In the wild world of pets, we often wonder exactly what we can feed them and if people food for dogs is appropriate. The good news is that it is. The less-than-good news is that you can’t just plop anything down in your dog’s dish and expect things to go smoothly.

You have to put in a little effort in order to provide people food that dogs can eat. That’s where this article should, I hope, prove helpful.

What You Need to Know

Dogs and most other animals love people food and it’s generally okay to give your dog certain table scraps or even make a batch especially prepared just for him or her.

Depending on what kind of food it is, certain people foods are very good for your dog. You obviously don’t want to slip your dog a salad.

Not only will he or she give you the dirtiest of dirty looks, but it’s not particularly the best idea. You also want to avoid spicy sauces, overly fatty goods that can lead to Pancreatitis in dogs, breading, carbs, and other no-nos.

If you are cooking meat with sauce or breading, rinse and blot-dry the food before you give it to your dog. It’s okay to offer a hint of flavor, but don’t saturate the meat in sauce because that could bother your dog’s stomach. Remember, the trick here is to not overdo it.


You may be wondering exactly what people food dogs can eat. There are many options, depending on your dog, and I’ve gathered just a few of my recommendations here in this handy list.

  1. Chicken breast – you can serve this sautéed in just a smidgen of olive oil.
  2. Ground beef – cook until light pink inside and crumble into your dog’s bowl (drain and rinse excess oil).
  3. Salmon – this is a favorite that can be baked, broiled or even grilled.
  4. Ground turkey – similar to the beef, this can be crumbled after draining it of excess liquid.
  5. Dry Pork Chops – you may have heard that dogs shouldn’t eat Pork.  This is partially correct. Ham – a BIG NO, NO! Pork chops that are pretty dry to taste are actually okay.
  6. Eggs – these can be included hard-boiled or scrambled with water (not milk) to fluff them up.
  7. Sweet potatoes – these yummy favorites can be done baked or mashed without any extras.
  8. Kale – this can be steamed and added to your dog’s bowl.
  9. Oatmeal – make this with water, not milk.
  10. Alfalfa – luckily we have a great article about this over here.
  11. Cottage cheese – this should be used economically; I give my 100lb lab about a tablespoon at a time.
  12. Black beans or kidney beans – these canned beans make a good treat; drain them, rinse them, blot them dry.
  13. Fresh tomatoes, cooked – you can chop these finely before you cook them in a little olive oil.
  14. Zucchini – chop this up and cook it in a little olive oil.
  15. Pumpkin – a final option is this tasty treat.

Make It Tasty

Finally, to add a bit of extra flavor to people food for dogs, you can try a few of these extra suggestions:

  • Dried Basil
  • Dried Oregano
  • Minced Garlic  – depending on dog’s size 1/8 tsp. up to around 1/2 tsp. for large dogs *Despite what you read, dogs can safely eat the right amounts of garlic and it’s good for them too!
  • Parmesan cheese

If you have any other suggestions of healthy people food for dogs, let us know in the comment section.

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Showing 21 comments
  • Paul

    We have a 16 year old pit bull and not eating much tried dietary dog food but we are happy to prepare people food what do you recommend

    • janie

      Hi Paul:

      Does your old timer have any particular disease or illness, or are you just looking to cook at home for general maintenance?


  • Kathryn

    I would like a recipe how to prepare turmeric for my lab
    I had one before coconut oil turmeric and a few other things
    Can’t find it thanks for your help

    • janie

      Please watch the video in the article which includes the recipe.


  • Paul

    In SMALL* quantities, any of these are ok for dogs, and all are good for people, however variety from day to day is important:

    Apples, raw
    Bananas, raw
    Broccoli, raw
    Carrots, raw
    Cauliflower, raw
    Corn, green beans and peas, cooked or raw
    Oatmeal, cooked
    Peanuts, unsalted, raw or dry roasted
    Popcorn, unseasoned
    Lean meat scraps of any kind, cooked to 160F

    The non-fatty, non-bony parts of any animal that you might be inclined to discard, if cooked, are often highly nutritious. If your conditioning disinclines you to eat such things, offer them to your dog.

    * use these as snacks, with the total being less than 10% of the total food intake by volume, weight, or calories, whichever is greatest.

  • Simone

    Hi, Janie,
    I feed my dog with fresh cook meal , green beans , sweet potato , fish(salmon, white fish) and Venison.
    As supplements, I give probiotics , fish oil, and LYPOZYME to help the digestion,
    Do you think I should give him any type of multi vitamin?
    I saws you recommended , Centrum vitamin, is that good to give for dogs ?

    • janie knetzer

      Hi Simone:
      Anytime you’re feeding a home made diet, you must include supplements. Your dog needs certain vitamins and minerals just like you do and this is especially true for calcium. I suggest a multi vitamin as well.

      This is a good multi-formula for dogs and gets awesome reviews. Either way, you need to include vitamins and minerals.


  • Patti

    Thanks for the great info in this article. I’m going to add a few of those items to my grocery cart. I’ve had dogs who wouldn’t touch a healthy treat for all the tennis balls in the world, and it was frustrating trying to get them off of boxed cookie-type dog treats — most very high in calories and low in nutrition. Luckily, my current dogs — two rescued older golden retrievers — love lettuce, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, apples, and sugar snap peas! Much healthier treats for them, and less money at the cash register for me!

