Healthy and Harmful Food for Dogs

Providing a healthy diet for your dog isn’t always so easy. Many foods that we love aren’t so dog-friendly and many of those aren’t that obvious. Most people know common dangers like chocolate and grapes, but did you know that onions & garlic are also toxic to dogs? Also, fat is a healthy part of a dog’s diet but giving them too much at once (like those fat trimmings from your steak) can lead to pancreatitis.

The graphic below provides a great guide to what foods are healthy for your dog and those you probably want to avoid. Some items that appear on the harmful side you may have fed to your dog with no adverse reactions and items on the healthy side can also pose dangers if given in large quantities. Just remember:

Know your dog, avoid unnecessary risks, and practice moderation!

Dog Is Good 15% off Coupon ZENDIG716 all Women's and Men's Clothing

Healthy and Harmful Dog Foods Poster -

Download Your Copy of the Chart Here!



Avocados might be one of the more hotly contested items when it comes to healthy vs. harmful. We’ve put Avocado pits and skin on the Harmful list as pits in general can be dangerous to the dogs. If you decide to give your dog the fruit of the avocado, just make sure it is in moderation and they don’t have any adverse reactions.


Ice Cream

Dairy + Sugar + Fat = Not Great for Dogs. A few licks may not harm them and they will probably love it, but there is really no benefit to be gained from giving your dogs ice cream. Plus, many dogs are lactose intolerant and you may find it gives them diarrhea. Frozen yogurt is a great alternative.



Tomatoes can actually be healthy for your dog, however, the unripe tomatoes, leaves, and stems can all be toxic to dogs. If you give your dogs ripe tomatoes, just be careful and monitor them. We prefer to give them foods that we don’t have to worry about.


Human Medications

Yes, your veterinarian may prescribe many medications for your dog that are also used for humans. In some instances, they may even recommend over-the-counter options found in a drug store. The key thing here however is talking to your veterinarian! Get their opinion before giving your dogs any medication.

Graphic by Paul Carbo,


46 thoughts on “Healthy and Harmful Food for Dogs

  1. i take the same meds for anxiety as what our vet gave us to try on our baby girl and he said that i could give mine to her but i had to tell him that i take a higher dose and didnt really want to knock her completely out although with her separation anxiety im thinking that may be a good thing

      1. Hi chris, I read your advice on human food to feed cats. My cat has struvites and is on the prescription diet (wet and dry), but she is feeling hungry all the time. Is there any safe human food to supplement that she feels more full? she loves milk products ( cheese), liver, chicken.

    1. Agree about pork being moved to the unhealthy list!!!! It is very dangerous to feed to your dog…especially small dogs and puppies. …it can be fatal!!!
      My dog got a hold of ham dropping off the floor and was deathly sick. …rushed her to the vet…induced vomiting…it is definitely dangerous…PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR VET ABOUT FEEDING PORK PRODUCTS!!!!!

      1. Pork is not unhealthy for dogs. Your dog may have had an allergic reaction to pork, or a reaction to the seasonings you had on yours. But for the general population there is nothing wrong with feeding pork to your dog.

      2. I don’t know we’re or what kind of pet or breed dog you have my dogs get there food cooked from me and ONCEN a month they get pork no fat it’s pretty common if your dog is allergic reaction to some foods do it in moderation and also. Garlic powder and whole garlic are fine you need a big big amount to hurt your pet garlic fights bacteria and it’s good for keeping tics off your dog’s and fleas too ….over the course of my life I have had DOGs all kinds of breeds and never hurt them diet or killed them and FOR future reference Google if you don’t know and READ carefully!!!!!!! About what’s good and bad for dogs because you could be confused about what it says about garlic ….so read it don’t just breeze threw if you love your pets and they are part of your family you will …..

      3. I gave my poodle a couple bites of pork chop and she started pooping blood. I to take her to vet and he fixed her. After 275.00

    2. I don’t agree. There are some pork products in the dog food isle. Also I’ve given my dogs small bites of pork, never seem to have trouble.

      1. I am glad I read this a bout toxic foods I have fed my dog some of these bit no more I never knew pork was bad for your dog . THank. you so much for putting this on pins it. A lot of people are inform now. I hope they will take this seriously I know I will not thank you again..

