Dog’s aren’t humans and there are certain foods that are dangerous to your dog and certain foods that are ok. We’ve created a list of human food that can and can’t be eaten by dogs. This food list is broken into three parts and consists of, dangerous dog food, food that can be eaten in limited quantities and safe dog food.
This list does not take into account any specific dog food allergies, but should give you a good idea of what your dog can eat. The effect of the foods below will vary depending on the size, breed and other factors of your dog.
Why Can Some Food Items Be Dangerous To Dogs?
Foods that are consumed humans and other living things can be toxic to your dog, but why is this? All animals have very different rates of metabolism. Metabolism is the process of breaking down food and turning into useful energy. We’ve created a dangerous dog food list and also a list of common food items that can be eaten by your canine.
Note: We have tried to add as many different types of dangerous foods for dogs as possible; however, we can’t list them all. If you have any concerns about a food product that is not on this list consult your vet or check if the food is safe for dog consumption online.
Why Would You Feed Human Food to Dogs Anyway?
Sharing food with your dog isn’t strictly a bad thing. Many dog owners love to treat their dog with a little bit of their own food or they might even be building their own special dog diet. Just remember, when giving food as a treat to dogs it should be because they have done something for you. Don’t just give it to them because they are begging.
Giving dogs something a little bit different to the biscuits or dog treats they usually get can be great for training. Supplementing their normal food with a variety of other foods can also be a great way to get more essential nutrients down them.
While human food can be great for your dog, you need to remember that every dog has its own unique needs and some food items can or can’t be fed to your dog. This is where this article comes in and should give you an idea of what is safe for your dog to eat.
Dangerous Dog Food List
This section of the article is for different types of food that is dangerous to your dog. Some of the foods below are more dangerous than others, however, it is not recommended that you give any of these food items to you dog. If you suspect your dog has eaten them, it may be worth a trip to the vets.
Can Dogs Drink Alcohol?
Beverages or food that contains alcohol can cause a number of problems, including vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulty, abnormal blood acidity, tremors, central nervous system issues, decrease or loss of coordination, coma and the worst of all, death. While giving alcohol to your dog may be funny for some people, under no circumstances should you do this. If you suspect your dog has ingested alcohol you should contact a vet immediately.
Can Dogs Eat Apple seeds?
We are all guilty of giving our dog the left over core from our apple, but did you know that the seeds in an apple can be potentially dangerous to dogs. The casing of apple seeds contains a natural chemical (amygdlin), which releases cyanide when it is digested. While this is only a problem if a large amount of seeds is eaten, you should probably avoid giving them to your dog. If you are going to give an apple to your dog, make sure you remove the core and don’t give them the seeds.
Can Dogs Eat Avocado?
Yes, the food that all the young hip kids put on toast can be toxic to you dog. Avocados contain Persin, which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and heart problems. Interestingly, avocados are also dangerous to birds, rabbits, donkeys and horses as well.
Can Dogs Have Caffeine
Caffeine will cause an accelerated heartrate, upset tummy, seizures, nervous system change and possibly even death. Avoid giving your dog products with caffeine in them.
Can Dogs Eat Candy?
Candy is bad enough for humans, let alone dogs. Candy usually contains excessive amounts of sugar and often contains Xylitol, which can lead to the over-release of insulin. This can lead to kidney failure and in some cases much worse!
Can Dogs Eat Chewing Gum?
Like candy products, chewing gum can contain lots of sugar and xylitol. It will also get stuck in your dog’s teeth so avoid at all costs.
Can Dogs Eat Chives?
Chives can cause gastrointestinal irritation and can lead to red blood cell damage.
Can Dogs Eat Chocolate?
Chocolate contains both theobromine and caffeine, both which can stimulate the nervous system, accelerate the heartrate and can upset your dog’s tummy. While you shouldn’t give any chocolate to dogs, the toxicity of the substance does change depending on what type of chocolate it is. Chocolate high in cocoa is the most dangerous for dogs, while low cocoa percentage chocolates (like white chocolate) are less dangerous.
Can Dogs Drink Coffee?
