Critter Culture
People Foods That Are Safe for Your Dog

People Foods That Are Safe for Your Dog

Critter Culture Staff



We've all been there at the end of a meal - completely stuffed, and ready for a nap with a few scraps of food left on our plates. It's a luxury we take for granted. Our dogs, on the other hand, see it as an opportunity to try a tasty morsel of whatever it is you just ate that was so good you're nearly comatose. Sure, it'd be cute to watch your pupper chow down on a pork rib or enjoy a few grapes like a conquering Roman Emperor, but is it really the best idea? While many people foods might be edible for your dog, some can cause adverse reactions, while others could be fatal.


Toxic Tomatoes

Tomatoes are part of the nightshade family of vegetables. They contain solanine and tomatine, which are both harmful to dogs. Solanine and tomatine are found mostly in the green parts of a tomato plant, such as the stems and leaves. Unripe green tomatoes contain more solanine and tomatine than ripe tomatoes.

dog, tomato, solanine. harmful, tomatine DusanManic / Getty Images


Carrots are a tasty treat

Pomeranian dog eat carrot. Dog outdoor. Beautiful and clever pomeranian dog

Yes! Carrots are good for dogs! Carrots are a healthy addition to a dog's diet, especially for a dog that may need to lose a little weight. The vitamins and nutrients in carrots support good eyesight and bone health. Carrots are a high-fiber, low-calorie snack that also aids digestion. Talk to your vet about the best way to add carrots to your dog's diet and read on to find out how carrots are good for dogs.


Problematic Popcorn

Popcorn is one of those foods that dogs can eat, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they should. Popcorn has several ingredients that are good for dogs but may also contain many unhealthy ingredients, especially the beloved toppings. A dog quickly snatching up some stray popcorn during movie night probably won’t cause any health problems, but eating a large amount may create some tummy troubles.

The white fluffy balls of popped kernels are safe for dogs, but the unpopped kernels are not. The hard, tiny kernels can be stuck inside a dog’s teeth. This can lead to gum disease or tooth decay. It’s also possible for small dogs to choke on the kernels.


Tasty Ham

girl with cute beagle and snack on white plate

Ham is a very salty product and can be dangerous for your dog if fed in large amounts. However, giving your dog the odd cube of ham here and there, especially when he has been very well behaved or performed a trick, should not cause any problems. Choose the best quality of ham you can find. There are ham products on the market today that do not contain any sodium, so look out for these as they will offer better nutritional properties for your dog.


What about bacon?

dog dachshund, with a slice of bacon on the nose, looks scared, stealing food from the table

No. Bacon should not be given to your dog. Bacon contains high amounts of saturated fat, and this can cause pain in your dog's stomach and lead to vomiting and diarrhea. Your dog could also choke on the rind of the bacon. While a small piece won't hurt your dog, it should really be avoided altogether to avoid any problems.


Peanut Butter

Dog Licking Clean Jar of Almond or Peanut Butter

The occasional lick of peanut butter is safe for dogs as long as it's a natural version. Many brands are loaded with extra sugar and salt, making them unsuitable for dogs.

Essential: check the label to make sure the peanut butter doesn't contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol. Xylitol is poisonous to dogs, causing seizures and liver failure, and the effects can be fatal.


Are Peanuts Poisonous for Dogs?

There hasn't been a lot of research carried out on the effects of peanuts on dogs. However, peanuts are not known to be poisonous to canines. It's probably safe to feed peanut products occasionally to most dogs. Just like humans, some dogs are allergic to peanuts. It's important to supervise the dog carefully after eating peanuts, especially for the first time, and be vigilant for signs of an allergic reaction.

dog eating peanut butter safe kandypix / Getty Images


Are Pecans Harmful to Dogs?

  The answer is yes; pecans are harmful to dogs. Pecans may cause an upset stomach or a gastrointestinal blockage in dogs. In addition to the gastrointestinal risks, pecans also contain toxins that are harmful to some animals, including dogs. This is especially true of moldy pecans. The toxins found on moldy pecans can cause seizures and other neurological problems for dogs.

Dog running Capuski / Getty Images


Is Broccoli Safe for Dogs?

Adorable Jack russell terrier dog lying on the wooden floor. Yawns. The paws holding broccoli

  The answer is complicated. Broccoli is safe for dogs, within certain limitations. Broccoli does hold health benefits for dogs and contains essential nutrients, such as vitamin C, minerals, and fiber. But broccoli also contains isothiocyanates, a sulfur-based compound found in the florets which can cause gastrointestinal irritation in dogs. Isothiocyanates become toxic for a dog when the amount they consume exceeds 10 percent of their daily food requirements.

Broccoli can safely be added to a dog’s diet, provided it’s fed in small amounts.


Onions Contain a Toxic Substance

There is a compound found in onions that's known as N-propyl-disulfide. This compound gives onions its strong odor. It is also the cause of eye irritation when you peel and slice an onion.

Other than that, N-propyl-disulfide is not dangerous to humans. It can, however, damage your dog's red blood cells. This substance found in onions lessens the red blood cells' ability to transport oxygen. It also causes a dog's body to treat blood cells as invaders, resulting in anemia. This, if not treated promptly, can lead to internal organ damage, organ failure, or even death.

