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Healthy Snacks for Dogs: Safe Human Treats You Can Feed Your Pet

dog with master

It’s tempting to sneak your pup some table scraps from time to time but knowing which people food is safe for your pet to eat is essential to keeping them healthy, so you might be wondering, "what human foods can dogs eat?". Let’s take a look:

Safe human treats for dogs

Fruits and vegetables dogs can eat

Your pet might not jump up and down with excitement over a stray broccoli floret, but small amounts of fruits and vegetables rank among some of the best types of people snacks for your pet. Experiment to find what your pet enjoys most and be sure to thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables first. By offering fresh produce as occasional dog treats, you're providing a healthy addition to your pet's diet, rather than simply filling him up with less nutritious snacks.

Fruits and vegetables dogs can eat

Some safe snack ideas to try:

Meats and fish

While most types of meat are generally recognized as safe for pets in small amounts, bear in mind a couple of important criteria: you'll want to ensure that the portions are small and free of bones that can pose a dangerous choking hazard and you'll also want to be sure that your meat doesn't contain onion or garlic. Avoid raw, spicy and fatty meats and resist feeding the skin to your pet, as it is high in fat. Salmon is a great source of omega 3 fatty acid, which can be beneficial to your pet's skin and coat.

Dog friendly people food

Some meat your dog can eat:

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Shrimp
  • Salmon
  • Beef

Grains

Rice and pasta are pet-friendly favorites, but, again, watch the ingredients and opt for plain versions that don't include ingredients that could be toxic to your pet. Cooked oatmeal is a great form of soluble fiber that can be especially helpful for older dogs or dogs with a wheat allergy.

Grains dogs can eat

Nuts and dairy

As long as your pet isn't lactose intolerant, most cheeses are okay to feed your pet in small amounts. Yogurt that contains active bacteria, with no artificial sweeteners or added sugars, is high in calcium and protein. And of course, plain nut butters can be options as well, but feed them sparingly as nuts are high in calories and oil. Nutbutters and dairy dogs can eat Other treat ideas include:

Other foods dogs can have

Human foods dogs can sometimes have

Some foods are okay for dogs, but need to be prepared correctly, while others are okay but shouldn't be given to them often. Learn more about each of these foods:

Human foods dogs can’t have

People food dogs can't eat

Some people foods can be harmful, or even deadly, to your dog or cat. These include:

  • Chocolate. Bottom line: chocolate is toxic. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is to your pet due to the high levels of a substance called methylxanthines. Anything containing caffeine, including coffee and tea, can also be harmful to your pet.
  • Xylitol. Many sugar-free products, such as candy, gum, diet foods and baked goods (as well as toothpaste) contain this sweetener. It's toxic to pets and can negatively affect blood sugar levels or potentially cause liver failure.
  • Onions and garlic. Don't overlook onion powder (found in some baby food) and garlic powder, common ingredients in many foods. The ASPCA warns that onions and garlic can cause damage to red blood cells in pets.
  • Grapes and raisins. Both can cause vomiting, loss of appetite, kidney failure or even death.
  • Certain nuts. Macadamia nuts and almonds can be fatal to your pet, and other nuts, like pistachios can be a choking hazard.
  • Alcohol and yeast dough. Both contain an ingredient called ethanol that can make your pet very sick.
  • Sweets and desserts. Not only do desserts often contain chocolate, they also frequently contain nuts or xylitol. Desserts are also high in calories (not a good choice for overweight pets) and don't represent a health benefit to your pet.
  • Spicy, fried or fatty foods. These can cause digestive problems for pets.
  • Avocados
  • Cherries
  • Pickles

It is best for your pet to eat foods and treats formulated specifically for their nutritional needs. However, if you indulge your dog or cat in a human-food treat, remember the rule that table scraps and healthy treats should make up less than 10% of their total diet.