Coffee contains caffeine which can cause an accelerated heart rate, an upset system and can stimulate dog’s nervous system. While a cup of coffee won’t harm your dog, the ingestion of moderate amounts can kill dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Corn On the Cob?
Feeding your dog corn on a cob is a quick way to the vets. The corn will be digested easily, but the cob will get itself stuck in the small intestine, blocking anything from getting through. This will often result in a trip to the vets and an expensive surgical procedure to remove the cob. Failure to undergo this surgery can lead to death if the cob does not pass through naturally. Too much corn can also lead to an upset stomach and digestive system as well.
Can Dogs Eat Garlic?
Garlic can certainly be beneficial to dogs in small quantities (flea treatment), but large amounts can be toxic to your dog. Garlic is related is related to the onion which is toxic and dangerous to dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Grapes and Raisins?
Here’s a food item that many people don’t realise are dangerous to their dog. While the toxic substance in grapes and raisins is unknown, they can cause severe liver damage and kidney failure. There have been cases of dogs dying from just a handful of grapes or raisins.
Can Dogs Eat Hops?
Hops are used to make beer and they can be toxic to your dog. Symptoms of ingesting hops may include an increased heart rate, excessive panting, seizures, fever and potentially death.
Can Dogs Eat Lemons?
Lemons and limes can be toxic to your dog because the skin of them contains a substance called psoralen, which can lead to problems like vomiting and diarrhoea. If dogs ingest a large amount of lemons or limes they may experience difficulty walking, tremors, seizures, liver failure and possibly death.
Find out more about dogs and lemons here.
Can Dogs Eat Macadamia Nuts?
Macadamia nuts can cause a number of issues with your dog including; vomiting, tremors, weakness, panting, swollen limbs and even hyperthermia. Your dog’s digestive, nervous and muscle systems can also be damaged. These signs typically appear within 12 hours of ingestion and can last anywhere from 12 to 48 hours.
Can Dogs Eat Nutmeg?
Nutmeg is not safe for dogs to eat as it contains myristicin, a compound that is poisonous to dogs in large quantities. It can cause anything from high blood pressure to stomach pain and seizures. Always keep nutmeg away from your dog and avoid giving them any food products that may contain it.
Can Dogs Eat Onions?
Onions are one of, if not the worst food you can give to your dog. They are incredibly poisonous to dogs and even more so for cats. Onions contain disulfides and sulfoxides (thiosulphate), which can cause anemia, red blood cell damage and gastrointestinal irritation.
Can Dogs Eat Pecans?
These nuts contain the toxin juglone, which can cause an upset tummy or an obstruction that may require surgery to remove.
Can Dogs Eat Pistachios?
Pistachios can cause your dog to develop an upset stomach and possibly pancreatitis if they continue to eat too many. They are also high in fat, which is can cause weight gain.
Can Dogs Eat Persimmons?
The seeds in persimmons can cause diarrhoea, vomiting and gastrointestinal irritation. They can also get caught up in your dog’s bowels, which can mean surgery. The flesh is not known to be toxic, but due to limited information on persimmons we believe you avoid giving them to your dog. Consider giving your dog something like an apple with the core removed or a carrot.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Bones?
Giving your dog a cooked bone seems like a pretty natural thing; however, they can be potentially dangerous to your dog. Cooked bones can splinter easily when your dog is chewing on them and can become lodged or pierce your dog’s digestive system. Your dog can also choke on the small pieces of splintered bone as well.
Can Dogs Eat Walnuts?
Walnuts contain a toxin known as tremorgenic mycotoxins, which can cause seizures and death.
Can Dogs Eat Xylitol?
Xylitol is used in a wide range of products as a sweetener. These products include candy, gum, some baked goods and even toothpaste (reason why you should use dog toothpaste when cleaning your dog’s teeth). The product can cause increased insulin release in dogs, which can lead to liver failure. Increased insulin levels lead to hypoglycaemia (lowered sugar levels) and the initial signs of it are vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Following these initial signs of Xylitol ingestion dogs will begin to have seizures and their liver can often fail a couple of days later. This is one of the most dangerous food products to your dog, even a small amount can kill them.
Can Dogs Eat Yeast (in dough as well)?
