Dog Food: Are Human Foods Safe for Dogs

Categorized as Food & Care
human foods safe for dogs

Are you wondering if you can feed your dog the same foods you are eating to avoid cooking twice? If so, read on to find which human foods are safe for dogs.

Dogs are among the most loyal pets. They have a high intelligence quotient that enables them to reciprocate the love and care they are shown.

In the modern world, dogs have been integrated into different sectors of human lives, such as into homes and even in the military. They are treated as equal members of the family.

Although dogs are primarily carnivorous, they can also feed on non-meat items. So, ensure they are fed a balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables. So, is human food safe for dogs? Let’s find out.

1. Grains

Grains are packed with nutrients such as carbohydrates, fats, and antioxidants, which are suitable for your dog’s skin and fur. Do not, however, make it a habit to feed your dog with grains, as they can be pretty hard to digest.

Here are a few grain types good for your dog.

Corn

Corn is an excellent source of energy in humans and dogs. Corn offers a great deal of vitamin E and beta-carotene that supports fur health.

You are probably wondering, are dogs allowed to eat popcorn? Yes and no. Apart from nutrition value addition, a lot of popcorn-munching in dogs is a choking hazard and can cause irritation and damage to your dog’s gum when they get stuck to the teeth.

White Rice

Surprisingly, white rice is a common commercial food for dogs. It is packed with loads of starch, and most vets, if not all, recommend cooked rice for your sick dog. This diet is recommended since rice proves easy for your dog to digest as it is low in fiber and easy to prepare.

However, White rice has a higher glycemic index than brown rice, so white rice may cause your dog’s blood sugar levels to rise and fall more than brown rice.

Bread

Dogs are allowed to eat bread in moderation, though. Bread is perfect for pups with diarrhea to get their stool to hold. It is, however, not greatly recommended as it can cause bloating and offers no nutritional benefits to your pup.

You can feed your dog bread made from regular or whole wheat bread, but first, ensure that they don’t have any wheat allergies. Still, it would be best if you didn’t feed them bread daily as it’s not easily digestible and can lead to an upset stomach.

2. Meat and Other Proteins

It’s a no-brainer that dogs eat meat as their main diet, being carnivores.

Chicken

Cooked chicken is a healthy food that is safe for most dogs to eat. It is considered one of the most common ingredients used in dog foods, as it is an excellent source of protein, and your dogs need it to stay healthy. 

You may ask, is it okay to feed my dog chicken daily? Yes, as it’s healthy and the most digestible form of protein; however, you must ensure it is well cooked.

Fish

Fish is also a good alternative for dogs with food allergies to more common ingredients, like chicken. Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and according to veterinarians, it has immense health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties.

What kind of fish can a dog eat? Tuna, salmon, whitefish, cod, and whiting are good fish options for your dog. You can include fish in their daily meals, especially if your dog requires a hypoallergenic, novel source of protein to manage medical conditions such as allergies or arthritis.

It is wise to note that not all fish are suitable for your dog. Do not feed your dog any of the following types of fish:

  •  Raw fish.
  • Smoked salmon.
  •  Shellfish
  • Breaded or battered fish

Pork

Pork is a nutritious and excellent source of protein. Therefore, dogs should be fed pork as part of a balanced diet.

Is it okay to feed your dog raw or cooked pork? Yes, to cooked port, but it’s best used in moderation like any other type of meat. Never feed your dog raw or undercooked pork.

This can infect your dog with a parasitic infection known as Trichinosis, which is transmitted by a parasite found in pork, Trichinella spiralis larvae.  The infection is transmitted to your dog once it eats pork muscles infected with the parasite.

3. Fruits Safe for Dogs

Let us take a look at what fruits are safe for dogs.

Carrots

Carrots help strengthen your dog’s teeth. Apart from this, they are high in fiber, have low-calorie contents, and are high in vitamin A and other nutrients. Carrots are a great daily snack for your dog, so do not be afraid to use them as an alternative to other dog treats. Both raw and cooked carrots are recommendable.

