What Can Dogs Eat and What Can’t Dogs Eat?
Disclaimer: I am by no means a vet – at all. This article was written through lots of research and I formulated, to the best of my ability, my own opinion. If you are in doubt of feeding your pet any food, on this list or not, do not do it. If your pet has eaten something you are unsure of, call your veterinarian right away.
Often we find ourselves in the kitchen, preparing a snack for the kids’ school lunch or a meal for the family, with our canine friend curled at our feet. They lie there with the puppy dog eyes beaming at us, almost willing us to drop a scrap or just give them a little taste of what’s for dinner. We all think of our pet as a part of the family, and it is very easy to give into the urge to hand them a little morsel. The question is though, as good as it may taste, is it good for them? So, what can dogs eat? What can’t dogs eat? Today we will take a look at some of the most common foods around the house and if they are safe to feed to our four legged family members.
Searching through the internet, you will find a variety of answers to this, what seems to be, straight forward question. Some websites will say yes, some no and some in moderation. So how do we know the real answer to the question? I have combed through dozens of sites and drawn my own conclusion, and here they are.
Can Dogs Eat Bananas?
Short Answer: YES (In Moderation)
• High in fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, biotin (vitamin H) and copper
• Good for teeth, bones, coats and digestion
• High Sugar Content (14g)
• Watch out for large chunks and the peel
• Moderation is key
Can dogs eat bananas is one of the most commonly searched terms on the internet. Until I started doing some research, I had no idea that was a question that really needed answering. However, almost 19,000 people a month want to know, so I am going to give you the low down.
All in all, bananas are good for dogs because they are high in fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, biotin (vitamin H) and copper. These vitamins and minerals are just as good for our dogs as they are for us. They help keep their teeth and bones happy, their coats shiny, and their digestive track regular.
Bananas though, are not part of a dogs natural diet so there are some downsides to peel back. The biggest two are the sugar content and the digestion of the banana. Let’s tackle the sugar content first. The sugar content of bananas is about 14g. That doesn’t seem like a lot until you think about the average cola soft drink having an average of 39g. The bananas looking a little higher in sugar than you thought right? Of course, it is still better for us to eat 2 bananas then drink a cup of cola, but don’t share both the bananas with your pup. Moderation is the key for this not so sweet issue. While the minerals and vitamins are great for your furry friends, the sugar is not in large quantities. Digestion is also a concern when it comes to dogs eating bananas. Dogs can find it hard to digest large or whole pieces of banana. Also the skin, while non-toxic, is impossible for them to digest so peel it and mash it before your doggie enjoys a banana treat. A little tip too, if you don’t want to deal with the squished mess of banana on the floor, freeze some banana slices for a quick treat and no mess.
Are bananas good for dogs? In general dogs can eat bananas. We just need to limit the intake and use them as a treat and not use bananas as a regular part of a dog’s daily diet.
Here is a treat for you, a delicious banana doggie treat you and the kids can make at home.
- 1 egg 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 1 tbsp. honey 1/2 cup mashed banana
- 1/2 cup wheat germ 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten, for brushing
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
- Stir together the egg, peanut butter, banana, and honey in a medium bowl; blend thoroughly. Stir in the flour and wheat germ; mix well. Turn dough out onto a floured board and roll to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes with a cookie cutter, place on prepared baking sheet, and brush tops with egg white.
- Bake biscuits in preheated oven until dried and golden brown, about 30 minutes, depending on size. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
Can Dogs Eat Apples?
Short Answer: Yes (In Moderation)
• Contains Vitamin A, Vitamin B, and Fiber
• Contains Quercetin (Natures Antihistamine for people and dogs)
• Fibrous Pulp Can Help Clean Dogs Teeth
• High Sugar Content (19g)
• Apple Core is a Choking Hazzard
• Apple Seeds Contain Cyanide (Highly Toxic Poison)
Now, let us take a look and see can dogs eat apples. This is another very popular search from our dog loving friends out there. Apples themselves can be very good for your dog. Both the fruit and the skin contain several vitamins and nutrients that benefit us and our four legged companion.
Quick chemistry lesson: Apples contain phytonutrients like many other fruits and vegetables. Apples contain a phytonutrient called Quercetin, which is in the Flavonoids family. This antioxidant, Quercetin, has been shown to have similar properties to medications like Zyrtec and has been used as a natural alternative to antihistamine drugs. So if your dog has allergies, apples can help lower their histamine production. Veterinarians will often prescribe Zyrtec to a dog with allergies, I know firsthand as my dog was given it too, but I will be trying this natural remedy now that I know. (FYI it is also thought to, but not proven, reduce risk of certain cancers, heart disease and asthma in people). Apples also deliver doses of vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber.
The rotten side of apples for your pooch, sugar, 19g depending on the variety. So, again moderation is the key. But worse than sugar, is the seeds and core in apples. Keep your canine away from these. The core is a choking hazard for us and for dogs. The seeds, they contain cyanide. Need I say more? While there is not enough of this stuff in one apples worth of seeds to do harm to people, it is worse for dogs. It’s best to keep the seeds and cores in the garbage and the bite size slices are okay for an occasional puppy treat.
The question, can dogs eat apples is again answered yes in moderation. Apples are also not a part of a dog’s natural diet but do contain a generous supply of nutrients. Steer clear of those poison seeds and your good for a once in a while snack.
If you want to share the benefits that apples bring to your pup in a fun way, here is a great little recipe for doggie pup cakes:
- 1 apple - peeled, cored and shredded 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp. olive oil 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup rolled oats 1 tsp. baking powder
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.
