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May 18

What can Dogs eat? 59 Popular foods that dogs can eat

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Home / Dog Food / What can Dogs eat? 59 Popular foods that dogs can eat

Updated: May 18, 2021

Have you wondered what can dogs eat with us? Here are xx popular foods that dogs can eat safely with us!

As a dog owner and lover, I've always wonder about this question, "what can dogs eat? Can I feed [insert food here] to my dog?"

So I decided to make a living list of what foods dogs can eat.

By "living", I mean an evolving list - that will either expand or shrink depending on the research by vets and medical researchers.

This list is also supported by actual scientific evidence. The numbers you see at the end of some of the foods contain a link to an actual PubMed research article for you to read.


Besides, it's always fun to watch our beloved dogs smell something new in excitement, and change up their food palette every now and then!

So without further ado, here is a list of 59 food items that are safe for your dog, and add some new tastes to their diet!


For your viewing pleasure, this list is separated into multiple categories of foods, which you can navigate via the Table of Contents on the right.


Vegetables


Vegetables make for some of the best low calorie, high fiber snacks for dogs. Plus, they're super nutritious for dogs, so you really won't go wrong if you give them vegetables as treats!

However, make sure to wash them before feeding to your dog!

The list below should help with the question of 'what vegetables dogs can eat'.


Cucumbers

Probably on the top of the list on what dogs can eat, cucumbers are a safe, and low calorie snack for dogs, and are great for helping heavy or overweight dogs lose weight.

They also contain a ton of good vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, which helps dogs clot their blood better.

Make sure to cut the cucumbers into small chunks, and it'll make for a great summer treat for dogs thanks to the high water content inside too!



Green Beans

Green beans are a great healthy snack for dogs, as they contain a good amount of protein, Iron and vitamin K.

These beans can be given raw, chopped, steamed, or even canned, as long as they're plain and contain no other oils or sauces.

For the canned versions, just ensure that it isn't heavily salted, or contain any at all (best type)

To prevent choking hazards, you can also chop up the green beans for your dog!


Carrots

Carrots are another great food that dogs can eat. Low in calories, and a great source of vitamins, minerals and fiber to help them poo a little easier.

As long as you cut into small pieces, these crunchy vegetables are a healthy snack for your dogs (1).


Green Peas

Green peas can also be given as low-calorie, nutritious treats (2).

Green peas are also actually commonly found in many types of commercial and home made dog food, meaning it's a definite safe choice of food to feed your dog.

However, be careful with canned green peas - they generally are heavily salted, which is bad for a dog's body. 


Broccoli

Broccoli is a healthy choice of food for dogs, given how nutritionally heavy it is (3). 

It can be used as part of a dog's meal, or given as treats. (4)

However, it also contains isothiocyanates, which can irritate dog's stomachs if given too much, so don't feed this to your dog at every meal, or as the sole snack.


Celery

Celery is also a safe, low calorie and nutritious food for your dog. (5)

They also make for great summer treats due to their high water content!

As usual, ensure that it's cut into small pieces to prevent your dog from choking.


Asparagus

Asparagus is a sort of a weird category here - they're not toxic to dogs, but they also don't contain any useful benefits to dogs, apart from fiber.

Simply put, raw asparagus is tough to eat (even for us), but is nutritious.

If cooked to be soft enough for dogs to eat, the cooking process would have most likely destroyed the helpful nutrients and vitamins that would benefit dogs.

That said, if your dog has a preference for asparagus, you can definitely feed it to them - although it would be more advisable to switch to a more nutritious snack like celery or carrots.


Spinach

Spinach is also a somewhat controversial food to give your dog - although if there isn't enough meat to feed your dog, spinach can temporarily act as a substitute source or iron for your dog.

While spinach is certainly high in nutrients, vitamins. fiber and other goodness, it also contains a high amount of oxalic acid, which blocks the dog's ability to absorb calcium and cause kidney damage. (6)

Again, if your dog likes spinach, there's no harm in giving small quantities to them.

But it would be a better choice to eventually switch to healthier sources with less downsides than spinach like carrots or celery.


Kelp

Kelp is a great protein plant to give to your dogs - it can even be added to their meals in small quantities.

