You always hear about what dogs cannot eat – like chocolate, grapes, avocadoes, onions – but sometimes finding information on what dogs can eat is more difficult. Since dogs are so irresistibly cute, it’s easy for humans to fall prey to their pup’s sweet stare as he or she looks at you with those adorable eyes.
“Give me a bite, Mama?”
Since you’re only human (unless you’re a dog reading this), you’ve probably succumbed and given your dog a table scrap, or two. Most pet owners have a habit of feeding their dogs little bits of human food occasionally – maybe for a special occasion, like the holidays, or when your dog is sick.
But, what exactly can dogs eat? What human foods are safe for dogs?
Helpful Tip: Because not all dogs are alike, you may want to only give your dog a tiny nibble of your food. Your dog may be allergic, or have a negative reaction to it. He or she can have an upset tummy, diarrhea, or even throw up. So always start slow when introducing your human food to your dog.
What Foods Dogs Can Eat
- Peanut Butter – Most dogs love peanut butter, and it’s often fun to watch them eat it. Peanut butter is pretty safe for dogs, but due to the high fat content of this yummy treat, you should avoid feeding too much peanut butter to your pooch.
- Bananas – Some dogs loves nibbling on bananas. Bananas, like other fruits, contain phytonutrients, so they are good for dogs and humans alike. Bananas are full of vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, manganese … All good nutrients for your dog.
- Cooked Potatoes – A plain baked potato is a healthy snack for a dog. My dog loves baked potatoes (regular and sweet potatoes). Keep your dog away from raw potatoes and potato plants, since they are poisonous. Cooked potatoes are fine. Just keep your dog away from green potatoes, the potato plant, stem and its leaves.
- Baby Carrots – If your dog enjoys carrots, consider yourself lucky. Not all dogs enjoy gnawing on carrots, but they are a healthy treat for your pooch. It’s a low-calorie snack that’s packed with nutrients. Since carrots are crunchy, it’s good for your dog’s teeth.
- Melons – Feeding your dog watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe are healthy snacks for your dog. Some dogs actually love eating melons.
- Cooked Chicken – When have you ever known a dog to reject chicken? Dogs love eating cooked chicken in any way that they can get it – whether it’s rotisserie chicken, baked, boiled, or grilled. Be careful with the seasonings used to cook the chicken. Avoiding feeding your dog chicken that was drenched in garlic or onion, since these are harmful ingredients to dogs.
- Popcorn – Some dogs really love popcorn. Plain popcorn is low in calories, and it serves as a great reward for obedience training or teaching your dog new treats. However, popcorn should be used with caution in small dogs, since the kernels and hulls can get lodged in their esophageal and rectal passages.
- Orange Slices – Giving your dog the odd orange slice isn’t harmful. In fact, the vitamin C and antioxidant content from oranges can help boost your dog’s immune system and help fight off free radicals that cause cancer. Make sure to leave off the rind, since it’s often too strong for your dog’s digestive system.
- Berries – Many dogs enjoy eating frozen berries – including blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries – but fresh berries are good for them too. Berries are full of antioxidants, so they help ward off cancer-causing free radicals.
- Red Tomatoes – Fully ripe, red tomatoes are fine to give to your dog. However, avoid giving your dog green tomatoes, and keep him or her away from the tomato plant itself. The tomato plant, its leaves, and stem contain a substance called alpha-tomatine, which is toxic to an animal’s heart. This substance is found in small amounts in a green, unripened tomato and only in tiny amounts in a ripe tomato. So, an occasional ripe tomato should be fine. Only eating a massive amount of ripe tomatoes would actually harm a dog.
- Cheese – Like humans, dogs can be lactose intolerant. For this reason, you should introduce cheese slowly. Not all dogs can tolerate cheese.
- Apple Slices – Apples are a safe snack, but make sure that you cut up the apple in small bites. Never, ever feed your dog the seeds – since apple seeds contain cyanide, a poison.
