Most of us are guilty of giving our dogs a taste of our dinner or sneaking them a little side treat from our snack, but is it really safe to feed our dogs table scraps? Short answer, yes and no.

There are many “human” foods that are healthy for your dog to eat. Dry kibble dog food was created to make it easier for us to feed our pets. In fact, many people feed their dog a raw food diet.

can I feed my dog people food

For me, as much as I love my dogs, I’m not ready to make the commitment to feed them an entire raw diet. BUT I do give them some raw foods in additional to a high-quality dry kibble food.

Foods that can be TOXIC to dogs

There are certain foods that can be toxic to our dogs, and you may be surprised to know that it’s more than just chocolate. Here are the things you should NOT feed your dog:

  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • Garlic (small amounts can actually be healthy)
  • Grapes or raisins
  • Onions
  • Xylitol (artificial sweeteners found in gum and “sugar-free” foods
  • Macadamia nuts
Can my dog eat that? cheat sheet
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Healthy foods dogs CAN eat

There are actually many people foods that are healthy for our dogs. Raw and cooked food are all good to add extra nutrients to your dogs balanced diet.

Fruits and vegetables dogs CAN eat list

Many fruits and veggies are actually healthy for our dogs. In fact, I usually will freeze many of our fruits that are on the verge of becoming over-ripe. My dogs go crazy of these healthy treats!

  • Apples:  Vitamins A and C and fiber. Low in protein and fat.
  • Avocados: Controversial. Beware the pit, skin, and leaves are toxic to dogs. (watch this video from Planet Paws Facebook page)
  • Bananas: Potassium, vitamins, biotin, fiber, and copper.
  • Blueberries: High in Antioxidants, fiber and phytochemicals.
  • Broccoli: Vitamin C and fiber.
  • Brussel sprouts: Beware – the gassy effects of these vegetables are just as prevalent in dogs as they are in humans! 
  • Cantaloupe: High water content and fiber.
  • Carrots: High in fiber and beta-carotene, which produces vitamin A.
  • Celery: Vitamins A, B, and C.
  • Cranberries: High in Antioxidants.
  • Cucumbers: Vitamins B1, C, K, potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin.
  • Green beans:  iron and vitamins.
  • Mango: Vitamins A, B6, C, and E, potassium, beta-carotene and alpha carotene.
  • Oranges: Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.
  • Peaches:  Vitamin A and fiber.
  • Pears:  Copper, vitamins C and K, and fiber. 
  • Peas: Vitamins, A, C, K, iron and fiber.
  • Pineapple: High in Vitamin C and antioxidants.
  • Potato: Vitamins C, B6, potassium and manganese.
  • Pumpkin: Alpha-Carotene, Beta-Carotene, Fiber, Iron, Potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Zinc. (Read our Ultimate Guide to Pumpkin and Your Dog)
  • Raspberries: fiber, manganese, vitamin C, anti-inflammatory properties. Trace amounts of xylitol are found in raspberries, so small amounts only.
  • Strawberries: Vitamin C and fiber.
  • Sweet potatoes: Vitamins A, B, C, D, iron, potassium and manganese
  • Watermelon: Vitamins A, B-6, and C, potassium. Plus, watermelon is 92% water, making it a great way to keep hydrated.

Can my dog eat cooked or raw meat?

Dogs are carnivores, so yes most meats are safe for your dog. Unless you are among the many dog owners that feed their dogs a raw meat diet, it’s important to note, that this is not as simple as giving your dog raw ground beef every day.

If you are interested in feeding your dog a raw meat diet, do a lot of research. Dogs need a balanced diet with certain nutrients just like we do.

The most common and safe meats are:

  1. Beef
  2. Chicken
  3. Turkey
  4. Fish
  5. Lamb

Can I feed my dog peanut butter?

Peanut butter is a great treat for our dogs, BUT be careful on the type of peanut butter you use. Do not use the sugar-free or lite options that contain artificial sweeteners such as xylitol, which is extremely toxic to dogs.

Can my dog eat eggs, cheese or milk?

Eggs, milk, cheese, and yogurt can be okay for your dog… BUT some dogs can be allergic to dairy. Eggs are a common ingredient in baked goods, so make sure to read labels!

If you think your dog may have food allergies, make sure to read Does my dog have Allergies?

How to Stop a Dog from Begging for Food

I can’t go without mentioning, if you consistently feed your dog scraps from the table, or share your apple… you may be creating some really bad behavior. Yes begging! It’s important to set boundaries, your dog should never get treats, people food or not if he is begging for it.

Use this as a training opportunity… in other words make your dog do something for that piece of steak, something as simple as SIT. We have a strict rule of no feeding the dogs in the kitchen, we move into another room, make our dog SIT, DOWN, something to make him work for it.

Related reading:

P.S. I would love to hear what your dog’s favorite people food treat is! If I had to pick just two, I know my dogs love carrots and peanut butter. Although I think they’d eat almost anything we give them, LOL!

About the Author

Debi McKee

Debi McKee is the expert behind Rescue Dogs 101 where she guides you in your journey of adopting and raising a rescue dog every step of the way. She is a mom of 3 human kids and 4 dogs and volunteers for a local dog rescue and Humane Society. Click here for more about Debi and her passion for helping you and your dog.

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  1. Any help for a six year old rescued Breton Spaniel and used to stealing food to survive. Can’t seem to break this habit.

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