucchini makes a great treat. It’s also great nutrient rich veggie to cook and mix in with your dog’s meal. Zucchini is super low in calories, contains a lot of water, and delivers a nice dose of vitamin A.
Pasta – Pasta is one of those foods that won’t harm your dog, but is high in calories, carbs, and also doesn’t provide any nutrients or other health benefits. If you have a noodle or two left on your plate they are ok to feed a dog, but this definitely isn’t the food to add to meals, or use as treats too often.
Yogurt – Natural, unsweetened, uncolored yogurts are a fantastic source of both calcium and protein. As a bonus, yogurt has that wonderful active bacteria that we all love. The bacteria can be great for your dog’s digestive system.
Sweet Potato – the beautiful color of a sweet potato reminds us of that rich beta carotene goodness within.What does that mean? Unlike its white cousin, sweet potatoes contain a heaping serving of Vitamin A. There is a school of thought that suggest sweet potato is a good carbohydrate alternative to the traditional wheat and other grains that make up a bulk of processed dog food. Dogs love the sweet taste whether cut up in snack bites or as part of a balanced meal. Skip those overpriced sweet potato treats in the stores, and try making some in your own kitchen.
Peanut Butter – Everyone knows that dogs LOVE peanut butter. There are peanut butter flavored treats in every pet shop and dogs come running at that first sniff of the making of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Peanut Butter is safe to feed your pet straight from the jar, and happens to be a good source of protein and heart healthy fats. It’s important to choose a peanut butter that is natural and not one laden with sugar, salt, or flavorings. The ingredient list should have one item, and one item only: Peanuts. Careful not to give your pet too much of this high-calorie treat.
Cheese – You know that look your dog gives you while you’re eating? The one that makes you wonder what they would say to you if they could talk? We’re pretty confident that they’d be saying “Cheese, Please!” – over and over and over again. Next time you get that look, don’t hold back! Lower fat hard cheese are a better choice, as is cottage cheese. Watch out for lactose intolerant pets, they do exist!
Pumpkin – Packed with fiber and another food with a high punch of beta carotene (and therefore vitamin A) like its friend the sweet potato. If your pet has any problems with digestion, this is a great food to add to the menu to keep the GI tract healthy and flowing.
Salmon – Much like the lean meats we wrote about, salmon and other fish are a protein packed, healthy meal option. The omega 3 fatty acids that a fish like salmon contains will go a long way toward keeping your pet’s coat looking shiny and beautiful. These omega 3’s also help your dog keep a strong, healthy immune system. While humans eat a lot of raw salmon in sushi, it’s not a good idea to serve uncooked fish to your dog. Make sure to always cook fish and meat thoroughly for your pet. For a special treat, feed your dog the fish skins from your own dinner!
Lentils – Can be a good alternative to grains in your dog’s diet. We know their high protein content make them intriguing for humans, and the same goes for our pets. The one thing to consider is how slowly to introduce them into your dog’s diet. Legumes, as you know, can cause some unpleasant gastro-activity. Test them out in small quantities to make sure they sit well with your dog. Then check with your vet to see what percentage of your dog’s meal should be made up of lentils, and how much should be lean meat or vegetables.
Tuna – Fully cooked tuna is chock full of omega-3 fatty acids. Among many health benefits, one that stands out is the cardiovascular benefits. For example, omega-3 fatty acids can improve HDL (“good cholesterol”) and lower LDL (“bad cholesterol”). Tuna is also rich in vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid. Memo to you cat lovers out there – sharing is caring! Pass the tuna please.
Apple – Next time you slice up an apple, feel free to give a bite to your pup! They are healthy to feed your dog and they sure do love that crunch. Always remove the core and be sure to not let them eat any seeds as they contain cyanide and while a few won’t do much harm, it’s best to leave them in the trash. Skins however are chock full of good nutrients and can stay on. Apple slices are also a secret teeth cleaner. The only thing that could make this snack better?
A dab of peanut butter!
Eggs – Yet another boost of protein! If your kids don’t finish their scrambled eggs in the morning, don’t feel guilty about letting your dog lick the plate. Eggs can be a healthy snack for your dog, just leave out the bacon and hash browns.
So, as it turns out, there are a lot more human food dogs can eat than you may have expected. The upside is that you can share with your dog than expected. The downside is that it’s still possible to give them too much of a good thing. Of course, snacks should be given in moderation and meals should be balanced and tailored to the size and nutritional needs of your pet. As always, your vet should always be consulted before any major changes to your dog’s diet.