Human Foods That Are Actually Good for Your Dog

If you want to indulge your pup, here are the foods that can actually be healthy for your spoiled canine friend.

1 / 14
Dog reaching for a whole apple

Fruits your dog can eat

Human food dogs can eat include many fruits. Most dog owners know that grapes and raisins can make their dog sick, but they don’t know which fruits are actually beneficial. If one fruit is toxic to your dog, you may fear that all fruits are poisonous. Luckily, that’s not the case. “Fruit can be a nutritious and tasty treat for your dog,” says Kelly Ryan, DVM, Director of Veterinary Services for the Animal Medical Center of Mid-America. You can also make a dog charcuterie board for them.

So what human food can dogs eat? Here are your dog’s best options.

2 / 14
woman cutting watermelon into pieces on a wooden board
Olga Pysarenko/Shutterstock


“It is a health-food powerhouse, low in calories and packed with nutrients—vitamins A, B6 and C and potassium,” according to The American Kennel Club. Watermelon is also a great snack to give your dog on a hot day, as it is mostly water. Pro tip: Freeze some watermelon cubes for your dog to make for an even better cool-down.

3 / 14
Woman with handful of freshly picked organic blueberries
Brian A Jackson/Shutterstock


Blueberries are absolutely packed with antioxidants, making them extremely healthy for man’s best friend and one of the best human food dogs can eat. Depending on your dog’s size, however, choking might be a potential risk; try cutting up the berries for smaller dogs. Find out whether dogs can eat strawberries or not.

4 / 14
Ripe red apples in wooden box.
Evgeny Karandaev/Shutterstock


Apples are light and delicious for both you and your dog. According to, they also provide fiber, vitamins A and C, omega-3, omega-6, antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenols. “But make sure your dog doesn’t eat the apple seeds,” Dr. Ryan warns. “They are toxic!” Apple seeds actually contain small traces of cyanide. The human digestive system can easily filter this out, but the same is not true for canines.

5 / 14
Big dog eating out of a bowl

Veggies your dog can eat

Even if you’re not keen on eating your vegetables, your dogs will be. This healthy human food dogs can eat provide nutrients with minimal calories. However—as with humans—dogs can have adverse reactions to certain foods, even if they are supposedly good for them. “It’s important to know that dogs can have food intolerances just like people, causing gastrointestinal upset or even an allergic reaction,” Dr. Ryan says. Be sure to monitor your dog and check with your vet if you’re questioning whether to introduce a food into her diet.

6 / 14
Baby cut carrots


Carrots are wonderful snacks for your pup. Purina says that dogs can eat carrots several ways: raw, cooked or even with the green tops still on them. But remember, they’re just a small part of your pet’s complete diet. Read up on 27 more people foods you can share with your pup.

7 / 14
Green beans

Green beans

Green beans are the full package, according to They’re a great source of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, C and K, folic acid, magnesium, calcium, iron and potassium. In fact, green beans are so healthy for dogs that some people make a sizeable portion of their fur baby’s daily food regimen. Just remember not to add salt or seasoning.

This is the best way to keep your dog cool in the summer.

8 / 14
Fresh raw asparagus spears on a dark table


This vegetable has plenty of fiber, which can be good for a dog’s digestive health. As a snack, cooked asparagus is perfectly safe for dogs. Just don’t give Fido the raw version: It can be difficult for him to digest.

These are the best ways to prepare great asparagus.

9 / 14
Fresh baby spinach leaves in bowl on wooden background; Shutterstock ID 1022814211; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of Home
Sunny Forest/Shutterstock


Spinach is rich in antioxidants, iron and vitamin K. That’s what makes it so healthy for humans and a potentially beneficial part of your dog’s diet. According to, spinach can boost your dog’s immune system and energy levels, making for an all-around healthier pet.

Spinach is great brain food for you and your furry friend! Here’s why.

10 / 14


Vets often recommend pumpkin when a dog is constipated or has other digestive issues. Give your dog some canned pumpkin with their kibble to keep their digestive system running smoothly. Look the organic kind, recommends Dr. Ryan, and “be sure it’s not pumpkin pie mix to avoid the spices. Also check with your veterinarian to see how much pumpkin he or she recommends, as too much can cause diarrhea.”

11 / 14
Puppy eating out of a bowl

Meats your dog can eat

One of the first ingredients that comes to mind when asking what human food can dogs eat is meat. And your dog may love most kinds of meat—just make sure whatever cut you give your pet doesn’t have much fat on it. Food with high-fat content can easily make your dog gain weight. As far as land animals go, chicken is always a safe bet, especially when your dog has an upset stomach. “Try bland foods like poached chicken and steamed white rice,” says Ann Hohenhaus, DVM, of New York City’s Animal Medical Center. “Veterinarians also recommend feeding cooked protein sources rather than raw protein sources,” she adds. “Protein like meat and eggs can carry diseases in microbes unless properly cooked.”

12 / 14
clear Chicken broth with pieces of rooster meat on bone and vegetables in a metal casserole on dark wooden table, view from above; Shutterstock ID 776860549
from my point of view/Shutterstock

Chicken broth

It’s not just the meat of the chicken that is good for your dog to eat. “Bone broth, either homemade or storebought, can help a dog with an upset stomach,” advises Dr. Ryan. However, be extremely cautious about the actual bones. “If you are feeding your dog any type of meat, remove all bones before giving it to them. Ingesting the bones could cause a variety of problems for dogs like broken teeth, an injured mouth [or] an intestinal blockage that requires surgery.”

These doggy gifts are guaranteed to get tails wagging.

13 / 14
Grilled salmon fillets and herb decoration in old roasted pan.
Marian Weyo/Shutterstock


Fish is one human food dogs can eat—so long as it isn’t raw. And certain types of fish are healthier for your dog than others. Salmon, ocean whitefish and herring, for example, are fish that live short lives, so they have lower levels of mercury compared to fish near the top of the food chain like, say, swordfish. Fish is also a great source of protein for your dog if he or she has allergic reactions to other types of meat.

Need some more treats for your pooch? Try these homemade dog treats.

14 / 14
Fluffy dog eating out of a bowl

Foods you should never feed your dog

What human food can dogs eat is just as important to know as what not to feed fido. You know that grapes and raisins are off the menu, but so are onions, garlic, avocado and anything containing the sugar substitute xylitol, warns both Dr. Ryan and Dr. Hohenhaus. Dogs may go nuts for peanut butter, but check the label—some brands are sweetened with xylitol. Both doctors also advise that human food that is not a specific part of your dog’s daily food regimen should not take up more than 10 percent of their daily diet.

Getting a new furry friend? Here’s how to pet-proof your home.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest

Taylor Markarian
I have a B.A. in Writing, Literature & Publishing from Emerson College. I write for several lifestyle and entertainment publications, such as Alternative Press, Revolver, Your Tango, and The List. I'm a sucker for dogs and a hardcore kid for life. Let's start talking.