HOW TO Find Dog Friendly Recipe Ingredients
If you love your furry friends, as we do, you'll want to check out this list of ingredients that are healthy foods for your dogs. You may be surprised about some of the ingredients that are actually harmful for your dog. Remember to try the healthy ingredients in small amounts first to make sure your dog doesn't have a reaction to them.
All of these recommendations come from the Animal Poison Control Center. As always, if you suspect your pet has eaten any of the following foods, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. If your dog experiences any sort of reaction, immediately consult a veterinarian. Before giving your dog any people food, do your research to make sure it’s safe. Always consult your veterinarian with any questions on what is safe and what is harmful.
Foods/Ingredients that are HEALTHY for your dogs (Note some foods are only good in moderation or have specific considerations.)
Apples, chopped. Help to clean residue off a dog’s teeth, which helps to freshen her breath. Apples are a good source of fiber as well as vitamin A and C. Make sure to take out the seeds and the core before feeding to your dog, as these can be choking hazards.
Bananas. In moderation, bananas are a great low-calorie treat for dogs. They’re high in potassium, vitamins, biotin, fiber, and copper. They are low in cholesterol and sodium, but because of their high sugar content, bananas should be given as a treat, not part of your dog’s regular diet.
Basil. Culinary herbs are safe for dogs. In fact, they are powerful antioxidants and rich in vitamins as well. You can definitely sprinkle some of these herbs on your dog's food on a regular basis so your dog can benefit from their nutritive and antioxidative properties.
Bell Peppers. All colors can safely be fed to your pooch, though red peppers are best. Red bell peppers are ripened, offering added nutrients.Another low-calorie vegetable, bell peppers are kind to your pup's waistline. Peppers should be served plain, without any added salt, oil, or seasoning. Bell peppers offer anti-inflammatory benefits, and red peppers have high levels of beta-carotene and vitamins A and C.
Blueberries. Blueberries are a superfood rich in antioxidants, which prevent cell damage in humans and canines alike. They’re packed with fiber and phytochemicals as well. Teaching your dog to catch treats in the air? Try blueberries as an alternative to store-bought treats.
Beef, ground. Lean ground beef (or hamburger) is a third lean protein commonly given to pets. Rich in essential amino acids, minerals and vitamins, lean ground beef is also an excellent diet food for pets. It too, however, should be consumed cooked. Raw meat may contain bacteria that could be harmful to your pet.
Bread. Small amounts of plain bread (no spices and definitely no raisins) won’t hurt your dog, but it also won’t provide any health benefits either. It has no nutritional value and can really pack on the carbohydrates and calories, just like in people. Homemade breads are a better option than store-bought, as bread from the grocery store typically contains unnecessary preservatives, but it’s best to avoid it all together
Broccoli, chopped. It is high in fiber and vitamin C and low in fat. However, Broccoli florets contain isothiocyanates, which can cause mild-to-potentially-severe gastric irritation in some dogs. Furthermore, broccoli stalks have been known to cause obstruction in the esophagus so be sure to chop it up finely.
Brussel Sprouts. Brussels sprouts are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that are great for humans and dogs, alike. But be warned... Don’t overfeed them to your dog; they can cause lots of gas.
Cabbage. Full of antioxidants, cabbage is good for dog's digestion and skin. It also contains cancer-fighting nutrients. A potential side effect of feeding your dog cabbage is similar to Brussel Sprouts and Cauliflower; it can cause unpleasant gas. Cabbage contains a natural component called Thiocyanate which can suppress your dog's thyroid gland and over time. Cooking the cabbage helps lessen the effects of this substance.
Cantaloupe Packed with nutrients, low in calories, and a great source of water and fiber. However, they are high in sugar, so should be shared in moderation, especially for dogs who are overweight or have diabetes
Carrots. Carrots are an excellent low-calorie snack that is high in fiber and beta-carotene, which produces vitamin A. Plus, crunching on this orange veggie is great for your dog’s teeth.
Cashews. Cashews are OK for dogs, but only a few at a time. They’ve got calcium, magnesium, antioxidants, and proteins, but while these nuts contain less fat than others, too many can lead to weight gain and other fat-related conditions. A few cashews here and there are a nice treat, but only if they’re unsalted.
Cauliflower. Because cauliflower is low in calories, it's the perfect healthy treat and can be served either raw or cooked. Cooked vegetables are easier on digestion. Your dog may experience anti-inflammatory benefits also, which is especially nice for older dogs battling arthritis. Should be given in moderation and small portions. Cauliflower can cause unpleasant gas and an upset stomach if over-consumed. It should only consist of 5% of your dog's diet.
