Offering a bit of a burger at a summer cookout or a nibble of a holiday cookie may seem harmless, but are these ‘people’ foods dangerous for dogs? We’ve explored 100 foods to discover which are good, bad, or even toxic for dogs.
A properly balanced diet ensures your best friend gets the vitamins, minerals, protein, and other nutrients she needs, but there is no reason a healthy dog can’t have an occasional taste of dog-safe “human” foods. Not all people-safe foods are good for dogs, however, and some can even be harmful. Toxic ingredients, choking hazards, and high levels of sodium or sugar, are just some of the dangers our “everyday” food poses to dogs. Sometimes, it may not be the edible part that’s the concern, but the leaves, pit, or actual plant on which the fruit or vegetable grows.
Depending on what your dog has eaten, signs of toxicity can appear quickly or take days, or longer to present. Symptoms vary, but may include lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, shaking, and weakness. If you suspect your dog has gotten into a dangerous or toxic food, contact your veterinarian right away and keep her where you can observe for indications of poisoning.
In moderation, numerous foods are perfectly safe for your companion. When offering a new food to your dog for the first time, only give a small amount and observe for signs of stomach upset or a negative reaction. If your dog seems to like the new food, it may be a good way to add some variety to her treats.
Below you’ll find a quick reference and longer form reference guide for which people-foods you can share with your dog regularly, which to consider a rare treat, and which foods to be concerned about if your dog accidentally consumes them. Let us know which treats you like to share with your dog in the comments below.
Small Amounts are Dangerous to Any Dog: Foods considered dangerous for any dog pose severe to fatal risks if ingested. Contact a veterinarian immediately if your dog eats any amount of these dangerous foods.
Not recommended: Foods not recommended for dogs are not considered toxic or inherently dangerous, but can cause stomach upset or gastrointestinal irritation or are not a healthy choice for consumption.
OK In Moderation: These foods are considered safe for dogs to eat when offered as an occasional treat, but too much can cause digestive trouble, weight gain, or health concerns related to sugar or sodium consumption.
OK for Normal Consumption: These foods are considered safe for regular consumption if offered in addition to a veterinarian-recommended diet formulated for dogs—not to replace it. These count toward your dog’s recommended calorie intake.
Can dogs eat almonds? While almonds are not toxic to dogs, they can cause stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea so they are not recommended. If your dog accidentally eats an almond, monitor him for signs of distress and contact your veterinarian. Resource 1
Can dogs eat apples? Yes, apples are safe for dogs to consume in their everyday diet, as long as the core and seeds are removed. Like humans, dogs may get a stomach ache from consuming too many apples in a day, but otherwise, most dogs should be able to eat a few pieces of apple every day without issue. Watch for rotten apples—fallen apples or apples that have gone by can ferment, which turns the sugars to alcohol. This is a concern for dogs as they can suffer from ethanol toxicosis, or alcohol poisoning, if too many fermented apples are ingested. Resource 1, Resource 2
Can dogs eat apricots? Apricots are not recommended for dogs. While the flesh of the apricot is not toxic, the pit, stem, and leaves contain cyanide and are considered toxic. Resource 1
Can dogs eat asparagus? Asparagus is not toxic to dogs, but while safe, there is little nutritional benefit. Raw asparagus can cause an upset stomach or gas in dogs, cooked asparagus is easier to digest. The asparagus fern plant is toxic to dogs, so care should be taken if you grow asparagus in your garden. Resource 1
Can dogs eat avocado? No, dogs should not eat avocado. The fruit, skin, leaves, and plant of the avocado contain persin, a fungicidal toxin that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, pancreatitis, and other concerns. The avocado pit can present a choking hazard or cause an obstruction. If your dog eats avocado, consult your veterinarian for advice. Resource 1
Can dogs eat bananas? Yes, bananas are high in fiber and contain vitamins—but because of the high sugar content they should be given in moderation. Banana peels are difficult for dogs to digest. Peel bananas before offering them to your dog. Resource 1
Beans (lentils, kidney beans, black beans, etc.)
