12 Great Foods Dogs Can Eat – Veterinarian Verified

From cheese on toast to a roast dinner and everything in between, if you’re preparing something in the kitchen, the chances are that your dog will want to get involved. Puppy eyes, a wagging tail, and whining are all signs that your dog wants (and thinks they deserve) a taste of your meal. But does that mean you should give them some? Are there foods dogs can eat and ones they can’t?

There are endless articles and blogs online which highlight dangerous foods and things that dogs should avoid. But what about when you want to give them a little extra something? Just a little treat!

In this blog, we share a breakdown of the top best human foods that you can (and should) be sharing with your dog – as well as recommended portion sizes to make sure they are never overindulging and potentially causing health problems. 

So, do dogs really love peanut butter? Is it normal for your dog to go mad for cheese? And is chocolate as bad as they say it is for dogs? Keep reading to find out. 

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The Human Foods Dogs Can Eat

Table Of Contents

Here is the list of foods most dogs are able to eat without any problems. Click a food to learn more about it.


Great for… all dogs!

Carrots can be enjoyed by dogs both raw and cooked, as they contain carotene which is metabolized by your dog into Vitamin A during the digestion process. Not to mention carrots are fresh and crunchy, helping to keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy.  [1]


It’s better to cut carrots into pieces to help prevent your pup from choking. 2-3 carrots are enough for an average-sized dog on a daily basis. Carrots are a great source of natural sugars but remember that excessive amounts of sugar can cause diarrhea and gastric problems. 


Great for… dogs with weight problems. 

Popular with humans for its cooling and hydrating flavor, cucumber gives those same benefits to dogs, making it a low-calorie and refreshing snack all year round. Cucumbers are full of water so they really give dogs a good boost of hydration and are also full of vitamins that help support bone health, inflammation, and aches and pains. [2]


The seeds and skin of cucumbers are not toxic for dogs. It’s best to limit these wonderful treats to under 10% of your dog’s total diet. Cucumbers are made up of approximately 96% water, making them great dog treats for those warm, summery days. 


Great for… a summery treat for your dog.

Low in calories and high in refreshing water content, celery is another one that is ideal for summer. It’s also packed full of Vitamins A, C, K, and B – which keep your dog active and healthy. [3]


If your dog is getting a bit on the heavier side of the scale, then celery is a great treat to help them lose weight. Go easy on the proportion sizes though as celery in excessive amounts can lead to gas accumulation in the stomach as well as bloating and diarrhea. 


Great for… dogs in hot weather!

To follow our trend of water-rich foods that both humans and dogs love in the summer, melon is another food that delivers a hit of refreshing, vitamin-rich hydration and they will absolutely love the sweetness of it. [4][5]


Don’t give rinds to dogs. Rinds can be very tough and can cause intestinal blockage. Melons contain vitamins, potassium, and dietary fiber which can be great for a dog’s digestive health. 


Great for… young dogs.

Bananas are high in potassium, which is great for a growing dog, however, the high sugar content does mean bananas are more of a treat than an everyday dietary staple and should be given to dogs in small amounts. [6]


Bananas are a rich source of fiber, copper, biotin and vitamins as well. Half a banana is enough for a large dog once in a while as a special treat but not on a daily basis. Remove the peels as they can cause blockage and are hard to digest.


Great for… energetic and active dogs.

A good source of protein, beef is one of the highest meats in terms of iron which allows your dog’s body to feed oxygen to their cells and support high energy output. The ideal staple treats for every dog who loves a good run-around. 

The only thing to keep in mind would be that the fat trimmings are not good for them as they have the ability to cause pancreatitis and never feed your dogs the bones from beef. I know this seems counterintuitive but beef bones can splinter causing your dog to choke or cause scratching and cuts on the inside of his or her throat. [7]


Feed your dog plain beef, free from spices and rubs. Beef is also a good source of vitamins and minerals for overall dog health. 


Great for… dogs on a diet. 