Celery. In addition to vitamins A, B, and C, this crunchy green snack contains the nutrients needed to promote a healthy heart and even fight cancer. As if that wasn’t enough, celery is also known to freshen doggy breath.
Cheese, low-fat. Opt for low or reduced fat varieties and don’t overfeed, as many cheeses can be high in fat. Cottage cheese is typically a good choice.
Chicken, cooked. Adds protein to their diet. This also makes a good meal replacement if you’re in a pinch and out of dog food. Make sure all bones have been removed as chicken bones are not good for your dog.
Chicken broth, unsalted. Adding a little bit of chicken broth to your dog's food or water can help get him to eat or drink if he's being picky. It is also a great way to help hydrate your dog if he is sick and refusing to drink. Just be sure to use unsalted broth.
Coconut. This funky fruit contains Lauric, which strengthens the immune system by fighting off viruses. It can also help with bad breath and clearing up skin conditions like hot spots, flea allergies, and itchy skin. Coconut milk and coconut oil are safe for dogs too. Just be sure your dog doesn’t get its paws on the furry outside of the shell, which can get lodged in the throat.
Coconut flour. Safe for dogs and especially healthy for diabetic dogs or dogs with high cholesterol as it helps to regulate blood sugar levels.
Coconut Oil. Contains lauric acid, it is a fabulous immune builder, both orally and topically.
Corn. Corn is one of the most common ingredients in most dog foods. However, the cob can be hard for a dog to digest and may cause an intestinal blockage, so if you’re sharing some corn, make sure it is off the cob.
Cucumbers. Especially good for overweight dogs, as they hold little to no carbohydrates, fats, or oils and they can even boost energy levels. They’re loaded with vitamins K, C, and B1, as well as potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin.
Eggs. Adds protein and are also a source of easily digestible riboflavin and selenium, making them a healthy snack. Eggs are safe for dogs as long as they are fully cooked. Cooked eggs are a wonderful source of protein and can help an upset stomach. However, eating raw egg whites can give dogs biotin deficiency, so be sure to cook the eggs all the way through before giving them to your pet.
Green beans, unsalted. Chopped, steamed, raw, or canned –- all types of green beans are safe for dogs to eat. Green beans are full of important vitamins and minerals and they’re also full of fiber and low in calories. Select beans that have no added salt.
Green Peas. Snow peas, sugar snap peas, and garden or English peas are all OK for dogs. Peas have several vitamins, minerals, and are rich in protein and high in fiber. You can feed your dog fresh, frozen, or thawed peas, but do not give him canned peas, which have a lot of added sodium.
Ham. OK for dogs to eat, but certainly isn’t the healthiest for them. Ham is high in sodium and fat, so while sharing a small piece is alright, it shouldn’t be a continuous habit.
Honey. Honey is packed with countless nutrients such as vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K, potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, and antioxidants. Feeding dogs small amounts of honey can help with allergies because it introduces small amounts of pollen to their systems, building up immunity to allergens in your area. In addition to consuming honey, the sticky spread can also be used as a topical treatment for burns and superficial cuts.
Kiwi. Contains potassium, fiber, vitamin C, and beta-carotene.Though kiwi skin is edible, it's recommended you peel the kiwi entirely before giving it to your pooch. The rough, hairy skin might be difficult for dogs to digest and if a kiwi is swallowed hole, it can cause a blockage and choking.
Lettuce. This is one of the safest veggies to feed your pup. Lettuce is filled with many beneficial nutrients including vitamin B, fiber, magnesium, and calcium, just to name a few.Small amounts of lettuce will not harm your dog, though lettuce should not be fed to your dog in excess. Larger leaves can be difficult for some animals to chew and swallow. You should serve your dog small, manageable pieces of the leafy green as a special occasion treat.
Mangoes. This sweet summer treat is packed with four, yes four different vitamins: vitamins A, B6, C, and E. They also have potassium and both beta-carotene and alpha-carotene. Just remember, as with most fruits, remove the hard pit first, as it contains small amounts of cyanide and can become a choking hazard.
Oatmeal. A great source of soluble fiber, which can be especially beneficial to senior dogs with bowel irregularity issues. It is also a great alternate grain for dogs allergic to wheat. Make sure to cook oatmeal before serving it to your dog. Do not add any sugar or flavor additives.