Can dogs eat beans? Pinto, black, kidney, garbanzo, and other types of beans, soaked and cooked from dry, offer a variety of vitamins and minerals that are good for dogs. Beans should be offered fully cooked as raw beans may contain toxins, and can be difficult for your dog to digest. Too many beans may cause stomach upset or constipation. Canned beans contain added sodium and seasonings that may cause stomach upset in dogs. Fava beans contain phytohemagglutinin (PHA) and are not recommended for dogs. Check the ingredients: baked beans often contain onion and spices that are toxic to dogs. Resource 1
Can dogs eat beef? Hamburger and other types of beef are good sources of protein for dogs and beef is a common ingredient in dog food. Seasonings should not be added to your dog’s portion. It is recommended that you cook beef and other types of meat before giving it to your dog. Veterinarians warn that bones pose hazards for dogs; they can damage teeth and cooked bones may splinter and cause a perforation or obstruction. Always supervise your dog if you give him a bone to chew. Resource 1
Can dogs have beer? Alcohol of any variety—beer, wine, or distilled spirits—is not safe for dogs to consume. Beer is made from the hops plant, which is toxic to dogs, and wine is made with grapes which are also toxic. Alcohol poisoning is a concern for dogs, and it takes far less to affect a dog than a person. The signs of alcohol poisoning include poor balance, vomiting, increased urination, disorientation, and loss of consciousness. Foods cooked with alcohol can also be dangerous for pets. Resource 1
Can dogs eat bell peppers? Yes, bell peppers are a nutritious snack for dogs. Red, green, and yellow bell peppers contain a variety of vitamins and nutrients that are beneficial for dogs, but these vegetables should be offered in moderation to prevent stomach upset. Spicy peppers are not recommended. Resource 1
Can dogs eat birthday cake? While birthday cake ingredients may not be toxic, many of them aren’t recommended for dogs. Sugar puts your dog at risk for weight gain and other health concerns, and dairy can be difficult for dogs to digest. Chocolate, whether in the cake or frosting, is dangerous for pets, too. Skip the birthday cake and offer a dog-friendly version instead. If your dog has helped himself to cake left on the counter, he may suffer from stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea. Resource 1
Can dogs eat blueberries? Blueberries are a healthy snack for dogs if offered sparingly. Too many blueberries may cause digestive concerns such as diarrhea. Avoid offering sweetened blueberry treats to dogs: Do not add sugar to fresh blueberries, and keep the muffins and other sweet treats to yourself as the sugar content is not good for dogs. Resource 1
Can dogs eat deli meats like ham, turkey, or bologna? Processed lunch meat is high in sodium and may contain nitrates or seasonings that can be dangerous for dogs, but a small amount of bologna, sliced turkey, or a bit of a ham sandwich is not likely to cause harm if offered in moderation. Be aware: Bologna casing can be dangerous if ingested as it is often made of plastic rather than a natural casing. If your dog eats the wrapping from sliced bologna, observe for signs of distress as intestinal blockage can be a concern. While bologna and other cold cuts aren’t dangerous in small amounts, seeking a healthier option is recommended.Resource 1
Can dogs eat bones? Cooked bones of any variety pose a risk for dogs. Cooked chicken, turkey, beef, or other bones are more likely to splinter, which is a dangerous situation for dogs. Raw bones are considered safer for dogs, but they aren’t without risk either—there’s potential for broken teeth, lacerations, choking, food-borne illness, and intestinal blockage. It is best to supervise your dog if you offer a raw bone as a treat, and only offer bones occasionally.Resource 1
Can dogs eat bread? Yes, dogs can eat small amounts of plain bread—but there is no nutritional benefit. Bread is not harmful, as long as you avoid toxic ingredients such as raisins and garlic.
You should not feed raw bread dough to your dog as ethanol is produced by the chemical reaction that occurs when yeast ferments, which may cause alcohol poisoning. Additionally, bread dough will expand in the stomach, which can cause a distended abdomen and, less commonly, bloat (GDV). Resource 1
Can dogs eat broccoli? Broccoli is high in fiber and vitamin c and is a good occasional snack for dogs. Broccoli may be offered cooked or raw, but raw broccoli may post a choking or obstruction risk for small dogs and should be cut up into small pieces. The isothiocyanates found in broccoli may irritate your dog’s digestive system so broccoli should be offered in moderation. Resource 1
Can dogs eat brownies? No, dogs should not eat brownies. The sweet dessert contains chocolate and sugar, both of which are not healthy for dogs. While each dog is affected differently by chocolate consumption, no amount of chocolate is considered “safe.” If your dog eats brownies, contact your veterinarian and observe him for signs of toxicity. Resource 1
Can dogs eat brussels sprouts? Brussels sprouts are safe for dogs to eat, but they are likely to cause gas so many pet owners avoid feeding this vegetable to their dogs. If you offer your dog brussels sprouts, it is best to cook them first to aid in digestion. You can offer one or two as a treat, but more is not advised. Resource 1
