Beagle begging for food

A piece of chicken here, some leftover cupcake there and a lick of ice cream from a cone. Do these sound like things you sometimes feed your pup from the table?

What you can and can't feed Fido off the table

Before you toss your dog that leftover stew, check out this list of safe and unsafe human foods for your pup! The last thing you want is to risk your pet's health over some leftover table scraps.

I think we are all guilty of feeding human food to our dogs and it's easy to see why. We treat our furry little friends like members of our family, so we often forget that the food we are eating isn't necessarily good for their sensitive digestive systems. Before you reach under the table to feed Fido your dinner, read this list of what is safe, what isn't and just how much is OK!

What's safe

Most healthy foods that are good for us are relatively good for dogs. However, it's important to research what you can feed your pup before you do it. What started out as something healthy for a dog (like ground beef or grilled chicken) can instantly be made poisonous with the addition of certain oils, wines or onions. If you can't say no to that adorable face staring up at you from the floor as you eat, check out these human foods deemed safe by the ASPCA and Modern Dog magazine.

  1. Peanut butter. This is a great source of added protein and fiber for your pup and a tablespoon on their dry food is a surefire way to get them to eat it!
  2. Yogurt. This provides a great source of protein for dogs (especially Greek yogurt). Make sure to avoid the brands high in sugar and preservatives.
  3. Lean proteins (like chicken, turkey and beef). Most of these meats are found in your pet's dry and wet foods anyway and are filled with healthy fats and proteins dogs need to maintain a healthy weight and energy level. Just be sure to feed them lean proteins that have not been cooked with strange vegetables, oils or wines.
  4. Salmon. The omega-3 fatty acids are good for your dog's coat and skin health, and provide him with a healthy source of protein.
  5. Pumpkin and sweet potatoes. Pumpkins and sweet potatoes are a great source of beta carotene and vitamin A and help keep your pup's digestive system on track.
  6. Rice and pasta. Plain or whole wheat pastas are a good source of energy for your dog. Just avoid feeding them fatty or acidic sauces.
  7. Apples. This dog favorite is a great healthy snack and is a great sources of vitamins A and C!
  8. Peas and green beans. Peas and green beans are a great way to infuse your pup's food with healthy, low-calorie nutrients. Peas provide extra potassium and the green beans are great sources of vitamins C and K.

Of course, these aren't the only human foods dogs can stomach, just the healthiest for them! Just be sure to look it up before you toss it to your pet!

What's not safe

Unless you live under a rock, you know that chocolate and cocoa are completely off limits. However, that's not the only favorite snack of yours that could poison your dog. Other everyday items, like onions and grapes could also really sicken, or kill, your best friend. Check out this list of the most poisonous foods, provided by Web MD for pets, for dogs and be sure you keep them far away from your pup's curious snout! These poisonous foods are bad for all dogs, but are even more extreme for smaller breeds, like shih tzus, Yorkies, chihuahuas and tea cup breeds.

  1. Chocolate and cocoa. The reason behind the toxicity in this sweet treat lies in the theobromine, or toxic agent. Just one bite can cause a dog to vomit or have diarrhea. It can also cause abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and death.
  2. Grapes. These popular fruits need to kept away from your pup, especially if your dog is older or sick. Something in the grapes is known to cause kidney disease in most breeds.
  3. Avocados. This healthy fruit contains persin, which is known to give dogs vomiting and diarrhea.
  4. Onions and garlic. These flavor enhancers need to be kept far away from your dog. Large volumes of these vegetables and herbs can cause gastrointestinal irritation and red blood cell damage, which can lead to anemia.
  5. Alcohol. Feeding your pet beer or wine isn't funny, it could be deadly. Just a drop can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing and even death. The effects are even worse in smaller breeds.
  6. Milk and dairy products. Just one slice of cheese won't kill your pet, but excessive dairy will likely negatively disrupt their digestive system, since dogs don't have as much of the lactose breaking enzyme that humans do.
  7. Coffee. Just a sip of coffee or caffeine can lead to restlessness, heart palpitations and bleeding, while a large dosage can be fatal.
  8. Gum. Xylitol, or the sweetener found in gum and candy, can lead to liver failure and hypoglycemia. In addition, a dog's digestive system cannot break down gum the way humans do and the sticky substance can block up their system, which can quickly lead to death.

View human food as a treat to your pet, not as something you give them in place of their own dog food. Although the foods listed in the healthy category are good for pets, too much can upset their digestion or make it harder for them to eat their own food. A few pieces of chicken or salmon can be a great incentive if your pup is behaving or does a trick.

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Comments on "Which human foods can you feed your dog?"

Bonnie March 10, 2014 | 8:16 AM

My two pekignese are both 14 years old and have lost a lot of their teeth. They had no energy and even soft dogfood they had trouble with or did not particularly enjoy. I started boiling chicken thighs, deboning, and then putting the chicken back in the broth and putting rice in to soak up the broth, cook, and get soft. Very cheap to fix as I can get about 25 zip loc sandwich bags out of an 8 lb. bag of chicken which I freeze and only get out one bag/day. I am feeding my babies and another pug and rescue dog this mixture every morning and they are acting like puppies again. Truly amazing at the difference in their bahavior! They only each get about a couple tablespoons each, but they scarf it down and it is agreeing with all of them. Even the old ones that had digestive problems. They get soft dogfood in the evenings, but only a small amount. This has worked well for us as we haven't had any vet bills since we started this routine.