Just as we humans might reach for a chicken and veg dinner when we’re looking to lose a few pounds, we should consider the same restrictions for our dog. A dog that is overweight will not suffer the same personal body issues as humans, but it will make movement more difficult and can lead to serious health problems relating to their joints in the future. This maybe should be at the top of the list of foods dogs can eat at least when it comes to the protein side of the equation.[8]


Avoid giving raw chicken to your dog as it can cause bacterial infections. Remove the bones to prevent intestines or stomachs from being punctured or causing obstructions. 


Great for… elderly dogs. 

In the human world, we eat fish for brain power, but for dogs, fish is a good source of protein which helps alleviate the discomfort of arthritis. Fish is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, making it a top-level, all-rounder for every dog. 

Remember, similar to beef it’s best to remove all bones and as with all things, give it to them in moderation. [9]


Avoid giving tilefish, swordfish and albacore tuna as these fish species are not safe for dogs. Fish can be given as a treat only once or twice a week in very small amounts. 

White Rice

Great for… dogs with stomach issues 

White rice is ideal if walking and poop-picking have been particularly unpleasant recently because it helps to bind together your dog’s stool and is easy for them to digest. It’s also an ideal go-to treat for those of us who tend to overestimate how much rice a single portion really is…[10]


As white rice is easy to prepare and digest, it can be used as a great carb source if your dog is recovering from gastrointestinal upset. Rice is a rich source of carbohydrates and can be given on a daily basis. One of the better foods dogs can eat. 

Dairy Products

Great for… a rare treat in small quantities

As is the case with many humans, lactose and dairy intolerances are high in dogs and so if you find that your dog reacts with vomiting or diarrhea after a dairy treat then do not give it to them again. However, some dogs will be able to enjoy small amounts of yogurt or cheese as an occasional treat.[11]


Give dairy products in small amounts as they can cause digestive problems. Pups are lactose intolerant and dogs have low levels of lactase, an enzyme required for breaking down sugars in the milk. 

Peanut Butter

Great for… dog training!

Peanut butter is one of the top-ranked dog treats because they love it – but it comes with its fair share of warnings, which include the risk of obesity and the toxicity of some sweeteners which are added to peanut butter. Always make sure your chosen PB is natural and minimal in terms of its ingredient list, and only give it to dogs in small quantities as an occasional treat.[12]


Be aware of brands that use xylitol in their product. As long as your peanut butter doesn’t contain xylitol it is safe for dogs. Currently, there are 5 such brands we are aware of (Go Nuts Co, Krush Nutrition, Nuts ‘N More, P28 Foods and Protein Plus PB). If dogs eat peanut butter containing xylitol, contact your vet immediately. This is considered an emergency issue.   

Herbs and Spices

We love… ginger, basil, and turmeric. Not all herbs and spices are good for dogs (think spicy spices for sure), but those that are, boast a series of benefits which include maintaining intestinal movement, boosting antioxidant levels, and making dog foods more palatable![13][14]


Other good spices and herbs include anise, dill, ginger, parsley, sage etc. 

Make sure you always avoid…

Finally, a quick list of the definite no-no’s and foods your dog should avoid. 

  • Leeks, onions, and chives – all part of the same allium family which is toxic to dogs
  • Coffee
  • Gravy which is too high in salt
  • Chocolate – contains theobromine which causes dogs to dehydrate very quickly

In Conclusion

Knowing what treats and human foods you can and cannot feed your dog should make dinner prep a much easier experience to navigate. Unfortunately, until we find a way to communicate directly with our dogs, there is still no way of switching off the “please feed me” puppy eyes and tail wag!  

For more insight into the foods and treats that dogs can safely enjoy, visit our website and check back for more updates. 


All information in this article has been verified for accuracy by a veterinarian prior to publication

Chesca Douglas

About the Author

Chesca is a writer, born and bred in the New Forest, UK, where her family have an active and overexcited border collie x springer spaniel called Barney. Chesca now lives on a farm where her writing is often interrupted by sheep trying their best to escape at every opportunity.

Dr. Muaaz Ur Rahman

About the Veterinarian

Dr. Muaaz is a veterinary doctor and animal writer. He's passionate about wildlife and has been featured in both international veterinary journals and educational materials for pet owners. His areas of expertise include preventative medicine, nutrition, zoonotic disease, emergency medicine, and animal psychology.


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