Fido loves to beg for food, no matter what it is. While prepping dinner, opening a takeout box or munching on a savory snack or sweet treat, our dogs are most likely there at our sides, giving us puppy dog eyes to convince us to drop them a bite.
As pet owners, we love to spoil our pups every once in a while. However, there’s a reason dogs are supposed to eat specially-formulated dog food. It’s what’s good for them. While some people food is certainly okay, others can make your pooch as sick as… well, a dog.
Dogs aren’t able to metabolize certain foods like humans can, which can cause an upset stomach or diarrhea at best and organ failure and death at worst. Here are some of the foods you should keep away from your pooch at all costs and some that are okay to sneak under the table every once in a while.
Giving vegetables to your dog is somewhat of a wild card. Some green veggies like celery and broccoli are perfectly fine for your dog in moderation, although they may cause an upset stomach if ingested too often. Corn and carrots are also good snacks that are low in calories, as long as they are chopped up small or given off the cob to prevent choking.
Other vegetables, though—specifically Allium vegetables like onions, garlic, leeks and chives—should not be fed. These veggies are toxic to dogs and can lead to anemia, elevated heart rate and even death.
Most fruits are perfectly fine for your pooch, making them easy treats when you’re helping yourself to a quick snack. Bananas and berries are filled with fiber, vitamins and antioxidants, which all make for a healthy pup. Watermelon is also okay, as long as the seeds and rind are removed so your dog can’t choke.
However, steer clear of fruits like grapes and raisins, lemons and limes. Grapes and raisins are very toxic to dogs and can cause kidney failure. Lemons and limes can cause gastrointestinal issues due to a toxin called psoralen.
Although a grain-free diet is best for most dogs, some grains are okay for them to eat. Rice is easy for your dog to digest, as are small doses of bread. Other wheats and grains can also provide fiber and protein when fed on occasion.
Dairy can be tricky in dogs because they can become lactose intolerant and have a hard time digesting some foods. Some dairy products like cheese and plain yogurt are okay in small doses, but try to choose options low in fat and sugar.
Ice cream should not be fed to your dog, as the high lactose content will be more difficult for your dog to digest properly.
Protein makes up a significant portion of your dog’s diet. For the most part, most lean meats are okay. Stick to things like pork, chicken and turkey for high levels of protein and healthy fats. Fish is also a good source of proteins as well as omega-3 fatty acids to make your dog healthy inside and outside. Eggs are another good source of protein—just make sure they are cooked thoroughly.
Avoid feeding your dog fatty meats like ham, because the high levels of sodium and fat aren’t healthy for them.
In terms of nuts, cashews and almonds are okay, but limit them to only small doses as they are high in fat and can be difficult to digest. Absolutely avoid macadamia nuts. These nuts contain a toxin that leads to vomiting, tremors and depression in dogs.
6. Snacks and sweets
We love our quick snacks, and so do our dogs. Unfortunately, some can make them seriously ill.
Peanut butter is a good choice for dogs because it’s filled with protein and healthy fats. It also makes a great snack to freeze inside a toy. Honey is also good for dogs in small doses due to its vitamins and antioxidants.
Never feed your dog chocolate—the old myth is right. Chocolate contains methylxanthines which can stop your dog’s metabolic system and lead to vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and death.
Also avoid giving your dog any caffeinated beverages like tea, soda or coffee. Caffeine can overstimulate your dog’s nervous system and elevate its heart rate, leading to seizures and potentially even death.
As a general rule, try to limit the amount of salt and fat your dog digests. Also keep an eye out for the types of people food you give it and how often to monitor calories. If your dog is ingesting a lot of high-calorie foods, it can gain too much weight and suffer from diet-related health problems like obesity and joint pain.