Most parents and dog lovers generally are very kind people. So, they think there’s nothing wrong with sharing favorite food with their furry family. You may often find your dog just lingering around in your kitchen or under the dining table, sitting tight for any delectable pieces you may “coincidentally” drop when the others aren’t looking. If so, a question on can I feed my dog human food instead of dog food may pop up in your mind.
Well, the answer isn’t totally clear. Some of the foods that humans eat can be given to a dog. Even the food gives health benefits, such as allergy immunity and joint strength. However, many foods, like chocolate, can cause serious health problems for your pups.
Hence, before sharing foods with your dog, keep reading to find out more about the human foods your dog can safely eat or should avoid. Before you feed your dog human food, take a look at things you can do to help your dog who is always hungry.
Giving your dog the right food
While your dog can eat numerous human food sources, feeding him an eating routine that consists of the same food you’re eating isn’t suggested. But, you’ll likely want to get him a nibble from your plate occasionally. So, you must completely know what to give and not to give before letting him chow down.
Balance is also significant, as giving too much food can irritate the stomach. Feeding him rich or fatty food is absolute no. It’s better to give dog food for your pet that suitable with age, size, and activity level.
Pet parents have a wide range of dog food to choose from. Though choosing dog food is not easy, but you could try some simple tips. First, look for food that suits your dog. If you have a small fur kid, you can choose food formula for smaller breeds.
The next tip is checking the label for the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) listed on the packaging. It’s to ensure the food you choose has basic nutritional requirements. Asking your vet for guidance could be the best way to get the correct information on what your pup should eat. Or you can read our guide on what to give your dog to make them feel full.
Best human food for your dog
Many human foods are safe for your dog. So, if you have a question like can I feed my dog human food instead of dog food, here are some of the food your dog can eat. Some of them are actually good to feed your sick dog when they’re not eating.
Bread, either is plain white or whole grain, is safe for most dogs to eat occasionally. But, you should make sure the bread doesn’t contain any extra ingredients like raisins. It could potentially harm his stomach. Besides, you shouldn’t give too much as bread can add some extra calories. It may cause weight gain.
2. Cooked meats
The most common formulas in dog food contain meats as protein, so giving your pet cooked meat is safe. You can add cooked meats together with your dog’s regular food. It provides extra protein and can be a replacement if you’re run out of dog food.
Here is some meat you can give to the dog.
But, you should never give your dog raw or undercooked meat. It’s to prevent a bacterial infection that may cause your dog to get sick. Also, make sure you give plain cooked meats without any additional seasonings, like garlic, onions, or salt.
Furthermore, processed forms of meats, such as ham and bacon, should never be fed to your dogs. The processed meats are often very high in salt, which can be harmful to dogs. What’s more, feed your dog with boneless and skinless meat.
Oatmeal provides plenty of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It’s safe to give your dog oatmeal in moderate portions to keep him from gaining weight. Feed your fur family only plain oatmeal instead of flavored oatmeal.
4. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter contains high fat and calories. But, it’s safe to give your dog peanut butter as a treat in moderate amounts. Also, make sure to feed your dog plain and unsalted peanut butter. Additional ingredients in peanut butter, such as salt, could be harmful to the dog.
Another human food for dogs you can give is vegetables, both raw and cooked. They have fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Also, vegetables are low in calories. They’re good as a healthy snack for your dog. Be sure to cut them into small bite-size pieces to prevent your dog from choking and easy to digest.
Some vegetables safe for dogs to eat are carrots, celery, and broccoli in moderate amounts. Eating plenty of broccoli may irritate your dog’s digestive system because it contains isothiocyanates.
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help the dog’s skin and fur healthy. Besides, fatty acids can reduce inflammation and support the immune system. Feed your dog with cooked, boneless salmon instead of raw salmon.
Most dog foods include eggs as the protein source, so cooked eggs are safe and nutritious for your dogs. It provides lots of vitamins, minerals, and protein. Similar to any protein sources, like salmon and chicken, always give your dog cooked eggs. Raw eggs may contain bacteria like Salmonella, which can risk the infection.
In moderate amounts, corn is a great source of vitamins and minerals for your dog. Most dog breeds also use corn as an ingredient. You can feed your dog a tablespoon or two of plain, cooked corn per day. Remember not to feed your dog corn on the cob, as it could lead to an intestinal problem if consumed.
9. Green Peas
Not only tasty to the dog, but green peas are also high in nutrients and low calories. So, it makes them safe for dogs to eat. Besides, you can give green peas a healthy treat. Avoid canned green peas because they often contain salt. Use only fresh or frozen peas to feed your dog.
Fruits are rich in nutrients, such as antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Besides, they’re low calories, so you can safely feed your pups fruits as a healthy treat.
Some of the fruit you can safely give your dog are:
- Berries (blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries)
- Sliced apples
However, make sure you always remove the seeds from fruits. In some seeds, they contain cyanide that can be poisonous in large amounts.
Also, give fruits in moderate amounts. If your dog eats too much fruit, it may cause digestive problems.
