In a world where you want to keep your best fuzzy friend happy, you might be tempted to offer them a little bite of what you are snacking on… because, seriously who can resist those big innocent puppy eyes! There are some human foods that are OK to offer to our four legged friends as a small treat, and others that are downright dangerous. When in doubt, run the question past your veterinarian, but here are a few rough guidelines to start the conversation.
Remember, your dog is a carnivore, Rover needs a primarily meat based diet as a starting point. With some of the veggies in particular, use caution with dogs who tend to swallow new treats without chewing much – start with small pieces. You would never want excitement over a new treat to cause choking.
As a general top rule… dogs don’t need (should not eat) all the additional sauces, spices & seasonings that end up on your own dinner plate. Further extend this to include any kind of baked snacks to avoid offering your dog foods that often contain sugar and other unfamiliar and unnecessary preservatives.
This list assumes your dog is generally in good health. Remember, pets also get diseases like diabetes. In cases where health is not optimal, you need to be EXTRA careful and the listed items below (especially the fruits) may not always apply in your situation – this is where your veterinarian should definitely be consulted.
With that preface, here are some snacks that might tempt your dog’s taste buds.
Can Dogs Eat Apples?
Yes, dogs can eat apples. Apples are full of good fiber, vitamins, crunchy texture and sweet taste, doggie will thank you for a taste of this treat. Be mindful to make sure the pieces are cut appropriately for your pet and take care to get rid of nasty seeds, stems and bits of apple core.
Can Dogs Eat Bananas?
In small doses banana is OK as the sugar content can add up. Banana might be a bit of an acquired taste, an informal survey of dog owners in our local neighborhood didn’t result in any dogs who enjoyed (or tried) banana before, but it’s not dangerous for Toby.
Can Dogs Eat Blueberries?
Yes, blueberries are OK for dogs, and due to their small size, no cutting or preparation necessary. If your dog likes the taste it might become a training reward they enjoy. The antioxidants and fiber in blueberries that is good for you, is also good for Fido.
Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?
Yes, as an occasional treat broccoli is OK. Be cautious and avoid stems because they are a little firmer and could cause choking if your dog doesn’t chew fully. Broccoli gets a yellow “warning” label because the leafs on the broccoli plant itself and uncooked broccoli may cause gastric discomfort in dogs.
Broccoli in it’s raw state is harder to digest for dogs. Lightly boiled, as you might prepare for your own dinner plate, a small floret of green stuff is super tasty to your canine companion. A small floret of broccoli should further be pulled apart into tiny pieces to promote safer swallowing. Your dog will likely also appreciate the number of treats offered vs the size of each.
Can Dogs Eat Carrots?
Yes, carrots are OK for dogs and are crunchy fun for Sparky, just be sure to chop them into appropriately smaller pieces as some dogs might try to swallow some bits too quickly. We often have a bag of baby peeled carrots that get quartered before offering a small piece as a treat. Carrots may also offer the slight benefit of helping to clean a dog’s teeth.
Can Dogs Eat Celery?
Yes, celery is OK for dogs to eat… but really… why! Sorry, celery sometimes feels a little like a punishment with it’s high fibre content, often stringy texture and bland taste. But, for your four legged friend, it’s crunchy – Yay! Go ahead and see if Rocky enjoys a piece of celery if that’s what’s being chopped up in the kitchen.
Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers?
Yes, cucumbers are totally fine to offer your dog. They are extremely low calorie and have a range of vitamins that are useful, however it’s an acquired taste, our own dog doesn’t prefer them. Cut into appropriately bite sized pieces so you can offer a greater number of smaller treats.
Can Dogs Eat Green Beans?
Green beans are OK for dogs to snack on. All the usual good points around low calorie, lots of fiber. These are a great treat for helping your pet loose a little weight. If your dog is constantly asking for snacks, try a bean once in awhile. Best to cut them into smaller pieces to make it easier to eat, lightly boiled will be more digestible, but not totally necessary. No salt or other additives when you prepare these.
