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Seven People Foods that are Safe for Dogs (and 4 that aren't!)

White dog eating a treat from hand

While keeping your dog on his or her canine diet will ALWAYS be the best and safest option, sometimes you simply can’t resist treating your pup to a table scrap or two. Before you do though, it’s important to know which human foods are safe for your dog and which ones are not. Some human food can be extremely dangerous, and even deadly for dogs.

Before treating fido to anything new, it’s always best to consult your veterinarian first. And remember, moderation is key.

Human foods that are safe for dogs

1. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a common and popular treat for dogs. When stuffed inside a favorite toy is can keep your doggo busy for hours! Try to stick to the natural variety (raw, unsalted) but especially avoid a brand with artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which is very harmful for dogs.

2. Baby Carrots

Baby carrots are a fun, crunchy snack that are totally dog-approved. Low in calories and high in vitamin A, fiber and beta carotene.

3. Pumpkin

Pumpkin is another safe snack that is already found in a number of dog treats and food. Nutritionally, pumpkin is also high in fiber, vitamin A and beta carotene. It can also aid in digestive issues like diarrhea and constipation.

4. Salmon

A little bit of cooked salmon is safe to feed your dog, or you could even put a bit of salmon oil over his kibble before he eats. Salmon is high in omega 3 fatty acids which can help keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy and shiny. Salmon or salmon oil can also provide relief for dry, itchy skin.

5. Chicken

Cooked chicken is high in protein and safe to give as a treat for dogs. Avoid excess salt and spices and try to keep it as plain as possible. Also, make sure there aren’t any bones as those pose a dangerous choking hazard.

6. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes have similar benefits to dogs as carrots and pumpkin. Cooked and unseasoned sweet potatoes are a tasty treat!

7. Plain Yogurt

Probiotics found in yogurt are as beneficial to your dog’s gut as they are to yours. Look for a plain variety of yogurt with no added flavoring or sweetener. It’s also a good bet to make sure your dog isn’t lactose intolerant before feeding any type of dairy.

Human foods that are not safe for dogs

Make sure to avoid the following foods at all costs- these are not safe for dogs to eat and can be very dangerous for your pet’s health.

1. Grapes

Grapes and raisins contain toxic compounds that can be detrimental to your dog’s health. Consumption can lead to rapid kidney failure- avoid ingestion and consult a veterinarian immediately if you suspect your dog has eaten one of these foods.

2. Chocolate

Chocolate is toxic for dogs and can cause a serious medical emergency. Theobromine is the toxic component present in chocolate; dogs are simply not able to metabolize it as effectively as humans. Different types of chocolate will have different levels of theobromine so the hazard to your pet depends on the type, amount consumed and how large your dog is. Contact your vet right away if you think your dog has gotten into any type of chocolate.

3. Xylitol

Xylitol can be found as a sweetener in many foods and is often present in gum, candy, and baked goods. It can cause insulin release which can lead to liver failure, and it is not a safe food for dogs. Watch out for vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination and contact your veterinarian if any of these symptoms are present.

4. Onions and Garlic

Keep onions and garlic away from your dog as they can kill his red blood cells and cause anemia. This includes powdered, raw, cooked, and dehydrated varieties!