Updated: Feb 25, 2021
There are plenty of people foods we’d love to share with our dogs, but some are much healthier than others. In fact, some foods are even toxic to our dogs. But fear not, there are certain human snacks that can actually benefit our four-legged friends. To see what they are, check out this list of the healthiest human food dogs can eat:
(As always, practice moderation and check with your vet before making any dietary changes.)
Peanut Butter is one of the best treats to give to dogs because it lasts them so long! Plus, its packed full of protein, healthy fats, niacin, vitamin B and vitamin E. Unsalted peanut butter is the best, as too much salt is just as bad for dogs as it is for people. Make sure you check your peanut butter to make sure it DOES NOT contain sugar substitutes like Xylitol, which can be deadly for dogs.
Chicken can be fed to our dogs a variety of ways. Cooked, boneless, skinless chicken meat without any spices or marinades is a perfectly suitable snack or meal additive, but cooked bones should never be fed to dogs. On the other hand, both high-quality raw chicken and raw chicken bones are healthy for our dogs to eat. Cooked bones splinter and can be dangerous, while raw bones are soft and chewy.
(Note: some dogs are lactose intolerant, and any dairy products should be given in small amounts.) If your dog is not lactose intolerant, cheese is an excellent treat choice. Cottage cheese is fed often by many dog owners because it’s high in protein, calcium and is bland and easy to digest.
Carrots are high in fiber and vitamin A while being low in calories, so they make a great snack for your pooch. Chewing raw carrots is also beneficial for your dog’s teeth. If you’ve got an overweight dog, carrots are a great choice for treats because of their low calorie content.
Yogurt is full of protein, calcium and digestive cultures and is an excellent way to improve your pup’s digestive health. Make sure the yogurt you choose includes live active cultures and is non-fat with no sweetener or flavor.
Pumpkin (great probiotic)
Canned pumpkin or fresh, cooked pumpkin with no added sugars and spices is a great choice for dogs with a sensitive stomach. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin A and fiber. If you go with canned, be sure to choose plain pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling!
Fresh eggs can be fed raw or cooked and both have great health benefits. Raw eggs can also be fed with the shell, giving the full amount of biotin, protein, riboflavin and selenium. Cooked eggs should be prepared plain with no salt, pepper or any other seasoning.
Green Beans (good for kidneys)
Green beans are highly recommended by veterinarians for owners looking to help their dogs lose weight. They are very high in fiber but low in calories, making them a healthy treat alternative that’s filling but won’t add any weight.
Salmon is very high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids and is typically the fish used to make fish oils for our pets. Whether you want to give your pooch unseasoned cooked salmon or salmon oil capsules, you’ll be providing healthy vitamins for them. Do not give your dog uncooked salmon for any reason.
Sweet Potatoes (natural probiotic)
Sweet potatoes work similarly to pumpkin as they are high in vitamin A, fiber and other nutrients. They are easily digestible when steamed or baked and served unseasoned.
Apples (No Seeds)
Sliced apples are a healthy and tasty treat for dogs that are full of phytonutrients, vitamin A and vitamin C. They can be given with the skin on, but avoid feeding the seeds as they naturally contain traces of cyanide.
Oatmeal Oatmeal is found in many dog foods and for those not sensitive to grains, it can be a healthy additive to your dog’s meal. Not only is it packed with vitamins and minerals, it’s an excellent source of dietary fiber.
(ground or oil) is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential fatty acids that are good for skin and coat. Whole flax seeds are best if ground right before feeding as this type of fat can go rancid quickly. Flax seed can also be added to your dog’s diet as a source of fiber. Flax oil is a more concentrated form of omega- 3 fatty acids without the fiber. Make sure that you store the oil or seeds in the fridge in an air tight dark container.
Rice is good to feed when your dog has an upset tummy and needs a bland meal. There are a variety of different types of rice. Brown rice is a little higher in protein and a little lower in fat when compared to white rice. White or instant rice is an easily digestible carbohydrate which makes it a good source of energy when your dog has an upset tummy or if you are feeding an older dog.
Squash, like pumpkin, can be added to bulk up his stool and is a good source of betacarotene (provitamin A). Hint: remove the seeds and then slice and freeze the squash to make it a fun, crunchy snack for your dog.
Popcorn that has been air popped with no butter or salt is a great low calorie treat for your dog. Popcorn contains potassium as well as the bone-building minerals phosphorous, magnesium, and calcium. So snuggle up and share that popcorn with your furry friend next time you watch a movie
Lean meat (chicken, beef, or pork) with no visible fat and no added sauces or seasonings can be a great training treat or can add a bit of good-quality extra protein to your dog’s diet. Lean meat is an excellent, balanced source of amino acids, the building blocks of muscle in your dog’s body. Meat is also a great source of B vitamins (Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Pyridoxine, and Cobalamine). These vitamins are involved in energy metabolism in the body.
Liver Liver is available freeze-dried in most pet stores and it is a great training treat. You can also buy it fresh in the grocery store to feed at home. Fresh liver can be cooked and then baked to make your own liver treats. Liver is an excellent source of B vitamins (Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, and Folic acid), Vitamin A, and Vitamin K. It is also a great source of iron. Warning: Too much liver may be toxic to dogs because of its high vitamin A content. Therefore, it is best to limit the amount of liver fed to your dog to not more than 1 g of fresh liver/Kg body weight per day.
Pineapple can be a special treat for your dog. Pineapple contains mostly sugar but it also contains calcium and potassium. Frozen pineapple can be a fun summer treat for your dog. Use in small amounts.
Cottage cheese is high in protein and calcium and it’s fairly bland, so it can be a good way to add some extra protein to your dog’s diet. Cottage cheese is a dairy product and some dogs don’t do well with dairy, so make sure you start with just a small amount.
Parsley has long been thought to improve doggie breath, so next time you are baking treats for your dog, try adding a few tablespoons of chopped parsley for added flavor and color. Parsley can also be a good source of calcium, potassium, and beta-carotene.
Peas can be added right to your dog’s food, frozen or thawed. Peas are a good source of the B vitamin Thiamin, phosphorous, and potassium.