What Foods Can Dogs Eat - Fruits, Veges, Chocolate and more...
  • Send Us a Message

    What Foods Can Dogs Eat - Fruits, Veges, Chocolate and more...

    We're going to look at some common food questions we often ask ourselves when we get 'that look' from our dog when we're eating our own food. Although you might think you're being kind by offering your food to your dog, it can actually be really harmful to give them human food and surprisingly sometimes even fatal.

    Can Dogs Eat Chocolate?

    As tempting as it is to think that you're spoiling your dog by sharing your chocolate with them (especially at Easter time) it can actually be deadly for dogs to consume chocolate. Most chocolate contains toxic ingredients for dogs but it depends on the type and the amount as to whether it will be harmful or not. The key ingredients that cause dogs harm are the levels of theobromine and caffeine contained in the chocolate. The direct cause of this is an abnormal increase to the dogs heart rate and stimulation of the nervous system. This of course depends on just how much your dog consumes and their weight as well. Plus older dogs and dogs with heart conditions are more at risk of adverse reactions.

    If your dog has accidently consumed any chocolate the symptoms will usually appear in 6-12 hours following consumption. Monitor your dog for the below signs that something might be wrong:

    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Restlessness
    • Increased urination
    • Tremors
    • Elevated or abnormal heart rate
    • Seizures
    • Collapse and death

    Seek immediate medical attention with a vet if you suspect that your dog might be experiencing any concerning medical symptoms. Depending on your dogs condition and duration of time that has passed since the consumption the vet will be the best point of call to decide if inducing vomitting, giving activated charcoal (which can work to remove toxins from the dogs system) could work. Ultimately the best thing to do it you are concerned is to contact your vet or after hours emergency clinic. In more severe situations your dog may need to be admitted to the vet for IV fluids, treatment medications to deal with the poisoning.


    What Vegetables Can Dogs Eat?

    Can Dogs Eat Cucumber

    Cucumbers are juicy, crunchy, healthy and as an added bonus, super low in calories. It's no surprise that cucumbers are a common food that appeal to dogs with their high water content, particularly in hot climates like Australia. There's actually nothing in the cucumber flesh or skin that is harmful to dogs so this one gets the green light, peeled our unpeeled.

    Sliced Cucumber

    Can Dogs Eat Capsicum

    Full of healthy antioxidants and vitamins, capsicums can be given to dogs in moderation. Some dogs might get an upset tummy though so be mindful if the capsicum is too spicy as it can cause digestive irritations and upset for some pets. For anyone out there considering offering any another members of the pepper vegetable group, we recommend to avoid it.

    Capsicum bell peppers

    Can Dogs Eat Celery

    Celery is full of fibre and healthy vitamins such as A, C and K, potassium, folate and manganese. Apart from being nutritious, celery is a low fat, low calorie snack for a dog and a very safe treat to offer. Celery can actually be a fun vegetable for a dog to chew on given it's crunchy, stringy nature. Just be sure to keep an eye on your dog while their eating (especially small dogs) to make sure they don't get stuck on any tricky stringy bits.


    Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes

    Mysterious to most dogs, the intriguing red tomato is totally safe in moderation but only if they're ripe. Don't ever offer your pet an unripe tomato as these contain harmful substances which in some cases can be toxic. Just like us humans wouldn't consider eating an unripe tomato. Tomatoes are part of the nightshade family and the unripe varieties including leaves and stems from the plant should not be consumed. Unripe tomatoes contain the natural chemicals solanine and tomatine which are not cool to consume. Don't forget to make sure if you do have any growing in your garden that they're sufficiently fenced off so your dog can't access them.


    Can Dogs Eat Cauliflower & Broccoli

    Both part of the cruciferous family, cauliflower and broccoli are both safe for dogs in moderation. It's recommended to avoid giving too many of the florets to dogs as they contain small molecules called isothiocyanates that can irritate dogs intestinal system which can cause nausea, bloating and diarrhea. If you think your dog has consumed too much and you're worried about any signs of sickness, always immediately consult with your vet. Uncooked cauliflower and broccoli can be difficult to chew and can result in choking so make sure you cut them into small pieces and cook them before serving.

    Can Dogs Eat Zucchini

    Packed with fibre, zucchini is a safe option for dogs so long as you don't add seasoning to it and again offer it in moderation. Zucchini is actually really good assisting with constipation due to the level of insoluble fibre. This works by bulking the stool and drawing water into it. Apart from that, zucchini is rich in vitamins and minerals that will give your dogs immune system a nice boost, with vitamin A, C, K, B6 and minerals like potassium, manganese, lutein, zeaxanthin.

    What Fruits Can Dogs Eat?

    While not necessary for a balanced diet, fruit can be a nice sweet juicy treat for a dog on occassions. Make sure though you understand what is safe to eat and what to steer clear from.

    Can Dogs Eat Strawberries, Raspberries & Blueberries

    This range of superfoods are jam packed with goodies for immune health, low in sugar and high in antioxidants. Giving a sweet berry treat to your dog once in a while is totally okay just don't over do it. They're easy to chew and don't contain any toxic compounds that should be of concern to our canine friends. If you are concerned with any choking hazard particularly with the smaller blueberries, given them a little squeeze to pop them before giving them to your dog.

