We try to include our dogs in our day-to-day activities, from going out to parks to hanging out on the couch while watching Netflix.
But while all those things can be enjoyable for our dogs, the same can’t be said about the kind of food we humans eat. Can Dogs Eat Human Food? is a conflicting question for many dog owners?
While many foods made for human consumption are suitable for dogs, there are others that can be toxic for them. Dogs have a different digestion system, so some food material doesn’t break down in their body easily. But they can still supply the required nutrients.
Can Dogs Eat Human Food?
Yes, dogs can eat human food. It can even be quite nutritious for them besides dog food, especially if you consider changing your dog’s diet. Human food provides a lot of options for your dog’s meals and also many different flavors.
It can even diversify the nutrient intake of your dog. Monotonous meals can make dogs bored, too, and they might end up rejecting their meals if you only feed them chicken or meat! Add twists to their meals by sharing your treats with them.
What are the Health Benefits of Eating Human Food for Dogs?
While dog food is supposed to fulfill all your dog’s nutritional needs, the packed nature of the food and limited ingredients make it lack many things. This can be compensated with human food as it has much more variety.
Foods like fresh vegetables, fruits, and rice can contribute to fiber consumption, improving their digestive system.
Fruits and vegetables are the best human food you can feed your animal. These are filled with vitamins that are antioxidants that improve immunity and health in dogs. This will also make their skin and coat healthier.
Feeding your dog fresh, good-quality, and well-cooked meat can improve bone health.
Human food will also reduce exposure to preservatives, and other artificial chemicals that packed dog food comes with. Home-cooked meals are said to have reduced the chances of cancer in dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Fruits?
Yes, dogs can eat most fruits. As mentioned before, foods with seeds in them are dangerous for dogs.
So you can feed those kinds of fruits by removing the seeds from the inside. But some fruits are completely toxic and cannot be fed to dogs. These are grapes, avocados, tomatoes, and persimmons.
You should avoid keeping these foods in the vicinity of your dog’s reach as they might end up playing with them and eating them. Fruits with smaller seeds like cherries, peaches, and plums should be avoided, too.
They can be easy to swallow but cause digestive problems and diarrhea in your dogs. Fruits like watermelon should also be fed with seeds removed.
Can Dogs Eat Vegetables?
Yes, dogs can eat vegetables. They should be well cooked but with less oil and spices, as while they need to be well digested by your canine friend, they have sensitive stomachs too.
There are some vegetables that you shouldn’t involve in your dog’s diet. First is the vegetable family of alliums which includes garlic, leeks, green onions, shallots, and chives.
While most of us cannot go on without the flavors that the allium family provides us, it can be problematic for dogs. The elements in this family cause the oxygen flow to get obstructed in dogs’ bodies. This can cause nausea and even anemia in them.
Mushrooms of unknown origins should be avoided too. For instance, if you go on a walk in a park or the woods and your dog picks on a randomly found mushroom, make sure they don’t eat it. The vegetable can be poisonous, or your dog could be allergic to them too.
Can Dogs Eat Nuts?
No, dogs can’t eat nuts. Nuts are a difficult food to digest even for humans, so it is even worse for dogs. Macadamia nuts are even scientifically toxic for dogs because of their toxins.
They can cause various problems, including permanent damage to their internal organs. Dogs can also choke on nuts, or they might swallow the nuts without chewing them properly, which can block their intestines and cause digestion problems.
If you still wish to feed your dogs some other nuts like cashews, you can roast time slightly because the nut becomes easier to break down. Do not season the nuts or feed them salted nuts. Largely, you should avoid feeding them nuts at all.
Can Dogs Eat Chocolates or Sweets?
No, dogs can’t eat chocolates or sweets. Chocolate has theobromine and caffeine, which the bodily functions of dogs cannot handle. It can cause many internal issues in dogs, including severe and fatal problems like a heart attack or seizures.
While sweetened and less concentrated chocolate is not as toxic for dogs, you shouldn’t let your dogs eat chocolate or products made of chocolates at all.
Many packed foods that are sweet have an artificial sweetener called xylitol in them. While it is perfectly fine for human consumption, it can be deadly for dogs. Xylitol makes the blood sugar levels in dogs go down too low to be safe, and its effect is very rapid.
Check the ingredients of all packed food you are feeding your dog before giving it to them.
Can Dogs Drink Beverages?
No, dogs cannot drink most beverages. Tea, coffee, soft drinks, and energy drinks contain large amounts of caffeine.
While caffeine helps us get through our day-to-day activities, the same can’t be said for dogs. Their hearts or brain activity cannot stand caffeine’s huge effect on them. It can result in seizures and heart attacks.
