Dogs aren’t known for being picky eaters. In fact, most dogs will chow down on just about anything you put in front of them—for better or worse! And there have, of course, been instances where well-meaning pet parents have given their dog a little treat only to find out that it wasn’t a good choice. So, what can dogs eat?
When it comes to sharing ‘human’ food with your dog, it’s important to have a good understanding of what is healthy for pooches and what can cause them harm. There are only a handful of foods that are highly toxic to dogs, but there are quite a few that are best fed in small quantities or avoided altogether. Conversely, there are also a good number of human foods that are perfectly fine to share with you pup—and actually have some significant benefits for him!
While this isn’t a comprehensive list, it should get you started learning about some of those healthy foods and the foods that dogs can’t eat.
Yes and no—avocados are not ideal for dogs. Avocados contain persin, a natural compound produced within the avocado plant to ward off pests. This can cause health issues if consumed in large amounts. So while a small amount of avocado may be ok, there are better options available.
Yes! Bananas are safe for dogs and are packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Like all fruits, they’re best enjoyed in moderation. Try freezing small chunks for a treat on a hot day!
Yes—dogs can eat beets! They’ve been dubbed a superfood thanks to their enormous range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. While beets are mostly eaten for their root, their leaves are also nutritious, so the whole plant can be given to your dog!
Yes, dogs can enjoy blueberries. They’re not only a rich source of nutrients, but they’re sweet and low in calories. Since they’re small and soft, the risk of choking is very low. Blueberries are so good that many commercial dog treats and meals even contain them!
Yes—dogs can eat cabbage as well. Red cabbage, in particular, contains some important nutrients for your dog. Cabbage is also anti-inflammatory, full of fiber, and helps reduce cholesterol. Remember that cabbage can cause gas and intestinal discomfort in your dog (just like it does with humans), so feed is only occasionally and in small amounts.
Yes, dogs sure can eat carrots. They're an excellent source of nutrients and a crunchy treat. Give them in moderation, as carrots are high in natural sugars, and be sure you cut them small enough that they don't pose a choking hazard for your dog.
Yes—cauliflower is safe for dogs. Cauliflower has plenty of nutrients to offer, including fiber, vitamins K, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and folate. These nutrients support a wide variety of functions in the body, including vision, liver, muscles, and the immune system. Since cauliflower is known for causing gas and bloating in large amounts, it’s best to keep servings small and sporadic.
Yes, cherries are safe for dogs, but only when prepared properly. The pits, stems, and leaves are toxic for dogs. If you're going to share a cherry with your pup, make sure you're only giving her the flesh.
Yes, dogs can eat garlic. With that said, it must be fresh, prepared properly, and given in small amounts. A safe level is about a half clove per 10 pounds of body weight (or less).
No—as yummy as they are, dogs should never have grapes. Grapes are actually one of the most dangerous foods for dogs, and even one or two can have serious (and even fatal) consequences.
No, dogs should not eat onions. The flesh, juice, and leaves of the onion are all toxic to dogs. Avoid giving your dog onions in any form, including raw, cooked, dehydrated, or powdered in a seasoning.
Yes—pears are fine for dogs! Pears are a great source of essential antioxidants, plant compounds, and dietary fiber, which makes them a healthy natural alternative to processed dog treats. With that said, it’s important to remove the seeds (they can release cyanide) and to give pear in small amounts, as it’s high in sugar and has lots of fiber, which can cause stomach upset.
It depends—dogs can eat plums, but you have to be careful. While the flesh of the plum is not harmful for your dog per se, it’s very high in sugar and isn’t the best option if you want to share fruit with your pooch. The pit of the plum is where the real problem lies, though, as it’s hard and indigestible, and can end up causing a serious blockage in your dog’s system.
Yes—radishes are safe to give to your dog in moderation. You likely enjoy the crisp texture in salads, and this texture can help remove plaque or other food matter from your pup’s teeth. Radishes are a great source of vitamin C and fiber, a source of antioxidants, help support healthy blood pressure and nourish blood vessels, and deliver a host of important minerals.
Yes—your dog can eat spinach! Leafy greens are nutritious for both humans and dogs, with spinach offering vitamins and minerals that help strengthen bones, reduce free radicals, support muscle function, and ensure proper functioning of various bodily systems. Since spinach is high in oxalates, rotate it out with other greens to keep things balanced.
Yes—strawberries are safe for dogs and make for a great healthy treat! They're low calorie and offer tons of benefits for your canine pal, including boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation, and supporting good digestion.