    Beware that some of the following berries contain harmful chemicals for dogs which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, seizures, or trouble breathing:

    • Mistletoe berries
    • Holly berries
    • Juniper berries
    • Dogwood berries
    • Gooseberries
    • Salmonberries
    • Baneberries
    • Pokeberries

    Can Dogs Eat Banana

    Bananas contain higher levels of natural sugars so should only be given as a treat once in a while. Apart from that they contain potassium, fibre, vitamins, biotin and copper. Just stick to moderation for this fruit as too much can cause some dogs to get an upset tummy which can lead to nausea and diarrhea due to the higher levels of sugar and fibre. Always peel the banana before giving it to your dog.

    Can Dogs Eat Apples

    Apples are a nice crunchy fruit for a dog which are okay to offer as a treat. Be very aware that the seeds of apples when broken or chewed contain cyanide and can potentially cause harm if ingested. Be sure to remove the core and all seeds and chop into appropriately sized pieces or slices for your dog.

    Can Dogs Eat Grapes

    Grapes are super toxic to dogs and should never be offered as a treat, not even one. This includes any sort of dried grapes like raisins which are also totally off limits. Studies have been done to ascertain what compound or chemical that exists in grapes that causes the toxicity however it's yet to be identified. Just one grape can be fatal for dogs and can lead to kidney failure. 

    Can Dogs Eat Watermelon

    Another juicy and hydrating fruit that's super fun to eat for a dog and is also full of vitamin A, C and B6. The best option if you can source it is seedless watermelon which avoids your dog consuming the pips. This is the perfect treat in hotter climates (served chilled, yes please!) given it's high water content. Of course, ensure you cut the skin completely off and make some nice edible size pieces depending on your dogs size and eating ability.

    What About Other Common Foods - Peanut Butter, Honey, Popcorn, Prawns, Cashews and Nuts?

    Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter

    A really common staple in most peoples houses is trusty peanut butter spread. Surprisingly, peanut butter is totally safe for dogs to consume so long as it doesn't contain Xylitol which is a sugar substitute. While safe for human consumption, Xylitol is toxic to dogs and can cause fatal consequences including hypoglycemia and at higher amounts acute liver failure. Choose the spreads that contain 'only nuts' and no sugar substitutes.

    Can Dogs Eat Popcorn

    Popcorn is a food that should be avoided due to corn being one of the most common food allergies in dogs. If your dog has any reaction to corn it can cause nausea, inflammation, diarrhea and bloating. Apart from that, popcorn bits can become stuck in their throats which is uncomfortable for them (just like us humans!)

    Can Dogs Eat Prawns

    Prawns are an acceptable treat to give your dog as they contain heaps of healthy goodies including protein, omega oils phosphorus, antioxidants, B-vitamins and iodine. They're also known to be really good for brain health and thyroid function. Be sure to fully peel and cook the prawns before giving them to your dog. Also choose wisely about the origin of your prawns as any good seafood you would eat yourself.

    Can dogs eat cashews and other nuts

    Super nutritious, immune boosting and packed with awesome protein, fibre, amino acids, vitamin C, B1 & B2, and other goodies that support a healthy diet. Some nuts can be a special treat for a dog every now and again although some you need to be very aware of and their potential side effects. Keep in mind that nuts are dense in calories so can cause weight gain when consumed too much but most importantly let’s look at the nuts that are okay and not so okay for our canine friends

    • Macadamia nuts –Very toxic to dogs. Can cause weakness and paralysis, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia in dogs
    • Old and moldy walnuts –Very toxic to dogs and cats. Can cause tremors and seizures
    • Raw Cashews –Should be avoided for dogs and toxic for cats. When unroasted they contain compounds that make them harder to digest than cooked nuts which can cause tummy upset
    • Pistachios –Totally avoid ever giving these to your dog. Pistachios are super high in fats (which can cause pancreatitis and nausea). Because of their size and the that they most often have a hard shell, they’re a choking hazard, difficult to digest, and can cause intestinal blockages. They are often seasoned with salt, onion, and garlic (with the last two ingredients being toxic to pets)
    • Pecans –Not directly toxic, but like walnuts, they tend to develop mold. Within this mould are microorganisms including toxigenic and pathogenic fungal organisms that can't be easily seen by the naked eye, but trust us they’re there. These molds, even a small amount, can cause seizures and irreversible damage to your pet. They also can cause gastrointestinal distress and nausea
    • Almonds –Not directly toxic, it’s recommended that almonds aren’t given to pets since they are a significant choking hazard. Given how keen our dogs are at gobbling down food, these can remain unchewed and difficult to digest. For small breed dogs they may inhale them into their windpipe. They can potentially cause severe gastrointestinal upset due to their high-fat content as well as pancreatitis. They are often heavily salted, which can cause bloating (again, just like for us) and for pets with heart disease, this can be seriously dangerous. Almonds are also susceptible to mold like pecans and walnuts, invisible to the naked eye but very much there
    • Brazil nuts –They are not toxic, but they are hard to digest and are high in fat (actually these are one of the fattiest nuts around). This can be especially problematic for dogs with hyperlipidemia (high amount of fat in the blood) and those pets that have a history of pancreatitis.

    Be aware when deciding to give your dog any human food that just like us they too can have a disposition to allergic reactions to things like dairy, wheat, corn, soy, and other common allergens which can lead to a realm of unpleasant and potentially threatening illnesses.

    Although we love our pets dearly we can literally kill them with love, sharing human food when you aren't positive that it won't harm your pet is dangerous. If you have given your dog anything that you’re concerned about be sure to contact your vet immediately, it's better to take a proactive approach just in case something is wrong. The sooner a vet sees your pet if they are in distress, the higher the likelihood of a positive outcome.