Dog owners are very dedicated, loving people who want to share their lives with their canine friends. They want to give them the best of everything from a loving home to a comfortable bed to high quality food. Unfortunately, many dog owners make the mistake of feeding their dog human food with common thinking being, “if it’s good for me it must be good for my dog too.”
This is something kids are especially prone to as they don’t know enough about a dog’s health and physiological system. While there are certain human foods that are great for dogs, other things we eat every day without thinking can be dangerous or even fatal for dogs. Our guide to human food for dogs can help new and experienced dog owners understand the ins and outs of a dog’s digestive system and answer the question of what human foods can my dog eat?
Digestive Health Differences
The first and biggest thing to know about dogs and human food is that there are several human foods that are not safe for a dog to eat. The most common one that everyone knows is chocolate. Chocolate is highly toxic and dangerous for dogs and should never be given to them. The reason for this is the same reason why many human foods are dangerous for dogs.
A dog’s system just cannot process some of the chemicals we have in our food, including those in packaged chocolate. This is the reason why so many processed human foods are dangerous for dogs while fresh foods are usually ok. There are also some foods that are safe to eat but only in moderation due to sugar and fat content. It is vital to keep your dogs at a healthy weight both so he or she can live longer and so they can have a normal, high quality of life.
Here is a list of completely safe foods for your dog to eat:
- Meats (usually without spices or other ingredients)
- White Rice
- Unsalted Peanut Butter
- Seedless Watermelon
- Green Beans
Foods that are safe but should be eaten in moderation:
- Dairy products
- Citrus fruits
- Popcorn (be careful of unpopped kernels)
Dangerous Foods You Need to Know
As we’ve discussed, it is difficult for dogs to process certain chemicals in foods we eat every day. These chemicals can have adverse effects ranging from minor health issues to fatal reactions. Here is a list of foods you should never give your dog under any circumstances.
- Caffeine of any kind
- Macadamia Nuts
- Coconut Water
- Raisins or Grapes
- Onions, Garlic or Chives
- Raw meat
- Raw Eggs
- Xylitol (artificial sweetener)
Nutritional Information and Counseling
The most important tip you can take away from this guide is that keeping a dog healthy is important and not as easy as one might think. Since dogs are usually smaller, changes in their weight mean more to them in terms of their long-term health. While humans can gain or lose a couple pounds here and there without issues, a 9-pound dog gaining 2 pounds is a huge problem.
It is crucial to be educated about your dog’s health and feed them appropriately. At Riverside Animal Center, our veterinarian staff and nutritional counselors can help you meal plan for your dog and understand what they need to be as healthy and happy as possible.
As with many things regarding dogs, there are few easy blanket answers. Human foods are not all good or bad and dog owners need to research the ingredients and processes behind foods before feeding them to their dogs. At Riverside Animal Center, our staff can help stay ahead of the game or help fix up your pup should something go wrong.
If you have questions about dog’s health or diet and want to know more about how best to feed them, contact us today for more information.