    • janie knetzer

      Hi Patti:
      My pleasure! I hope your rescue babies enjoy the food. If you’re not feeding any type of commercial food where they would get their normal vitamin and and especially calcium and mineral necessities from; you should include a multi vitamin made specifically for dogs like the one here that includes calcium and minerals.


      • Patti

        Thanks, Janie. Actually, I give them the people food over about 1/2 cup or so of dry kibble, and usually that’s ground turkey that’s been sauteed with chopped zucchini or frozen peas in a little bit of olive oil. Fresh snow peas or apple slices for dessert! I should eat so healthy! Thanks again for the great info; love your blog!

        • janie knetzer

          Great job Patti and thank you!

  • Debi

    I have been feeding my 11 mnth old Rottie, pumpkin. She has the awful habit of POOP EATING! Never had any of my pets do this! Tried pills, FORBID, list of other things. I read pumpkin was good to use to brake this habit. As I was told, by a Vet, very tasty going down, very untasty if eaten! Anyone have any comments.

    • janie knetzer

      Hi Debi:
      Most times when dogs eat poop, it’s because they are not getting what they need nutritionally. There is however a fine line in which they can cross over and it becomes more habit than anything. But, this only takes place if your dog is NOT getting everything she needs nutritionally, physically AND emotionally. But, you need to take a close look at your Rottie’s diet first. Pumpkin isn’t going to work. Chances are, your dog is not eating poop to get more fiber which is what pumpkin is; she is eating it to trying to get more protein. Does she also eat grass?

      My recommendation is to give her a high quality meat source daily along with some living greens such as barley grass which every dog should have daily. This can help a great deal if your dog is eating poop. You also need to make sure that you’re feeding her enough.

      If you haven’t signed up to receive my blog posts, you should so that you can receive tips on health, nutrition and some fun topics too.

      Hope this helps.
      Site Admin.

      • Debi

        Hi Janie, First I would like to say how great this site is, as I have 2 older dogs, in great health, also two younger ones, with small problems. Thanks for the website. As far as my Rottie, I still feed her twice a day, I give her dry, and also Fresh natural foods. I never thought about the protein, as I always thought I was giving enough. Don’t use canned food. She does eat grass, like a cow! But usually not because of an upset stomach, she seems to enjoy it. Also give her greens, veggies, rice, etc. I am hoping she will grow out of this, but sometimes not sure. My first rottie never did that, nor any of my other dogs. So I will take your advise, hopefully I can find a solution. I have been in the Pet Care business aslmost 20yrs, as well as breeding Wemarieners yrs ago. Again, have not run into this gross habit. So will give her diet a second look! Thanks again for such a great website.

        • janie knetzer

          Hey Debi: Thanks so much for your kind words regarding my site. I truly appreciate it and I’m glad to help. I hope the advice proves to work for your girl. The only canned food that I recommend is Wellness Ninety Five Percent and it is just that – 95% Quality Meat and 5% fat and water. It’s an excellent protein source and additive to any food. Of course it can’t be fed alone because it’s not balanced in any way.


  • Wendy

    Hi Janie – an interesting topic! So, your lab spits out lettuce – my standard poodle would too but, she LOVES the spine and base of romane lettuce, just not the leaf. She sits close by while I make salad hoping I’ll toss her a hunk of zucchini, red pepper or broccoli stem (hates the flower tops). I notice you advise to cook all the meats and veggies. Isn’t meat ok raw (rinsed) since their digestive tracks are shorter? She also loves a small chunk of coconut oil and a spoon of kefir or yogurt on her food.

    • janie knetzer

      Hi Wendy:
      The meat can definitely be left raw as long as your dog is a healthy dog. I’m used to writing a lot about older dogs. With this said; I’m always leary of raw for older dogs in general and especially if their immune systems are weak. While I LOVE a raw diet for dogs; I’m just not comfortable with it for our four legged seniors. 😮

      Love the coconut oil and kefir ideas Wendy…

  • Carol

    My dogs love salad greens and green beans.

    • janie knetzer

      That’s great Carol! My lab who typically eats anything; spits out lettuce if I give it to her. She will however eat blueberries, beans, cantaloupe, etc. 😮

      Thanks for sharing! ~Janie

  • Linda Filipiak

    First, thank you very much for providing this site. I love it!

    Question. Can’t dogs be given peanut butter in addition to these 15 foods on a daily basis? My Maltese (10lbs) loves PB. I mix it in with pumpkin everyday (otherwise he won’t eat the pumpkin). He needs the pumpkin to help empty his anal sacs. He scoots a lot otherwise.
    How much is safe daily?

    • janie knetzer

      Hi Linda:
      You’re welcome and I’m glad you like my site and the list. A little bit of peanut butter daily isn’t going to hurt your little guy. For a guy this little, I wouldn’t give more than 1/4 teaspoon of PB daily. So the fiber in the pumpkin is what helps him to empty his sacs. I recommend that you rotate the pumpkin with kidney beans or black beans (mash em up) every couple days in order to give him a variety of fiber vs the same source all the time. A teaspoon of either pumpkin or beans should work well for him. If he gets constipated, cut it back a little.

      You should also include a good fatty acid which can help the sacs empty on their own.



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