Lenga December 26, 2013 | 8:42 AM


Hope December 04, 2013 | 2:45 PM

My puppy who is eight months and is half shih tzu and pomeranian won't eat for several days now neither commercial puppy food not human food. I don't know what to do. He seems well otherwise. What could be the problem? HB.

Tony October 22, 2013 | 11:48 PM

I used to eat a lot of macadamia nuts and one day I gave my dachshund some. Later that day I noticed my little dachshund could not walk - he had no control of his back legs. It was so strange because he seemed to be fine except for the paralysis. It was very scary because I could not figure out what happened to him. I went online and started to look for possible causes and sure enough it was the macadamia nuts - I had no idea that macadamia nuts are extremely toxic to dogs. Luckily, by the next morning he was much better and in 24 hours he seemed to be back to his normal self. I'm just so glad he recovered, and that I figured this out so that I would never give him macadamias again - actually, I even stopped eating them after this episode.

Dan October 08, 2013 | 11:53 AM

A dog should eat what it would naturally hunt. I can't see it hunting for yoghurt and rice. Dogs are carnivores yet there is very little natural meat on your list. Why?

Elisha September 30, 2013 | 8:33 AM

It is okay if my Jack Russell pup would rather eat human foods that dog food? he is a picky eater, he rarely eat his dog food.

Jeri Royal September 03, 2013 | 2:42 PM

My three year old granddaughter fed my s Shih Tzu a large marshmellow should I be worried?

Laura Foutz August 25, 2013 | 8:37 PM

Hi! I know dairy products are not healthy for dogs. Except for chocolate, is a little bit of ice cream safe on occasion? Where is the dog ice cream sold? Thanks very much!!

Brianna August 08, 2013 | 3:46 PM

is it ok for dogs to have a little peice of bread once in a im sorry for everyone whos dog has died from these foods that are not healthy for your dogs and its not your fault if you didnt know it was not healthy. :)

Sarah H June 15, 2013 | 2:01 AM

About two years ago my beagle, and best friend, got in the trash and took a big ol bite out of an onion. He ended up with swollen and bumpy face, very frightening.

john June 10, 2013 | 9:09 PM

My dog died 3 hrs. ago. I think its my fault. I left large amount of beans outside for my large dog. The 14 month old dog was okay last night. this afternoon legs were stiff. after he died they were limp. Did I kill my little friend?

Joe June 07, 2013 | 3:41 AM

You may not believe this. I had one dog that could eat chocolate and not get sick, why? I had another dog that got very sick, the vet said to wait and see if she gets better, as there was nothing he could do. well after about 2 days, she got better. Never gave her chocolate again. Actually my kids fed her chocolate. as for ice cream, there is ice cream that is made for dogs. I found it once, couldn't find it in any other store. Haven't seen it for a long time.

Tracie June 03, 2013 | 6:58 PM

I want to say the list is great to go by, My dog can't eat dog food and his vets told me it might be better just to make his food because he has such a bad reaction to the dog food. the vet gave me a list on what to make but as I checked on line for what other foods out there to cook for my baby (my dog Ziggy) I never new that there are so many human foods that could hurt him. I came to this site and got some great ideas on food I can give him other then what I feed him now witch is hambuger or turkey and white rice. thanks everyone for your input I had learned alot.

Carol May 24, 2013 | 4:55 PM

I have always made my dogs homeade dog food after reading what goes into commercial dog food,even the well known ones. Its easy and not expensive and they live it. Ground turkey, barley, sweet potatoes or squash or peas and carrots and eggs. Even the shells are good calcium if you bake them and crush into food.

Jan B April 10, 2013 | 1:08 AM

What a helpful list! I was wondering if blue berries are ok for dogs. My Labrador loves fresh fruit and veggies. Did not know that corn was toxic. Annie P sorry for your friends loss.

Erica March 21, 2013 | 9:58 PM

I dont agree with feeding dogs human food unless its vegetables or fruit that dogs can have, but have never given her food from my plate and that has resulted in her never begging or tryin to get my food of the coffee table. I was wanting to know if it is ok to give certain teas to dogs and if so which ones as i have heard mixed stories of giving tea with their water to encourage hydration or if chicken stock in her water would be ok as well?

Diana February 07, 2013 | 10:39 PM

Dog food is like fast food for humans .what would you as a person like to eat fast food or homemade food .there are lots of homemade dog recipes and its very healthy for your dog .i never give my dog , dog food

stormy February 06, 2013 | 9:06 PM

Im so scared to feed my dog human food but i dont get payed tell next week so i need to feed her something. So now i know what i can feed her . Thats what im going to do (:

Claire July 26, 2012 | 7:42 AM

Hey Annie! thanks for telling us that, I had no idea corn was bad. I'm so sorry about your friends dog :( Please leave other comments with other feeds I may have left off!

Emma July 25, 2012 | 3:37 PM

I think this list is so helpful! I never feed dogs anything besides dog food because I am so worried about what you can and can't feed them! There are items I had no idea were bad, like grapes! I don't think I would have thought that giving a dog corn on the cob would ever be a good idea :/

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