Can dogs eat cabbage? Dogs can eat small amounts of cooked cabbage. While not a great risk, raw cabbage contains Thiocyanate which may affect the thyroid gland. Cooking the cabbage before serving it lowers the Thiocyanate level. Too much cabbage may cause gas, so only offer it as an occasional treat. Resource 1
Candy (chewing gum, etc)
Is chewing gum safe for dogs? Chewing gum and other types of candy should not be given to dogs because of the associated health risks. Sugar-free candies and chewing gum may include xylitol, a sugar substitute that can be fatal to dogs even in small amounts. Sugar is not healthy for dogs, either. To keep your dog safe, consider all candy to be unhealthy and do not allow your dog to eat it. Resource 1
Can dogs eat cantaloupe? While cantaloupe is safe for dogs to eat, too much can cause digestive concerns including diarrhea and upset stomach. Due to the sugar content, diabetic dogs should not eat cantaloupe. Offer your dog small amounts of this juicy melon, and ensure the rind and seeds are discarded—not eaten. Resource 1
Can dogs eat carrots? Yes, cooked and raw carrots are a healthy, vitamin-rich, low-calorie option for dogs. Crunchy, raw carrots are good for your dog’s teeth—cut larger whole carrots for small dogs to prevent choking. Carrot slices can even be used as a replacement for treats while training. Resource 1
Can dogs eat cauliflower? Yes, small amounts of cooked or raw cauliflower is safe for dogs to eat. Raw cauliflower may be a choking hazard, and it can cause gas. Serving it cooked is ideal to prevent choking and aid in digestion. Limit portions and only offer it as a treat to prevent gas and digestive issues. Resource 1
Can dogs eat celery? Yes, small amounts of celery are okay for dogs to eat. Celery is a nutritious option that is low in calories, and some vets and trainers recommend diced celery as a replacement for biscuits for dogs on a diet. Prevent choking by cutting celery into small pieces or offering it cooked. Resource 1
Can dogs have chamomile or chamomile tea? While not considered dangerous for dogs—it may be used to help with a variety of symptoms from anxiety and skin irritation to digestive concerns—chamomile should only be offered if recommended by your veterinarian. Specific amounts and types are safer than others, so seek professional advice prior to offering chamomile in any form. Resource 1
Can dogs eat cheese? Dogs can eat cheese in limited amounts, but too much dairy may cause stomach upset or diarrhea in sensitive dogs. Fatty cheeses can contribute to excess weight gain, so opt for low fat cheeses, such as cottage cheese or mozzarella. Resource 1
Can dogs eat cherries? While the fruit of unsweetened, fresh cherries isn’t considered dangerous, cherries can cause stomach upset in some dogs. Additionally, cherry pits, leaves, and stems present concerns for dogs. Cherry pits are a choking hazard, and the pits and leaves can cause cyanide poisoning if ingested.Resource 1
Can dogs eat chicken? Yes, dogs can eat chicken; it’s a primary protein source in a variety of dog food formulas. Some dogs may be allergic to chicken, so try small amounts to start. While cooked, unseasoned chicken is the healthiest choice for dogs, a few bites of your dinner is likely safe. Avoid chicken that has been cooked with onions, garlic, salt, and other seasonings that may be dangerous for dogs. Chicken bones, especially cooked, pose a risk for dogs—they may cause an obstruction, damage your dog’s teeth, or cause intestinal damage. Resource 1
Can dogs eat chives? Dogs should not eat any part of chives—the seeds, leaves, and flowers can cause serious medical concerns if eaten. Chives are a member of the Allium family, which includes onions, garlic, and scallions. Allium plants are toxic and can cause GI upset, but can also lead to hemolytic anemia which requires medical intervention. If your dog eats chives, or if you have chives in your garden and your dog displays lethargy, shortness of breath, vomiting and diarrhea, or bloody urine, contact your veterinarian promptly. Resource 1
Can dogs eat chocolate? Theobromine is a component in chocolate that dogs cannot process as efficiently as humans can. It takes more chocolate for the theobromine to effect a large dog than it does a small dog, but it is considered unsafe for any dog, in any amount. Theobromine levels vary depending on chocolate type, with dark chocolate containing the most. Also a concern in chocolate is the caffeine, which is toxic to dogs as well. Caffeine toxicity symptoms include vomiting, panting, and seizures. If your dog eats chocolate, it is best to consult with your veterinarian right away. Resource 1
Citrus (Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit)
Can dogs eat citrus like lemons, limes, and grapefruit? Citrus fruits are not good for dogs to eat, but dogs don’t often choose to eat lemon, grapefruit, or lime because of the bitter taste. High acidity can cause stomach upset in dogs, and psoralen compounds in these fruits are considered toxic. Resource 1
Can dogs eat coconut? Coconut meat is non-toxic to dogs and may even offer a few health benefits if offered sparingly. While fresh coconut meat is safe, shredded, sweetened coconut used in baking is dangerous due to the high sugar content and preservatives. Coconut oil may also benefit dogs: increased energy, improved skin condition, and better digestion are listed as some of the advantages of providing coconut oil, but it is recommended that you consult a veterinarian before adding coconut oil to your dog’s diet.
