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Feeding Your Dog Human Food

We all have done it.  Maybe you were eating some Chicken nuggets and couldn’t quite finish them or maybe you walked in on your pooch atop the kitchen counter.  Whatever way it happened, we’ve all been in a situation where our dog has had human food.

When I first fed Jackie human food, it was a Chik-fil-A nugget that was about to be thrown away anyway.  Then she helped me eat some apple slices I had smothered in peanut butter.  Before I could say “hey are you allowed to have this?” I had given her something else off my plate.

The thing is, it can be pretty dangerous for you to feed your dog human food.  We have all heard that you shouldn’t be giving your dogs chocolate, but here is a list of 7 human foods you should NOT be feeding your pup at home:

  1. chocolate – Chocolate is toxic to dogs because of a chemical called methylxanthines.  This chemical causes diarrhea, vomiting, and can even lead to seizures and sudden death of dogs who consume too much chocolate.
  2. cinnamon – Cinnamon lowers a dog’s blood sugar and causes diarrhea and vomiting.  It can also lead the dog to develop liver disease.
  3. ice cream – Ice cream is tempting to share with dogs on a hot summer day, but you shouldn’t.  Dogs have trouble digesting dairy and many pups have a slight lactose intolerance.  Definitely steer clear of ice cream.
  4. grapes or raisins – Grapes and raisins cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs, and can lead to seizures as well.  Don’t fret, there are plenty of other fruits your dogs are perfectly safe to share with you!
  5. chicken and turkey bones – You may have heard of this already, but you shouldn’t be letting your pup get the chicken bones after dinner.  Not only are the tiny bones in chickens and turkeys a choking hazard, but if you removed the bones before cooking the bird, you could unintentionally expose your pup to the germs and bacteria of that raw meat.
  6. garlic, onions, leeks, and chives – As a part of the Allium family, garlic, onions, leeks, and chives are extremely toxic to dogs.  Garlic being the worst out of the group, it can cause anemia in your dog if she consumes it.
  7. macadamia nuts – These nuts are one of the most toxic things your pup can eat.  Macadamia nuts and almonds cause vomiting, diarrhea, and increased body temperature.  Consumption of these nuts can affect your dog’s nervous system and even paralyze your pup.

Scary stuff huh?  Well, now you know.  If you know your dog has eaten some of the more toxic foods listed, call your vet or an animal emergency room immediately.  Some of the side effects listed show up days after the food was eaten.

On the brighter side, dogs are resilient animals and they can share a lot of food with us if we so choose to split our plates with them.  here is a list of 10 human foods your dog would love to have:

  1. pasta &  rice – Pasta and rice are great whole grains that you can mix up in your dog’s food to get a bit more nutrients in them.
  2. peanut butter – Dogs love love love this treat.  Try stuffing some in a Kong toy or covering their favorite chew thing with it.
  3. cooked chicken (or other meat) – Of course they love meat!  They’re predators after all.  Make sure you cook it as well as you would for humans to make sure they don’t get sick from the bacteria.
  4. yogurt – Although dogs can have trouble digesting dairy, a little yogurt can be a great treat.  I let Jackie lick the cup after I scoop my yogurt out for my morning oatmeal.
  5. baby carrots (and other veggies) – Carrots are great for dog’s teeth, and nutritious at the same time!  I can’t promise your dog will like them, but feeding her veggies should be fine.
  6. eggs – Cooked eggs is a great source of protein for dogs.  Make sure they’re cooked well and don’t add any salt or seasoning!
  7. apple and banana slices – Apple slices are one of Jackie’s favorites.  I dip mine in peanut butter and she’ll do any trick out of the book for one!  They help her doggy breath a bit too.
  8. oatmeal – Plain oatmeal can be good for your pooch.  Make sure not to add anything like sugar or cinnamon.  You can add some safe fruits though!
  9. bread and pretzels – You can feed your dog a little bit of bread.  Just make sure it’s not cinnamon bread or anything funky.  They don’t need a lot, it should just be a bite or two!
  10. popcorn – Plain popcorn can be a yummy treat for dogs as well.  No butter, salt, caramel, or fixin’s allowed.

See, that’s better.  I have a couple rules when it comes to human food given to my dog.

  • If it’s bad for me, it’s definitely bad for Jackie.
  • Keep it plain.
  • Jackie should only be eating 5-10% of human food; I spend good money on dog food that she’s supposed to be eating.

I hope this helps and let me know what human food you treat your dog to in the comments below!


Thanks to WebMD, the American Kennel Club, and Cesar Milan for the tips on what is safe for dogs to eat.

Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian or a dog nutritionist.  I just did a little research and compiled these lists for mine and your convenience.  Visit the links above for information from professionals.

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