10 “People” Foods for Dogs

10 “People” Foods for Dogs
10 dog-approved people foods will provide your dog with variety and a nutritional boost!


Can my dog eat that? Apples, salmon, pumpkin, beans, yogurt... people foods that are safe for your dog to eat. As a responsible and informed dog lover, you probably know that too much “people food” can make your dog ill or overweight, but there are some human foods that can be safely added to your dog’s meals in moderation to give a nutritional boost to Queenie’s diet and add a bit of variety to her food bowl. Just remember: any additions to your dog’s meals shouldn’t comprise more than 25 percent of her weekly caloric requirement.

Are you worried that your dog has food allergies? Check out Food Allergies in Dogs.

1. Yogurt is a good source of available calcium and protein. When choosing yogurt, pick one that has live active bacteria and no sugars or artificial sweeteners. The active bacteria may act as probiotics. If your pooch is pudgy, make sure that you pick fat-free yogurt but not one that contains fat substitutes (e.g., Simplesse or Olestra). Frozen yogurt is a nice summer treat for dogs.


2. Flax seed (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 fibre. Flax oil is a more concentrated form of omega- 3 fatty acids without the fibre. Make sure that you store the oil or seeds in the fridge in an air tight dark container. 

3. Salmon is a fatty fish which is also a good source of omega- 3 fatty acids. These fats support the immune system and can be beneficial for skin and coat health. There has also been some indication that they may benefit dogs with allergies. You can feed salmon or salmon oil. If feeding salmon, make sure it’s cooked before serving, as raw salmon can carry a parasite that can make your dog sick.

4. Pumpkin is a good source of fibre and beta carotene (a source of vitamin A). Dogs need fibre in their diet. The current trend is towards highly digestible diets that lower stool volume and this is not necessarily a good thing. Keeping the GI tract moving helps keep the cells lining the gut healthy.

5. Sweet potatoes are another source of dietary fibre and contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, beta carotene, and manganese. Sweet potatoes are great sliced and dehydrated as a chewy treat for your dog. There are so many dog treats on the market that we often overlook the simple, healthy, and reasonably priced treats available at our grocery store.

6. Green beans are a good source of plant fibre, vitamin K, vitamin C, and manganese. If your dog has a tendency to put on weight, then replacing some of her regular food with green beans is a great low calorie way to fill her up and help her maintain a healthy weight. Many dogs enjoy green beans frozen.

7. Eggs are a great source of very digestible protein, riboflavin, and selenium. For some dogs that are prone to digestive upset, eggs can give them a little protein boost. Adding eggs to your dog’s food is a healthy treat. Make sure to use cooked whole egg, as raw egg whites can cause biotin deficiency. If you do a lot of training with your dog, consider taking cooked eggs to your next class as training treats.

8. Brewer’s yeast is the yeast that’s left over from making alcohol. Dogs seem to really enjoy the tangy taste of brewer’s yeast. It’s full of B vitamins which are good for skin, coat, and carbohydrate metabolism. Make sure you’re using brewer’s yeast (available at health food stores), not baking yeast which will make your dog sick. Brewer’s yeast can spice up your dog’s appetite. Just sprinkle a little on the food of a picky eater and watch her dive into her food.

9. Apples are wonderful crunchy treats for your dog. Apples with the skin on are full of plant chemicals (phytonutrients) that are thought to be protective against some types of cancer in humans. They are a source of vitamins A and C and fibre. Apple seeds, however, contain cyanide so your dog should not be allowed to eat the core. Though the effects of a few apple seeds will likely not harm your dog, the deleterious effects can accumulate over time if allowed to eat apple seeds regularly.

10. Oatmeal is a good source of soluble fibre. This can be beneficial for some older dogs that may have trouble maintaining bowel regularity. Oatmeal is also an alternative source of grain for dogs that are allergic to wheat. It can be fed in conjunction with probiotics to enhance their function. Keep in mind oatmeal should always be fed cooked and plain with no sugar or flavouring. As always, check with your veterinarian before making any major changes to your dog’s diet, especially if they are on any medications. Upsetting the vitamin and mineral balances in your dog’s diet can have negative effects on your dog’s health and some medications interact badly with some nutrients. The aim of most dog owners is to give their dogs the best diet possible. Good nutrition coupled with a health care program may result in extending your dog’s life by as much as 15 percent. The suggestions above are not meant to replace your dog’s normal, balanced diet. Rather, they are ideas for alternative treats or for adding a little variety to your dog’s meals.

Click here for 10 more "people" food for dogs.