Too much coconut or coconut oil may cause GI upset or diarrhea, and some dogs may have an adverse reaction to it. Resource 1
Can dogs have coffee? Coffee, more specifically caffeine, is dangerous for dogs. Dogs should not drink coffee, nor should they ingest anything that contains caffeine—soft drinks and chocolate included. Theobromine, which is similar to caffeine, is found in chocolate and other sweet treats. Caffeine toxicity is a serious concern that must be addressed by a veterinarian. If your dog eats or drinks anything with caffeine, a call to the veterinarian is warranted. Resource 1
Can dogs have cookies? No, while a bite of a cookie may not be dangerous, the treat is high in sugar and fat, which can cause health problems for dogs. Some cookies may include ingredients that are not safe for dogs—chocolate chips, raisins, and nutmeg are a few examples. Low sugar varieties are sometimes baked with xylitol, a sugar substitute that is highly toxic to dogs. It is best to avoid feeding your dog cookies. Opt for a dog-friendly treat instead.Resource 1
Corn (Corn cobs, corn kernels, corn meal)
Can dogs eat corn? Corn is safe for dogs to eat, and is a main ingredient in many dog food formulas. Though corn provides vitamins and minerals that dogs need, the grain should be given in moderation. Dogs should not be given corn cobs as they are a choking hazard and can cause an intestinal blockage. Resource 1
Can dogs have cranberries? Cranberries—cooked or raw—are safe for dogs to eat. They are low in calories and high in vitamins and other nutrients. Some dog food formulas include cranberries for the health benefits. Limit the amount of cranberry you offer your dog to avoid stomach upset. Canned or fresh cranberry sauce includes too much added sugar and should not be offered to dogs. Resource 1
Can dogs eat cucumbers? Yes. fresh cucumbers are a healthy, low-calorie treat for dogs. To serve as a treat, cut cucumbers into slices or small chunks to prevent choking and offer in moderation. Pickles, which are made from cucumbers, contain salt and other seasonings and are not safe for dogs. Resource 1
Can dogs eat duck? Iron-rich, easily digestible duck is a good source of protein for dogs. Many limited ingredient diet dog foods include duck as a main source of protein. Avoid feeding your dog duck bones as they present a choking hazard and can damage teeth or cause an obstruction or intestinal perforation.Resource 1
Can dogs eat eggplant? Eggplant is usually safe for dogs to eat in limited amounts, but some dogs may be allergic. You can serve eggplant raw or cooked, but avoid adding extra seasoning or fat, which can be unhealthy for dogs. Resource 1
Can dogs eat eggs? Eggs are high in protein and are a healthy option for dogs. Veterinarians recommend cooking eggs before serving them due to the Salmonella risk associated with raw eggs—for the dog and anyone handling the dog. Resource 1
Can dogs eat fennel? Fennel is not toxic, does not often produce an allergic reaction, and may be beneficial for dogs with digestive concerns. If your dog would like to eat fennel, it is safe in moderation. Some sources state that fennel may be problematic for pregnant or lactating dogs, so consult a veterinarian if you have concerns. Resource 1
Can dogs eat fish? Yes, salmon, whitefish, and other types of fish are healthy options for dogs. These fish are often included in dog food formulas. Some varieties such as tuna and swordfish should be offered less often due to high mercury levels. Cooking fish before offering it to your dog is the best way to prevent parasites, salmonella, and listeria.Resource 1
Can dogs eat garlic? Dogs should not eat garlic as this member of the allium family can be moderately toxic to dogs. Symptoms of garlic toxicity include anemia, stomach upset, vomiting, lethargy, and weakness. After a dog eats garlic, symptoms may take several days to appear. Some dogs are not affected by garlic, while others are more sensitive. Resource 1
Can dogs have goat milk? Goat milk is easier for dogs to digest than cow milk, but does that make it safe? While goat milk is often recommended for dogs with allergies or digestive issues—the benefits attributed to probiotics and enzymes found within—treatment should only begin under the direction of a veterinarian. Resource 1
Can dogs eat grapes or raisins? No, Grapes and raisins can cause serious toxicity that may result in kidney failure. While eating only a few may be fatal for some dogs, other dogs may not have as severe a reaction—research has not yet shown why. Resource 1
Can dogs eat green beans? Yes, dogs can eat green beans. Raw or cooked green beans are a healthy source of nutrients for dogs, and they can be used as a treat for training. When preparing green beans for dogs, avoid adding salt, garlic, onions, and other seasonings that may be dangerous for dogs. Resource 1
