Sharing with Shadow: Which Human Foods Are Safe for Dogs to Eat?

We’ve all seen it – those plaintive, sad looking eyes staring up at us while we are eating. And we’ve all done it – snuck them a small piece of meat and told them not to tell. But have you ever looked at the other offerings on your plate and wondered if you could share something else? Here’s a short list of safe foods that you could share, in moderation of course, with your dog:

  • Apples, Sliced – contain significant amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, plus they are high in fibre which can help keep your dog’s digestive tract running smoothly (be sure to remove any seeds from the apple slices and never feed your dog the apple core as these contain cyanide, which can be toxic to your dog).
  • Apricots – full of potassium and beta-carotene which can help to fight against cancer, the fleshy fruit of apricots makes for a healthy treat for your dog (make sure to remove the pit, stem and leaves as these are all potentially harmful to your dog).
  • Asparagus, Cooked – high in fibre, contains lots of vitamins and an is an excellent source of potassium. Asparagus stalks can pose a choking hazard so be sure to only feed in bite-sized pieces.
  • Bananas – high in fibre, vitamins and minerals. Mash some up and mix them with your dog’s regular food or feed him a couple of slices every once in a while.
  • Beef, Lean – an excellent source of protein as well as many essential vitamins and minerals. Make sure to only feed plain beef with no sauces, seasonings or added ingredients.
  • Bell Peppers – (red, green and yellow) – provide lots of antioxidants, fibre and beta-carotene. Sliced into bite-sized pieces, bell peppers can be a welcome addition to your dog’s dinner.
  • Blackberries – fresh or frozen, your dog will enjoy this healthy treat. Low in calories, rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre, feel free to toss a few into your dog’s bowl every once in a while as a special treat.
  • Blueberries – low calorie, small size, packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre, Blueberries make an excellent alternative healthy snack for your dog.
  • Bread, Plain White or Whole-Grain – an occasional tasty treat, make sure it doesn’t contain any additional ingredients (i.e., raisins). A bit higher in calories than some other snacks so be sure only to give a small amount.
  • Broccoli – raw or cooked and containing high amounts of nutrients, this vegetable makes for an occasional healthy snack for your dog (don’t feed much or too often as broccoli
    contains some compounds that may irritate your dog’s digestive tract if they ingest too much).
  • Brussel Sprouts (Cooked) – an excellent source of Vitamin K and C, but many dogs are not interested in eating them. Make sure to cut into bite-sized pieces before offering them to your dog.
  • Cantaloupe – packed with vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins A, B and C cantaloupe, makes for a yummy treat for your dog. Make sure to cut into small, bite-sized pieces and avoid your dog licking the outside skin.
  • Carrots – both raw and cooked are safe to share with your dog. With a low-calorie count and being high in fibre, vitamins and minerals, carrots make for a healthy and tasty treat – just make sure to cut them into bite-sized pieces to avoid choking.
  • Cauliflower, Plain – full of vitamins and antioxidants which may help reduce inflammation and a senior pet with arthritis. Cooked or raw is safe to feed, and the fibre content can help with digestive health. Avoid feeding the stems and leaves and cut or break into bite-sized pieces before serving.
  • Celery – an excellent source of vitamins and minerals and low calorie too. Sliced into bite-sized pieces, Celery makes for a healthy alternative treat.
  • Cheese – another dog favourite! While cheese is a safe food that dogs can eat, some may have trouble digesting it, so it is recommended to introduce cheese to your dog slowly. Also, because of the high fat and lactose content, it is best to feed in moderation.
  • Chicken, Cooked, Boneless – an excellent source of protein that you can feed on its own like a treat or put in his bowl with his food (never feed your dog raw or undercooked chicken as this poses a risk of Salmonella. Also never give your dog chicken bones as these present a choking hazard and, if swallowed, can puncture his intestinal tract or cause an obstruction).
  • Corn, Cooked, Plain – an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Your dog can have a tablespoon or two of corn with his food every day (never feed a dog the corn cob as this is a choking hazard and can lead to an intestinal blockage).