Yeast both on its own and in dough can rise and cause gas to build in your dog’s digestive system. This can be painful to your dog and can possibly cause their stomach to bloat. In bad cases the stomach can twist, which can be life threatening to your dog. Another possibility is that your dog’s stomach and intestines could rapture due to the excess of gas.
Foods Your Dog Can Eat In Limited Amounts
The food in the next section of our human dog food list are foods that can be eaten in limited amounts or with preparation. Some of the foods below are actually beneficial to your dog in small quantities, but you shouldn’t be feeding them too much.
Can Dogs Eat Almonds?
Like most nuts, almonds are ok for your dog if they are limited to a small amount. Plain, unsalted almonds are usually ok for your dog to eat, but they are difficult to digest for canines, which may lead to vomiting and diarrhoea. Additionally, almonds are high in fat and calories, which can lead to potential weight gain and pancreatitis. Limit almond intake to one or two a day if you are going to give your dog them. Also watch for any signs of choking.
Can Dogs Eat Apples?
As we have already explained, the seeds in apples are dangerous to dogs, however, the rest of them are ok for dogs to eat.
Can Dogs Eat Baby Food?
Why would you give baby food to your dog? We’re not sure, but we don’t doubt someone has tried it. Baby food isn’t necessarily that bad for your dog, unless it contains some of the other ingredients or foods on this list. One thing to remember is that baby food doesn’t contain all the necessary nutrients for your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Bread?
Plain bread is a good treat for your dog, but don’t build their diet on it. If you are giving bread to your dog make sure there are not extra ingredients added to it, as these could be potentially harmful to your pup. Mind you don’t feed to much bread to your dog as the excess calories can cause unwanted weight gain.
Can Dogs Eat Cashews?
A small amount of cashews is fine, but don’t go feeding your dog a whole lot. If you are going to give cashews to your dog make sure they are unsalted and roasted, and do not have any other added ingredients. Cashews should be limited to one or two a day as they contain a high amount of fat, which can lead to weight gain or pancreatitis.
Can Dogs Eat Cat Food?
Cat food isn’t very dangerous to your dog; however, the fats and proteins in cat food are designed felines rather than canines. Food that is typically given to cats have higher protein and fat levels, which will make your dog put on a few kilograms. Remember that a fat dog is not a healthy dog. If your dog occasionally steals the cat’s biscuits (our Labrador Winston comes to mind) don’t worry about it.
Can Dogs Eat Cherries?
Cherries can be eaten by dogs in moderate amounts, just remember to remove the stone (pit) from them. The stones in inside cherries contain cyanide, which is toxic to dogs when consumed in large quantities. Additionally, the stone is also a choking hazard. Cherries can also cause an upset stomach and diarrhoea if dogs eat too many of them.
Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon?
While cinnamon is not toxic to canines, it should be limited in their diet. Too much can cause irritation in their mouths or digestive system. Inhaling the powder can also cause coughing, choking or breathing problems. Cinnamon as an ingredient in baked goods can still cause problems as well.
Can Dogs Eat Citrus?
Avoid giving your dog any citrus based products as they can lead to irritation and central nervous system issues. This includes the stem, leaves, peels, fruit and seeds of a citrus plant as they all contain varying amounts of citric acid. If your dog ingests a small amount of citrus it is not likely to cause any significant problems. Still avoid giving your dog citrus.
Can Dogs Eat Coconut and Coconut Oil?
Like citrus, coconut and coconut oils are not likely to cause significant harm to your dog if ingested in small amounts; however, they can be an irritant to your dog. Coconut products can cause an upset stomach or diarrhoea. Additionally, coconut water should not be given to your dog as it contains high levels of potassium.
Can Dogs Eat Hazelnuts?
Hazelnuts are not toxic to dogs; however, they can pose a risk of becoming stuck in your dog’s intestines. Larger dogs should be ok, but owners with small dogs should avoid giving their canine hazelnuts.
Can Dogs Eat Human Vitamins?
Human vitamins are not designed for dogs and can cause issues for your canine. If you insist on giving your dog human vitamins check all of the ingredients of the product and compare them to ones that your vet gives your dog. Avoid anything with iron in it as this can be poisonous to the liver and kidney. Iron can also breakdown and damage the stomach lining of dogs as well.