Can dogs have honey? Honey is not toxic to dogs, and it is safe for them to eat in limited amounts, but it is high in sugar and can contribute to weight gain and tooth decay. Avoid giving honey to diabetic or overweight dogs. Raw honey can be a concern for puppies or dogs with compromised immune systems because botulism spores may be present. The honeycomb is also edible, but consider the same precautions as with raw honey. Resource 1
Can dogs eat hot dogs? While a bit of hot dog is not dangerous for dogs, they do pose a risk if offered in excess. Hot dogs are high in sodium, may contain nitrates, and are sometimes seasoned with garlic, onions, and other ingredients that are dangerous for dogs. If your dog eats a hot dog it is usually not cause for concern, but hot dogs should not be offered regularly. Resource 1
Can dogs eat kale? No, dogs should not eat kale. This dark leafy green may be nutritious for humans, but the high levels of calcium oxalate and isothiocyanates pose a risk for dogs. Too much calcium can cause kidney and bladder stones in dogs, and the isothiocyanates contribute to GI concerns and stomach upset. If you feed kale to your dog, limit how much you offer. Resource 1
Can dogs eat lamb? Lamb is becoming more common in dog food formulas due to its status as a ‘novel’ ingredient—a food that isn’t regularly consumed by dogs. Lamb’s popularity in dog diets is increasing due to the prevalence of allergies to other dog food ingredients. Lamb is a nutritious, protein-rich food for dogs. Veterinarians recommend you cook lamb prior to serving it to your dog to prevent food borne illness. Don’t offer your dog cooked lamb bones—they’re more likely to splinter, which can be dangerous. Resource 1
Can dogs eat lettuce? Dark, leafy greens such as romaine lettuce provide fiber, vitamins, and nutrients for dogs. Too much lettuce may cause stomach upset or diarrhea, so offer it in moderation—a bit of shredded lettuce or a single leaf on occasion is plenty. Resource 1
Can dogs eat liver? Liver provides dogs with beneficial vitamins and nutrients and is a good source of protein, but too much liver can result in an overdose of Vitamin A. Offer liver occasionally as a nutritious treat for dogs. Resource 1
Can dogs eat macadamia nuts? No, macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs and can produce mild to severe reactions even if only a small amount is consumed. Do not allow your dog to eat macadamia nuts. If he ingests macadamia nuts in any amount, contact your veterinarian and observe for signs of a negative reaction which may include shaking, difficulty walking, or vomiting. Baked goods with macadamia nuts should not be given to dogs either. Resource 1
Can dogs eat mango? Dogs can eat mango in moderation, but the skin and pit should be removed before you offer it to your dog. Peel the fruit and remove it from the tough pit before serving—do not allow your dog to eat the pit. In addition to being a choking hazard and a risk for blockage, mango pits contain cyanide which can make dogs sick. While mango fruit is nontoxic, they do contain a lot of sugar, which isn’t recommended for dogs. Resource 1
Can dogs eat marshmallows? Most marshmallows are safe for dogs to eat, but they aren’t a healthy option. Marshmallows contain sugar which can contribute to health concerns, but offering a marshmallow as an occasional treat is not likely to make your dog sick. If your dog gets into a bag of marshmallows, it may be worth a call to the vet, but there is nothing in marshmallows that would cause immediate concern. One exception: sugar-free marshmallows may contain xylitol, which is toxic to dogs even in very small amounts. Resource 1
Can dogs have dairy products like milk or ice cream? Because dogs lack the enzyme to digest dairy products, milk can cause gastrointestinal discomfort in dogs. Ice cream and other sweet dairy products are high in fat, sugar, and calories. This can lead to weight gain and other health concerns, so it is better to avoid feeding these products regularly. Resource 1
Can dogs eat mint? Mint leaves alone are not considered toxic for dogs, but mint essential oils can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Pennyroyal, a variety of mint, is toxic to both dogs and humans. Breath mints may contain xylitol, which is highly toxic to dogs. While small amounts of most types of mint is unlikely to cause distress, offering mint to dogs is not recommended. Resource 1
Can dogs eat moose? Wild game such as moose is considered safe for dogs to eat, with a few precautions. Fish and Game experts recommend hunters freeze moose meat before feeding it to pets to prevent passing tapeworms and other parasites to your dog.Resource 1, Resource 2
Can dogs eat mushrooms? Dogs should not be allowed to eat wild mushrooms as there are many toxic varieties that may cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and liver failure. It can be fatal for a dog to eat a toxic wild mushroom—contact your veterinarian for advice.