Oranges. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, and in small quantities can serve as tasty treats for your dog. Vets do, however, recommend tossing the peel and just giving your dog the inside of the orange, minus the seeds, as the peel is much more rough on their digestive systems.
Peanuts, unsalted. Unlike almonds, peanuts are safe for dogs to eat. They’re packed with good fats and proteins that can benefit your dog. Just be sure to give peanuts in moderation, as you don’t want your dog taking in too much fat, which can lead to pancreas issues. Also, avoid salted peanuts.
Peanut Butter, raw, unsalted. good source of protein, but it also contains heart healthy fats, vitamin B, niacin, and vitamin E. Stuff peanut butter into a Kong to keep your dog busy for hours. Choose raw, unsalted peanut butter. Be absolutely sure that you're not using sugar-free or "lite" peanut butter that has artificial sweeteners, particularly xylitol, as these substances are incredibly toxic to dogs.
Milk. Milk is OK , but be cautious. Many dogs are lactose-intolerant and don’t digest milk well. While it is okay for dogs to have a little milk, owners should be cognizant of the symptoms of lactose-intolerance and might want to stick to giving their dogs water.
Olives, pitted and plain. Black and green alike are OK. Canned and pickled olives are high in sodium and often contain added spices, so these are off limits for consumption. If you want your canine to snack on olives, make sure they're plain and unsalted. Any olives dogs a dog eat should be pitted.
Oregano. Culinary herbs are safe for dogs. In fact, they are powerful antioxidants and rich in vitamins as well. You can definitely sprinkle some of these herbs on your dog's food on a regular basis so your dog can benefit from their nutritive and antioxidative properties.
Parsley, fresh. Culinary herbs are safe for dogs. In fact, they are powerful antioxidants and rich in vitamins as well. You can definitely sprinkle some of these herbs on your dog's food on a regular basis so your dog can benefit from their nutritive and antioxidative properties.
Pasta. Plain or whole wheat pastas are a good source of energy for your dog. Just avoid feeding them fatty or acidic sauces.
Peaches. OK for dogs to eat. Small amounts of cut-up peaches are a great source of fiber and vitamin A, and can even help fight infections, but just like cherries, the pit contains cyanide. As long as you completely cut around the pit first, fresh peaches can be a great summer treat – just not canned peaches, as they usually contain high amounts of sugary syrups.
Pears. They’re high in copper, vitamins C and K, and fiber. It’s been suggested that eating the fruit can reduce the risk of having a stroke by 50 percent. Just be sure to cut pears into bite-size chunks and remove the pit and seeds first, as the seeds contain traces of cyanide.
Pineapple. A few chunks of pineapple is a great sweet treat for dogs, as long as the prickly outside is removed first. The tropical fruit is full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It also contains bromelain, an enzyme that makes it easier for dogs to absorb proteins.
Popcorn. Unsalted, unbuttered, plain air-popped popcorn is OK for your dog in moderation. It contains riboflavin and thiamine, both of which promote eye health and digestion, as well as small amounts of iron and protein. Be sure to pop the kernels all the way before giving them to your dog, as unpopped kernels could become a choking hazard.
Pork. A highly digestible protein, packed with amino acids, and it contains more calories per pound than other meats. Pork also may be less likely to cause an allergic reaction in some pets compared to other meat.
Potatoes, cooked. It’s fine to give your dog plain potatoes every once and a while, but only if they’re cooked, as raw potatoes can be rough on the stomach. A washed, peeled, plain boiled, or baked potato contains lots of iron for your dog. Avoid mashed potatoes because they often contain butter, milk, or seasonings
Pumpkin, canned. Good source of fiber as well as beta-carotene/vitamin A. It can help keep the GI tract moving and can aid with digestive issues.
Quinoa. An ingredient in some high-quality dry dog foods. The strong nutritional profile of quinoa makes it a healthy alternative to corn, wheat, and soy — starches that are often used to make kibble.
Raspberries. Raspberries are fine in moderation. They contain antioxidants that are great for dogs. They’re low in sugar and calories, but high in fiber, manganese, and vitamin C. Raspberries are especially good for senior dogs because they have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help take pain and pressure from joints. However, they do contain slight amounts of the toxin Xylitol, so limit your dog to less than a cup of raspberries at a time.
Rice. great for your dog, especially if they’re having stomach troubles. Brown or white can work: while brown is a little higher in protein, white rice is easier to digest (especially for older dogs).