The same goes for alcohol which you should avoid even keeping close to your dog’s reach. Alcohol can take a toll on dogs’ mental states and can even cause their untimely death.
Can Dogs Have Dairy Products?
No, dogs can’t consume dairy products. Dairy products contain fatty compounds as they are procured from other animals. The fat can be hard on the sensitive digestive system of dogs and would also cause a rapid weight gain in them.
You can give them a small amount of milk or yogurt or ice cream here and there if they like it but try to avoid the involvement of more dairy in their meals.
Can Dogs Eat Expired Human Food?
No, dogs cannot eat expired human food. It is a wrong assumption that animals are immune to food that has gone bad or expired.
One might think that that’s all that stray animals survive on, but it doesn’t mean that food equivalent to garbage is good for their health.
You should not feed your dog anything that you won’t eat. This could be bread with mold on it or weeks-old milk. Give your dogs fresh and good quality human food only.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Human Food?
Yes, dogs can eat cooked food. Cooked food is a better option than feeding them raw food. Raw meat is even so toxic for dogs that it can kill them. But there should be a certain way of cooking their food.
Dogs cannot consume condiments. They should at least avoid condiments in their meals as much as possible. Salt, especially, can damage their kidneys because of its sodium.
Other spices can also make your dog uncomfortable. They do not require as many different flavors in their food as we do. So, you should not feed them food that is full of condiments.
In the case of meat, you should also remember to remove the fat beforehand as dogs’ stomachs cannot handle too much fat.
You should cook meat or any other food just like how you would eat it for your dog (sans the spices and fat).
Can Dog Food be Completely Replaced with Human Food?
It is not advised to completely replace dog food with human food from your dog’s diet. We already know that dogs have different bodies, and completely relying on human nutrition can upset their stomach.
On the other hand, many dogs prefer to eat only home-cooked meals. Many dog owners also believe in a diet without commercial dog food for their pets as they might have harmful preservatives, which can be fatal in the long run.
Contacting your vet would be the best action to make a decision regarding this. Every dog’s body and needs are unique, and we cannot push our wishes onto them.
Do your research, observe what your dog likes and dislikes and plan perfect meals according to taste and nutrition.
Is it Bad for Dogs to Eat Human Food?
Not necessarily, but it can be. Resisting your dog’s request with whines and puppy eyes is difficult. But your paw friend’s health is more important than anything else, and you shouldn’t take any risks.
You might want to consider a few things before deciding on feeding your dog something that is not dog food.
Differentiation Between Non-Eatable and Eatable Parts
Many foods, especially ones with seeds like fruits and vegetables, are difficult to eat for dogs. Just like children, they don’t have an awareness of what they can eat and what they cannot.
Seeds of several fruits have toxic compounds, which can be fatal to anyone, and dogs might not have the understanding to throw the seeds out.
The same goes for pieces of fish and meat with bones. Always serve these foods without the bones and seeds.
Can Lead to Weight Gain
Human food can lead to weight gain in dogs. Our food usually comes in servings according to our consumption. We can consume more than dogs because of our larger size and stronger digestive system.
The dogs might end up eating more than their daily calorie requirement, making them gain weight fast. Controlling their intake of scraps from your plate is crucial. You should also keep their weekly consumption of human food limited.
Can Lead to Bad Eating Habits
Many pet experts recommend avoiding feeding your dog directly from the dining table or your meal utensils frequently. This practice can develop bad eating habits in them.
They would eventually think it is okay to eat from the table and might do so whenever they want. This can also make them whinier about getting fed. Keep their utensils separate and be strict about where they can take their food.
How Frequently Should Dogs Eat Human Dood?
As mentioned before, a dog’s 100% diet should not be human food. Accordingly, you shouldn’t make all the meals full of human food. A few treats here and there should be fine.
But don’t let them go on without dog food for too long as it might weaken them because of the lack of required nutrients.
You can alternate between meals with human and dog food. Lunches can just be their dog food, while dinners can be the pasta or rice you have cooked with fresh meat and veggies!
What are the Healthy Habits for Your Dog’s Nutrition?
Feeding your dog the best food options available on the market is best. But of course, you can feed them the food you eat to make their meals healthier. Below are some points to keep in mind before doing so:
It might be helpful to get advice from your vet on how many calories your dog should consume.
Dogs have different requirements according to their size and activities. Creating a chart for their meals and counting calories with everything they eat can be an easy practice.
Consider the Ingredients
After reading the above list, you realize that many common foods we eat in every meal are toxic for your dog.
You should educate yourself on remembering these foods and check the ingredients of all foods you are keeping around your dog.
Just stay careful enough about what you are feeding them; with this article, can dogs eat human food?