In small amounts, it can greatly boost the thyroid functions of dogs - typically boosting skin health.

The iodine in kelp also to keep dogs from getting hypothyroidism, a condition that disrupts the bodily functions of dogs. (7)


However, at the same time, be careful of overfeeding your dog kelp, as the excess iodine can cause iodine poisoning in dogs, which leads to death in large doses.


Brussel Sprouts

Uncommonly given, Brussel sprouts can be a great treat for dogs too - they are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants.

However, overfeeding your dog can lead to a rather unpleasant side effect: gas. A lot of gas.

Similar to broccoli, Brussel sprouts contain isothiocyanates, In small and moderate amounts, this is beneficial to a dog's intestines as it improves the ability of dogs to push food and waste through its intestines.

Too much of it, will cause stomach upsets and diarrhea.

While its not harmful to the dog, it'll be harmful to your nose and everyone else living with the dog. 


Fruits


Another great choice in the field of low calorie and high nutrition and fiber snacks for dogs.

However, a lot of fruits are naturally sweet, so be sure to give in moderation compared to vegetables.

On to what fruits dogs can eat!


Blueberries

Blueberries are a rich source of disease-fighting antioxidants, phytochemicals and provide a significant amount of vitamins, minerals and fiber, all of which benefit your dog’s health (8)

They are also low in calories, full of fiber, making it a good healthy treat for your dogs.

Blueberries are also safe and great for dogs due to rich source of fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals.

Research from 2012 suggest the antioxidants can improve age-related issues in older dogs.

All in all, blueberries are one of the better fruits to give your dogs as a healthy snack!


Pineapple

Pineapples are great treats for dogs, given in moderate amounts.

Pineapples contain bromelain, an enzyme that helps dogs digest proteins easier (9), as well as contain a ton of vitamins, minerals and fiber, making it an excellent summertime snack for your dog (10)

To give your dog, remove the peel and crown (the spiky bits) of the pineapple, then cut the yellow flesh into chunks for the perfect treats for your dog!


Watermelon

Another summertime favorite snack for dogs, watermelons have high water content to keep active dogs hydrated throughout their fun and games.

Watermelon by itself is also extremely healthy for dogs, containing a ton of nutrients and vitamins for their dietary needs. (11).

However, remember to remove the seeds from the watermelon to reduce the chance of choking hazards, and do not let your dog chew on the rind (green part) of the watermelon, as it can cause stomach upsets for them.


Blackberries

Similar to blueberries, blackberries (both fresh, or frozen) are a great healthy treat for dogs.

Low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, they make up one of the better treats for dogs. Additionally, they're also a great source of fiber! (12)


Tomatoes

Ripe tomatoes are safe for dogs to eat.

Unripe tomatoes (the green ones) or semi ripe tomatoes should not be eaten, as it contains solanine, a compound toxic to dogs. (13, 14)

Same with cherry tomatoes - as long as it's ripe, they are safe for dogs to eat as snacks and treats.

Interestingly, tomatoes are often considered a vegetable, but official classification calls it a fruit.


Apples

Apples are often given to dogs as a crunchy snack, thanks to its high amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

They also contain a high amount of fiber, which helps a dog's digestive system (15, 16)

However, you'll have to remove the core and seeds of the apple, as it contains cyanide, which in high doses is lethal to dogs.

Be cautious of your dogs digging through your garbage too - rotten or spoiled apples present a high risk of alcohol poisoning for your dog.


Coconut

Coconuts and coconut oil is great as a treat!

Coconut flesh (the white stuff) is excellent as a treat, and it can help boost a dog's immune system and helps to decrease inflammation thanks to the presence of lauric acids. (17)

However, for coconut oil, due to it's high calorie count, it's best to limit both normal coconut meat and coconut oil for your dog - 1 tablespoon of it is enough for a daily amount (18)


Mango

Mangoes are an amazingly healthy treat for dogs, thanks to the amount of nutrition contained in their flesh. (19)

However, mangoes also generally contain a high amount of natural sugars, which means the quantity of mango should be limited for dog treats.

Make sure to peel the skin off the mango, as well as remove the pit (seed) as they're poisonous to dogs.


Bananas

Bananas are great fruits and amazing treats for dogs!