Apples

Are apples safe for dogs? Yes. Apple slices make a delicious, healthy snack for your dog. Not too much, though, as eating an excess of these can lead to bellyache and diarrhea in your dog.

The core of the apple and the seeds can also prove harmful to your dog as both are choke hazards. So, please remove them and cut up the apple to make it easy for your dog to pick and eat.

Bananas

Bananas make an excellent treat for your dog as they are low in calories. But, like any other fruit, they should be fed in moderation because of the sugars. 

Bananas also have minerals such as potassium and copper, vitamins and fiber. They are low in cholesterol and sodium; therefore, bananas should be given as a treat because of their high sugar content.

Large dogs can eat half of a banana a day, and small dogs should only have two to three small pieces per day.

Blueberries

Blueberries are a superfood packed with fiber and phytochemicals. For most small dogs, ten blueberries would be an appropriate amount. Large dog breeds can tolerate more.

Blueberries are a sweet and healthy treat for your furry baby. However, their small size presents a danger to your dogs, as they can choke them. And since they have natural sugars and eating many at one time can lead to an upset stomach.

The sugars are also enemies to your dog’s dental cavities, so make sure to brush their teeth to protect their teeth.

4. Human Vegetables Safe for Dogs

Let us find out which vegetables are safe for your dog.

Broccoli

Broccoli is an excellent vegetable to feed your dogs in its raw or cooked form but ensure it’s not garnished with any spices. It is highly beneficial to your dog as it contains high fiber content and vitamin C with low-fat content.

However, broccoli has isothiocyanate, a naturally occurring compound that reacts with fibers and other complex sugar in a dog’s daily diet, causing indigestion, which eventually makes your dog have a bloated stomach and diarrhea. Therefore, you should feed your dog broccoli in small quantities.

Peas

Green peas, snow peas, sugar snap peas, and garden or English peas are all great options for dogs to find in their bowl on occasion. Peas have vitamins, minerals, and high fiber and protein content. While fresh or frozen peas are safe for your dogs, steer clear of canned peas with preservatives like sodium.

Their small natures make them a danger to your dog because of flatulence and bloating, so feed them in small amounts.

For instance, you should give puppies a teaspoon and a tablespoon for adult dogs. If you are introducing your dogs to peas, it would be best to eat from your hands and be keen to see if they like it. This will also help reduce the risk of choking.

5. Other Treats

Peanut Butter

Which dog does not love peanut butter? It can be a good source of protein and healthy fat for your dog — in moderation, of course. Any peanut butter that doesn’t contain xylitol (or chocolate) should be fine for a dog.

You may be wondering if the amount of peanut butter is safe for your dogs.

Since peanut butter is mainly used as a treat or to distract your dog during the grooming session, you can spread tiny amounts on their licking mats.  Spread a teaspoon of peanut butter for puppies and a tablespoon for large dogs for grown dogs.

Honey

Most dog owners use honey to make dog food a little palatable, particularly when sick. Honey contains natural sweeteners, vitamins, and minerals. Since your dog’s gums may be affected by the sugars, it’s better to feed them honey, in tiny amounts.

You may be wondering how much honey to feed your dog? Most dogs can tolerate and benefit from 1 teaspoon of honey per day.

Popcorn

Popcorn is an excellent snack for dogs. It contains calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium, which are beneficial to their diet. A handful for a medium-large dog is plenty–and only use it as a treat or snack, not a part of their regular diet.

You may be wondering why dogs love popcorn? Freshly popped popcorn has an irresistible smell that can tempt even the pickiest dog.

Popcorns are crunchy, so when they are popped in the mouth, they make a crunching noise that stimulates their senses, making them feel like they are playing with fun and edible toys.

Final Thoughts

A nutritious diet helps your dogs stay healthy and happy. There are a lot of human foods that are safe for dogs.

And although dogs are primarily carnivores, it would do good to feed them a balanced diet that includes grains, vegetables, and fruits.

Supplementing dogs’ kibble with human food can significantly impact the dog’s nutrition and general health.