It's not simply the white fleshy part of the onion that is dangerous to dogs. Every part of the onion can cause distress and blood cell damage to your furry friends. This includes the leaves, the juice, and even processed onion powders that you might sprinkle on foods to add flavor.


Stay away from garlic

Dog Welsh Corgi prepares mushrooms for dinner with onion and garlic.

Garlic is something that has always been considered poisonous to dogs. Being in the same family as onions, people believe garlic is as toxic as onions to our four-legged friends. Raw garlic has approximately five times the amount of Allium compared to onions and leeks and is therefore highly toxic to dogs.


Milk might not be the best idea

The nutritional content in cow milk is higher in fat and sugar than a normal dog's meal. If your dog is exposed to excessive amounts of fat and sugar, they run the risk of becoming obese or, worse, developing pancreatitis. If your dog has symptoms such as excessive vomiting, an unusually hunched back, loss of appetite, or lethargy, this could be a sign of pancreatitis. This is a serious condition that could result in permanent damage to the pancreas or other organs. Remember that milk is found in many common human food sources that are tempting to canines, like pizza, bread products, and sweet treats.

milk, fat, sugar, obesity chuckcollier / Getty Images


Chow down on an apple

A dog breed alaskan malamute eating a red and yellow apple from human hand. In picture only a dog and a hand

Apples are a great snack for dogs when used in moderation. Their sweet smell and firm texture provide some benefits while also delivering a mix of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

The easiest way to safely feed apples to dogs is to cut them into slices. Apple cores can be dangerous for a few reasons. First, they're a choking hazard because a dog can easily swallow a chunk that's too big. Second, the core is firm and bulky and may cause problems with digestion, including intestinal blockage. Finally, cores contain apple seeds that contain a small amount of cyanide and can be toxic in large doses. While the seeds of one apple are unlikely to cause a problem, it's best to be on the safe side.


Cashews in moderation

Begging dog in kitchen

Cashews are generally safe for dogs to eat. These nuts have a lot of protein packed into them; they are also high in fat and calories. Some dogs that are prone to weight gain, and even those that are of average weight, should be strictly limited to the number of cashews they're fed. If you want your pooch to enjoy a few cashews every now and then, be sure they are cooked. Raw cashews contain a toxic resin called urushiol that can be harmful to your pet. This is the same toxin found in poison ivy.


A little cheese goes a long way

As long as your pup isn't lactose intolerant, a small amount of cheese is perfectly fine every now and then. The key is moderation because cheese consumption may contribute to weight gain in some dogs.

Another problematic occurrence is the development of inflammation in the pancreas, a condition with potentially fatal results in dogs of all breeds, but particularly in cocker spaniels, miniature schnauzers, and miniature poodles.


Why are grapes toxic to dogs?

The substance that makes grapes and raisins so incredibly poisonous to canines has yet to be pinpointed by researchers. All we know is that when your dog ingests either, there is a chemical in the fruit which has the potential to cause a reaction that could likely lead to sudden kidney failure. The same goes for raisins, as well.


Yes, Dogs Can Eat Blueberries

cute golden retriever dog at home holding a blueberry on his snout.

Blueberries contain antioxidants, fiber, and other phytonutrients beneficial to a dog's general health. They do not contain substances toxic to dogs found in chocolate or raisins. So, yes, it is safe to give a dog blueberries--but only in moderation.

Limit the number of blueberries a dog eats to a small handful every few days as a treat. The problem with allowing a dog to eat as many blueberries as they want involves their gastrointestinal system. Diarrhea, an upset stomach, and vomiting are symptoms that a dog may have eaten too many blueberries.


What about walnuts?

Walnuts harvest. Walnuts in a vintage basket on a yellow leafy floor in autumn season and a dog next to it.

It's best to steer clear. English walnuts are not toxic; however, they can cause gastric distress for your dog. Black walnuts are considerably tastier, with a thicker shell and contain are toxic to dogs. No matter if you're enjoying them as a snack, or walking in the woods, make sure your pup stays away from walnuts.


While you're at it, avoid almonds, too

Almonds aren't poisonous for dogs. If a dog manages to eat a small amount, they will be fine. However, almonds can cause gastrointestinal problems. Your pup may experience vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, flatulence, and appear lethargic. Almonds could cause dangerous obstructions, especially if they eat a large quantity in one go. Small or toy breeds are at the highest risk of developing an obstruction. Almonds could block their esophagus, windpipe, or become lodged in their gut.

Charming Brunette Woman Enjoying Her Breakfast In Company Of Dachshund Dog Pekic / Getty Images


Final thought

It might be adorable when your dog begs for food. Who can resist those misty eyes, and their tongue hanging out of their mouth? While the occasional bite of people food won't spell utter doom, it will help to reinforce negative behaviors, and can eventually lead to physical issues if left unchecked. It's important to understand that your dog needs to eat food their body can process. If you're in doubt, it's best to finish or compost your meal. Your dogs, as cute as they are, will be sad. But, they'll survive.


Dogs begging for food: pack of three hungry west highland white westie terriers watching man eat panini sandwich for lunch at home on couch corners74 / Getty Images


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