Human Food For Dogs – Is It Safe?

January 7, 2010  
Filed under Dog Food Tips

Most dog owners form a strong bond with their pet, and take every measure to ensure that their dog feels like it is a part of the family. However, a recent topic that has been discussed among many pet care experts is if human food scraps for dogs is safe. The answer to this question isn’t a simple “yes” or “no”, since it depends on the type of food, and type of dog. However, there is some general information about human food that every dog owner should be familiar with, in order to ensure that the proper steps are taken to ensure their dog’s good health.


A common problem among dogs that are fed table scraps on a regular basis is obesity. Most humans consume a high-carbohydrate, high-sugar diet that includes many different processed ingredients. Because of this, it is estimated that approximately 45% of the pets in the United States are currently obese. Diet plays a huge role in pet obesity, since many pets have different nutritional requirements than humans do. Because of this, it’s possible that a dog that is constantly fed human food can eventually become obese.


Pancreatitis is a condition in which the pancreas of a dog becomes inflamed to the point where it no longer functions normally. In dogs, this health condition can be dog eating human foodcaused by a one-time ingestion of a high-fat meal, or ingestion of a high-fat diet over a long period of time. Many human table scraps (chicken skin, leftover meat, bacon grease) are extremely high in fat, though some people choose to feed these foods to their dogs. It’s essential that you remember that pancreatitis is a sometimes irreversible condition, which can be caused by your dog only eating a high-fat meal once. Avoid giving your dog high—fat human foods at all costs.


In general, it is best to use common sense when feeding your dog human food. Dogs are not designed to consume a high percentage of simple carbohydrates, such as those found in white flour, white rice and pastries. In addition to this, it’s best to avoid feeding your dog any food substance that contains artificial colors, artificial flavors, chemical preservatives, steroids or artificial growth hormones. This eliminates a majority of human food, and only leaves some food substances. In addition to this, there are many human foods (garlic, onions, raisins, avocados, chocolate) that can potentially cause serious health problems in dogs.


It’s generally best to avoid feeding your dog human food on a regular basis. Because of the ingredients that can be toxic to your dog, as well as the chance of your dog developing a health condition, it’s advised that you stick to your dog’s regular diet. While it is possible to give your dog a “treat” (such as a small cube of cooked, deboned chicken or steak) every so often, it’s best to avoid feeding your dog human foods if they are being fed a commercial diet.

If you do decide to feed your dog human food, the key is to make sure that you are not over-feeding your dog, and the foods that you give them are unrefined whole foods that contain no preservatives etc.

Do you feed your dog anything other than commercial dog food?  Tell us your thoughts on feeding your dog human food…

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26 Responses to “Human Food For Dogs – Is It Safe?”
  1. Jess says:

    Human food is great for dogs. It is the spices that we cook with that are bad. Feeding raw is much better than giving them cooked food. Now be careful with my statement because some foods are very bad for dogs as is some foods for people, wich we still eat, Mcdonalds etc, potato chips, ice cream and so on. So it really depends on which human food you are feeding them.

  2. admin says:

    Jess makes a good point. Most healthy food that we eat is fine for your dog (with the exception of certain foods that are poisonous to dogs). The key is that you only ever feed your dog natural, whole foods (those that are not packaged), and make sure that you do not over-feed your dog. The problem is that very few people consume a healthy diet these days (too much fast food, refined foods etc.). So the foods that the “average” person consumes is probably not fit for your dog.

  3. Mark says:

    There’s also the issue of the additives that go into commercial dog food. I make my own dog food from human ingredients, but at the right ratio so that it’s healthy and I know that there’s no nasty preservatives. I completely agree with the fact that our pets reflect our own diet and health. Healthy dog food is a vital part of keeping your dog free from disease.

  4. Rawfeederr says:

    I think it depends on the food.
    Most table scraps shouldn’t be fed, unless it is un-seasoned meat.

    I feed raw, and so I think that it’s fine for dogs to eat this kind of people food. It’s FAR better than even the best brand of dog food.

  5. Jennye says:

    There are only so many doves that people are willing to prepare and cook around here so I find that at the end of the season I can stock my freezer. I cook the breast meat for my dogs and make broth with the bones/scraps. I feed mixed with dry food and the dogs get a great treat and quality protein. Talk to the hunters you know and you might find many that don’t use all the game they kill and are so happy to have someone use it so it does not go to waste.

  6. harry says:

    i have a yokie-po,and she will not eat dog food canned or dry .
    icook her plane chicken breast in the oven , thats made everyday

    i give her a nutritional gel daily

    any help .

    thank you

  7. Catherine says:

    On occasion I give my dogs cooked carrots or green beans. It is good for them & they love it. About a tablespoon chopped up on top of their dry food. Also in place of dog treats thy get a slice of cooked carrot.

