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We understand: dogs are a part of the family, and you want them to enjoy tasty foods you love. Unfortunately, many popular human dishes are packed with starches and sugars that can upset your dog’s stomach. Are there human foods dogs can eat?
Don’t despair! We’ve rounded up some dog-healthy foods and recipes you can prepare with a clear conscience. These minor modifications should allow you to share your culinary favorites with your pup in a healthy and satisfying way.
10 Human Foods Dogs Can Eat
- Sweet Potatoes
- Green Beans
- Rice and Pasta
Sweet potatoes are a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. This makes them healthy for humans and dogs, though you’ll want to be careful about the amount you feed your dog. Too much fiber can cause diarrhea and stomach upset. (The opposite of what you want when feeding your dog human food.)
As a dog treat, plain sweet potato is considered the better option. While your aunt’s candied yams may be a hit with the family, all that added sugar and fat is sure to upset your dog’s stomach and could cause health issues down the line.
Homemade sweet potato treats can be as simple as this dehydrated sweet potato chew recipe or as fancy as this sweet potato casserole recipe. You can even serve some plain boiled sweet potato as a warm mash over your dog’s regular food for a soothing treat.
Don’t have time to cook? You can also give your dog a wholesome, responsibly sourced option like these treats from Pet Eden.
Apples are full of vitamins A and C and contain plenty of fiber, making them a sweet, crunchy treat for your dog. If you’re sharing a raw apple with your pooch, be sure to cut around the core, as large amounts of apple seeds can be toxic to dogs.
Healthy dog treats sometimes include apple for extra fiber, making it an easy addition to your dog’s diet. We like these chicken and apple sausage chews for our own pups, for example.
Sharing fresh apples with your dog is as easy as giving them a slice while you’re enjoying a juicy snack. You can also dry thin-sliced apple slices for a crunchy treat on the go.
When it comes to baked goods, human apple pie is far too sweet for dogs. You can create a special dessert for your dog like our Gluten-free Apple Pie Bites, or simply stick to the plain fruit.
From cottage cheese to mozzarella, cheese is a savory human food dogs can eat with their human friends.
It’s a good idea to limit the amount of cheese your dog eats daily, however, much like humans, too much cheese can negatively affect your dog’s digestion.
A small piece or spoonful here and there shouldn’t be an issue as long as your dog tolerates dairy well. (Believe us, you’ll know if they don’t.)
With ample amounts of plant fiber, manganese, and vitamins C and K, plain green beans are great for dogs.
There’s even such a thing as a green bean diet for dogs. If your dog has a Thanksgiving-sized appetite but needs to maintain a healthy weight, try adding dehydrated, fresh, or frozen green beans to your favorite savory dog treat recipe or mix in their regular food to keep them full and healthy.
Human dishes such as a holiday green bean casserole will likely upset your dog’s stomach because of, among other things, the heavy cream. Instead, try one of these Instapot dog food recipes and throw some green beans in. Or you can include green beans in frozen dog bone treats.
Or, for some crunchy fun, make a treat of individual frozen green beans.
A crust here or a bit of toast there won’t hurt your dog and may buy you a few precious minutes to finish your meal. While bread isn’t a good source of nutrition for your dog, it isn’t harmful either, as long as you both practice moderation.
A good rule of thumb is the 10% rule. Only 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake should be treats, and pieces of bread are included in that count.
For example, an active 55-pound dog should eat around 1,353 calories a day. A slice of white bread is on average 70 calories per slice. That’s half of your dog’s treat calorie count for the day. (And they’d likely enjoy something a little more exciting than a slice of bread.)
Pumpkins are a verifiable doggie superfood. Pureed pumpkin is well-known for its benefits to your dog’s digestive health.
While human pumpkin pie or other pumpkin baked goods can have ill effects on dogs due to the sugar content and likely inclusion of nutmeg, just a few tablespoons of pumpkin pureé in your dogs’ food can help both diarrhea and constipation.
Pumpkin also adds vitamins and acids that are great for your dog’s skin and coat, so it makes for a healthy treat. You can even buy organic pumpkin prepared just for dogs!
There are countless ways to make pumpkin treats for your pup. Here are eleven quick and easy recipes. For more tasty pumpkin dog treats, try these no-bake coconut pumpkin treats and these 3-ingredient soft-bake pumpkin peanut butter cookies.
Not enough options yet? Here’s another great Rover roundup of pumpkin dog treat recipes, including a summer favorite: frozen pumpkin dog treats.
Though it’s tempting to watch your pup lap up that free dog cone from your local ice cream shop, the heavy dose of dairy and sugar in ice cream can be super hard on your dog’s digestion.
Thankfully, yogurt is a dog-friendly ice cream alternative and easy human food dogs can eat. The calcium, protein, and live probiotics in yogurt will give your dog a tasty dose of helpful nutrients.
Yogurt is great for frozen pupsicles. Be sure to pick a yogurt with no added sugar or artificial sweeteners. (Xylitol is toxic to dogs, so be sure you avoid that sugar alternative.) Looking for a fancier way to give your dog yogurt? You can make these four of Rover’s favorite yogurt treat recipes, including a tasty yogurt frosting for making baked treats extra special.
Meat (No Bones)
Feed your family the meat, toss your dog the bones, and everybody’s happy, right? Actually, not your dog’s digestive system. Bones can be dangerous for dogs because they can splinter as a dog chews, causing choking, cuts in the mouth and throat, and fragments that can get lodged in the intestine.
Instead of throwing your dog the bones, share meat with your dog. Liver is an option, and we love this treat recipe. There are plenty of great bone alternatives for dogs at a bbq. If your dog craves something to gnaw on, give your dog a safe and healthy chew to savor. We’ve rounded up our favorite chew choices.
The options for feeding your dog meat vary wildly. Homemade jerky treats are easy to make using chicken, beef, or salmon. Salmon isn’t just a superfood for people. The oils and proteins are great for your dog’s body (and coat!). For a fun way to serve salmon, try our making our salmon swirl treats.
And this dog-friendly turkey meatball recipe is sure to please…
Eggs are a great way to add some protein variation to your dog’s diet. You can top your dog’s food with a plain cooked egg, or slip them pieces of an unseasoned hard-boiled egg. These mini egg puffs are a great egg-based treat you can prepare for a special doggy breakfast or creative training treat.
Avoid eggs prepared “human style”, with seasonings and butter, and offer raw eggs with caution.
For more egg serving ideas, check out this guide to feeding eggs to your dogs.
Rice and Pasta
While not an everyday food for your dog, plain rice and pasta can be eaten as a sometimes treat or to help a dog that’s been ill get used to eating again.
Rice and pasta are both not that dense nutritionally, so it’s best to limit your dog’s consumption unless directed otherwise by a vet.
More Fruits and Veggies Your Dog Can Eat
There are plenty of fruit and veggies your dog may like. Dried or fresh, try offering bananas, blueberries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, carrots, spinach, and watermelon.
For some real fun feeding your dog veggies, show your devotion by putting together this Veggie Turducken—er, Turdoggen—a gloriously stuffed butternut squash feast made just for your favorite dog (or dogs).
With so many options for feeding your dog fresh foods, your dog can enjoy the bounty of the season without any guilt on your part.