Can Dogs Eat Honey?
Honey is high in sugar and too much sugar is a bad thing for dogs. It has a large amount of calories which will cause weight gain, and should only be used as the rarest of treats in a very small quantity.
Can Dogs Eat Liver?
Like most things, liver in small amounts is great for your dog; however, large amounts can be bad for your dog’s muscles and bones. This is because it contains a relatively large amount of Vitamin A.
Can Dogs Drink Milk or Eat Dairy Products?
Dogs are essentially lactose intolerant as they do not possess the required amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk or dairy products). While small amounts will not kill your dog, milk or dairy products can give your dog a bad case of diarrhoea or a farting attack. If you don’t want a smelly house from dog farts make sure you don’t feed them any dairy products.
Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms?
There is a whole load of different mushrooms on the planet and some of them can be dangerous to your dog (or you). If you are unsure about a mushroom don’t feed it to your dog. Generally, store bought mushrooms will be perfectly fine for your dog and just remember to not combine them with any other ingredients.
Can Dogs Eat Peaches?
The flesh of peaches is ok for dogs to eat in moderation; however, you should never give your dog a peach stone. This is because they contain amygdalin, a compound of cyanide and sugar that turns into hydrogen cyanide (HCN) when metabolized. They can also be a potential choking hazard.
Can Dogs Eat Peanuts?
Unsalted, unflavoured peanuts are safe for dogs to eat in small quantities. Like many other nuts on this list, peanuts are high in fat and can lead to weight gain or pancreatitis if your canine eats too much. Many peanuts also contain added salt that can be harmful to your dog. The occasional peanut won’t hurt your dog, but we recommend giving them something else as treats.
Can Dogs Eat Pears?
The seeds in a pear contain trace amounts of arsenic, which can be dangerous to your dog. If you are going to feed a pear to your dog, make sure you core it first.
Check out this article for more information on giving pears to dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Peppers?
Mild peppers won’t harm dogs, and it is unlikely they will like them anyway. Spicy, hot peppers, however, can cause an upset stomach and can be intensely irritating if they get into your dog’s eyes. If your dog has taken a liking to mild peppers it is ok to feed them to your dog in limited quantities.
Some dog training books and guides recommend using spicy peppers or pepper oil to train your dog. We don’t advise this however, as it can be potentially dangerous to your pup.
Can Dogs Eat Pineapple?
Fresh pineapple is loaded with quality vitamins and minerals that are great for you dog, however, the large amount of sugar packed in a pineapple mean you should limit the intake of it. An excess of pineapple can cause nausea, diarrhoea and possibly weight gain or tooth decay due to the sugar levels.
Can Dogs Eat Plums?
Like peach stones, the stone of a plum can cause an intestinal obstruction. The flesh of plums is ok for dogs to eat, however, there are certainly other better fruits to give to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Pork?
Never feed your dog raw or uncooked pork as it can make your dog very sick. Cooked pork is safe for your dog, but processed forms such as bacon or ham should never be fed to dogs, as they often contain staggerin+g levels of salt. If you are going to feed your dog pork, keep it in moderation or consider giving them chicken.
Can Dogs Eat Popcorn?
Popcorn is fine for your dog as long as there are no extra ingredients added or extra salt put on it. Too much salt can lead to serious complications, and the butter and oil that is commonly added to popcorn can lead to pancreatitis as they contain a high amount of fat. Use air-popped popcorn for this reason.
Other things to watch out for are any stray popcorn kernels that could prove to be a choking hazard. Popcorn in small quantities is a great treat, but we wouldn’t recommend too much.
Can Dogs Eat Rhubarb?
This can adversely affect the nervous, digestive and urinary system in large quantities. This is because they contain oxalates, which can become problematic if they over-accumulate inside your dog’s body. A concentration of oxalates and too much calcium concentration is known to cause kidney stones.
Can Dogs Eat Oranges?
Unlike lemons and limes, oranges are safe for dogs to eat, however, you should only feed them small quantities. This is because oranges are reported to cause upset stomachs in dogs and contain a large amount of sugar. Still, they contain a whole host of nutrients and are low in calories
Can Dogs Eat Salt and Salty Foods?