Rosemary. Culinary herbs are safe for dogs. In fact, they are powerful antioxidants and rich in vitamins as well. You can definitely sprinkle some of these herbs on your dog's food on a regular basis so your dog can benefit from their nutritive and antioxidative properties.
Salmon, cooked. A good source of omega 3 fatty acids, including the skins, which are responsible for keeping your dog’s coat healthy and shiny, as well as supporting your dog’s immune system. Be sure to pick out all the tiny bones, which can be tedious but is definitely necessary. Never feed your dog uncooked or under-cooked fish, only fully cooked and cooled, and limit your dog’s fish intake to no more than twice a week
Sardines. A good source of omega 3 fatty acids and have soft, digestible bones for extra calcium.
Shrimp, cooked. OK for dogs. A few shrimp every now and then is fine for your dog, but only if they are fully cooked and the shell (including the tail, head, and legs) is removed completely. Shrimp are high in antioxidants, vitamin B-12, and phosphorus, but also low in fat, calories, and carbohydrates.
Strawberries. Full of fiber and vitamin C. Along with that, they also contain an enzyme that can help whiten your dog’s teeth as he or she eats them. They are high in sugar though, so be sure to give them in moderation.
Steak. Most dogs are fine eating lean cuts of meat that have been cooked well. Take off all visible fat -- including the skin on poultry. Be sure that there are no bones in the meat before you give it to your dog, and that is not seasoned with salts, onion or garlic.
Sweet Potatoes, cooked. Packed with nutrients, including fiber, beta carotene, and vitamins B-6 and C. Just like with regular potatoes, only give your dog washed, peeled, cooked, and unseasoned sweet potatoes that have cooled down, and definitely avoid sugary sweet potato pies and casseroles.
Thyme.Culinary herbs are safe for dogs. In fact, they are powerful antioxidants and rich in vitamins as well. You can definitely sprinkle some of these herbs on your dog's food on a regular basis so your dog can benefit from their nutritive and antioxidative properties.
Tuna. In moderation, cooked, fresh tuna is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which promotes heart and eye health. As for canned tuna, it contains small amounts of mercury and sodium, which should be avoided in excess. A little bit of canned tuna and tuna juice here and there is fine – prepared only in water, not oil – as long as it doesn’t contain any spices.
Turkey. OK for dogs as long as it is not covered in garlic (which can be very toxic to dogs) and seasonings. Also be sure to remove excess fat and skin from the meat and don’t forget to check for bones; poultry bones can splinter during digestion, causing blockage or even tears in the intestines.
Watermelon. Provides excellent hydration along with vitamins A, B6, and C. When dogs eat watermelon, they're also getting essential nutrients such as magnesium and potassium. Watermelon itself is completely safe for your pooch. What you want to avoid is allowing them to ingest either the seeds or the rind of the fruit.Some dogs might find chewing on the watermelon rind very appealing. Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs. It increases jaw strength and provides relief from incoming teeth for young pups. But opt for purchasing your dog a safe chew toy, vs. allowing them to chow down on a watermelon rind.
Wheat/Grains. Dogs do not have to be grain-free; it is perfectly OK for them to have grains. In fact, grains like wheat and corn are great sources of protein, essential fatty acids, and fiber. If your dog has certain allergies, however, it might be best to avoid grains, but it truly depends on your dog.
Yogurt. High in calcium and protein. But make sure to only choose yogurts that do not contain artificial sweeteners or added sugars. Yogurts with active bacteria can act as a probiotic and are good for your dog’s digestive system.
Zucchini. This veggie ranks high on the list of the greens dogs eat. With many vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, zucchini is a low-calorie, healthy choice for your pooch.But like any fruit or vegetable, zucchini must be prepared properly and served in small quantities to avoid overindulgence. When offering zucchini to your dog, you should cut into bite-size pieces and steam them for easy digestion.
Foods/Ingredients that are HARMFUL to Dogs- DO NOT FEED THESE TO YOUR DOGS:
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435
All of these recommendations come from the Animal Poison Control Center. As always, if you suspect your pet has eaten any of the following foods, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
Alcohol. Feeding your pet beer or wine isn't funny, it could be deadly. Just a drop can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing and even death. The effects are even worse in smaller breeds.
Almonds May not necessarily be toxic to dogs like pecans, walnuts, and macadamia nuts are, but they can block the esophagus or even tear the windpipe if not chewed completely. Salted almonds are especially dangerous because they can increase water retention, which is potentially fatal to dogs prone to heart disease.
