Dogs have different digestive systems than humans. Some foods that are safe for people may or may not be harmful to dogs.

This article looks at several foods that are safe for dogs to eat, and which ones they should avoid.

It is important to remember that this will depend on each dog.

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Many foods that people can eat are safe for dogs. However, they should only be eaten in moderation.


Carrots are a healthful food for dogs. Chewing on carrots can help remove plaque from their teeth and promote good dental health.

Carrots are also a good source of vitamin A, which is beneficial for a dog’s immune system, skin, and coat.


Apples are a great source of vitamins A and C and dietary fiber, which can help regulate a dog’s digestion.

That said, a 2001 study found that eating rotting apples can lead to alcohol poisoning in dogs.

White rice

Cooked, plain white rice can be a good option for a dog with an upset stomach. It is easy to digest and helps bind stool.

However, white rice can cause blood sugar levels to rise. Dogs with diabetes should only eat it in small amounts.

Dairy products

Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and plain yogurt, may be safe for dogs to eat in small quantities.

That said, eating too much dairy can cause digestive problems. This is because dogs have low levels of lactase, a digestive enzyme that breaks down the sugars in milk.

Dogs with lactose intolerance should not eat dairy products. Signs of lactose intolerance include diarrhea or vomiting after consuming anything that contains dairy.


Salmon, shrimp, and tuna are all safe for dogs to eat and are good sources of protein.

Salmon and tuna are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which may have health benefits for dogs, such as maintaining a healthy immune system.

The B vitamins in shrimp can also help maintain a dog’s digestive system and promote healthy blood circulation.

It is important to cook fish before feeding it to a dog, as uncooked fish can contain harmful parasites.


Plain, boiled chicken with no seasoning is a good option when a dog has an upset stomach.

Peanut butter

Unsalted peanut butter with no added sugar or sweeteners is safe for dogs to eat in moderation.

Peanut butter contains many beneficial elements, including vitamins E and B, niacin, healthy fats, and protein.

However, it is vital to check that the peanut butter does not contain a sweetener called xylitol, which is highly toxic to dogs.

Anyone who suspects that their dog has ingested xylitol should immediately contact a veterinarian or call the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC).

Plain popcorn

Plain popcorn, without salt, butter, or sugar can be a nutritional treat for dogs, according to Animal Kennel Club (AKC).

Popcorn contains minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc which are all important for keeping dogs healthy.

Make sure dogs do not eat any unpopped popcorn kernels, as this could cause them to choke.


Unseasoned, cooked pork is safe for dogs to eat, according to AKC.

However, they should only consume small portions of pork. The high fat content is hard for dogs to digest and it can cause inflammation and pancreatitis.

Refrain from feeding dogs bacon or processed ham due to the high salt content.


Cooked turkey is safe for dogs to eat, but it should be plain and unseasoned. Many commercial dog foods contain turkey, as it is a good source of protein.

Before giving cooked turkey to a dog, remove the fat first. Too much fat can cause pancreas issues in dogs.


Blueberries are safe for dogs to eat and are a rich source of fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals.

Antioxidants may provide several benefits for dogs, such as reducing oxidative stress, risk of diseases and disorders, and age-related issues.


Bananas are full of magnesium, which is important for good bone health.

However, due to their high sugar content, bananas should only be an occasional treat for dogs.


Cucumbers are a safe, low-calorie snack for dogs, and they can be a good option for those who are overweight.

Cucumbers also contain plenty of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin K.

Green beans

Plain green beans are a good, healthful snack for dogs. They are a source of protein and also contain calcium, iron, and vitamin K.

Dogs can eat green beans cooked or raw. However, avoid seasoning them and chop up the beans first to prevent choking.

A person should consult a veterinarian to see if their pet needs extra fiber in addition to what is included in their diet.


Watermelon is safe for dogs to eat, but it is important to remove all the seeds first, as these can block the intestines.

Chewing on the rind can also cause an upset stomach, according to the AKC.

Watermelon has a high water content, so it can help keep dogs hydrated. It is also a good source of vitamins A, C, and B-6.

Coconut products

According to the AKC, coconut oil and meat may have several benefits for dogs, such as:

  • reducing inflammation
  • boosting the immune system
  • benefitting the skin

A 2018 study suggests that coconut oil supplements may also help reduce seizures in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy.

It is encouraged to consult a veterinarian before implementing any type of seizure management protocol.

Some foods that are perfectly safe for humans can cause problems or illness in dogs.