Store-bought mushrooms such as button or portobello mushrooms are generally safe for dogs to eat if served plain, but mushrooms do not provide nutritional value in a dog’s diet so there is no reason to offer them regularly.Resource 1, Resource 2
Nutmeg and Cinnamon
Can dogs have nutmeg and cinnamon? While nutmeg can be toxic to dogs in large amounts, it is not likely to have the same effect if your dog eats something that has nutmeg in it. Cinnamon is not toxic to dogs. Neither cinnamon or nutmeg should be given to dogs regularly, but a small amount is not likely to cause a negative reaction. The Pet Poison Hotline recommends you contact your veterinarian if your dog consumes a significant amount of cinnamon or nutmeg. Resource 1
Can dogs eat oatmeal? Oatmeal contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that can be beneficial for dogs, but it is also high in carbohydrates and calories so it should only be offered in moderation. Instant packets of flavored oatmeal are not recommended—the added flavors and sugar may be toxic to pets. Offering a bite of unsweetened, cooked oatmeal on occasion is fine for dogs, but it should not replace his regular dog food. Raw oatmeal may be difficult for dogs to digest, so it should be cooked first. Resource 1
Can dogs eat okra? Okra is not toxic to dogs. It contains vitamins and minerals that may be beneficial to dogs, but too much orka may contribute to gas or digestive upset. If you give your dog okra, avoid seasonings and offer this vegetable in moderation. Fried okra is not a healthy for dogs—fried foods can cause pancreatitis and other health concerns. Resource 1
Can dogs eat onions? No, onion toxicity is a concern for dogs. Onions—and members of the allium family such as garlic, chives, scallions, shallots—can damage a dog’s red blood cells. Onion poisoning may hinder the red blood cells’ ability to effectively carry oxygen through the bloodstream, which may cause hemolytic anemia—symptoms may include weakness, panting, and vomiting. While consuming large amounts of onion or garlic poses a greater risk, care should be taken to prevent dogs from eating any amount. Resource 1
Can dogs eat oranges? Yes, dogs can eat oranges in moderation. Oranges aren’t bad for most dogs, but they may cause stomach upset or gastrointestinal symptoms if eaten in excess. The skin, stems, and leaves from oranges may be more dangerous because the concentrated citric acid can cause irritation. Resource 1
Can dogs eat parsnips? Yes, parsnips are a good source of vitamins and minerals and supplement a formulated dog food nicely. Parsnips may be served raw or cooked, but raw may post a choking hazard so they should be cut into small pieces or sticks. While parsnips aren’t harmful, they should not replace a dog’s regular diet.
The wild parsnip plant, a poisonous weed that is different from the edible root vegetable, is dangerous to dogs. Dogs should not eat it, nor should they drink water found near the plant. If the sap from this plant gets on your dog, it can cause burns.Resource 1, Resource 2
Can dogs eat pasta or noodles? While pasta isn’t dangerous in moderation, dogs should not eat it on a regular basis. Spaghetti noodles and other kinds of pasta are full of carbohydrates, which can contribute to excess weight gain. An occasional taste of pasta is okay, but opt for whole wheat for the best nutritional value. Resource 1
Peanut butter/ Almond Butter/ Sun Butter
Can dogs eat peanut butter and other nut butters? Peanut butter is a favorite treat of many dogs, and it is safe in limited amounts if you take precautions. Always check the ingredient label: Peanut butter may contain xylitol, a sugar substitute that is toxic to dogs. As peanut butter is high in fat and salt, consumption should be limited to prevent weight gain or other health concerns. Other types such as sunflower, cashew, or almond nut butters are safe for dogs if offered in moderation. Resource 1
Can dogs eat peanuts? Dogs can eat shelled, unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts in moderation, but due to the high fat content they should not be given on a regular basis. Dogs should not eat peanut shells. Though the shells are not toxic, they can cause gastrointestinal upset. Resource 1
Can dogs eat pears? Yes, an occasional slice or two of fresh pear is safe for dogs to eat. Dogs should not be allowed to eat the core of a pear as it can be a choking hazard, and the seeds could make your dog sick. Canned pears contain extra sugar and are not an ideal option for dogs. Resource 1
Can dogs eat pickles? While a small taste isn’t likely to cause problems, dill and sweet pickles are too salty for dogs to eat regularly. Some pickle recipes include garlic, which is toxic to dogs. If your dog sneaks a pickle, there’s little need for worry—but pickles should not be offered to dogs as a treat. Resource 1
Can dogs eat pineapple? Fresh or frozen pineapple is a safe and nutritious treat for dogs if given in moderation, but too much pineapple may cause gastrointestinal upset or diarrhea. The core or skin of a pineapple may cause an obstruction, so dispose of it and do not let your dog eat it. Canned pineapple has too much added sugar and should not be offered to dogs. Resource 1
Can dogs eat pizza? While a bite of pizza is not dangerous for dogs, there is no nutritional benefit either. If your dog sneaks a slice of pizza, he may experience upset stomach or diarrhea as some of the toppings may be difficult for him to digest. Pizza with garlic or onion poses a greater risk as those ingredients are considered toxic. Resource 1
Can dogs eat pomegranate? While not toxic, pomegranate is rich in tannins that may cause stomach upset in dogs so this fruit is not an ideal treat. If your dog eats pomegranate, observe for signs of gastrointestinal distress, provide plenty of water, and avoid giving your dog pomegranate in the future. Treats made with pomegranate have fewer tannins and may be easier to digest than the fruit on its own. Resource 1
