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Human Foods That Your Dog Can and Cannot Eat

Dog eating ice cream

It's important to consult your pet's veterinarian with any medical concerns, and before making any changes or adding supplements to your pet's health plan.

For many of us, it goes without saying that our furry, four-legged companions are some of our best friends. Just as we share our favorite foods with our best people friends, we might be tempted to share them with our furry ones, too.

Some human foods are safe for dogs to eat and could even be beneficial for dogs' joints, immunity, oral health and possibly even allergy immunity. Other human foods that we can digest just fine could be very dangerous for canines to consume and may even cause severe health problems.

Before you share your favorite meal with your pup, learn about 10 human foods that are safe for dogs to eat and 10 that can be harmful, and even deadly, to dogs.

  1. Bread: Bread is delicious, and likely your dog thinks so, too. Although bread contains no real nutritional value for dogs, it won't hurt them, and it's OK for them to have a nibble of your delicious sourdough or rye. Just a nibble, though, because bread can pack on the carbs and calories for dogs just as it can for people.
  2. Cheese: Cheese can be a treat for your dog in small quantities unless they are lactose intolerant, which is rare in canines but still possible. Just make sure not to overdo it, because cheese is often high in fat, which can lead to pancreatitis in dogs.
  3. Eggs: Cooked eggs can be a great source of protein for dogs and can also help to calm an upset stomach. Just make sure the eggs are fully cooked, because raw egg whites may lead to a biotin deficiency in our canine companions.
  4. Fish: Fully cooked fish can be a great addition to your pooch's diet and contains beneficial fats and amino acids for a tasty health boost. Salmon and sardines can be an extra-healthy inclusion in their diets. Salmon contains several vitamins and significant amounts of protein, while sardines pack calcium in their small and easy-to-digest bones. Other types of fish should have their bones removed before sharing with your pup.
  5. Ham: Although not the healthiest snack, with its high sodium and fat content, a little ham is fine for your dog. Just don't make it a habit.
  6. Honey: Honey may seem like an odd thing to share with your pet, but it can be safe for canine consumption in small quantities and can provide a range of vitamins like A, B, C, D, E and K. It's said that local raw honey could possibly help dogs that suffer from allergies by introducing their system to small amounts of flower pollen which can help build immunity to allergens (although scientific evidence is currently lacking).
  7. Peanut butter: Peanut butter in moderation can be a tasty treat for dogs as well as being an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins and niacin. Unsalted, raw peanut butter is the best option for pups, as peanut butter with the sugar substitute xylitol can be toxic to dogs.
  8. Popcorn: Watching a flick with Fido? A few bites of plain popcorn aren't harmful to dogs and can provide a boost of riboflavin and thiamine for added eye and digestion benefits. However, avoid feeding your pets kernels or popcorn with toppings.
  9. Pork and poultry: Pork is one of the most easily digestible proteins and may be less likely to cause an allergic reaction than others. Poultry that has been deboned and unseasoned can be OK for dogs, as well.
  10. Wheat and grains: It is perfectly fine for dogs to consume grains as long as they do not have an allergy. Grains like wheat and corn can be a good source of protein, fiber and essential fatty acids.
Dog next to food bowl

10 Harmful Human Foods for Dogs

  1. Chocolate: This isn't just a myth. Chocolate can be extremely toxic to dogs, especially dark chocolate. Even small amounts can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Large amounts can cause seizures and even death.
  2. Cinnamon: Cinnamon isn't toxic to dogs, but it can be dangerous and should be avoided. Cinnamon can irritate dogs' mouths and cause a drop in blood sugar. If inhaled, cinnamon can cause choking and difficulty breathing.
  3. Garlic: All members of the allium family including garlic, onions, chives and leeks can cause anemia in dogs. This can lead to elevated heart rate and collapse.
  4. Macadamia nuts: Macadamia nuts are some of the most poisonous foods for dogs. They can cause vomiting, inability to walk, increased body temperature and can even affect your dog's central nervous system.
  5. Ice cream: It's best to avoid letting your dog have a lick of your ice cream due to its high sugar content and some dogs' intolerance to lactose.
  6. Corn on the cob: Corn off the cob can be OK for dogs, but corn on the cob should be avoided. It can cause intestinal blockages in canines.
  7. Avocado: Avocados contain persin, which is toxic to dogs. It can cause vomiting and diarrhea, so keep your pup away from your avocado toast.
  8. Grapes and raisins: Scientists are unsure what causes grapes and raisins to be toxic for canines. It is known that the ingestion of grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs.
  9. Alcohol: Alcohol has the same effect on a dog's brain and liver as it does on humans. In canines, only a small amount can cause breathing problems, vomiting, diarrhea, coma and, even, death.
  10. Caffeine: Caffeine can be fatal to dogs, so all coffee, tea, sodas and energy drinks should be kept away from your pup.

Raw Foods Diet for Dogs

Darwin's raw pet food for dogs

Recently, more people have been switching their beloved canine friends from kibble to a diet made up of raw dog food including uncooked meat, animal organs and digestible bones. A raw diet could provide benefits to some dogs by supplying them with food with higher protein and fat, which can sometimes help with a shinier coat and weight control. Darwin's Natural Pet Products offers a range of expert-formulated raw food diets for cats and dogs that are made of high-quality, ethically sourced ingredients that contain the vital nutrients that our pets need but that are often lost during the kibble-cooking process for dry dog foods. The Natural Selections diet is the company's premium recipe and is made of free-range meats and organic vegetables. Its BioLogics recipe is a budget-friendly option with conventional meats and vegetables, and its Intelligent Design recipe is formulated by veterinarians to address specific health issues that are common in dogs.

All pet parents can agree that we want what is best for our pups, so it's wise to discuss your dog's dietary needs with your veterinarian. However, many vets agree on the range of benefits a raw food diet could provide for puppies and older dogs alike.

Learn more about raw pet food diets and Darwin's Natural Pet Products.

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