An excess of salt can lead to increased thirst and urination in dogs. If it is a serious cause of too much salt ingested, your dog can even experience sodium ion poisoning. Signs that your dog may have taken in too much salt include diarrhoea, vomiting, tremors, increased body temperature, depression, seizures and possibly death. Just like humans, dogs shouldn’t be eating salty snacks like pretzels and potato chips.
Can Dogs Eat Sugar?
Just like salt, sugar is in pretty much everything, however, it is on this list because it can be bad for your dog in excess. Check the ingredients of the product you are giving to your dog to check how much sugar is in it. Also check for any corn syrup, which is essentially a less expensive form of sugar and glucose. An excess of sugar can lead to a whole range of different problems including obesity, dental health issues and possibly diabetes. Just like humans, dogs should really be cutting down on the sugar consumption.
Can Dogs Eat Spices that contain Capsaicin?
Capsaicin is found in a wide range of spices on foods, from chili powder to paprika. Interestingly, it is actually an irritant for many animals, including dogs. A small amount won’t hurt your dog, but we wouldn’t recommend sprinkling chili powder on your dog’s dinner.
Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?
Tomatoes are ok for dogs in a limited amount. The main problem with tomatoes is that they contain solanine, which can cause nausea, an abnormal heart rate, respiratory problems and muscle weakness if eaten in excess. Check out our “Can dogs eat tomatoes” article for more info.
Safe Food For Dogs
The last section of our human food for dogs list is food that is safe for canine consumption. While the food in this section shouldn’t be the basis of your dog’s diet, they can be beneficial to their health or great as a treat. The food in this section can be eaten in greater quantities, just remember that too much of a good thing can be bad.
Can Dogs Eat Potatoes?
A plain baked or cooked potato can be great for your dog as a treat once in a while, however, you should not put any toppings on it. While cooked potatoes are ok for your dog, always remember that raw potatoes should never be given to them. Raw potatoes contain solanine, which is toxic to dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Bananas?
Bananas are a great source of vitamins and minerals, and they are high in fibre. Some dog owners also claim that bananas can help to relieve nausea in dogs, however, this is not backed up by any scientific evidence. Bananas are an excellent treat once in a while, just don’t go feeding your dog too many.
Check out our full article on whether dogs can eat bananas and what their benefits are here.
Can Dogs Eat Beef?
Your dog will love a nice bit of lean beef as a treat or for dinner. Beef is commonly used in many different dog foods and is an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals. There should be no extra additives or ingredients in the beef as these can be bad for your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Blackberries?
Fresh or frozen blackberries can make an excellent treat for you canine. They have a low calorie count and are packed full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?
Dogs can eat raw or uncooked broccoli in moderation. It contains a large amount of nutrients and is a low-calorie vegetable, which makes it a healthy snack for your pooch. Too much broccoli can cause slight irritation to your dog’s digestive system however, so just use it as an occasional snack.
Can Dogs Eat Blueberries?
Blueberries are an excellent source of disease-fighting antioxidants and they provide a large amount of the vitamins, minerals and fibre that your dog needs. They are also low in calories and are small in size, so they make a great treat for your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Carrots?
Carrots are one of life’s superfoods and are rich in essential vitamins and minerals. You can feed your dog both raw and uncooked carrots, and they are an excellent healthy treat for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Celery?
An excellent, healthy snack for your pooch. Celery is a great source of many important vitamins and minerals. Dice or cut it into bite-sized pieces to make a great treat for your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Chicken?
Chicken is one of the most commonly used food products in dog food. It is high in protein, which will help keep your dog healthy and strong. You can feed it to them on its own or combine it with other food, such as white rice. Always remove chicken from the bone before feeding it to your dog as the bones can be a potential choking hazard. Raw chicken also contains salmonella, which is not good for your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Eggs?
Eggs are a great source of nutrients to your dog. While the white of an egg contains the Avidin enzyme, which prevents the absorption of vitamin B (Biotin), the yellow yolk holds more than enough Biotin to overcome this enzyme. Whether you feed your dog raw or cooked eggs, they are an excellent source of protein and essential vitamins. One thing to remember though is that raw eggs do have a possibility of carrying salmonella.