Can dogs eat popcorn? Yes, dogs can eat plain popcorn. Observe your dog while she eats popcorn to prevent choking, and watch for kernels lodged in the teeth. Don’t allow your dog to eat unpopped kernels, which can damage teeth and gums. If you share popcorn with your dog, skip the butter, salt, caramel, and other popcorn toppings, which are high in fats, sodium, and sugar. Resource 1
Pork, Bacon, Ham, Sausage
Can dogs eat pork, or pork products like bacon, ham, and sausage? Small amounts of well-cooked, unseasoned pork are safe for dogs to eat, but common pork seasonings and condiments are not healthy for dogs. Bacon, ham, and sausage are too fatty and salty for dogs and can cause stomach upset or weight gain. The high salt level may lead to increased thirst and water intake, which could result in bloat. Resource 1
Can dogs eat potatoes? While potatoes contain vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for dogs, too many potatoes or undercooked potatoes should be avoided due to the levels of toxic solanine. Cooking reduces the level of solanine in potatoes. Cooked potatoes should be offered without added fats, spices, or salt. French fries and other fried potato dishes should be avoided as they are not healthy for dogs. It is not recommended that dogs with diabetes eat potatoes. Resource 1
Can dogs eat pretzels? A pretzel or two isn’t likely to make a dog sick, but the high salt content can cause problems for your dog. Excess salt can cause increased thirst, which has the potential to cause bloat. Too much salt can also cause stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. If you offer your dog pretzels as a treat, you can reduce the risk of choking by breaking them into small pieces. Resource 1
Can dogs eat pumpkins, squash, or other types of gourds? Cooked, unseasoned pumpkin, either from a can or fresh, is a nutritious, fiber-rich food for dogs. Avoid sweetened pumpkin, such as pumpkin pie filling, as the sugar and spices can be dangerous for dogs to consume. Uncooked pumpkin isn’t bad for dogs, but it is harder to digest than cooked pumpkin. Pumpkin can be beneficial for dogs experiencing digestive issues, and is sometimes recommended by veterinarians as part of a weight loss plan. Pumpkin seeds are safe for dogs to eat as well.
Other types of squash—butternut squash, zucchini, and yellow summer squash included—are safe for dogs to eat. Ornamental gourds serve as festive autumn decor, but these dried decorative pieces are not meant to be eaten—they pose a choking risk, may cause damage to a dog’s teeth or gums, and could cause an intestinal blockage.Resource 1, Resource 2
Can dogs eat quinoa? Quinoa is a fiber-rich grain that is considered safe for dogs to eat and is even included as an ingredient in some dog food formulas, but some dogs may experience vomiting or diarrhea after eating quinoa. If you offer your dog quinoa cooked at home, do not add seasonings such as salt, garlic, or onions as these are not safe for dogs. Resource 1
Can dogs eat raisins? No, raisins, like grapes, are highly toxic to dogs. How many raisins it takes to make a dog sick varies, but some dogs can have an adverse reaction after eating just one or two. Signs of raisin toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite, and tremors, and kidney failure is a concern. If your dog eats raisins, contact your veterinarian for advice. Resource 1
Can dogs eat raspberries? Raspberries are safe for dogs to eat, in moderation. The fruit is high in fiber and contains beneficial vitamins and nutrients, but too many may cause stomach upset, diarrhea, and other concerns. Berries, in limited amounts, make a good treat. Resource 1
Can dogs eat rhubarb? Rhubarb stalks are not toxic to dogs, but the leaves pose a hazard and should not be eaten. Adverse effects may include seizures, lethargy, weakness, GI upset, and kidney damage. If your dog eats rhubarb leaves, you should consult your veterinarian for advice. Resource 1
Can dogs eat rice? Yes, rice is a healthy food for dogs and is included in many dog food formulas. Both white and brown rice are okay for dogs to eat, and white rice is often recommended for a dog suffering from stomach upset and digestive issues. You should consider some factors when feeding your dog rice. Consult your veterinarian if your dog is diabetic as white rice has a higher glycemic index and can cause a spike in blood sugar levels. Resource 1
Is rosemary safe for dogs? Rosemary, parsley, basil, oregano, and a variety of other herbs are safe for dogs to consume—some may even freshen breath or soothe digestive trouble. Feel free to sprinkle dried or fresh herbs on your pet’s meal for a little flavor. Resource 1
Can dogs eat salmon? Salmon is a healthy source of omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein for dogs. Remove all bones and ensure salmon is fully cooked before offering it to your dog—raw salmon can carry a parasite that causes salmon poisoning disease, which can be fatal if left untreated. Salmon should not be the sole source of protein for dogs, but can supplement a balanced diet. Salmon skin is also safe for dogs, but should be given in moderation due to the high fat content. Resource 1
Can dogs eat sausage? An occasional taste of sausage likely won’t cause harm, but the high fat content and added salt can cause digestive trouble for dogs. Other concerns include bloat or pancreatitis, both of which can be fatal. Sausage and sausage drippings are not an ideal treat for dogs. Resource 1
Can dogs eat shrimp? Yes, cooked shrimp are a healthy and nutritious treat for dogs. Shrimp are low in fat and calories and are a source of vitamins, but are high in cholesterol—reserve shrimp as an occasional treat rather than a main source of nutrition. Resource 1
Can dogs eat spinach? Cooked or raw spinach is safe for dogs to eat in limited amounts. Too much spinach can affect kidney function due to the oxalic acid present in the leafy vegetable. Adverse effects aren’t likely without ingesting a large amount of spinach, but it is safest to limit how much spinach you offer your dog. Resource 1
Stone Fruits (Nectarines, Peaches, Plums, etc.)