In fact, you can also mix it into your dog's regular food too, if they enjoy its taste.

They're high in fiber, as well as the usual assortment of good vitamins and minerals.

However, do be careful of giving too much - bananas are naturally high in sugar, which can make your dog put on additional weight.


Strawberries

Strawberries are also another healthy treat for dogs, thanks to its nutritional profile, fiber and low calorie amount. (20)

However, make sure to cut the strawberries into smaller pieces to prevent any choking hazards!


Oranges

Oranges are also healthy and low in calories, making them great refreshing treats for your dogs in the summertime. (21)

However, due to both its naturally high sugar content and citric acid, it should only be given in small quantities.

Firstly, the sugar can make your dog fat.

Secondly, excess citric acid is known to give dogs a stomach upset.


Cherries

Fresh cherries are similar to blackberries and blueberries in nutrition - they contain a lot of good vitamins, minerals and antioxidants important for your dog's health.

However, do not let your dogs eat the cherry pits (seeds) - they contain cyanide (like apples) and are highly toxic to dogs. 

Plus, the pits can also be a dangerous choking hazard for dogs. (22)

While they're as nutritious as the berries listed above, overfeeding cherries to dogs can cause them to get upset stomachs.

So if you want to give your dogs cherries, make sure to limit to about two cherries at a time.


Cranberries

Raw and dried cranberries are safe to feed your dogs, as well as make great treats during thanksgiving period. (23)

However, make sure that you don't overfeed them cranberries, as it can lead to an upset stomach.

It would also be best to avoid letting your dog lick cranberry sauce, as it's often prepared with other ingredients which can be poisonous to dogs!


Peaches

Peaches, cut, fresh, or frozen, are great for dogs to have as a treat in small amounts! (24)

However, just make sure to remove the pits, as it also contains cyanide, which is toxic to dogs.

Also, avoid canned peaches due to the excessively high sugar content in them.


Pears

Pears are great treats to give your dog - they're high in vitamins, fiber and copper. (25)

As with the above, remove the seeds due to the cyanide content.

Cut into small pieces to prevent choking hazards.

Avoid canned pears due to the high sugar content needed to preserve it as well!


Raspberries

Raspberries are great as treats for dogs - very similar to blackberries and blueberries as well.

However, the only downside of raspberries - they naturally contain a small amount of xylitol, a compound highly toxic to dogs.

While you can definitely give some as treats to your dog, ensure that you limit the amount to just a few a day.


Pumpkin

Pumpkins are a unique fruit for dog treats - dogs can eat both the pumpkin and its seeds. (26)

Cooked pumpkin pulp can be used as a treat, or even as part of a dog's daily meals, thanks to its high fiber content, and good nutritional value inside it.

Raw pumpkin pulp is fine as well, but is also known to cause some digestive discomfort in some dogs. 

Interestingly, pumpkin seeds, once its ground and mixed with oatmeal and honey, is a traditional remedy for tapeworms! (27, 28)


Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is also a great fruit to act as a treat for dogs.

They're packed with nutrients, and are low in calories. (29) Additionally, they're also a great source of fiber and water, making them great summertime treats!

However, they also contain a lot of sugar, so it would be best to give your dogs in moderation.


Fungi


In this section, we'll just focus on the mushroom, as there isn't much information about dogs eating black fungus.


Mushrooms in general can be eaten - but only the store bought ones.

Wild mushrooms are generally avoided for dogs, due to their diversity and possibly toxic composition (see the topic on what dogs cannot eat here).

While supermarket or store-bought mushrooms are edible, ensure that they're served plain, and not combined with any onion or garlic.

The safe mushroom types for dogs to eat are:

  • White button 
  • Cremini
  • Portobello
  • Porcini
  • Reishi
  • Shiitake
  • Maitake

There are multiple reasons to feed your dog mushrooms as either part of their meals, or as occasional treats, such as:

  • Supporting dog's liver and kidney functions
  • Helps weaker dogs recover faster from their sicknesses
  • Helps to stabilize blood sugar and metabolism
  • Can help prevent viral infections
  • Lowers cholesterol, and boost weight loss
  • Boosts the immune system and reduce blood pressure
  • Helps to lower the chance of heart disease
  • Most importantly, helps dogs to prevent and battle cancer! (30)



Meat and animal products

Majority of commercial treats reside in the meat and animal products section.