Anyone who suspects that their dog has eaten something toxic should call a veterinarian or the APCC immediately.


Avocados contain a substance called persin. According to the AKC, this may be toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and myocardial damage.

However, a 2022 study suggests that avocado meal (AMD) may be a suitable source of dietary fiber for dogs. AMD is a byproduct of the avocado oil process, whose persin levels are too small to be detected.

That said, further research is needed.


Cherry pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous and can negatively affect the cardiovascular system. They can also be a choking hazard or block the intestines if a dog swallows them.

Chocolate, coffee, and caffeine

Never give chocolate, coffee, or anything containing caffeine to dogs.

These products contain chemicals called methylxanthines, which are highly toxic to dogs. The chemicals can cause vomiting, an abnormal heart rate, seizures, and sometimes death.

Chocolate treats are available for dogs, but these contain a special chocolate substitute that is safe for them to eat.

Raisins and grapes

Grapes, raisins, sultanas, and currants are all highly toxic to dogs. They can cause kidney failure and, in some cases, death.

Refrain from giving dogs any product that may contain these foods, such as fruit cake or malt loaf.

Citrus fruits

Citrus plants and their fruits, such as oranges and lemons, contain citric acid. While eating small amounts of the peeled fruit is okay for some dogs, it can cause an upset stomach in others.

In larger quantities, citric acid can lead to nervous system depression.


A 2012 suggests that cinnamon may have potential heart benefits for dogs. However, according to the Pet Poison Helpline, large amounts of cinnamon may cause:

Macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs and may cause symptoms like:

  • weakness (particularly hind limb weakness)
  • depression
  • vomiting
  • tremors
  • hyperthermia
  • abdominal pain
  • stiffness

Symptoms of toxicity may develop 12 hours after consuming macadamia nuts.

Ice cream

Some dogs may have an allergy or intolerance to lactose. They may experience symptoms like itchiness if they eat it.

Onions, garlic, and chives

Onions, garlic, and chives are all part of the Allium genus family. They contain substances called organosulfoxides, which are toxic to dogs and may lead to:

Raw or undercooked meat

Raw meat may contain types of bacteria that can cause food poisoning in dogs and humans, such as:

Cooking the meat properly kills the bacteria.

Although certain manufacturers have promoted the benefits of raw meat for dogs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people do not feed raw meat to their dogs because it may cause food poisoning.

Raw eggs

Cooked eggs are a great source of protein for dogs. However, eating raw eggs may expose dogs to certain bacteria like Salmonella or they may develop biotin deficiency, according to AKC.

In addition to food poisoning in dogs, several of the organisms that pets can get from raw foods are transmissible to people and can make them sick as well.

Salty foods

Too much salt can cause excessive thirst and urination in dogs, as well as sodium ion poisoning.

Symptoms of this poisoning can include:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • involuntary shaking, or tremors
  • high temperature
  • seizures


Xylitol is a sugar substitute that manufacturers add to a variety of human foods.

However, xylitol is highly toxic to dogs. It can cause liver failure and dangerously low blood sugar levels.

Bread dough

While bread is generally safe for dogs, the dough can be dangerous.

The yeast in dough can cause it to keep expanding inside the dog’s stomach, which can cause bloating and lead to dangerous complications. The yeast also produces ethanol, and this can cause alcohol poisoning.


Alcohol contains ethanol, which is very dangerous for dogs and can lead to a range of serious complications, including coma and death.

Many human foods are safe and nutritious for dogs. However, a person should generally feed dogs these foods in moderation, as larger quantities can lead to health issues.

Below is a list of foods that are generally safe to eat or harmful and toxic.

Generally safeHarmful or toxic
• carrots
• apples
• white rice
• some dairy products
• cooked fish, chicken, pork
• unsalted peanut butter with no added sugar
• plain popcorn
• blueberries
• bananas
• cucumbers
• green beans
• watermelon
• coconut products
• avocado
• cherries
• chocolate
• coffee and caffeine
• citrus fruits
• raisins and grapes
• cinnamon
• macadamia nuts
• raw meat or eggs
• alcohol
• bread dough
• onions, garlic, and chives
• salty foods
• xylitol

It is crucial to keep any foods or substances that are dangerous for dogs out of their reach.

If in doubt about a particular food, speak to a veterinarian before giving it to the dog.

Anyone who suspects that their dog has ingested something potentially harmful should immediately call a veterinarian or the APCC for advice.