Dogs are our best friends and we love sharing our lives with them. For some people, this means sharing their home, their bed, and even their food. However, there are some human foods dogs can and cannot eat.

Their digestive system is different from ours. There are some foods we can easily digest and dogs can’t. Some human foods can be very hard for dogs to properly digest which can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhea, and worse.

On the other hand, there are human foods dogs can eat just fine. They may even give your dog some great nutrients that will improve its overall health. But be aware that even healthy foods fed in excess can lead to dog obesity.

If you want to learn about 10 human foods dogs can and cannot eat, keep reading and you might be surprised.

5 human foods that dogs can eat

1. Cooked eggs

Cooked eggs are a great source of protein and can help treat an upset stomach. But be sure to cook them all the way through. Raw egg whites can cause biotin deficiency in your dog which can lead to skin and coat problems.

2. Dairy Products

As long as you proide dairy in small quantities, you can feed your dog dairy products such as milk, cheese, and plain yogurt. Providing too much dairy can cause digestive problems as dogs don’t have as much lactase as humans. Lactase is a digestive enzyme that breaks down lactose. If your dog is lactose intolerant it means it doesn’t have this enzyme at all. So you shouldn’t be feeding your dog any dairy products in that case.

Cheese can be a great treat but avoid the ones high in fat. Go for lower-fat varieties such as cottage cheese or mozzarella.

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3. Peanut Butter

Unsalted peanut butter is a very healthy treat for dogs. It’s a great source of protein and it’s full of healthy fats, vitamin B, vitamin E, and niacin. However, you should read the label to check that it doesn’t contain xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that can be toxic for dogs. You’ll read more about it in the next section.

4. Popcorn

Going on a home movie marathon with your dog? Go ahead and share a couple of popcorn with your pooch. As long as they’re unsalted and unbuttered, your dog can have a couple of them but not too much. Make sure there aren’t any unpopped kernels as they can be a choking hazard.

Popcorns have riboflavin and thiamine which can improve eye health and digestion. They also have minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. All of which can benefit your dog’s overall health.

5. White rice

Not only can dogs eat white rice but it’s a great option if your dog has a sensitive stomach. As long as it’s cooked and plain, white rice is easy to digest and helps bind your dog’s stool. Because white rice can cause blood sugar levels to rise, you should only feed it to a diabetic dog in small amounts.

5 human foods dogs can’t eat

1. Avocado

As much as you may love avocado toasts, unfortunately, you won’t be able to share it with your pooch. Avocados have a toxic substance called persin which can make a dog vomit and cause diarrhea. This substance is in the avocado’s leaves, seed, bark, and the fruit itself so if you grow it at home, keep your dog away from it. Besides, the seed can cause an obstruction in your dog’s digestive system and become fatal.

2. Chocolate

You’ve probably heard about this before and it isn’t a myth. Chocolate contains a substance called methylxanthines. This substance is a stimulant that stops a dog’s metabolic processes. It’s best to put all your chocolate away and don’t have it anywhere that is accessible to your dog. If your dog eats even just a little bit, they can experience diarrhea and vomiting. If your dog eats a large amount of chocolate, it can cause seizures and even death.

If you think your dog ate chocolate, call a vet immediately.

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3. Coffee

Like chocolate, coffee also has methylxanthines. So make sure you keep the coffee beans and even tea bags away from your dog. The effects it has on your dog are the same as if it ate chocolate and you should also call a vet immediately.

4. Onions

Onions contain a substance called organosulfoxides. This substance is toxic and can lead to your dog having stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and may even cause anemia. You’ll only see signs of poisoning a few days after your dog has eaten it. Organosulfoxides are present in all forms of onions. It’s in dehydrated onions, raw and cooked onions, and even table scraps with onions. 

5. Xylitol

As mentioned before, xylitol is a sugar substitute and it’s found in many human foods. You can find xylitol in sugar-free gums, diet foods, and diabetic cakes. Unlike in humans, xylitol causes insulin release in dogs which can lead to hypoglycemia (low sugar level).

Besides hypoglycemia, it can also cause liver failure and early symptoms of xylitol poisoning include vomiting, lethargy, and may even cause seizures. The severity of a dog’s reaction to xylitol ingestion isn’t dose-related. This means that even a very small amount can be dangerous and lead to death. So if you think your dog ate any xylitol, call your vet immediately.

Making sense of it all

As you can see, not every human food is safe for dogs. Just because you can safely eat something it doesn’t mean that the same is true for your pooch. Some foods can even have very severe consequences on a dog’s life. At the same time, there are some human foods dogs can eat. But, to avoid your dog gaining excess weight, human food shouldn’t make up for more than 8-10% of your dog’s diet. Dog obesity can also lead to health issues such as diabetes or health problems.

If you’re planning on sharing any other human foods with your dog that are not on this list, be sure to check if they’re safe for dogs first. You can also sign up for a dog meal plan service and have healthy food sent to your pup.