Humans and dogs metabolize food in a completely different way. This is the reason why some foods might be deadly and poisonous for your pet but are perfectly fine for humans to eat.
However, there are a lot of human foods that your dog should actually eat. Not only will they love it, but it will also make them healthier and improve their lifespan.
A Balanced Diet For Dogs
It is essential that your dog’s diet is balanced and complete. This means that his meals, over the course of a week or two, must satisfy all of his nutritional needs. Those needs include adequate protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, as well as a good supply of quality fats.
Don’t worry though, unless you’re feeding your dog the same exact thing every single day, not every meal has to be completely balanced and contain every single nutrient. Just make sure he is getting a variety of healthy real food each day and his needs will be met.
If you ever visited a nutritionist yourself you know that they don’t give you the exact recipe for each meal you are supposed to eat. Instead, you are given more general information and guidelines on food groups, as well as recommended portion sizes.
Balance is the key for us, and the same goes for dogs.
As long as your homemade human food is targeting every single healthy food group, while at the same time avoiding specific unhealthy foods, your dog will be completely fine.
Making a perfect balanced diet for a young dog is extremely important. Ensuring a puppy gets all the right nutrients early in life is even more crucial than it is for an adult dog. Having too much or too little of certain foods can also harm your puppy more than it would an adult dog.
Why Feed Your Dog Human Food?
Many experienced dog owners and medical experts are starting to agree on one thing. Homemade dog food is better for dogs than commercial dog food you buy from the store.
You might be asking yourself, how is that possible? I mean, after all, it’s called dog food, doesn’t that make it perfect for my loving puppy?
No! It doesn’t.
Commercial dog foods contain all kinds of ingredients that are bad for your dog but are good for dog food company profits.
- Meat byproducts – so they could save money on healthy meat
- Additives – to add flavor and smell to the ‘meat’ we just mentioned
- Preservatives – so the packages can stay on the shelves longer until they sell
We must also mention that many of those bad ingredients are also carcinogens. Believe us, you do not want your dog eating that.
If you want more information on these harmful ingredients and what you should feed your dog instead, see our article on Dog Food Secrets.
The good news, however, is that it is completely different when it comes to human food. If you can feed your dog healthy human food while avoiding those human foods that are toxic for your dog, he will become healthier than ever.
Here are some health benefits that homemade food brings to the table:
- Healthy digestive tract
- More energy
- Stronger, shinier coat
- Longer lifespan
- Better breath
- More muscles
- Healthy joints
What Human Food Can You Feed Your Dog?
Different types of human food can be either extremely beneficial or toxic for your dog.
Before you go all MasterChef on your dog, see the info below to learn which foods he is not allowed to eat.
Human Foods That Are Toxic For Dogs
- Nuts & Almonds
Theoretically, they should be safe to consume in small amounts. However, they can prove quite difficult to digest for your dog and may even cause symptoms like vomiting, choking and difficulty breathing. They also contain a high amount of fat and protein which could lead to significant weight gain and heart problems. For those reasons, it’s best to completely stay away from these or at least severely limit them. Macadamia nuts should be avoided at all times. Just a few of these can make your dog sick with vomiting, muscle weakness, and a temperature.
- Lemons & Limes
Psoralen is a substance contained in lemon and lime skin. It’s hard to digest for your dog and can cause him to vomit and have diarrhea. Consuming even larger amounts of psoralen will lead to severe symptoms like liver failure and muscle tremors.
- Coffee and Tea
Make sure your dog doesn’t ever drink these, as caffeine is extremely dangerous for your dog’s heart and nervous system.
The theobromine in chocolate can cause vomiting and diarrhea, seizures, and heart issues.
These bad boys might seem completely harmless but they contain a dangerous toxin called persin. While dogs might be more resistant to persin than other animals, all parts of the avocado plant can cause diarrhea and vomiting.
- Processed food
Chocolate, ice cream, candy, soda, and other human junk foods are not for dogs. You really shouldn’t even call this human food. Keep it away from your dog and yourself.
- Artificial sugars
Xylitol, found in ‘sugar-free’ products like candy, chocolate, gum, toothpaste, and mints, is harmful to dogs. It can cause insulin spikes, vomiting, and liver damage.
- Grapes and Raisins
While they might initially seem healthy, these can cause gastric distress and kidney failure in your dog.
Other human foods that you should not give your dog include:
- Milk and milk-based products
- Fat trimmings from meat
- Cooked bones
- Salt and salty foods
- Coconuts, coconut oil, coconut water
- Raw or undercooked meat and eggs
- Yeast dough
Human Foods That Are Awesome For Your Dog
- Pork, Beef, & Chicken
These are all great for your dog. Make sure they are cooked and without any potentially harmful seasonings or spices. Avoid processed versions of these
types of meat as they may contain additives.
- Apples, Oranges, Bananas, Pineapples, Corn, & Watermelons
These fruits are completely harmless for your pet. They don’t contain any hidden toxic substances like avocados, and they do contain a whole range of vitamins and healthy natural sugar.
- Carrots, Potatoes, Kale, & Cabbage
All perfectly safe and nutritious. Your dog will love these both raw and uncooked. Don’t overdo it, as too much fiber can even mess up a
human digestive tract, let alone your dog’s.
- Fish & Shrimp
Completely boneless cooked fish is awesome for your pup, it has some vitamins and minerals, like healthy Omega-3’s, which you can’t find anywhere else. Be sure to only buy wild-caught and sustainable seafood.
Cooked eggs are just perfect for dogs. They can help resolve any potential digestive problems and are a great source of healthy protein.
Feed Human Food to Your Dog Everyday!
If you want your dog to be healthy, make sure that he has a balanced, healthy diet. Feeding your pet only commercial food is bound to make him unwell and even cause some serious health issues.
Most human foods are great for dogs. Boneless, cooked meat, fish and eggs are the bread and butter of a good dog diet. Don’t hesitate to add some of the mentioned fruits and vegetables, and your dog will be the healthiest pup around in no time.
For more on dog food and what is best for your pup, check out our article on Is Dog Food Bad for Dogs.