Meat is essential for dogs - they contain all the necessary protein, nutrients, vitamins and minerals necessary for daily living.

Be sure to cook them without additional condiments and sauces, as some of those can upset a dog's stomach!


Pork

Pork is one of the more common ingredients found in dog food - so, it's definitely a safe bet to feed your dog with, as long as it's plain and without any salt, spices or seasoning.

However, pork shouldn't be given raw due to possible bacterial infections happening. (31)

As much as people enjoy giving their dogs cooked pork as a treat or part of their daily meals, do be cautious of giving too much - pork in general is quite fatty, so it can certainly make your dog gain weight quite quickly if given too much.

SIDE NOTE: As much as possible, limit giving your dog processed pork like ham or bacon, due to the extremely high salt content in them. (32)


Chicken

Chicken is another staple food for dogs, both in dog food, as well as part of a dog's normal home cooked diet.

Apart from being a common nutritious food, it also serves as an excellent source of lean protein, and you should combine it with your dog's regular food. (33)

It's also one of the most common meats dogs eat.

Caution is advised however, when feeding your dog raw chicken - it could lead to possible salmonella infections if the chicken is from a less trustworthy source. (34)

Be wary of chicken bones - cooked chicken bones are easily broken, and can cause very terrible damage to your dog's internal organs if it splinters inside your dog.

Raw chicken bones are fine - but give in moderation, because there is a chance they COULD splinter.

You're better off using the bones to create a bone broth for your dog - it's far safer for them to consume, and is highly nutritious!


Beef

Beef is another staple of most dog feeds and dog diets today.

It's quite common to find beef in commercial dog foods and is an excellent source of protein, as well as vitamins, minerals and iron for a dog's general health (35).

As with most other foods, make sure that before you give your dog beef, it's cooked and is not served with any other seasonings, sauces or spices that can cause upset stomachs.


Turkey

Turkey is a favorite meat to give your dogs when Fall and thanksgiving is around the corner!

While considered a white meat, turkey contains more fat than chickens in general, so if you do give your dogs turkey, make sure to trim off the skin and fat to ensure that they don't gain too much weight.

Cooked turkey flesh (boiled, grilled without marinade etc.) is very high in protein, and contains a good amount of minerals for general dog health.

It's a great substitute for chicken around Thanksgiving, so go ahead and give them turkey in their food for those few weeks!


Rabbit

Interestingly, rabbit meat for dogs in recent years is growing in popularity, thanks to how high the protein amount is in rabbit meat, as well as how large the rabbit population is (and how fast they reproduce!)

Rabbit meat is also all white meat - meaning it has the lowest fat and calorie count out of all non-poultry animals (versus pork, beef, lamb etc.) so its a great meat to add to their daily diets. (36)

However, as much as the general interest in rabbit meat for dogs is increasing, the take-up rate is not very high yet, so you might not have many choices of commercial food serving rabbit meat yet,


Of course, the same rule applies - wild raw rabbit might contain some undesirable parasites or bacteria like Tapeworms, so just be careful feeding your dog raw rabbit meat if it was caught in the wild.

Lamb

Lamb is another staple food in most commercial dog food, thanks to its great source of proteins, amino acids and dietary fats necessary to keep your dog health.

Lamb is also used as a meat source for dogs that have sensitive stomachs, or are allergic to other types of meat.

However, ensure that you serve the lamb meat to your dog without any seasonings, spices or sauces which can be bad for your dogs.

Dogs can also eat raw lamb bones, but caution is advised - you'll need to ensure that either the bone is cleaned, or is from a trustable source.

You'll also have to let them eat under supervision, in case your dogs get some kind of reaction (such as vomiting, diarrhea etc.)


Organ meats

Organ meats are very nutritionally dense foods, so it makes for an ideal food for sick or dogs recovering from surgeries or any major life ailments.

The top choices of organ meats for dogs in this case refer to livers, brain, kidneys and hearts, with the greater emphasis on livers and hearts.

