Can your dog eat human food?

dog eating cake

Dogs are omnivores, so you may find it hard to resist those ‘puppy dog eyes’ when you’re eating or preparing a meal. Who needs a dustpan and brush when you have a dog, right? Well, not quite. It’s easy to assume that because our dogs will eat almost anything we give them that whatever we can eat must be fine for them too. However, there are a lot of ingredients that are fine for us to eat but incredibly harmful if your dog takes a bite.

Here’s a list of human food to avoid feeding your dog at all costs:

  • Salt

    Just like humans, if dogs have too much salt, it can make them incredibly thirsty, and could lead to sodium ion poisoning or worse. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors and a high temperature. Don’t feed your dog any processed food or takeaways, as these often contain higher levels of salt than home-cooked meals
  • Onion/Garlic

    Whether cooked, raw or powdered, keep onions and garlic away from your dog. They can kill off red blood cells, which could lead to anaemia and breathing difficulties
  • Xylitol

    Often found in sweets, gum and toothpaste, this sweetener can cause your dog’s blood sugar levels to drop. It can also cause liver failure, so if your dog does manage to pinch a sweet treat, look out for early warning signs including vomiting and lack of coordination
  • Avocado

    Avocados contain Persin, which is harmful to dogs. It is present in the bark, leaves and seeds, so resist the temptation to grow the plant at home
  • Alcohol

    Booze has the same impact on your dog’s liver and brain that is does on yourself, but it takes a lot less for them to get seriously sick
  • Caffeine

    Present in so much more than just tea and coffee (e.g. carbonated drinks and chocolate), caffeine can cause an elevated heart rate and high blood pressure in your dog, which could lead to seizures and collapse. If your dog has any of these symptoms or they’ve eaten coffee grounds, coffee beans or tea bags, take them to your vet as a matter of urgency
  • Chocolate

    Theobromine is present in all chocolate, even white chocolate, and it is this chemical that is so dangerous for dogs to consume. If your dog is showing any symptoms of an elevated heart rate, tremors or seizures, visit your vet straight away

Is there any human food you can feed your dog?

Dog food and treats are scientifically balanced to include everything that your dog needs in their daily diet. The best thing for them is to be given food specifically made for dogs

However, if you do want to occasionally treat your dog with the same food you are eating, there are a few things that are considered safe:

  • Some fresh fruit

    Fruits contain natural sugar which should be kept to a minimum. Apples, oranges and watermelon can all make a tasty snack for your dog in small quantities, but make sure you remove any seeds or stems beforehand
  • Some vegetables

    Carrot sticks, green beans and cucumber slices are all suitable for your dog to eat as a treat

What ingredients should you look for in dog food?

As dogs are carnivores, most meat and fish products are suitable for them. Fruits contain natural sugar which should be kept to a minimum is a great source of protein for your dog and is naturally low in fat.

Dogs should be getting all their antioxidants, vitamins and minerals from their diet and below are some of the ingredients to look for.

  • Seaweed

  • Containing iodine, seaweed helps to control your dog’s metabolism and supports their thyroid function
  • Marigold

    This bright yellow/orange flower is great for strengthening your dog’s immune system and stimulating white blood cell production, which will help them fight off any nasty colds or flu
  • Camomile

    This is thought to contain the same stress relieving benefits that it does for humans
  • Cranberry

    Rich in Vitamin C, cranberries help to promote a healthy urinary tract and prevent urinary infections

*The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified pet health provider with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s health*