Can Dogs Eat Green Peas?
Green peas are a very common ingredient in many different types of dog food. They are low in quantities and high in many nutrients that are beneficial to your dog. Remember to only feed your pooch fresh or frozen green peas as the tinned ones are loaded with salt.
Can Dogs Eat Rice?
If your dog has an upset tummy rice is one of the best things you can give them. Dogs can eat cooked white or brown rice without any extra flavourings. Adding a bit of plain chicken or turkey can make a great meal for your dog. Veterinarians will sometimes recommend chicken and rice to you if your dog is sick.
Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal?
Loaded in fibre, vitamins and minerals, oatmeal a safe food to give to your dog. Just remember that moderation is the key as too much can cause unwanted weight gain. If you give your dog oatmeal, make sure it is of the plain variety as the extra ingredients that are sometimes added to it can prove to be harmful to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Pasta?
Like rice, plain pasta is great for dogs with upset stomachs. Mix it with some chicken or turkey and it makes a great dinner for dogs. We generally recommend rice over pasta however, as it is probably a little bit healthier for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?
Is a favourite of many dogs around the world and it is a god source of protein, healthy fats and vitamins. Stuffing peanut butter into a Kong is a great way of keeping your dog entertained for hours. Make sure you feed your dog plain, unsalted peanut butter that has no extra ingredients added to it. Peanut butter for dogs is a great treat for them, but don’t feed them too much as it can make them fat!
Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin?
Pumpkin is perfectly safe for dogs to eat and has a number of benefits for dogs. We regularly feed pumpkin to our two dogs and it has done wonders for our Winston’s stomach. It can help with a range of issues from diarrhea to constipation and has a whole bunch essential nutrients.
Read more about the benefits of pumpkin here.
Can Dogs Eat Mango?
Mangoes are an excellent occasional treat for dogs. They provide a whole heap of vitamins and minerals, and are a great source of fibre. Make sure to peel the mango before you give it to your dog and the stone should be removed, as it can be a choking hazard.
Read more about dogs and mango here.
Can Dogs Eat Salmon?
Salmon that is cooked and boneless is perfectly safe for your dog to eat. It is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, and is great for your dog’s skin and fur. It is also known to help reduce inflammation. As we have already discussed, raw salmon can be potentially dangerous to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?
Plain, cooked shrimp is perfectly fine for your dog to eat. It is an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals that are important to your dog’s health. Saw shrimp should not be given to dogs, as it can contain harmful bacteria that can make dogs sick. Additionally, always remember to remove the shell from shrimp as it is a potential choking hazard.
Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?
Strawberries make for an excellent healthy treat for your dog. They are very low in calories and provide a high number of nutrients and fibre your dog needs. Strawberries also contain a load of antioxidants.
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?
Sweet potatoes or ‘kumara’ as we call them in New Zealand are a safe and nutritious food for your dog. They are rich in vitamin A, which is very important for your dog’s immune system and eye health. They are great as an additional treat, but remember that too much vitamin A can cause muscle weakness and bone problems in dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Turkey?
Plain turkey is a great way to get a bit of protein down your dog. Remember to avoid giving your dog turkey that has not been seasoned or stuffed, as they could potentially be eating ingredients that are not good for them. You should never give them turkey with bones in it as well as this can be a choking risk, and it is beneficial to remove the skin as well.
Dog Food Safety
Dog food safety is not just about avoiding the types of foods that are toxic to canines, but it is also about building a balanced varied diet. Just like humans, dogs need a balanced diet for good health, and too much of a good thing can be bad.
Raw Dog Food Diets
Raw dog food diets are slowly becoming more popular with dog owners from around the world, but is it safe to do so? There are both benefits and risks to giving your dog raw meat and you need to fully educate yourself about raw meat before you feed it to your pup.
Those that back raw meet claim that wild dogs have always eaten it and their teeth are designed for crushing bones. Raw meat does tend to be higher in important nutrients and it is unlikely that your dog will choke on raw bones, as they don’t splinter as much, but what about bacteria?