  • Cranberries – raw, cooked or dried, cranberries make an attractive treat for your dog as long as he doesn’t mind the tartness. Cranberries have been known to fight urinary tract infections and are full of Vitamin C, fibre and manganese.
  • Cucumber – contains Vitamins K & C, magnesium, low in carbohydrates and fat. Good for overweight pets, may also help lower blood pressure and freshen your dog’s breath.
  • Eggs, Cooked – packed with vitamins, minerals and protein, a medium egg is a healthy an alternative to treat your dog (avoid feeding raw eggs as they have a very high risk of Salmonella which can make your dog and yourself, very sick).
  • Green Beans – fresh, frozen or canned, green beans are a good source of protein and iron and make a great healthy treat.
  • Green Peas, Fresh or Frozen – a tasty treat that most dogs like, green peas are low in calories and full of nutrients (don’t feed canned peas though, as those contain a high salt content which can be harmful to your dog).
  • Lettuce – a great source of water and fibre. Cut or break into small slices and mix it in with your dog’s regular food for a healthy treat.
  • Mangoes – healthy in small amounts. This fruit contains several vitamins and minerals and lots of fibre (make sure to remove the skin and pit and break/cut into bite-sized pieces before giving to your dog).
  • Oatmeal, Plain – good source of fibre and contains some vitamins and minerals.
  • Oranges – a low-calorie, high nutrient snack for your dog. Be sure only to feed a small amount at a time as this yummy fruit can cause tummy upset in our canine friends.
  • Peanut Butter – most dog’s favourite treat! Just be sure to give it in moderation as peanut butter is high in calories and cause your pet to have weight gain. Also be sure to check the ingredients to avoid the peanut butter that has Xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar substitute and is very toxic to our pets (Xylitol can also be found in sugar-free gums and candies).
  • Pears – packed with Vitamins A and C as well as fibre, Pears make for a great alternative treat. Once the seeds are removed, slice the pear into bite-sized pieces and mix them in with your dog’s regular food or give as a treat.
  • Pineapple – packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre, this tasty snack makes for a healthy treat. Just be sure to keep it in moderation as too much can cause gastrointestinal upset.
  • Popcorn, Plain, Unsalted – may sound boring to you, but your pup will thank you for this snack! Just be sure to only feed wholly popped kernels as the partial and unpopped ones can become lodged in their teeth or pose a choking hazard.
  • Pumpkin – a great source of fibre and can help pets suffering from constipation or diarrhea. With a high water content and rich in vitamins and minerals, Pumpkin makes for a good health food alternative.
  • Rice, Plain, Cooked – both brown and white rice are safe for your dog to eat. Rice can help with an upset stomach or as an additive to your dog’s regular diet.
  • Cooked, Boneless Salmon – a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids which help with inflammation and skin and coat health (NEVER FEED RAW SALMON).
  • Shrimp, Plain, Cooked – providing a significant amount of vitamins and minerals and an excellent protein source (never feed raw shrimp to your dog and always remove the shrimp from the shell as this could pose a choking hazard).
  • Spinach – this “superfood” is packed full of vitamins and minerals that can help with your dog’s overall health. Be sure only give a small amount – spinach can pack a punch (avoid feeding to a pet with or suspected of having kidney disease).
  • Strawberries – a low-calorie healthy treat for your dog. Not to mention that strawberries are high in nutrients, antioxidants and fibre. Slice into bite-sized pieces to avoid a choking hazard.
  • Sweet Potatoes – easy on the digestive tract and rich in Vitamin A, which is important for your dog’s immune system and eye health. Be sure to only feed small amounts as too much Vitamin A can cause muscle and bone issues.
  • Tomatoes, Red, Ripe – a few pieces can add a yummy treat to your dog’s food bowl. Be sure not to feed green tomatoes as they are toxic to both pets and humans.
  • Turkey, Plain, Boneless, Skinless – feel free to let your dog have a special treat on Thanksgiving, turkey is a good source of protein and makes for a yummy snack.
  • Watermelon – low in calorie contents and contains vitamins A and C. Be sure to keep the seeds and rind away from your pet as they pose a choking hazard.
  • Zucchini – a good source of potassium, Vitamin C and magnesium, this veggie may help protect against cancer, infection and cardiovascular disease. Shred some into your dog’s
    food bowl for a yummy treat.

Written by Park Road Veterinary Clinic