You know how hard it can be to say no to those begging puppy dog eyes. But did you also know that not all human foods are safe for dogs? And even some “ safe ” foods may not be great for your pup. If you're going to treat your pets to human food, make sure it is only in small quantities and that you've confirmed with your vet that your dog can eat certain table foods.
Here are five foods that are dog‐friendly and five you should avoid at all costs with your pup:
Safe for Dogs
- 1. Cheese ‐ dogs can eat cheese in small quantities. But before you treat your pet, it's important to make sure they're not lactose intolerant. If you're going to give your dog some cheese, opt for a low‐fat cheese like mozzarella.1
- 2. Carrots ‐ raw and cooked carrots are safe for dogs to eat so long as they are cleaned and cut into bite sized pieces to prevent a choking hazard. Dogs tend to love carrots, making them a healthy treat since they're a good source of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
- 3. Certain Types of Nuts ‐ dogs can have some nuts, including cashews and peanuts, even in nut butter form. Choose more natural versions and avoid those that contain xylitol, which is a potentially poisonous (for dogs) sugar substitute.2
- 4. Meat ‐ dogs can have meat including, pork, beef, shrimp, fish and turkey. Make sure that before you give your dog any sort of meat all the bones or shells (in the case of shrimp) are removed and that the meat is properly cooked.1,2
- 5. Corn/Popcorn ‐ unsalted and buttered corn and popcorn can be a really fun and healthy snack for dogs. In fact, corn is one of the healthier food options for dogs and is often times a main ingredient in dog foods. Just make sure the corn is off the cob!1,2
Unsafe for Dogs
- 1. Chocolate ‐ as most pet parents know, chocolate is a huge no go for dogs. Chocolate contains toxic substances called methylxanthines, which are stimulants that stop a dog's metabolic process. While no chocolate is good for dogs, dark chocolate is the worst due to the high concentrations of cacao.1, 2, 3, 4
- 2. Cinnamon ‐ dogs should avoid cinnamon. While it's not technically toxic for them, it can cause severe mouth irritation or low blood sugar. In powdered form, cinnamon can cause difficulty breathing, coughing, and choking.1, 2
- 3. All Other Types of Nuts ‐ while dogs can eat peanuts and cashews, almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts and pecans are highly toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting, increased body temperature, paralysis, lethargy and, in extreme cases, can affect their nervous system. It is also a best practice to avoid giving your dog any variation of these nut butters. 1, 2, 3
- 4. Xylitol ‐ everyone loves a sweet treat every now and then, but some gums, baked goods and candy have xylitol, a sweetener that can cause an insulin release which can lead to liver failure in many species, including dogs. 4
- 5. Raisins/Grapes ‐ dogs absolutely cannot have raisins. Along with chocolate and macadamia nuts, raisins and grapes are one of the most toxic foods for dogs. In extreme cases the fruit can cause kidney disease or failure in your pet.1, 2, 3, 4
If you're a HomeAgain® member and your pet ingests something they shouldn't, call the 24/7 emergency medical hotline for help. It is staffed by licensed veterinarians who can tell you how to help your pet. This service is regularly $75 per call, but for premium HomeAgain® members, it is free!