In a large bowl, mix together the apple, cheese, applesauce, eggs and olive oil. Combine the whole wheat flour, oats, and baking powder; stir by hand into the wet ingredients until well blended. Spoon into the prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly pressed. Cool completely before serving.
This recipe did contain minced garlic, however, garlic is on the no good list so I took it out.
Can Dogs Eat Grapes?
Short Answer: No
• Highly Toxic
• Causes Kidney Failure
• Causes Loss of Appetite
• Causes Foul Breath
• Causes Abdominal Pain
• Causes Oral Ulcers
• Causes Tremors, Coma and Seizures
Can dogs eat grapes? This one is a no brainer. There is no way you should let that pup near them. The reason for the toxic effect is still unknown. I couldn’t find any legitimate information on the root cause, just the fact that grapes and/or raisins were no good. Even small amounts can have a devastating effect on dogs. According to PetMD.com, some dogs can ingest a small amount with major complications while other dogs can eat a large amount with no effect. Long story short, let’s not take the chance.
Can dogs eat grapes? Can dogs eat raisins? NO WAY! Keep them away from these at all costs. Also you can add onion, garlic, gum (Xylitol), toothpaste, avocado, alcohol, caffeine, milk/dairy, nuts, chocolate, peaches, plums, raw eggs, raw meat and fish, salt, sugar, and uncooked dough to the list.
Xylitol is found in gum, candy, toothpaste, some baked goods and some diet foods. It causes an imbalance in your dog’s blood sugar.
[Cheese in very limited quantity is ok for most dogs. Too much dairy leads to digestive issues.
Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?
Short Answer: Yes and No
• Packed With Anti-Oxidant Vitamins
• Contain Vitamin A, Vitamin B-12, and Vitamin C
• Large amounts of Beta Carotene and Lycopene (which fight off many diseases)
• Poisonous (Certain Parts)
• Contains Tomatine
• Higher Than Normal Allergy Probabilities
This question, can your dog eat tomatoes, gets a little more tricky. I had trouble finding a great deal of credible information but it seemed to be a highly researched question. So what I found is this. The answer is yes and no. I will explain as best I can.
Tomatoes themselves are not really the issue, as long as they are ripe, red and skinned. The pulp of the fruit is fine for a dog to consume. It has a lot of great vitamins, fiber and potassium. All of these are good for your pup and for you.
The bad comes in when you talk about the green parts of tomatoes. The greens of tomatoes, including un-ripened tomatoes and the skin, contain lots of a chemical called Tomatine. This is a toxic blast for a dog. It has similar symptoms to the grapes above. Even a tomato that looks ripe can still have some of this chemical in it in a toxic dose.
My conclusion to can your dog eat tomatoes was, it is best to avoid. There are plenty of other options that are healthy and you don’t have to be a botanist to decide if they are ripened and safe for your dog to eat. So leave the tomato out of the salad for the dog for now, but the lettuce is safe and low in calories.
Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?
So, let us get some veggies in the mix. In general vegetables seem to be better than fruits, but still should be used as a treat and not a dietary staple. We will start by answering the question, can dogs eat broccoli?
Short Answer: Yes (In Moderation)
• High in Fiber
• Contains Vitamin C and Vitamin K
• Low in Fat and Calories
• Choking Hazzard
• Too Much Daily Intake is Considered Toxic (Isothiocyanate Poisoning)
Broccoli has a great amount of fiber and vitamin C. This is a healthy snack for your pup, but in low doses. According to AKC.org, more than 25% of your doggy’s diet should not be broccoli as it is considered toxic to them. The stems are safer than the head of the plant. Broccoli will also help keep your dog’s teeth clean, has many anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties as well.
You can serve it either raw or cooked. If you decide to go raw on your dog’s broccoli though, go with small pieces to avoid choking. Many of the dog food companies are adding broccoli and some other veggies to their foods now. They are a healthy compliment to your canine’s normal diet, but remember, moderation.
Can Dogs Eat Carrots?
Short Answer: Yes (In Moderation)
• High in Fiber
• Contains Vitamin A
• Low in Fat and Calories
• High in Beta-Carotene
• Helps Support Dental Health
• Choking Hazzard
• High in Natural Sugar
• Too Much Can Cause Stomach Issues
Well, can your dog eat carrots? Yes they can! Carrots are a great in-between meal snack for your pup. They will deliver vitamins, minerals and help with dental health. Raw carrots are best for the dental benefits, however, you can serve them cooked as well. They are a great treat to pack on a walk or a car trip as well.
Just don’t overdo it though. Carrots do contain sugar and like everything we have discussed, are not a part of their natural diet. Also, if your dog does not eat carrots now, introduce them slowly. Most of the information I found said a carrot or two a day is safe, but always check with your vet first.
To recap this information, there are quite a few fruits and vegetables that are safe for our dogs to eat. All of these should be delivered in moderation as a snack and not to supplement their diet. You should always check with your vet before deciding what can my dog eat. There are a lot of things that seem harmless that can do some damage to our little friends so be aware and do your research. This list is not meant to be the end all be all, it is to give you a condensed overview of what I found on a variety of research. Please comment and let us know if we missed anything or if there is other foods you want us to review.
What Can My Dog Eat?
What Can’t My Dog Eat?
Grapes (Or Raisins)
Raw or Green Potato
This is by far not a complete list of things my dog can eat. Nor is it a complete list of things my dog can’t eat. We tried to get as many common things as we could to give you some information. As we have said, ALWAYS consult your veterinarian before feeding your dog anything you are unsure of or have a question about. As always, please feel free to comment if you want us to find out more information. Remember, moderation is the key with any treat that in not a natural part of a dog’s diet. NEVER give your pet the seeds or stems from a fruit.