Artificial Sweeteners. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in products such as gum, candy, mints, toothpaste, and mouthwash. Xylitol is harmful to dogs because it causes a sudden release of insulin in the body that leads to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Xylitol can also cause liver damage in dogs
Asparagus. While asparagus isn’t necessarily unsafe for dogs, there’s really no point in giving it to them. It’s too tough to be eaten raw, and by the time you cook it down so it’s soft enough for dogs to eat, asparagus loses the nutrients it contains. If you really want to share a veggie, something more beneficial is probably best.
Avocado. While avocado may be a healthy snack for dog owners, it should not be given to dogs at all. The pit, skin, and leaves of avocados contain persin, a toxin that often causes vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. The fleshy inside of the fruit doesn’t have as much persin as the rest of the plant, but it is still too much for dogs to handle.
Bacon. incredibly rich and fatty food with a high salt content, which can prove to be too much for a dog's stomach to handle. Eating a large amount can cause pancreatitis, which can be fatal. ... Due to the high salt content in ham, dogs will become dehydrated and drink an excessive amount of water.Chocolate. Due to articles such as this, many people are now aware of chocolate's toxicity in dogs and cats. With the recent popularity of chocolates that are 60 and 70 percent cocoa, this risk has become much more serious. Dark chocolates have always been more toxic than milk chocolates, and these newer chocolates are even more so. Toxic doses of chocolate can cause abnormal heartbeats, kidney failure and death. The toxic dose is dependant on weight, so little dogs are at higher risk, but with the higher levels of cocoa in chocolate products now even bigger dogs are at risk.
Bones, chicken or pork. It's critically important to avoid giving your dog the wrong kind of bone. Poultry and pork bones, or cooked bones of any kind, are strictly forbidden. They splinter into shards that can cause choking and serious damage to the dog's mouth, throat, or intestines.
Cherries. With the exception of the fleshy part around the seed, cherry plants contain cyanide and are toxic to dogs. Cyanide disrupts cellular oxygen transport, which means that your dog’s blood cells can’t get enough oxygen. If your dog eats cherries, be on the lookout for dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, and red gums, as these may be signs of cyanide poisoning.
Cinnamon While cinnamon is not actually toxic to dogs, it’s probably best to avoid it. Cinnamon and its oils can irritate the inside of dogs’ mouths, making them uncomfortable and sick. It can lower a dog’s blood sugar too much and can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, increased, or decreased heart rate, and even liver disease. If they inhale it in powder form, cinnamon can cause difficulty breathing, coughing, and choking
Coffee. Just a sip of coffee or caffeine can lead to restlessness, heart palpitations and bleeding, while a large dosage can be fatal.
Cranberries. Both cranberries and dried cranberries are safe to feed to dogs in small quantities. Whether your dog will like this tart treat is another question. Either way, moderation is important when feeding cranberries to dogs, as with any treat, as too many cranberries can lead to an upset stomach.
Garlic. part of the Allium family, and it is five times more toxic to dogs than the rest of the Allium plants. Garlic can create anemia in dogs, causing side effects such as pale gums, elevated heart rate, weakness, and collapsing. Poisoning from garlic and onions may have delayed symptoms, so if you think your dog may have eaten some, monitor him or her for a few days, not just right after consumption.
Grapes. May induce kidney failure in some animals. This failure can be permanent and life threatening. It does not seem to relate to the volume ingested, and not all animals seem to be equally susceptible. Although some dogs have been eating grapes for years, the safe course is to avoid grapes and raisins completely.
Hot Dogs. Contain seasonings, such as garlic and onion powder, and garlic and onions can be toxic todogs if they eat too much. The biggest problem with hot dogs, though, is salt. ... Feeding a dog too much sodium can lead to dehydration
Ice Cream. Canines don’t digest dairy very well, and many even have a slight intolerance to lactose, a sugar found in milk products. Although it’s also a dairy product, frozen yogurt is a much better alternative. To avoid the milk altogether, freeze chunks of strawberries, raspberries, apples, and pineapples and give them to your dog as a sweet, icy treat.
Macadamia Nuts. These are some of the most poisonous foods for dogs. Macadamia nuts, part of the Protaceae family, can cause vomiting, increased body temperature, inability to walk, and lethargy. Even worse, they can affect the nervous system. Never feed your dog macadamia nuts.