Your vet says it and so does every book on caring for your dog: Don't feed your dog table scraps. The dog food you regularly feed your pet should meet nearly all of his dietary needs.
But the fact is, it's almost impossible to refuse your dog a treat from the table now and then. As long as you offer table scraps in moderation, and avoid giving your dog certain foods altogether, the occasional treat of "people food" can actually enhance your dog's health. As a rule, table scraps should be less than 10% of his diet.
Vegetables: Some dog nutritionists recommend that you occasionally add vegetables to your dog's diet. Veggies good for your dog include carrots, broccoli, cooked squash, zucchini and potatoes.
Fruits: Peeled apples, melons and berries are good fresh fruits to give your dog.
Grains: Rice and plain pasta make healthy dog snacks.
Meats/Dairy: Your dog's inner carnivore will adore you for sharing bites of your steak, chicken, turkey, hamburger or hot dog-all of which are good for him in small amounts. (Consider using these meaty treats as a training tool to motivate your dog to learn basic commands.) Plain yogurt is another healthy treat he'll enjoy.
Certain people foods can be harmful to your dog. Some are downright dangerous to him, while other foods are best avoided because they can lead to obesity and a variety of health problems.
Toxic Foods: Never give your dog chocolate, onions, macadamia nuts, grapes or raisins. If he accidentally ingests a lot of either, take him to your vet immediately.
Sweets: Dogs have a highly developed sweet tooth. But treats of candy, pie or ice cream can cause cavities in dogs, as well as obesity.
Fatty/Greasy foods: In addition to most sweets, some varieties of meats are too fatty to give to your dog. Avoid feeding him duck, pork, veal or venison. And don't offer him any fried foods.
Small Bones: Never offer fish, chicken or turkey bones to your pet. He might choke on small, soft bones, or suffer throat damage from brittle bones.
Uncooked or Undercooked Meats: Bacteria in raw fish and chicken, and in raw bones, can make your dog sick. Never feed him scraps from the garbage; the food may have spoiled.
Spicy Foods: Highly spiced foods will probably give your dog an upset stomach.
Use Your Common Sense
If you're unsure whether or not a certain food is good for your dog, don't offer it. Dogs deserve a treat now and then just as much as we humans do, but they'll be happier and healthier if the treats you give supplement rather than sabotage their diets.