Garden veggies are a wonderful summertime treat for everyone. We look forward to the fresh produce that we can have each year when the weather allows for fresh garden vegetables. Can your dog eat them too? Absolutely!
Dogs can have most of the fresh fruits and vegetables that we also enjoy. This applies to squash. Dogs love squash and they can eat it raw. Just make sure that you limit how much they eat, especially the first time or two.
They could have a weird food allergy that you don’t know about and that is always a possibility. They also may have a sensitive stomach and get diarrhea. It’s always best to introduce new foods to your dog in small amounts.
There are only a few foods that dogs shouldn’t eat and there are documented accounts of these in many places. There are also many foods that are recommended to be avoided because of the propensity to cause long-term health issues, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Below is a fairly complete list of foods that you shouldn’t give to dogs. Those with an asterisk are highly toxic or poisonous. The other foods are precursors to poor health and should only be given in restrictive ways, with moderation being the keyword.
Almonds: No, dogs shouldn’t eat almonds. Almonds aren’t toxic to dogs. Pecans, walnuts, and macadamia nuts are toxic for them though! Almonds are a shape that can block the esophagus or even tear the windpipe. Salted almonds are especially dangerous because they can cause water to be retained in the body which can cause fluid to build around the heart and lungs, leading to cardiovascular problems.
Apples – Dogs love apple and it is fine for them but you want to avoid feeding them whole apples that haven’t been deseeded. The seeds contain cyanide and can be very toxic to most animals, dogs especially.
Bread: This won’t hurt them but it is also an empty food for them nutritionally. It will add weight and cause health issues if they are given bread on a regular basis.
Cashews: Cashews are OK for dogs, in moderation. Full of calcium, magnesium, antioxidants, and proteins, cashews are good. They can cause weight gain, although less in fat than other nuts. Nuts, in general, are very calorie dense. They should be fed very sparingly.
Cheese: If your dog is not lactose intolerant, cheese is fine, though too much may cause digestion disruption in the bowels. Cheese is also a high-fat food item and you are encouraged to avoid giving it regularly to your dog to avoid health issues in the future.
Chocolate: Do not ever feed chocolate to your dog! Chocolate contains very toxic substances called methylxanthines. Even just a little bit of chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can cause diarrhea and vomiting. Large amounts of chocolate can cause dangerous seizures, irregular heart function, and even death.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon is toxic to dogs, it’s probably best to avoid it. Even licking cinnamon off their fur from ‘natural flea products’ can make them extremely sick. It can lower a dog’s blood sugar too low. They can have horrible diarrhea and vomit. Inhaling cinnamon can cause coughing and choke them too.
Citrus – Dogs can have oranges and grapefruit but they may find it too acidic for their stomach. If they tolerate it, only feed a slice or two at a time. Avoid excessive amounts due to the acidic nature of the fruit.
Coconut: You may feed them coconut. Coconut is good for strengthening the immune system, helping to fight off viruses. It clears up skin conditions like hot spots, flea allergies, and itchy skin too. Coconut milk and coconut oil are safe for dogs too.
Corn: Yes, dogs can eat corn. Corn is one of the most common ingredients in many dog foods. Be careful not to let them eat the cob from corn though. It can cause intestinal blockages.
Eggs: Eggs are safe for dogs only if they are fully cooked. Cooked eggs are a fantastic additional protein and eating eggs seems to help ease stomach upset. Do not ever feed raw eggs because the risk of salmonella is too high. Salmonella can kill.
Fish: Fish contains good fats and amino acids, boosting the immune system and creating a gorgeous coat of fur in the process. Salmon and sardines are especially beneficial — salmon because it’s loaded with vitamins and protein, and sardines because they have soft, digestible bones for extra calcium. Be careful not to feed them anything with excessive bones, only tiny sardine bones are fine. Again, moderation is the key here and remember that canned sardines will be heavily salted and that is not good.
Garlic: No to onions, leeks, and chives, garlic! Anything that is part of the Allium family is toxic to dogs. Garlic can create anemia in dogs. They will develop pale gums. Heart rate can increase and they will become weak and collapse. Sometimes this form of poisoning isn’t noticed for several days. Monitor them closely if you even suspect they’ve eaten any of these.
Ham: Ham is safe but not healthy. It is cured and therefore really high in salt. It’s also a really fatty food.
Honey: Honey is great for dogs. Honey is packed with countless nutrients such as vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K, potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, and antioxidants. If they have allergies, giving them a little local honey is actually very good for them.
Ice cream: It contains lots of sugar so it is best not to share with your dog. If your dog is lactose intolerance, avoid the milk products totally. Try giving them frozen fruits instead.
Macadamia nuts: These are some of the most poisonous foods for dogs! Macadamia nuts, part of the Proteaceae family. Dogs will vomit, have a temperature, and become unable to walk. These nuts can impact the nervous system, becoming extremely serious as a health risk.
Milk: Some dogs are lactose-intolerant and don’t digest milk well. Milk is generally okay in very small doses. Diarrhea can be quite bad if they react to it.
Peanut butter: Peanut butter can be an excellent source of protein for dogs. Raw, unsalted peanut butter is the healthiest option because it doesn’t contain xylitol, a sugar substitute that can be deadly for dogs.
Peanuts: Peanuts are safe for dogs to eat. Give peanuts in moderation. Avoid the salted nuts and don’t give too many because they are really loaded with fat and can cause weight gain.
Popcorn: Yes, but only if it is unsalted, unbuttered, plain and/or air-popped popcorn. It contains riboflavin and thiamine, both of which promote eye health and digestion, as well as small amounts of iron and protein.
Pork: Pork is a highly digestible protein, packed with amino acids, and it contains more calories per pound than other meats. Surprisingly, pork is a meat that causes fewer allergic reactions than other types of meat for dogs with food allergies.
Shrimp: A few shrimp at a time, that are fully cooked will be fine for your dog. Remove shell and legs to prevent choking and cuts to the throat.
Tuna: Fresh tuna is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which promotes heart and eye health. Canned tuna is higher in levels of mercury and packed with salt. It should be avoided if possible. A little bit of canned tuna and tuna juice is fine as long as you’ve not added spices to it.
Turkey: Turkey is fine for dogs as long as it is not coked with spices, salted, or cooked in garlic or with onion. Remove the fat to make it healthy. Don’t feed turkey bones ever. These will splinter and can puncture the stomach or intestines.
Wheat/grains: Dogs do not have to be grain-free; this is a new trend in dog food and it may even be dangerous. Recent studies show that dogs without grain in their diet are developing enlarged hearts. If your dog has certain allergies, however, it might be best to avoid grains. You should consult with your veterinarian and do allergen testing if necessary to ensure you’re giving your dog the best diet for him or her. ,
Yogurt: Dogs love yogurt. Plain Greek yogurt is great for skin and coat. A little on their food is fine. If they get diarrhea from it, they may be lactose intolerant. The active bacteria in yogurt can help strengthen the digestive system with probiotics. Do not feed them yogurts that are flavored and have added sugars. This would be detrimental to their health.
This is a very thorough list of what dogs should and should not eat.
Dawn Greer is a passionate blogger and animal rights activist. She is a pet lover, certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, pet nutritionist, and former veterinary technician. She continues her work while writing blogs for pet lovers around the globe.