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Speaking of Pets: Can your dog eat human food?

Joan Merriam
Speaking of Pets
Raw lamb or beef bones are usually fine, but remember that your dog could choke on any bone if it’s swallowed without being thoroughly chewed.
James Lacy/Unsplash

Last time, I talked about your dog and dairy foods, but what about other human foods?

The “OK” Group

This group contains many things we commonly give our dogs: peanut butter, leftover meats and fish, rice and grains, bread, popcorn and eggs.



Most fruits and vegetables are fine to feed your dog, with some notable exceptions. In the fruit category are berries, melons, bananas, pears and pineapple. Apples and stone fruit are also fine, but remove the seeds and pits, which degrade into hydrogen cyanide when ingested. Good veggies include carrots, green beans, potatoes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, squash, lettuces, beets, peas and store-bought mushrooms. Unless you’re an expert mycologist, never allow your dog to eat wild mushrooms.

The “Sometimes OK, Sometimes Not” Group



Chief within this group is dairy.

But then there are raw meaty bones. Many veterinary experts give them the thumbs-up, but others advise caution. While it’s probably safe for your dog to chew on raw chicken or turkey necks and raw chicken wings, they can harbor salmonella and other bacteria. Raw lamb or beef bones are usually fine, but remember that your dog could choke on any bone if it’s swallowed without being thoroughly chewed.

The “Never” Group

We all know that dogs should never eat: chocolate, grapes and raisins. But did you know that onions, garlic, avocados, lemons, limes, black walnuts and macadamia nuts are also forbidden foods? Coffee, tea, alcohol, yeast dough, raw eggs and foods containing Xylitol are also no-nos.

Avoid giving your pup fat trimmings and poultry skin, which can lead to pancreatitis and, of course, obesity.

Never give your dog cooked bones, especially those from poultry, as they can splinter and severely damage the mouth and intestinal tract.

As a general rule, human foods should be fed to humans, not dogs. But dog lovers being dog lovers, we sometimes like to give our pets something special from the table or fridge or cupboard. That’s fine, as long as it’s not harmful; just remember the old saying, “everything in moderation.”

Joan Merriam lives in Northern California with her golden retriever Joey and Maine coon cat Indy. She emphasizes that she’s not a veterinarian or animal behaviorist — just an animal lover who’s been writing about pets since 2012. You can reach her at joan@joanmerriam.com.

 


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