Raw meat can contain dangerous bacteria like salmonella and e.coli, which can potentially kill your dog. While there is evidence that dogs are less vulnerable to these diseases and bacteria, it is worrying as a dog owner.
Additionally, dogs that eat their food very quickly may swallow the bones of raw meet whole, unless you debone it. This is a choking risk, which can potentially harm them.
More and more veterinarians are supporting a raw dog food diet, and some pet food manufacturers are even selling pre-packaged raw dog food, however, you may experience negativity for raw food from own vet. This is because they are trained to keep your dog as safe and as healthy as possible. They do not want to recommend something that may make your dog sick, or cause potential harm.
Still, adding a little bit of raw food into your dog’s diet is always a good thing and they will love if you give them a nice piece of beef. Avoid giving them raw food such as pork or chicken as these have a high chance of carrying dangerous bacteria.
But What About Raw Fish?
If you are looking for a quick answer, then yes, dogs can eat raw fish, however, there are a few things to think about.
As we have already talked about above, raw meat can contain bacteria or parasites and raw fish is the same. Raw salmon can carry a parasite called Nanophyetus salmincola, which can be potentially fatal to your dog. It isn’t the parasite itself that is dangerous but the bacteria Neorickettsia helminthoeca, that it can be infected with that can be fatal if not treated properly.
So is it safe for dogs to eat raw fish? Like all things, raw fish can be ok in moderation, but we wouldn’t recommend building your dog’s diet on it. A tip to kill the majority of bacteria or parasites in fish is to freeze it for at least 24 hours before giving it to your dog (we recommend at least a week).
Summing Up Raw Dog Food Diets
- Raw meat is ok to give to dogs
- Can provide more nutritional value
- Watch out for any bones
- Can contain parasites, bacteria and worms
- Freezing can be used to kill some parasites, bacteria or worms
- Talk to your vet about a raw food diet
Plants That Are Dangerous To Dogs
|· African daisy
· African violet
· Aluminium plant
· Baby’s breath
· Castor bean
· Morning glory
· Sago palm
· Tomato plant (leaf and vines only)
We’ve gone over the different safe and dangerous food items for dogs, but what about plants. While plants may not be as tempting as a nice piece of chocolate, they can be just as dangerous. Below is a list of some of the most dangerous plants to dogs.
Can I Give My Dog Food Scraps?
It is often tempting to give your dog food scraps, especially when they are begging. If you give dogs discarded or wasted food, they will continue to beg because they know they will be rewarded. Not giving your dog food scraps will teach them not to beg and they will understand that the food is not for them.
Build A Great Dog Diet
Building a diet for your dog is much the same as building one for yourself. Just like humans, dogs need a variety of different food items to provide all the nutrients they need. Dog biscuits and kibble are usually designed to provide as much nutrients as possible for your dog, but what if you want to build your own dog diet.
Before you even begin to start to start picking out food items you need to consider the following:
- Calorific needs
- Activity level
- Breed of dog
- Overall health
- Any other specific requirements or health conditions (e.g. Dog allergy)
The Essentially Parts Of A Balanced Dog Diet
Dog foods typically have anywhere from 30 to 70 percent carbohydrates in them, so that is what you should be aiming for when building a diet for your dog. Dogs are omnivores, meaning they can use carbs as a source of energy. Great sources of carbohydrates include rice, oats and wheat once it has been processed.
Protein is an incredibly important part of a healthy dog diet and should make up about 18 to 25 percent. It is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks for creating strong muscles and repairing body tissues. Common food items high in protein include, chicken, beef, egg, fish, turkey and lamb.
While many people may believe fat is bad, it is actually an important part of a dog’s diet. Dogs require a balance of fats, which provide much needed energy, while encouraging the absorption of certain vitamins. Fats can also heal dogs maintain healthy skin and shiny coats. A healthy diet requires about 10 to 15 percent fats for a dog.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are the last essentially part of a dog’s diet. They help to support a healthy immune system, make their skin healthy, maintain a shiny coat and much more. Essentially vitamins and minerals will be found in a wide range of fruits and vegetables. Some people also recommend a multivitamin.