You can give your dog plain, air-popped popcorn for an occasional treat. Make sure there are no extra ingredients, like salt, butter, and oil. These common ingredients added to popcorn are high in fat. It may lead to pancreatitis.
Plain, cooked shrimp is a healthy protein source for your dog. It provides some amount of vitamins and minerals. When you feed shrimp for your dog, make sure to remove the shell to prevent choking.
When you think of the question can I feed my dog human food instead of dog food, you can give dogs plain, cooked potatoes. But, never feed your pup raw potatoes as they contain toxic (solanine). Cooked potatoes reduce the solanine levels. Besides, give your dog only small amounts of potatoes, as they’re high in carbohydrates.
You can feed your dog store-bought mushrooms, like portobello. They’re safe for dogs to eat if only without extra ingredients, such as onions and garlic. You should know that some wild mushrooms may cause poisoning.
Human food dogs can’t eat
As some human foods are safe for dogs to eat, many others aren’t good for your pet.
1. Grapes and raisins
Human foods you shouldn’t feed your dog include grapes and raisins. They have substances toxic compounds that may harm dogs. The toxic has the potential to cause rapid kidney failure and death.
Chocolate is widely known not good food for dog health because of its caffeine and theobromine. These two stimulants may lead dog’s metabolism problem. Dogs may have symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration. Besides, it can lead to more serious health problems, such as seizures, muscle tremors, internal bleeding, and death.
Though sweetened chocolate is less poisonous to dogs compared to powder and unsweetened baker’s chocolate, you should never feed your dog any type of chocolate.
3. Macadamia nuts
Pet parents should never feed their dog macadamia nuts because they contain an unknown toxin. It could lead to tremors, depression, vomiting, hyperthermia, and muscle weakness. Besides, macadamia nuts rich in fat may increase triglyceride levels in a dog’s body. When triglyceride levels are high, it could cause pancreatitis.
The N-propyl disulfide is one of the compounds that are toxic to dogs. This compound is found in onions, so dogs should never eat onions. If dogs eat onion, their red blood cells will get damage. It can reduce the ability to carry oxygen through the body, and dogs have anemia. Onions are toxic to dogs in all kinds of forms, such as juice, onion powder, and leaves.
Your dog should never consume avocados since they contain persin. It’s a toxin and can be very poisonous to dogs. If your dog eats avocado, his or her lungs and chest will have fluid accumulation. It causes oxygen loss, breathing difficulties, and even leads to death.
6. Coffee and tea
Dogs should never consume caffeine, even in small amounts. As you know, caffeine is mostly found in human drinks, coffee, and tea. This alkaloid can stimulate a dog’s nervous system and lead to vomiting, elevated heart rate, hyperactivity, diarrhea, seizures, and tremors.
Another human food you should never feed your dog is garlic. It contains toxic chemicals to a dog, thiosulfates. It could damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Besides, if your dog eats garlic, he or she may experience vomiting, diarrhea, and even need a blood transfusion.
8. Lemons and limes
Some fruits rich vitamins and minerals are good for a dog to consume. But, not lemons and limes. Their skins contain psoralen, a substance that can be toxic to a dog. It could lead to gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea and vomiting. If dogs consume lots of psoralens, they may experience difficulty walking, liver failure, muscle tremor, and even death.
Safety tips when giving human food to dogs
If you plan to feed your dog a healthy diet of food from your kitchen, knowing some tips can be helpful.
1. Know what your dog can consume
Before feeding human food, you should make sure the food is safe for your dog. Avoid giving your dog leftovers that contain additional ingredients as it can lead to a dog’s health problem.
2. Mix the food
It’s not recommended to give your dog only human food. The food may not meet your dog’s nutritional needs. Hence, you can add some human food with dog food into his or her bowls. Or, your dog can eat human food as a treat. What’s more, feed your dog with diverse food, not only one kind of food.
3. Make the change slowly
If you want to add some human food into your dog bowls, give in small amounts of food. Besides, makes sure you feed your dog with food that has similar ingredients to dog food.
4. Feed your dog only what you eat
You shouldn’t give the dog food you don’t want to eat like skin, fat, and gristle. If they’re bad for you, those food also are not good for the dog. Instead of sharing them, you should throw the food away.
5. Control their water intake
Make sure your dog always has access to fresh water, especially after a walk on a hot day. If your dog is still a puppy, read about how much water they should drink during potty training here.
You know your dog would love to eat anything you give, including human food. But, as pet parents, you may have a question about can I feed my dog human food instead of dog food. So, knowing more about what human food you should feed your pup is necessary. Some human food is safe and healthy for your dogs, like bread, some fruits, potato, some vegetables, and meat.
Meanwhile, some others shouldn’t feed your dog. Garlic, macadamia nuts, coffee, and tea are amongst the food dog can’t eat. When feeding your dog with human foods, you also need to make sure to give in moderate amounts of food.
It can prevent weight gain and other health problems. You could ask your vet about specific serving sizes of foods and nutrients your dog needs.