Human Food: What Can and Can't I Give My Dog?

Human Food: What Can and Can’t I Give My Dog?

October 20, 2021

Pet owners want to give their dogs the best, but sometimes the foods that dogs express the most interest in are the foods that are the worst for their health. Many people give their dogs table scraps on a regular basis, and that can cause a lot of health problems for pets.

If you’re wondering, “Can I feed my dog human food?” keep reading to learn more about what kinds of human foods are okay for dogs to eat.

Is it better to feed your dog human food or dog food?

A lot of pet owners wonder, “Can I feed my dog human food?” There are lots of human foods that are safe for dogs, including most kinds of meats, fruits and vegetables, but there are also many human foods that can be poisonous to dogs. There are a lot of major differences between how humans digest and metabolize food and how dogs digest and metabolize food. Because of those digestive and metabolic differences, there are some foods that are perfectly safe for humans but can be deadly for dogs.

Here are a few types of human foods that can be harmful to dogs:

  • Caffeine: Dogs are more sensitive to caffeine than humans are, so even relatively small amounts of caffeine can be toxic to dogs. Oftentimes, dogs end up ingesting caffeine by licking up spilled beverages from the floor. With that in mind, make sure to clean up coffee spills as quickly as possible, and keep dogs away from caffeine.
  • Grapes: Grapes are another human food that can be highly toxic for dogs. Grapes and foods that contain grapes (including raisins) should be kept out of the reach of dogs. In high quantities, grapes and raisins can cause serious kidney problems for dogs.
  • Chocolate: Chocolate contains methylxanthines, which are stimulants that are harmless to humans but highly toxic to dogs. When ingested, methylxanthines can cause a dog’s metabolic process to shut down completely. In small amounts, chocolate can cause diarrhea and vomiting. In large amounts, it can cause even more serious problems including seizures and irregular heart function.
  • Garlic and onions: Garlic and onions are both part of the Allium plant family. Any plant in the Allium family can be toxic to dogs, but garlic and onions are particularly harmful to dogs and can lead to the development of anemia in dogs. Many times, the symptoms of illness caused by Allium plants can be delayed for several days, so monitor your dog closely if they ingest garlic or onions.

Veterinary care for dogs

If you’re looking for professional advice to help you get your dog’s diet in order, reach out to St. Francisville Animal Hospital for veterinary care that’s designed to keep pets as happy and healthy as possible. Whether you’re concerned about your pet’s diet or you just want a general checkup to see how your pet is doing, we are here to help. Find out more about the services that we have to offer and get an appointment for your pet by giving us a call or stopping by today.

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