One of the most common questions we hear is can I feed my dog [fill in the blank]? Oranges, bananas, grapes, asparagus, broccoli, peas—what’s safe and what’s not? Unfortunately, the belief of “if it’s ok for me to eat, it’s ok for my dog” is entirely wrong. While many human foods are completely safe for dogs, others can be very unhealthy and even deadly. Dogs and humans digest foods differently so even though it’s fun to spoil dogs with table scraps it’s important to think before you give your pup your plate. Also, dogs are carnivores and, unlike humans, have no real need for fruits and vegetables (something every kid wishes they could tell their mom).
On top of all of that, what’s harmful for all dogs can be extremely dangerous for small breeds. For example, a Newfoundland might be able to eat a few grapes and not have any issues because the amount of toxins compared to the dog’s body may be very small, whereas a few grapes could be deadly for a Chihuahua. There’s a reason we have children’s medicine and different dosages for adults. The same is true for large and small dogs.
We put the tables below together as a quick reference guide of common fruits and vegetables. While many are safe, also keep in mind the high sugar content of fruit means they are best only in moderation and should not be a main part of your dog’s diet. If you’re curious about another food, contact us and we’ll let you know.
What FRUITS are safe for small dogs?
|Apples||Yes||Vitamin A & C, fiber||No core or seeds|
|Avocado||No||Causes vomiting, diarrhea|
|Bananas||Yes||Potassium, vitamins, biotin, fiber and copper||Use as treat in moderation, not part of main diet|
|Blueberries||Yes||Antioxidants, fiber and phytochemicals||Good alternative to store bought treats|
|Cantaloupe||Yes||Lots of nutrients, low calories, water and fiber||High sugar so use as treat in moderation|
|Cherries||No||Contain cyanide and are toxic for dogs|
|Cranberries||Yes||Many dogs don’t like them; use in moderation as too many can upset stomach|
|Cucumbers||Yes||Vitamins K, C, and B1, potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin||Great for overweight dogs; no carbs, fats or oils and can boost energy levels|
|Grapes||No||Very toxic; can lead to kidney failure; dangerous|
|Mangos||Yes||Vitamins A, B6, C, and E, potassium, beta-carotene and alpha-carotene||Remove pit first; use as treat in moderation|
|Oranges||Yes||Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber||Remove the peel and seeds|
|Peaches||Yes||Vitamin A, fiber and can help fight infections||Remove pit as it contains cyanide; great cut up fresh or frozen|
|Pears||Yes||Copper, vitamins C and K, and fiber||Cut pears into bite-size chunks and remove the pit and seeds first|
|Pineapples||Yes||Vitamins, minerals, fiber and bromelain||Remove prickly outside peel and crown|
|Rasberries||Yes||Antioxidants, low in sugar and calories, high in fiber, manganese, and vitamin C. Especially good for senior dogs because they have anti-inflammatory properties.||Contain small amounts of xylitol, so limit to less than a cup at a time|
|Strawberries||Yes||Fiber, vitamin C and an enzyme that whitens teeth||Best in moderation due to sugar levels|
|Tomatoes||No||Green parts of the plant contain a toxic substance called solanine; best to avoid all together|
|Watermelon||Yes||Vitamin A, B-6, and C, potassium and full of water||Remove the rind and seeds first, as they can cause intestinal blockage|
What VEGETABLES are safe for small dogs?
|Asparagus||No||It’s not unsafe but it’s too tough to be eaten raw, and loses the nutrients it contains when cooked soft enough; there are better options|
|Broccoli||Yes||Fiber, vitaimin C, low in fat||Small quantities only; florets contain isothiocyanates, which can cause mild-to-potentially-severe gastric irritation; stalks have been known to cause obstruction in the esophagus|
|Brussel Sprouts||Yes||Loaded with nutrients and antioxidants||Moderation; can cause lots of gas|
|Carrots||Yes||Fiber and beta-carotene, which produces vitamin A||Great for teeth and fun to crunch|
|Celery||Yes||Vitamins A, B and C and nutrients known to promote healthy heart and fight cancer||Freshens doggy breath|
|Green Beans||Yes||Vitamins, minerals, fiber and low calorie||Opt for plain low or no salt options|
|Mushrooms||No||Can be toxic or even deadly|
|Onions||No||Can causered blood cells to rupture, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and nausea; more serious in Japanese breeds|
|Peas||Yes||Vitamins, minerals, fiber, rich in protein||Green, snow, snap, garden peas all ok; avoid canned peas due to sodium levels|
|Spinach||Yes||There are better options; high in oxalic acid, which blocks the body’s ability to absorb calcium and can lead to kidney damage|