However, you'll want to be careful with where you get these from - make sure you get them from reputable sources, like organically farmed organ meats from pasture-farmed animals, as they're less likely to contain parasites, bacteria and viruses.


Bone Broth

Bone Broth is a great replacement for giving your dog bones to chew on.

By boiling out the bones over several days with apple cider vinegar, you extract nearly all the good nutrients from the bone marrows, and the bones dissolve into the broth, which is the same as letting your dog eat the bones, minus the chance of it splintering.

Bone broth is probably one of the most nutritionally dense foods you can give your dog, so as much as possible, give this to your dog.

This also makes a great treat and part of meals in the winter, where it'll warm your dog up and keep his body in a healthy state!


Eggs

Eggs are a rather uncommon food to give your dog, but it is possible to be given as a treat, or mixed into their daily food (especially the egg whites)

While uncommon, their nutritional profile makes for an excellent food to give your dog, either as a treat or mixed into their normal food.

The best way to give them eggs would be for you to hard boil them, peel off the shell and either give them the egg sliced, or mixed into their food.

In this way, it's also a great and cheap treat to give your dog!

However, avoid feeding them raw eggs, due to a possibility of salmonella poisoning.


Fish and seafood


Fish in general are edible by dogs - however, there are certain types of fish that shouldn't be eaten by dogs, namely longer-lived fish such as sharks due to their higher mercury content in their bodies.

Otherwise, short lived fish are actually good for dogs nutritionally, as they contain some nutrients that normal land-based animals and poultry do not.

Short-lived Fish

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Whitefish
  • Cod
  • Herring
  • Catfish
  • Whiting
  • Sardines


As usual, make sure to cook the fish thoroughly to prevent possible bacterial infections, as well as serve it plain without any sauces, seasoning or spices that can upset a dog's stomach.

Also be sure to remove the bones after cooking, as they're a choking and stabbing hazard once ingested by a dog.


Shrimp


Shrimp is a surprisingly good food for dogs, thanks to them being relatively tasty for dogs and containing a large variety of nutrients for their general benefit.

Shrimp also contains phosphorus, a necessary ingredient for healthy bones in dogs, as well as antioxidants. (36)

However, shrimp does contain a rather high amount of cholesterol, so limit shrimp to being the occasional treats, or an occasional food in their meals.


Make sure to clean and cook shrimp thoroughly, as uncooked shellfish can contain harmful bacteria and parasites that can harm your dog. (37)


Crab

Crabs are considered exotic foods for your dog, and dogs can definitely eat them.

These creatures are a great source of protein, fatty acids, and minerals that keep your dog healthy.

However, be sure to cook them thoroughly by boiling them, so that you remove all the possible parasites lurking inside their flesh.


As a caveat, it's also wise to not give dogs too much - crabs in general contain quite a bit of salt, so crabs are best suited as the occasional treat, and not part of an everyday meal. 


Legumes, beans and nuts


Legumes, beans and nuts are generally rare to give to dogs as treats - however, there are some dogs that enjoy these as treats.

Remember to give sparingly, and make sure its the unsalted versions of these foods!


Peanut

An unusually treat, peanuts can be a decent treat for dogs thanks to how much protein, vitamins and minerals it contains.

However, not every dog will like peanuts, thanks to their somewhat bland taste compared to meat treats.

The only type of peanuts that dogs can eat are either raw, or dry roasted, and must strictly be unsalted!

While it's probably ok if your dog happens to eat one salted peanut off the ground if you dropped it by accident, it is best to avoid letting them have more than 1 salted peanut at a time.

Peanuts also contain a high amount of fat, which can contribute to an overweight dog (38)



Cashews

Cashews are also another unusual treat that you can give dogs, though in general it's not advised, due to the high fat content and calories it contains. (39)

Give only 1 or 2 maximum a day if your dog actually likes it, and make sure it's either dry roasted or raw, with no salt or other preservatives added!


Roots and Tubers


The most common tubers are potatoes, and if properly processed and cooked, they can be given to dogs as treats, or as the occasional change in their daily food.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a safe and healthy snack for dogs, in moderate amounts (about maybe 2 or 3 small cubes a day)

Sweet potatoes contain a lot of vitamin A, which helps to support a dog's immune system and eye protection, useful for the older dogs with failing eyesight!

