20 Foods Your Dog Can and Can’t Eat | Pupford

March 20th, 2023

Filed under Health + Wellness

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In a previous post, we covered what fruits and vegetables your dog can and can’t eat. But we’ve gotten a lot of questions about other common foods and whether it’s safe to share with your dog or not.

So today we’re discussing 20 common foods you probably eat pretty regularly, and whether or not your pup can have some.

We’ll be covering:

  • Peanut butter
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Bread
  • Oatmeal
  • Chocolate
  • Nuts
  • Ice cream
  • Cold cuts
  • Xylitol
  • Pizza
  • Alcohol
  • Salt
  • Sweets
  • Coffee and tea

First, we’ll start with foods that are safe for your dog. Sorry to all the pups reading this, but it does not mean it’s okay to beg for your mom and dad’s food just because it’s on the list!! Want a list of the 20 Foods Dogs Can and Can't Eat? Download the PDF here.

Foods Dogs Can and Can't Eat Infographic | Pupford


White dog eating peanut butter | Pupford

  1. Peanut butter -- the thick texture and enticing taste make peanut butter a great filler for a Kong or lick mat. Just be sure you are choosing a natural peanut butter brand with no xylitol, since that can be toxic to dogs. You should also make sure you’re not giving too much peanut butter to your dog at once, since it’s a high-calorie food.
  2. Eggs -- while a loaded omelette isn’t a great thing to share with your dog, plain eggs are. They’re a great source of protein and Omega fatty acids (found in the yolk). Again, just make sure there are no seasonings or added ingredients.
  3. Cheese -- generally, cheese is safe for dogs. But you’ll want to limit the consumption since cheese has a high fat content which can cause digestive distress. Some dogs are also sensitive to dairy, so it’s best to test out a small amount with your dog.
  4. Yogurt -- similar to cheese, plain yogurt is safe for dogs as long as they’re not sensitive to dairy. Yogurt is high in protein and probiotics, so it can be really beneficial to dogs. Just avoid any yogurts with added sugar or artificial flavorings -- plain yogurt is best.
  5. Meat, poultry, fish -- we grouped these together since they all are a “yes!” Just make sure you are trimming off any fat and removing skin and bones before giving to your dog. Also, plain is best -- a lot of the seasonings used to cook meat, poultry, and fish are toxic to dogs. But a serving of a plain, lean protein is great for dogs.
  6. Potatoes and sweet potatoes -- potatoes are a great source of vitamin A and fiber. Just make sure your dog only eats cooked potatoes, since raw potatoes can contain higher levels of solanine which can be toxic. Plain baked potato or sweet potato makes a great treat in your dog’s food or mashed onto a lick mat! We definitely recommend skipping the french fries for your dog, though.
  7. Rice -- both brown and white rice are easy to digest for dogs, making them a good option for a meal base or when their stomachs are upset. Mix with some plain boiled chicken for a balanced meal that’s easy on the tummy.
  8. Pasta -- similar to rice, plain pasta is an easily digestible carb for dogs who need (or want) a bland diet or have an upset stomach. Leave off the marinara though!
  9. Bread -- plain bread is perfectly safe for dogs. It doesn’t carry any health benefits, though, so we don’t suggest making it an “all the time” thing.
  10. Oatmeal -- high in fiber and vitamins, oatmeal is a great choice for giving your dog a breakfast (or any time) treat. Just make sure you’re only sharing plain oatmeal that doesn’t have added flavors or sugar.

One thing to keep in mind is that just because a food is safe for dogs, doesn’t mean you can give it in unlimited quantities. Just like in humans, too much of one type of food can cause digestive issues.

Also, your dog is probably much smaller than you, so what seems like “a little bit” to you can be a lot for your dog. It’s best to start with just a bite or two of these foods and increase as tolerated, paying special attention to limit calorically dense foods. Even with large or giant breeds, you should start with a small amount and see how their stomach handles it.


Ice cream is bad for dogs | Pupford

Now here are some of the foods that you should keep away from your dog and could be

  1. Chocolate -- this is probably the biggest “no” you’ll hear when it comes to dogs, and that’s for good reason. Chocolate contains caffeine and methylxanthines which can cause seizures, irregular heart function and worse in large quantities. Even a small amount can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea.
  2. Nuts -- some nuts are worse than others. Let’s break it down a little further
    1. Peanuts - they’re safe in peanut butter form, as long as it’s a variety with no added sugar or sweeteners
    2. Almonds can cause digestive irritation
    3. Macadamia nuts contain a toxin that can cause muscle weakness, tremors, and vomiting in dogs
    4. Hazelnuts are technically safe but their size and shape make them a choking hazard
    5. Cashews are high in potassium which may worsen urinary conditions
    6. Walnuts have a shape that can cause intestinal blockage, as well as a high chance of mold contamination
  3. Ice cream -- while dairy is fine in small quantities, ice cream is a different story. The added sugars, flavorings, and other ingredients make it a no-go for dogs.
  4. Cold cuts -- while meats are usually a good choice, cold cuts and deli meats are often highly processed and contain a lot of fat and salt, which isn’t great for your dog. While low-sodium chicken and turkey cold cuts are probably fine, home-cooked chicken is best.
  5. Xylitol -- while Xylitol is a perfectly safe sugar alternative in humans, it’s extremely toxic to dogs, even in small amounts. When dogs consume xylitol it causes their body to quickly produce a lot of insulin, which can lead to dangerous hypoglycemia. And while you most likely wouldn’t be adding drops of a sweetener to your dog’s food, there are quite a few foods that contain xylitol that you should be aware of.
  6. Pizza -- most people consume pizza regularly so it’s only natural to wonder if you can share it with your dog. Unfortunately, no. Pizza is typically made with garlic, onions, salt, and bay leaves which are all dangerous to dogs.
  7. Alcohol -- while it may seem obvious not to share cocktails with your dog, alcohol can be in sneaky places. For example, raw dough made with yeast contains alcohol so if you’re leaving dough out to proof, keep it out of your dog’s reach!
  8. Salt -- ingesting too much salt can lead to what’s known as water deprivation or salt poisoning. When large amounts are eaten salt can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, fever, and seizures.
  9. Sweets -- cake and cookies are great treats for us, but not so much for our pups. The sugar, flavorings, chocolate, etc. that they contain can be dangerous.
  10. Coffee and tea -- as we talked about with chocolate, caffeine is extremely toxic to your dog. Keep your morning cup, or anything made with coffee or tea, to yourself and stick with water for your dog.

If your dog has eaten one of these foods or any other that could be harmful, call your vet to discuss what the best course of action is. But if you notice vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, or pain in your dog, contact Animal Poison Control immediately or take your dog to an emergency veterinarian.

Are there any other foods you’re wondering about? Let us know in the comments so we can update this article!


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