No, mushrooms are not good for dogs. Some sources say that simple white mushrooms that are supermarket sourced (and edible by people) might not cause a problem for dogs. However, the taste or smell may encourage Fluffy to become interested in wild mushrooms on your forest walk and tempt them to try something that could potentially be poisonous. This is generally something you should be aware of on outings, mushrooms can thrive in many conditions and unexpected locations. Wild mushrooms are not only a danger to people, but our four legged friends as well.
Can Dogs Eat Onions?
Onions are a definite NO! All types of onions are bad for dogs, including the innocent looking chives or scallions (green onions) you might grow in your backyard. Onions can cause dogs to vomit as they cause digestive pain. Some breeds may also be susceptible to poisoning from onions. Do NOT feed your dog onions for any reason.
Many sources say pineapple is safe for dogs, if the theme of small amounts is followed it’s probably fine, but pineapple does have a lot of sugar in it. This is a good time to remind everyone to be cleaning your dog’s teeth on a regular basis. Small chunks of pineapple are not harmful to dogs in terms of digestion. Inside yellow fruit only, no rinds, small treat-size only.
Can Dogs Eat Potatoes? (Part I)
Plain / Russets / Sweet Potatoes – You bet. Dogs are OK with potatoes, cooked only please, nothing raw, no peels. Plain boiled is best, make sure they are not hot when you serve a small chunk. Nothing with salt, butter or other toppings that complicate things. Also, a minor side note about potato is that the leaves of the plant could contain something called solanine, see notes on tomato for more detail, the inner potato flesh is OK, keep Benji away from the potato plants in the garden!
Can Dogs Eat Potato Chips or Fries? (Potatoes Part II)
Talking about complicating things… still on the potato theme, let’s have a quick word about fries and chips. Both a no-go. Fries are obviously cooked in oil, often with salt added… this is not good for your pet. Same applies to potato chips, this is not a canine treat.
Can Dogs Eat Raspberries or Strawberries?
Raspberries and strawberries are both OK for dogs. All the fiber and antioxidant qualities that make them good for humans make them OK for Scruffy too. Moderation is recommended in terms of serving size, once again, concerns over sugar content.
Can Dogs Eat Peas?
Absolutely, peas are great treats for dogs. Summertime finds me in our garden with my buddy snacking on some delicious fresh peas. As with most fresh veggies the fiber and low calorie themes apply here, simple snow or garden peas are fantastic. Given the micro serving size, this might also be a great training reward for small dogs who enjoy the taste. No shells please, just the tasty inside bits.
Red fully ripened tomato in small amounts might be OK for your dog, however a warning about tomato is that it contains something called solanine which is present in the green leafy bits (and possibly unripened fruit of tomato). Solanine occurs naturally in parts of several nightshade plants including potato, eggplant and tomato. It would likely only cause problems in large quantities, but if you want to be safe, avoid it.
Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?
Yes, it’s OK for dogs to eat watermelon. The red fruit is fine, but avoid seeds and rinds which won’t digest well and potentially cause blockages in a dog’s intestines. If you’re enjoying that summertime backyard picnic with the family, your pet will thank you for a small taste of refreshing watermelon. As it’s mostly water content, there’s not too much to worry about.
To Review – Everything noted in this article assumes the veggies and fruits are in their natural state or prepared WITHOUT any additives or toppings. A few of the veggies are only suggested to be OK only after boiling in water.
We’ve avoided talking about specific amounts in the notes above, as we all know, dogs vary greatly in size. A “small amount” of anything to an 8 lb. Chihuahua is vastly different from what is OK for your 70 lb. German Shepherd. Apply common sense as necessary, and remember, your dog is primarily a meat eater!
Disclaimer: As this article refers to health and diet related topics that affect your dog’s well being it should be pointed out that WagWagWoofWoof.com, and the authors here are NOT veterinarians. The information in this article and others on this site is based upon research we have found both online and in print, summarized here for convenience, discussion and a starting point for further reading. Use information found here at your own discretion and risk.