Can dogs eat stone fruits like nectarines, peaches, and plums? While the flesh of stone fruit is not toxic for dogs, the pits pose a variety of dangers. Stone fruit pits may cause dental damage, obstruction, or esophageal perforation (a tear in the esophagus). Cyanide poisoning is a also concern if a dog eats stone fruit pits. Dogs can eat stone fruit if it is cut away from the pit and offered in small amounts, but fruit contains sugars which may lead to weight gain. Resource 1
Can dogs eat strawberries? Strawberries are a healthy, vitamin-rich treat that dogs can eat. They should not replace anything in a dog’s diet, but can be offered occasionally as one would a biscuit. If your dog displays signs of stomach upset or diarrhea, offer fewer strawberries. Resource 1
Can dogs eat sweet potatoes? Yes, sweet potato is a nutritious food for dogs. They are high in fiber and vitamins and low in fat making them a beneficial ingredient in commercial dog foods and a safe treat to offer your dog. Serve sweet potatoes fully cooked with the skin removed—the skin is difficult for dogs to digest, and raw sweet potato may cause stomach upset. Resource 1
Can dogs eat swordfish? While fish is a healthy source of protein for dogs, swordfish is not the best option. Heavy metals found in swordfish can be problematic, so it is safest to offer this fish in moderation, or serve a different variety. Fish should be cooked due to the risk of Salmon Poisoning Disease which is caused by a parasite. While the biggest culprit is salmon, other types of fish can carry the parasite that causes the often fatal disease. Resource 1, Resource 2
Can dogs have tofu? While tofu is not considered toxic, dogs may be allergic to the main ingredient: soy. Dogs who eat tofu may be at a higher risk for bloat, a dangerous condition that requires immediate medical attention. Tofu may also cause gas, stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting. If your dog eats tofu, contact a veterinarian if you observe any signs of distress.Resource 1
Can dogs eat tomatoes? Dogs can eat parts of tomatoes, but green (unripened) tomatoes and the stems and leaves of tomato plants can be harmful in large amounts. The stems, leaves, and green tomatoes contain tomatine which, in large amounts, can cause temporary stomach upset, muscle weakness, seizures, and more. If you feed your dog tomatoes, make sure they’re ripe and do so in moderation. If your dog eats parts of a tomato plant from your garden, it is recommended that you contact your veterinarian for advice. Resource 1
Can dogs eat tuna fish? Tuna fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein for dogs if offered in moderation. Consider the type of tuna you feed your dog: Canned tuna contains added salt and oil which can cause GI upset, but it is unlikely to cause problems if offered sparingly. If feeding your dog fresh tuna, ensure all bones are removed and serve it cooked as raw fish can expose your dog to parasites that may cause illness. Resource 1
Can dogs eat turkey? Yes, turkey is a good source of protein for dogs if offered in moderation—but be aware of seasonings that are toxic to dogs, such as garlic and onion. Many dog food formulas include turkey. Turkey bones pose a choking hazard and other dangers as they are likely to splinter. Do not offer turkey bones to your dog. Resource 1
Can dogs eat venison? Yes, dogs can eat venison and some dog food formulas include it as a main ingredient. Wild game, deer included, can be a good source of protein for dogs—but follow a few guidelines when offering your dog wild venison. If preparing wild game for your own dogs, experts recommend that you freeze the fresh meat for at least 30 days to kill any parasites. While freezing the meat does not kill bacteria, cooking the meat will kill both the parasites and bacteria that may cause illness. Resource 1, Resource 2
Can dogs eat watermelon? Yes, the watermelon fruit is safe for dogs to eat if you remove the seeds and rind before offering it to your dog. Though the seeds and rind aren’t toxic, they may cause an intestinal blockage or stomach upset. Too much watermelon may cause diarrhea and stomach upset, so limit your dog’s intake to a few small bites. Resource 1
Can dogs eat yogurt? Plain, low fat yogurt can be a good source of protein, calcium, and probiotics, but some dogs may have difficulty digesting yogurt so it should not be a staple in your dog’s diet. Dogs sensitive to lactose may experience stomach upset or diarrhea after eating yogurt. Check the label: some yogurt may contain artificial sweeteners such a xylitol, which can be fatal to dogs. Resource 1
Can dogs eat zucchini? Zucchini is safe for dogs to eat. The vegetable contains an abundance of fiber and nutrients and is a healthy treat that many dogs love. Because this squash plant is non-toxic, there is no concern for garden-raiding dogs who eat parts of the zucchini plant or flowers. Resource 1
Copyright 2020, The Orvis Company Inc. Since 1856.