  8. Jennifer says:

    Our two dogs eat after we do. Should we be eating a food that they can have, like plain baked or grilled chicken or fish, safe vegetables, and so on, we take what would have been someone’s last bite or two, cut it up fine, and add it to their food. Besides meats, they like when they get a bare taste of plain mashed potato or fat-free refried beans. Chloe kept an eye on me while I was cooking and did her obedience and assistance-dog training when I cut up the carrot or a few other safe veggies. Pupper likes his cooked so it’s in his bowl. But never in fat, and since only low-calorie veggies are given outside of their meal I know which of the mix of foods I give to cut back or cut out.

  9. nolan says:

    I have been feeding my dog human food for 10 years and he has never had a problem there are only a few foods you have to watch out for

  10. jim baker says:

    It is ridiculous to think that dogs can not consume so called people food. First of all there is no such thing as dog and people food, dogs foods are primarily grains highly processed with very low quality meats, mostly meats that are not fit for human or dog consumption. Why do you think on dog food it states not for human consumption. Would you eat dog food? I didnt think so. Than why should your dog. Common sense prevails, no sugars, real spicy foods, grapes, raisins, chocolate. But any kind of meat all veggies are just fine for Fido.

  11. Azra Borcilo says:

    i cook once a week for my dog…every sunday i place in a big pot,1.5kilos of either chicken, beef, lamb together with brown rice, carrots, pumpkin, spinich. from the butchers i get pure chicken fat, i put a few peices of that for the natural oils to come out instead of bottled oil, i also add a little bit of caltex salt which you can get from a health store it is great for many minerals, i also add one sweet potato and sometimes other vegetables. i put it to boil after it boils i leave it to simmer for about 20min. every night as i warm up a bowl for my boy my heart is full knowing what is going into his stomach….ALL vets ask me for my seacrets to my boys health. for breakfast i altenate either….egg omlet with veggies and salami or organic rolled oats boild then some fresh apple and 2 almond chopped up in there with one teaspoon of Manuka Honey. or for a little junk food i boil 2min noodles (dont put the liitle satchay in it) once cooled i add one can of tuna in olive oil. or around 6 chicken necks or 4 chicken wings or one lambflap. before bed time he gets a snack wich is either 1tbl spoon of natural yhoghurt or some bannana, or some cottage cheese or a little bit of beanutbutter with either carrot or some vegetables or a bolw of soup that i make for him. on the weekends he gets afternoon snacks which are a recriational bone to exercise the jaw and clean the teeth. other dinners that i give once a week is a mixed bowl of chicken heart, gizzards a little liver or i do the same with a mixture of lamb kiddneys and lamb liver. organ meats in small porportions are extremely important for a dogs health and long life. i also dont vaccinate my dog yearly after the puppy vaccinations i do tarter testing i refuse to put drugs into my dog that WONT help him instead will kill him faster. tarter testing is a little dearer but all it is, is once a year the vet will take a blood test send it to the USA to test for your dogs antibody levels. so far my dog is perfect and like i said the vets ask for my secret. Good luck all, but i am very please to hear that so many are feeding their furry kids real foods 🙂

  12. bob says:

    i feed my pit all raw meats. steak,rabbit,deer,bear,chicken,ect.

  13. Joyce Singer says:

    My dogs eat just about all vegetables, only organic kibble and wet food, and some fruits. I eat very little meat and use few spices and add sea salt AFTER I cook. I eat no white flour – whole grains, and brown rice pasta. The dogs love it. Any problems – canned pumpkin is good for dogs digestive systems. Many commercial dog foods are UNSAFE for dogs. Read the labels. If you see tons of preservatives, artificial coloring and animal by-products, you need to ask yourself: why is THIS dog food? It’s a scam. My dogs have been at a perfect weight all of their lives.

  14. Jess says:

    Costco upp’d their price on the roast to 2.15 a pound, but they had brisket for 1.90 a pound. It looked like there was an awful lot of fat on it. Has anyone ever bought one of these? I have no problem with some fat, but this looked like a little much.

  15. benmo says:

    Please allow me to make a few remarks
    Until 70-75 years ago we didn’t have any can dog food, after 1945, the meat plants had tens of millions of corn beef can rations surplus so they start advertized it as dog food for a penny a can, imagine success, rest is history.
    Dogs are with as for over 12,000 years and they were perfectly fine with scraps, there are still places were dog food doesn’t exist. I remember in the old country (East-Europe) we had dogs and as a rule we are not worry about their health until they were 15 years old, my last one over there (Snooky, I am not joking) was 18 years old and he died in an accident, he was haft blind.

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Should you have a concern regarding the diet of your dog, you should contact your veterinarian. All information on this site is the opinion of the author, and is presented solely for informational purposes and should not, at any time, be considered a substitute for seeking or receiving professional veterinary care for your dog(s).
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