No diet is complete without water and it is essentially for eliminating waste from the body, transporting nutrients, regulating body temperature and preventing dehydration. Always make sure your dog is stocked up on water.
Introduce New Foods Slowly
Dogs, like people, have allergies and other conditions that may make certain foods unsuitable for them to eat. When you are building a diet for your dog it is best to introduce new foods slowly and one at a time. This is so you can pinpoint which food is not suitable for your dog.
What if my dog is allergic to a pre-packaged dog food product?
If your dog seems to be allergic to a premade dog food product you may need to switch to an allergen-free diet. If this doesn’t work you may need to put your dog on an elimination diet. This works by removing one potential allergen at a time until symptoms disappear. If you are unsure about this make sure you talk to your vet.
What About A Dog Multivitamin?
Most premade dog food products will come with all the important vitamins and minerals your dog needs, however, if you are making your own dog diet you may need to supplement with a multivitamin. There is a whole load of multivitamins, so talk to your vet about what they feel would be best for your dog.
What About A Vegetarian Dog Diet?
Many people make choices about what they can and can’t eat based on their beliefs and backgrounds. For some people this carries over to what they choose to feed their dog. It was found in one study that 100% of people who fed their dogs vegetarian diets reported themselves as being vegetarian as well.
While vegetarian or vegan dog diets can be done, we wouldn’t recommend it. Diets that consist of no meat need to be thought out very, very carefully for dogs and they are not as appropriate as a typical dog diet that contains animal protein. Here are some potential problems with a vegetarian or vegan diet:
- Your dog may not hit the required protein intake levels
- Deficiency in essential vitamins and minerals such as, Vitamin B, iron and calcium. Meat is typically the best or only place to find some of these vitamins and minerals.
- Imbalance of certain amino acids or fatty acids.
If left unchecked, the problems above can cause some serious and sometimes irreversible medical conditions like an enlarged heart with weak contractions or eye problems.
Things To Consider About Vegetarian or Vegan Dog Diets
If you have read the above and still want to go ahead with a vegetarian or vegan diet, here are some things to consider:
- Never give puppies or dogs you plan to breed with vegetarian or vegan diets
- Only consider a commercial or well tested diet that meets the requirements of the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials). Do not try and make your own vegetarian or vegan diet.
- Schedule more trips to the vets and make sure your veterinarian conducts blood work to check that everything is ok.
- Talk to your vet about a vegetarian or vegan diet for your dog.
To sum up, we really don’t think you should be putting your dog on a vegetarian or vegan diet. Just think, in the wild, dogs would go out and kill their own prey without a care for its feelings or the environment.
Here’s a bit more information on vegetarian vs meat based diets for dogs.
Watch How Fast Your Dog Eats
Dogs, especially those who are larger or greedier (think Labradors) can eat their food too quickly. This can cause a potentially life-threatening condition called bloat.
This occurs when the food inside your dog’s stomach expands, causing the gastrointestinal tract to twist. If this is left untreated it can kill your dog in as little as 12 hours. Another problem is that dogs who eat too fast may not realize they are full, leading them to overeat.
To slow down your dog’s eating consider feeding them more than twice a day. You can also split their dinner up into multiple bowels are scatter it around the floor. Another option is to use puzzle bowels or toys to slow their eating.
When To See A Vet
If your dog begins acting strangely, showing symptoms of eating toxic food, or you just suspect they have eaten something bad, a trip to the vets may be called for. Waiting too long can lead to permanent health problems or possibly even death.
Wrapping Up Our Dog Food Guide
Some human foods are safe dogs to eat and some aren’t. This human dog food list should give you a good idea of what you can feed your dog. If you are planning to give a new food item to your dog, make sure you gradually introduce it as many dogs have allergies or certain food may not agree with your dog.
Although many food items are deemed “safe” for dogs to eat, you should always give your dog food in moderation. This will help prevent any weight gain or negative side effects.
It is always enjoyable to give your dog a treat every so often, however, just remember to only feed them food that is not toxic to them. If you are unsure of a food item, check back on this list or talk to your veterinarian.
We will continue updating this article with more dangerous or safe food for dogs. If you have a suggestion, leave a comment below.
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