You can also combine sweet potatoes into regular dog food, or give as an occasional treat. However, be careful for giving too much - the high calorie amount and excess vitamin A is bad for dogs.

Make sure to always bake or boil the potatoes (do not fry!) before giving your dog, as raw sweet potatoes can contain solanine, which is toxic to dogs.


Potatoes

Similarly to sweet potatoes, it can be given as a snack to dogs.

However, the concentration of solanine in raw potatoes is far higher than in sweet potatoes, so make sure to boil or bake thoroughly, and remove the skin of the potato before giving your dog!

Potatoes are less nutritious for dogs than sweet potatoes, so we recommend giving your dog sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes.


Dairy


Dairy represents basically milk products - not just from cows, but from goats as well.

Generally dogs are lactose intolerant, but as an occasional treat, they'll be fine! Just make sure to let them test out a little bit at a time before going all in and giving them more.

Raw Goat's Milk

Raw goat's milk for dogs is very healthy for dogs - there is a ton of good vitamins, minerals as well as probiotics that will benefit dogs and their general health.

The probiotics and digestive enzymes in raw goat's milk can help with dogs with leaky gut, which is an inflammation of a dog's gut that allows toxins to seep through into a dog's bloodstream.

Raw goat's milk also helps strengthen the immune systems of dogs, and boosts skin health!


More importantly, the size of the fats in raw goat's milk is smaller, making it far easier to absorb than cow's milk, and is also less allergenic, making raw goat's milk ideal for dogs with allergies or sensitive stomachs.

If you have access to raw goat's milk (either being near a farm, or at a shop that sells it), we recommend giving your dog this over cow's milk - just make sure to let your dog try a little first, and work the amount up slowly.


Cow's milk

Cow's milk is usually given to dogs due to their high calcium amount, as well as the high density of other vitamins and minerals needed for dogs to be healthy.

However, lactose intolerance is common in dogs, which also means that a lot of dogs will not be able to enjoy the benefits of drinking cow's milk.

It can however be used as a treat for dogs if they enjoy the taste, but it's recommended for dogs to either have raw goat's milk, or be given bone broth instead.


Cheese

As with cow's milk above, cheese can be a great tasty and healthy treat for dogs, but there are dogs that are lactose intolerant, which removes it as a popular treat for some dogs.

However, for dogs that are able to eat it, it should still be limited, due to the high amount of fat contained in cheese. (40)

Preferably, lower fat cheese should be given to dogs, as too much cheese can cause dogs to become overweight very quickly. (41)

Subcategories of cheese that can be given to dogs as treats more frequently:

  • Cottage Cheese
  • Mozzarella


Yoghurt

Yoghurt is a surprisingly great treat for dogs.

Its super healthy, containing a ton of calcium and protein.

It also contains probiotics, which is great for your dog's digestive health!

However, there are a couple of things to take note of:

1. Ensure that the yoghurt you're giving your dog is plain, and contains no toxic food for dogs (grape, xylitol sweeteners etc.)

2. If your dog is lactose intolerant, you might want to give this a miss, as it can possible give your dog diarrhea, or cause some vomiting.


Processed foods


In general, we try not to give dogs as much processed foods as possible - there are far better treats and food available for dogs to eat that are healthier and more nutritious.

But every now and then, even dogs should have a cheat day and have something nice, without harming their bodies!

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a staple treat for most dogs, because it is both tasty, chunky and very nutritious for dogs in general.

However, peanut butter also contains quite a high amount of fat, so it would be good to limit the intake of peanut butter for dogs, especially dogs trying to lose weight. (42, 43)

One caveat of giving your dog peanut butter - IT MUST NOT CONTAIN XYLITOL!!

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in some human foods that is completely toxic to dogs and even a small amount can cause serious problems in dogs.


Bread

Plain bread is a fine treat to give to dogs, but in general, bread offers very little in terms of nutritional value for dogs. 

While you can share a small little amount of bread for dogs as treats, make sure that the bread wasn't baked with toxic ingredients for dogs, such as with raisins or chocolate.

Another caveat  - never let dogs eat bread dough! The yeast inside the dough can cause the dough to expand in your dog's stomach, causing discomfort.

