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Health & Nutrition

What Human Foods Can Dogs Eat (& What To Avoid)

May 15, 2023 - 7 minute read by The Team at Dr. Harvey's


Have you considered changing your dog’s diet but aren’t sure where to start? Are you wondering what human food dogs can eat when they give you those begging eyes?

We have you covered! Keep reading to learn what human foods to avoid, what human foods dogs can eat, and how to keep your pup healthy by providing nutritious meals throughout all stages of life.

A dog looking at a bowl of food

What Human Foods Can Dogs Eat

Wondering what human food can dogs eat? Here’s a list of 29 human foods dogs can eat that contain various vitamins and minerals to boost their health.

  1. Apples
  2. Bananas
  3. Beef
  4. Bell peppers
  5. Blueberries
  6. Broccoli
  7. Carrots
  8. Celery
  9. Cottage CheeseChicken
  10. Cucumbers
  11. Coconut (meat only)
  12. Eggs
  13. Fish (cooked without bones)
  14. Green beans
  15. Kefir
  16. Mushrooms (cooked)
  17. Oats
  18. Peaches
  19. Peanut butter (unsalted and unsweetened, no xylitol)
  20. Peas
  21. Potatoes
  22. Cauliflower Rice
  23. Pumpkin
  24. Spinach
  25. Sweet potatoes
  26. Turkey
  27. Rice (cooked)
  28. Watermelon
  29. Plain Yogurt

If you want to learn more about some of the vegetables on this list, we have an article explaining how vegetables can better your dog’s health.

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10 Human Foods Dogs Must Avoid

Of course, dogs should never eat some human foods as they can cause digestive problems or are toxic to their bodies. Here’s a list of foods to avoid feeding your pup:

1. Cherries

Not only are cherries a choking hazard, but they also have a significant amount of cyanide, a poisonous substance. They can block the intestinal tract if your dog doesn’t chew them properly.

2. Onions

Onions can cause an elevated heart rate, vomiting, weakness, pale gums, diarrhea, and stomach pain. In some cases, they can cause a dog to collapse.

3. Chocolate

Chocolate can cause seizures, diarrhea, and vomiting. It has theobromine and caffeine, two stimulants dogs can’t metabolize.

4. Citrus Fruits

The citric acid in these fruits can give dogs severe stomach problems.

5. Fruit Seeds and Pits

Small pits and seeds cause big problems, such as intestinal blockage or choking. They can also contain enough cyanide to make your dog sick.

6. Grapes/Raisins

These fruits are highly toxic to dogs and can affect their kidneys. It’s not known exactly what makes grapes and raisins so dangerous, but it’s thought that tannins, tartaric acid, monosaccharides, and flavins are the culprits

7. Macadamia Nuts

This type of nut is one of the most toxic foods for dogs, causing fevers, vomiting, fatigue, and even loss of mobility.

8. Nutmeg

In small amounts, nutmeg can result in digestive problems and stomach pain. Larger quantities cause hallucinations, seizures, and confusion, all due to myristicin.

9. Raw Dough

Raw bread or cookie dough expands in a dog’s stomach, which can cause blockage and bloating. It also releases ethanol, a toxic alcohol.

10. Xylitol

Xylitol is a sweetener that causes blood sugar levels to drop. It also damages the liver and can causes seizures.

Don’t Feed Anything You Wouldn’t Eat

You may think it’s okay to leave the stems or green leaves on veggies, but they can cause digestive problems. There’s a reason you don’t eat them and your dog shouldn’t either.

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How to Transform Human Food into Dog Food


Now that you know what’s good (and not so good) for your furry friend, you can provide healthier and more delicious foods at mealtime. Turning individual ingredients into a cohesive meal for your dog is easy. You just need to be patient and pay attention to how your dog reacts to each new food that is introduced.

Make the Transition Slowly

Whenever you make a significant change to your dog’s diet, it’s essential to transition slowly. Going from one type of food to another can cause digestive problems, especially if you’re making a major change, like going from kibble to whole-food meals.

Instead of switching from one food to another cold turkey mix 80% of your pup’s current food with 20% of the new food. As days go by and your dog experiences no digestive troubles, you can adjust the ratio to 50/50 and then 80% new food/20% old food. This process allows you to transition your pup to their new food without any issues.

Measure Portions

The key to healthy and delicious homemade meals is portioning the ingredients properly.

Of course, each dog has different dietary needs. For example, if your dog is dealing with kidney problems, you’ll want to lower the amount of protein while adding more fruits and veggies to provide vital nutrients.

When considering how much to feed your dog, consider their body size. Smaller dogs need much less food than larger ones. Having your dog eat around two or three percent of its body weight daily is best.

If your dog needs a little less or more, don’t be afraid to adjust the portions you are feeding.


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Have total control over the amount and the quality of protein, fat and calories in your dogs meals. This can be made specifically for your dog’s breed-type, size and age and condition!

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Look Up Different Recipes

If you’re overwhelmed by the idea of creating your own dog food recipes that include these human food additions, check out dog food products made with wholesome ingredients that take all the guesswork out, like the options offered by Dr. Harvey’s.

Try Feeding Your Dog Human Food

A hand holding a round object with a face on it

Whether you’re ready for entire meals or not, introducing your dog to more natural “human” foods is not a bad idea. You can start incorporating the safe foods on this list into what your dog is currently eating. If you want to take things slow, you can try giving some apples slices or peeled carrots as a treat.

At Dr. Harvey’s, we believe dogs should get the healthiest food possible to live long and vibrant lives. In addition to our line of nutritious dog food, we provide resources for pet parents to understand their canine companions and how to care for them. Choosing the best food for your dog is important, and we are here to help you make the healthiest choice for your puppy.