- Green Beans – You can safely feed your dog a can of no-fat added green beans. They are low calorie and filling to your dog.
- Rice – This is a filler in many commercial dog foods, so you can safely give your pooch a bite or two of rice, if you want. Make sure that the rice isn’t seasoned with garlic, onion, or too much salt, though!
- Puréed Pumpkin – Whether it’s freshly cooked pumpkin, canned unsweetened pumpkin, or pureed pumpkin, this Halloween fruit is a great source of fiber for dogs. Pureed pumpkin with no spices added can also help your dog with any constipation or diarrhea problems he or she may have.
- Cooked Eggs – Giving your dog a nibble of low salt, lightly seasoned scrambled eggs, or a plain boiled egg, is perfectly fine. Cooked eggs are full of vitamins and protein. Be careful to avoid undercooked eggs, since they can be contaminated with salmonella, and they contain an enzyme that decreases your dog’s ability to absorb some B-vitamins.
- Tuna – Canned tuna is full of protein, so it’s fine to feed your dog. However, some dogs may have a negative reaction to tuna fish and may experience horrible gas afterwards. Every dog reacts differently.
Be Careful When Feeding Your Dog Human Food
Although dogs can eat the above foods, make sure that you feed human food with caution. Every dog reacts differently. One dog may love eating potatoes and have no problem with it; another dog can experience stomach upset, diarrhea, and other reactions from it. Some dogs may have food sensitivities that you don’t know about. So, when you are introducing new human foods, do it slowly and pay attention to your dog’s reaction.
If you have any questions about what foods dogs can eat, call your veterinarian and ask. Many vet’s offices would love to answer your questions.
This article was written by DP Nguyen, a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in writing about health topics. She is also Gracie Lu’s mama.
Robin Greenstone says
Great post and right on the money.
Although technically omnivores, dogs are evolved as carnivores, from wolves, which used to kill and eat animals in the wild. Although we like to think that dogs have iron guts, their insides are very sensitive. I gave a couple of my pups some lean steak after dinner one night and my little one just couldn’t handle it. Pancreatitis and a $1,300 vet bill later, I am all the wiser about being judicious about what human food I feed my girls (two delicious Havanese bitches).
Similarly, some friends of mine didn’t know better, and they were feeding their dog lots of grapes, and it literally killed their poor dog. But, like many well-meaning people, they simply didn’t know any better. If they would have read your blog post, they would have known not to feed their dog grapes. Many thanks for spreading the word.
yeah, i always check a website before feeding any thing to my 3 year old shih tzu, Oreo. Only, my grampa didn’t know and gave my dog some chicken bones then my dog threw up. It’s normal though, whenever my dog dosen’t like something he thow’s up. (: 🙂
😉 😉 😉 😉
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
plz don’t think my dog is weird
plz plz plz plz plz
because I <3
because I love* him! x3
luuuuuuuuvvv hiiiimmmmm ssoooooo muuuuuuccccchhhhhh
m. hickd says
Jazz is my two year old shih tzu. Like me he likes to eat. Before i give him any human food i Google to find out what is harmful to him and what is not.
Like you I google foods before my sweet baby chows down from my plates offrrings lol. He especially loves afores begs and will work for mild curry thai chicken and crab rangoon. My kiddo is spoiled beyond words and he knows when I have fried rice too. Lastly my fluffy baby adores a taste of Caesar salad and the occasional cheesecake but loves watermelon to the moon.
I have a 2 month old shih apso puppy and this is my first time to care for a dog.Thank you so much for sharing this!
Thank you so much for posting what dogs can and can’t have. I adopted a 3 month old Shih Tuz. Thank you again for sharing.
Thanks for sharing this information., this is really very helpful. I have a 5 month old shihtzu. She just loves carrots, potatoes and tomatoes… I also feed my “Persha” melons, apples bananas and she dearly loves them too!
Happy eating to all our dogs! Cheers to their long lives!