The yeast will also start producing alcohol (ethanol), which can poison and kill your dog in large enough quantities.

Avoid giving your dog bread dough at all!


Popcorn

Popcorn seems to be a favorite snack to give to dogs, especially on movie nights.

Plain, unsalted, unsweetened popcorn is perfectly fine for dogs to eat as a snack - though it offers very little in terms of nutrition.

Ensure that there is no butter or oil added to the popcorn when it's made, as it can contribute to a dog's weight gain. (44, 45)

Do not let dogs eat the unpopped kernels, as they're very hard and can present a serious choking hazard!


Grains


Generally used as filler even in commercial dog food, grains serve as the main source of carbohydrates for dogs. 

Not all grains are made equal, and some are better than others for different purposes!


Oatmeal

Plain oatmeal is a great food to give your dog, as it contains lots of fiber, vitamins and minerals.

You can occasionally add this to a dog's meal, while including cooked meats and organ meats for a very healthy meal! (46)

However, ensure that you don't add toxic food into the oatmeal for your dog (raisins, etc.), and feed oatmeal to your dog in moderation, as it contains quite a lot of calories. (47)


Rice

Rice is a staple ingredient that some owners feed their dogs, combining it with cooked meat (chicken, turkey, lamb etc.) or fish to balance out and give their dogs a healthy meal.

Both white and brown rice is fine for dogs to eat plain (without additional sauces, spices or seasoning).

Rice also has the added benefit of being easy for dogs to digest, which can help relive an upset stomach as well.


Quinoa

Quinoa is a superfood for humans, and is a great food for dogs as well.

Quinoa for dogs is a great idea, as it has a strong nutritional profile, and is a great alternative to giving them corn and corn-based kibble.

Interestingly, quinoa starch is also used to make kibble!

If your dog has never eaten quinoa before, start off by giving a very small amount and see if your dog likes it, or if your dog has some reaction to eating it (some dogs are sensitive to the compound quinoa produces to protect itself from insects, called saponin)


Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are healthy for dogs, as it contains both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, both important to maintain a dog's skin.

While flaxseeds are great for dogs (you can add it to your dog's diet, as per the recommendation of a vet), you'll need to grind it down before serving it to your dog.

Whole flaxseeds tend to pass through a dog's digestive system undigested, wasting the flaxseed's nutrition.


Corn

Corn is a staple in many dog foods, as its starches are often used as binding agents in dog kibble, and is often used as a filler.

Corn is also a major controversial topic in the dog food industry, which we will not go into this article. 

That said, corn is a good source of vitamins, and minerals, which can benefit your dog's health overall. (48)

The only caveat is that you should NEVER feed your dog the corn on the cob, as it can cause intestinal obstructions (the cob has other hard pulp on it, which can also cause choking)


Other


This category will fit the rest of the types of food and treats that don't fit the above 10 types.

Almond

Almonds are an unusual treat to give dogs - typically dogs don't enjoy the taste of almonds, and they usually eat them off the ground when we drop them by accident.

In general, almonds can be given to dogs, but only the cooked and unsalted variety.

Typically, dogs will find almonds hard to digest, thanks to their hardness.

However, if you dog does like the taste of almonds, give sparingly, as it has a very high fat content which can contribute to their weight gain. (49)


Honey

Honey is a very strong health food, containing many vitamins and minerals that is essential for dog wellbeing.

However, as great as it is, you should limit the amount to give to dogs, as it has an extremely high sugar content, which can cause dogs to get fat really fast. (50)

Honey for dogs is excellent as a treat for dogs every once in a while, but only in very small quantities!

 

Conclusion


This list is not designed to replace any diet that is properly certified by vets.

Of course there is a lot of consideration to take in when formulating the perfect dog meal (whether your dog is intolerant or allergic of something, or is in recovery from surgery etc)


This is a guide to which foods are safe and occasionally feed your dog. When in doubt, our advice is always the same - to speak to a professional vet about the best diet to feed your dog, as well as to do your own research. You do know your own dog better than I do 🙂


That said, you should also want to know what foods that your dogs SHOULD NOT EAT.


about the author

Frank Harrigan

Frank loves tacos and dogs - the good, bad and ugly sides of dog ownership.


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