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What Human Foods Can Dogs Eat? A Complete Guide to Safe & Toxic Food

As a pet pawrent, you know the struggle is real when you’re prepping any kind of food and your dog gives you those super sad eyes begging for just a little taste. Those puppy dog peepers could melt anyone’s heart into a puddle! As we head into the Easter break it’s more important than ever for you to understand what human foods are safe and those you should avoid completely.

But before you start tossing table scraps, it’s crucial to know which human foods dogs can actually have safely. Many of our favourite snacks and dishes contain ingredients that are toxic, dangerous, or just really unhealthy for our furry friends.

Luckily, there are also plenty of safe and nourishing human foods dogs can eat in moderation. Let’s take a deep dive into the guide on foods to share freely with your pup versus absolutely everything to avoid.

Human Foods Dogs Can Eat

Looking to toss your goodest boi or girlie a nutritious snack from your kitchen? These human foods are all 100% safe for dogs when fed in moderation:

Plain, Lean Proteins

Dogs need a balanced diet rich in protein just like we do. Feel free to share small amounts of these plain, unseasoned lean proteins:

• Boiled/Poached chicken or turkey

• Lean beef

• Salmon

• Tuna

• Hard boiled eggs or scrambled eggs

Just avoid any proteins cooked with butter, oils, sauces, seasonings, or crumbed morsels, as those added ingredients can be rough on a dog’s stomach.

Fresh Fruits & Veggies

Most whole, natural produce like fruits and vegetables contain tons of great vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that make healthy dog treats. Some excellent options include:

• Apple (no seeds)

• Banana

• Blueberries (great for dog training treats)

• Rock Melon/Cantaloupe/Watermelon (in moderation as it’s pretty high in fructose)

• Carrot

• Green beans 

• Steamed Pumpkin (great for a pooch with an upset tummy)

• Spinach

• Steamed Sweet potatoe (Brock’s favourite)

Just be sure to avoid any produce in the allium family like onions, garlic, leeks, etc. which are toxic to dogs.

Cooked Whole Grains & Starches

Plain, cooked grains and starches can be a nutritious way to add carbs, fibre, and energy to your dog’s diet in small portions. Try:

• Brown rice

• Oats

• Plain, air-popped popcorn (Stan’s favourite treat)

• Cooked potatoes

As always, avoid any grains or starches cooked with butter, oils, or seasoning, as those can cause digestive upset.

Low-Fat Dairy

Dogs can have small quantities of plain, unsweetened yogurt and cheeses as long as you go for lower fat varieties. Dairy is an excellent source of calcium and protein for pups, just be sure to go easy because too much fat and lactose can lead to fluffy butt smells and diarrhea. Many dogs are lactose intolerant so keep dairy to a minimum.

Peanut Butter

Nearly every dog’s favourite treat! Look for all-natural, low-fat peanut butter with no added sugar or xylitol (more on why that’s REALLY bad below). The protein and healthy fats are a great nutrient boost for pups. I like to buy my peanut butter from the health food store so that the only ingredient is peanuts. My dogs love their KONGs topped with peanut butter before I freeze them.

While those human foods are perfectly safe and even healthy for dogs, it’s crucial to only offer them as occasional small treats. Treats should never make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake to avoid weight gain and nutritional deficiencies. Ask your vet if you have questions about working human food safely into your dog’s diet.

Toxic Human Foods to Never Feed Dogs

On the flip side, there are many seemingly harmless human foods and ingredients that are big no-nos and can be straight up toxic or even potentially fatal to dogs. Here are the biggest offenders to keep far away from your precious pup:


This artificial sweetener found in sugar-free gum, lollies, toothpaste, and other products causes a rapid, dangerous drop in blood sugar and even potential liver damage in dogs. Just one piece of xylitol-sweetened anything can be life-threatening, so read labels carefully! Xylitol can also be listed as Birch Sugar, E967, Sucre de Bouleau, Xylit, Xylite, Xylo-petane-1,2,3,4,5-pentol so check all your labels carefully before dispensing a pupper treat.


Both the caffeine and theobromine in chocolate, even small amounts, can be highly toxic to dogs. Signs of chocolate toxicity include vomiting, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and can potentially be fatal if untreated. The higher the cocoa content the more dangerous it can be to your pup. The smaller your pup the less chocolate they can consume before it is toxic. A safe alternative is to give your dog carob instead of chocolate.


Beer, wine, liquor, and any foods containing alcohol should never be given to dogs. Alcohol can cause vomiting, disorientation, breathing issues, and in severe cases, liver failure or death.

Caffeinated Foods & Beverages

Like chocolate, caffeine can over-stimulate dogs’ nervous and cardiac systems, leading to rapid breathing, abnormal heart rate, restlessness, and seizures. Energy drinks are a no no and watch Fido doesn’t get into any supplements that contain caffeine.

Fatty, Salty or Fried Foods

High-fat, greasy, salty and fried foods like bacon, sausage, ham, fried chicken, potato chips, and even too many nuts or nut butters can wreak havoc on a dog’s pancreas, causing agonizingly painful pancreatitis.

Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Chives

Really any food from the allium family is a big no-no, whether it’s fresh, cooked, powdered, or dehydrated. These vegetables contain compounds that can damage dogs’ red blood cells and cause anaemia. 

Grapes & Raisins

All forms of grapes and raisins have been shown to quickly cause kidney failure in dogs, though the exact toxic substance is still unknown. It’s best to avoid them entirely just to be safe.

Macadamia Nuts

If your trail mix contains these delicious nuts, make sure to pick them all out before sharing with Fido. Macadamias can affect dogs’ digestive and nervous systems, causing vomiting, weakness, overheating, and more.

Nutmeg & Other Spicy Seasonings

Many spices and seasonings like nutmeg can be toxic to dogs, potentially causing tremors, seizures, and central nervous system issues if ingested in any significant amount.

Fruit Pits & Seeds

The pits and seeds of fruits like apples, peaches, plums, and cherries contain cyanide, which is poisonous to dogs. Always remove any pit or seed before feeding fruit to your pup.

Raw Yeast Dough

That beautiful bread dough or sourdough you worked so hard on? Don’t let your dog anywhere near it! The unbaked yeast can expand and cause painful gas buildup in dogs’ stomachs, while raw egg may contain salmonella bacteria.

Spoiled or Mouldy Foods

Like humans, dogs are susceptible to food poisoning and mycotoxin effects from mouldy or rotten foods. Stick to only fresh human foods without any funky smells or visible mould growth. Your pooch is not your helper when cleaning out the fridge. If you shouldn’t eat it then neither should your dog.

Other Risky Foods:

• Cooked bones (potential choking hazard or internal injuries)

• Raw meat, eggs, or fish (risk of salmonella bacteria)

As heartbreaking as those puppy dog eyes can be, it’s never worth the risk of a costly vet emergency or worse by letting Fido scarf down unsafe people foods.

When in doubt, just stick with specially formulated dog treats or ask your vet before offering new people foods. After all, there’s no snack as sweet as a happy, healthy, and well-behaved pup enjoying many more years of tail wags by your side!

Game On! Let’s Play!


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