Tiny is four he has gas I was told no dairy no eggs and no kibbles n bits the dog food gave him ear problems an now he can’t eat tune please help
Try orijen they have a line called six fish & the reviews are great. I have shih tzu puppy, she’s 6 months old and she thrives in orijen puppy food, no allergies, no digestive issues. Their range is grain free which causes alot of the dog allergies, you might want to have a look at it.
Karishma Thakral says
How many boiled eggs can I give to my 3months old shihtzu in a day.
Hi I have a 14 year old little boy Shih Taz call Muffy just been diagnosed with renal failer I have been give a bag of special food for him to eat and he just does not like it I am at my wits end trying to get him to eat
is there anything else I can temp him with that wont result in him having to go back into hospital again as I don’t want to lose him he is my baby and so precious to me
My 15 year old poodle got hydration treatments to help prolong her time.i took her almost everyday after work. A tech did the treatment,and i was charged ten dollars per treatment She also had kidney issues and renal failure. She lived a good life for almost another year and passed just before her sweet sixteen. I fed her baby food,both meat .vegetables, and fruit . Good luck
Oh I feel so sorry for you
anita wiseman says
Hi my bitch has just been through enviroment and food tests as she has had a bad reaction more so this summer.. she is not to have any kind of meat salmon included. just white fish eggs rice some fruit and veg. oats and barley .. so I am trying to find treats and food for her .. suggestions welcome
james hock says
Hi, i have a 4 month old shih tzu n from the start i hqve been feeding him on salmon (boiled),broccoli (small portion) with brown rice, it is safe for him to take everyday (2meals) or i should switch on alternate day, please advise.
Occasionally, he would have rashes but is just a spot or 2…is this due to allergy to his daily meal?
Its my first puppy.
Julie Sousa says
I have a 14 month Shih tzu she will not eat anny dog food she eats chicken raw carrots peanut butter can I give her bananas thank you
He said “Yes” in his article Above “What dogs Can Eat” 👍
You can give your baby bananas, around 3 round slices, blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon in small portion twice a week. Boiled Chicken and white rice is good maybe once a week
Thank you so much iv got my first shih tzu puppy and its been a night mare trying to find her something she likes just gave her a carrot just to see I she liked it and shes munchin away on it and all the other tips are a great help thank you x
Xavier Cook says
Thanks for sharing the information:)
I have a 15 yr old Shitzu and I have started feeding him cooked lean Hamburg cooked carrots and cooked noodles is this ok tks
TERESA ELLIOTT says
Since reading all the posts and information, I am so thankful for all the information. I now knowbi am giving my shih tsu missy, all the right foods. Thank you so much.
Hi I have a 1yr old Shih Tzu, her name is “Kiwi” since the day I got her I had to change her dog food over and over, she would eat it 1 1/2 to 2 days and wouldn’t eat it anymore so I started feeding her what I ate. I go into the kitchen and prepare a meal and before I add seasonings to the food I get her portion and put it in her bowl. Shih Tzu females can be lil divas and be very picky. Kiwi loves bananas, apples, ground meat, chicken, plums, peaches and oranges, I just have to be sure to not leave the peel or seeds and cut into small pieces. Once in a while she will have a treat from the store but we don’t give her much, she loves being another member of the family so she sticks to mommy cooking for her. I suggest you get to know your baby and they will tell you what they like, “Kiwi” smells first and if the smell is not appetizing she will not eat it.
Thank you so much for sharing such a nice information. Most of the time we give very common food to our dog because lack of information. Based on your provided list now we can make a variation. Love the article.
Anna Marek says
Thank you so much for the post, I really enjoyed it. (awesome article by the way).
I have a year old Beagle and he loves to eat fruits and vegetables. He loves eating apple, carrots and specially tomatoes. Although I have read that bananas are good for dogs but my dog simply hate them. haha.