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Comments (58)

Quote re: David Brooks I agree just called my vet apples are good for dogs, The seeds do not contain cyanide. Where on earth Modern dog magazine got that from I don't know.
Mon, 12/03/2012 - 04:48
Apple seeds do contain cyanogenic acids. Cherry pits, and seeds from peaches, plums, almonds, pears, and apricots, contain cyanogenic glycosides which is a cyanide compound. You'd have to consume a lot of apple seeds for it to be so toxic that the body couldn't handle of it, but a few seeds here and there the body can detoxify.
Sat, 09/21/2013 - 15:19
They may not contain "cyanide" but they can be toxic to dogs, just like the pits or seeds of most fruits can. The advisable thing is to never feed them anything w/a pit/seed still in it. You can, by all means, slice an apple & feed it to them, as long as the seeds are removed.
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Sun, 06/24/2018 - 15:25
when i put my bullie on a diet, I replaced dog biscuits with carrots. Now she stands a the frig waiting for carrot treats.
Sun, 01/06/2013 - 19:22
I am glad you are suggesting people add variety to their dog's diet. Not sure how or why fresh, regular foods are considered "people food". I was once brainwashed by the pet food industry and vets about feeding commercial food until I read/researched all I could about providing a fresh, wholesome, carnivore diet to my dogs. I began by making homemade cooked foods and then transitioned my dogs to a raw diet once I learned how to do it. My dogs have been on the Prey Model Raw diet for 2 yrs and it has worked wonders. My dogs shine, they don't have a dog odor, they have shiny white/clean teeth and fresh breath. All of a dog's teeth are made for tearing into meat. I think it's very important to add meat (preferably raw, but lightly cooked if you must) to a dog's diet. If anything, I recommend giving your dog raw ribs, chicken backs/wings/drumsticks, turkey necks at least couple times per week for their teeth cleaning benefits. If you don't want your dog to eat the bone, buy beef ribs as they are very hard and your dog will get a good toothcleaning as he tries to rip the meat of the bones, especially if you leave a couple ribs together. Pig feet are another thing that will really work the teeth. Please read all you can re: home prepared cooked diets and raw diets. If it isn't something you want to do full-time, at least be sure your dog gets meats (examples: beef, chicken, sardines) into his/her diet or at least gets a good quality canned dog food at times.
Tue, 01/15/2013 - 06:48
The purveying notion that home made diets are unhealthy seems to serve the commercial dog food industry. This comment points the finger at the pet food industry, our organization works with the industry on various research projects involving dog supplements and has found their focus emphasizes marketing above the science of nutrition, unhelpful to dog owners. This article's listing of brewers yeast is a prime example. These microorganisms are very difficult to blend into dog food, however their benefits to a dog's digestive system, immune system, and general overall health is unequal, the industry limits the exposure these benefits in their literature. Dog owners should really take this article to heart and further explore home made diets. I recommend starting with the www.VitaHound.com site.
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Wed, 06/20/2018 - 21:57
My dog didn't wait for me to dehydrated the sweet potato for a chewy treat. I caught her in the corner munching on a raw sweet potato she confiscated from the counter!
Fri, 03/15/2013 - 10:42
I want to know these dogs eat no problem?

Sat, 03/16/2013 - 04:33
does anyone know what brand of green beans are okay to plant and are safe to grow for dogs???? i am a gardener and would love to grow my own carrots and green beans for my boys. :)
Mon, 04/01/2013 - 17:17
A very short list of foods. I home cook for mine and add many more foods to their meal.
Thu, 09/17/2015 - 13:36
No special brand. All green beans are OK. bush beans, pole beans etc.
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The purveying notion that home made diets are unhealthy seems to serve the commercial dog food industry. This comment points the finger at the pet food industry, our organization works with the industry on various research projects involving dog supplements and has found their focus emphasizes marketing above the science of nutrition, unhelpful to dog owners. This article's listing of brewers yeast is a prime example. These microorganisms are very difficult to blend into dog food, however their benefits to a dog's digestive system, immune system, and general overall health is unequal, the industry limits the exposure these benefits in their literature. Dog owners should really take this article to heart and further explore home made diets. I recommend starting with the www.VitaHound.com site.
Wed, 05/08/2013 - 21:33
People foods are fine for dogs. Use good judgement regarding portions. Do your diligence on the portions for meats, vegetables and anything in between.
I have been using them as treats for years.
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Sun, 06/24/2018 - 00:59
Our dog's suffered for years from food allergies. We tried countless different dog food, however when my husband finally started feeding our dog's a homemade diet our dog's experienced some relief. Our continual search for foods that would help revealed flax seed as beneficial. I found the VitaHound dog supplement, their formulation contains flax seed as the first ingredient. Not sure if it is the flax seed alone but after including the supplement in our dog's diet they both quit itching and scratching.
Thu, 07/11/2013 - 12:34
My dog has ever increasing allergies and I now have him on a very simple home made food diet with raw, organic meat (not chicken or beef). He reacts very strongly to sweet potato and I have since read that sweet potato can increase allergic response in dogs, so be careful.
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Thu, 06/21/2018 - 14:29
Thanks for sharing this information. But do you think too much of Salmon fish would be good for dogs?
Tue, 07/16/2013 - 23:06
My dachshunds LOVE bananas. It's one of the very few people foods they have ever been given yet I don't see them on this list. Does anyone know if this is a bad idea?
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Sat, 06/23/2018 - 18:23
Brewer's Yeast and Baker's Yeast are both Saccharomyces Cervisae so what particular aspect is problematic for Baker's Yeast? The strain? The Vitamin C that's added to it?

For irony's sake, most beer is made with hops and hops can be fatal to some dogs so if the Brewer's Yeast isn't adequately washed I can't help but wonder if this could be a negative in it's own right.
Fri, 08/30/2013 - 21:14