Anyway, thanks for letting me know about what I should avoid feeding my dog. 🙂
I have a one year old Shih Tzu who is such a picky eater. One day he loves something and the next day he turns up his nose at it. Today he had a hard boiled egg for breakfast and gobbled it down, yesterday he hated it. I am always going on line to see what is good for his and what is not so this is so helpful. My vet told me that eggs can cause pancreatitis. Is this true? I am at a loss every day as to what to feed PJ. I bought his kibbles and wet food for dogs too and some days he eats it and other days I have to trash it since it sits there for hours. Learning a lot as this is my first dog in many years. When I was growing up in the 70’s i remember my mom giving our German Shepard all the foods we ate. Pasta with meatballs was her favorite. Now we are much more aware and I think my dog knows it so he plays games with me. Today I may eat but tomorrow I may not.
Royal Canin puppy kind is the best good for my Shih Tzu, with some chicken or beef broth heated and poured into her food, it helps get it softer for her puppy teeth…if is healthy for her and its special formula seals get skin do she can’t absorb allergens,, a small can if tuna once a week keeps her heart healthy just like humans and fish oil!
Really. Good. Hi formation. Thank you and. Gracie. Lu.
Good. Information and yes all my dogs love carrots. I am lucky they all like veggies.
I have a 10 yr old we rescued a couple months ago and were having a hard time getting her to eat. We finally discovered that a food bowl was not the way to go. We tried a small plate and guess what…she eats great. She will eat small amounts of kibble from a bowl but her diet is mostly fresh cooked or high end limited ingredient canned which is moist. She doesn’t like putting her face into a bowl. We finally realized this after observing that she will only drink from a full water bowl.We thought she was really finicky, turns out she’s not.
loretta kilgo says
i love knowing that there are foods i can feed my dog but can dogs have greens , broccoli, cabbage.
Thank you for letting me know the food that my dog can eat!
Good list here!
I’ve always been a huge supporter for giving dogs fresh foods as well.
My two dogs get a few pieces of fresh fruit or vegetables almost everyday and they have never had any problems.
I do, though, know not to feed them too much and nothing dangerous like grapes.
Good list here!
Irene Guy says
Thanks for your menu! I care for my missing drug addicted daughter’s dog, and I was afraid to give her peanuts because of allergies in some humans. After reading your list I gave her a lick of peanut butter, and she is fine! I cook oatmeal for myself every morning, and now prepare second bowl for the dog, adding a bit of broth to hers.First time I baked a potato for myself, she came to me and started begging for a half!
I would love to serve these rotational diets for my Sasha too. But, still I avoid tuna fish as it’s one of the long lived species. As they live long, they may accumulate mercury on their body. Hence I would avoid tuna and include salmon, ocean lake fish.
Can my dog it vanilla ice cream every once in a while. Is it harmful.
Chang nguyen says
Who has a dog allergic to shrimp? My dog was itching after eating shrimp.
Marj Tan says
Need help. Anyone experince this. My 2 months old Shih Tzu drank a used cooking oil from fried fish. He is now vomitting (twice) already. What should I do? I didnt give him anything yet. Thanks in advance.
My bet said not to feed my dog tomatoes or anything with seeds. It is harmful to him. He can have apples, oranges without any seeds. But no berries nor tomatoes! He is a shitzu and each breed is different as too what they should eat. My pitt bull can eat things my shitzu cannot! Ask your vet!
Paula Hughes says
are you think about Can Dogs Eat Shrimp? I thinks, your dog can eat shrimp but on two conditions:
It should be fully cooked
It should be fed occasionally
Cynthia Brewer says
I put some garbanzo beans in my 6month old shitzus puppy food and she gobbled them all up. Should be good for her, rightt?
My shihtzu loves sweet potatos n boil chicken n eggs too
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Kylie W says
There are so many comments. I wanna share a story with ya’ll. When I was about 8 years old long long time ago. My stepdad had a cute golden retriever. That dog was a best. you give him any food , He would just devour it. I remember giving it a live goldfish and frickin dog ate it. Shoot! There was no Google then so I couldn’t search if dog can eat goldfish alive? Ya’ll are lucky, now there are tons of site which tells you what dogs can eat and cant. Good find.