      2. I had a dog that lived to be 17 and she eat garlic every day and never got sick half of the foods people say are bad for dogs aren’t really that bad my dog eat everything I eat and never got sick or had flees and my other 5 dogs eat what ever they like and they have been fine 4 of my dogs died from old age and my last dogs still kicking at the age of 16 so as far as I’m concerned people just like telling everyone what to do and how to raise there animals when they should just shut up…..The only foods my dog does not get is onions,coffee,alcohol,popcorn,grapes/raisins and chocolate that is the only foods I will never give a dog and so far every dog I’ve had has died from being to old….So like I said don’t believe everything you read on the internet

        1. Maybe you should shut because people care about their animals, not like you that it’s plan to see you don’t or you would watch more what you feed them, Katrina Lapointe.


        1. Ditto your remarks to Heather I lost 2 dogs in one my lab snuck under a car that wash leaking anti-freeze and we had smaller dog who was a wonderful pet she coxed the lab.out and brought her home and tried clean her up!
          She Was my daughters dog she was very special. My daughter was 17 she now 50 and a mother, and a grandmother. X’3

      1. That’s really unfortunate sorry about your dog I know what out is to lose a good dog over incomparable from the human world and you can’t always trust vets veterans the say what ever they think blood test prove it no because it’s thousands of dollars to do when your dog’s Dieing so I think he blamed it on the garlic…..I been useing g Garlic for years over 20 on shepherd and chwuwaia terrias pits Minnpin and just must mixed dog and a shar pei…pure brad …so I think it was already something in him for that to happen you would need a big ton of garlic powder or whole to kill a dog …RIP Henry.

        1. Oh my..Sorry for you loss..this scare me cause my dog snatched a half of onion n bellpepper off the counter while I was sleep but it didn’t seem to affect him..

      2. I’m sorry for your loss. If I’m not mistaken, garlic is not harmful with a little amount of consumption. It has, in fact, a bunch of nutrients but I won’t take the risk of giving it to any dogs as it is very dangerous when consumed at a high amount. Might have been the onion which caused the tragedy.

      3. I’m sorry for your loss. But my family has been using garlic as a natural flea and tick repellent for centuries and not one dog has died from it. Pancreatitis doesn’t happen from just a little bit of something either, it happens when they eat a lot (like he would have had to eat an entire crop of garlic at once). Were you feeding Purina products by chance? Because all of their products are known to cause pancreatitis and has killed thousands of pets (including my 20 year old cat). I’ve had dogs of all sizes and breeds eat almost everything on the ‘harmful’ list, and not one died or got sick. People tend to forget that dogs have lived thousands of years eating ‘human’ foods, bagged dog/cat food has only existed for less than a hundred years. Back in the day they were fed the leftovers from the tables, which pretty much had everything on the harmful list. I swear the harmful list was made by the dog food companies, and the vets that get paid from them, just so people would buy it, instead of feeding a more accurate and healthier diet that we eat ourselves.

  2. Pork, in itself, is actually fine, edible and digestible for dogs. It is the natural oil and fat content that makes it bad for our canine friends.. Not to mention what ever else is added to “flavor” it for we humans. (i.e. more salt, spices) As with us, too much of it and you will need the restroom often. Too much of it in our little friends could potentially cause any health risks associated with eating bad stuff.. Pancreatitis, stomach upset, vomitting, diarrhea, blood pressure problems, etc.

    1. When I cook for my pet..I usually cook his food in low sodium chicken broth for extra seasonings at all and he loves it..

  3. Fantastic infographic! Absolutely agree, no onions or garlic EVER for dogs. Metabolites formed in their breakdown attach to red blood cells. The body views the altered RBCs as foreign and launches an attack on them (immune mediated hemolytic anemia {IMHA}). Six years ago the details concerning onion and garlic’s role in IMHA were not so well known, and we came terribly close to losing our then four year old cocker spaniel (now a healthy ten and a half years old). A brilliant veterinarian (and the good Lord) saved her. She needed multiple transfusions in the first few days of her week-long ICU inpatient stay, and a year of carefully adjusted and monitored chemotherapy afterward to slowly allow her immune system to re-engage.

    I cringe when I hear well-meaning pet owners defend the use of garlic as a flea preventative or for general anti-microbial properties. Granted, cocker spaniels are more prone to IMHA than other breeds, but do you really want to roll the dice and bet that the amount of garlic or onion your adding to your dog’s food this time won’t be just the threshold needed to begin the autoimmune cascade? Just like any immune mediated response, multiple exposures to the causative agent are required to bring about response. Responsible pet owners don’t cling to what they’ve done without damage before as proof that it’s not harmful in spite of clear evidence to the contrary. Learn from others’ mistakes and experiences.

    Heather Murphy: I’m so sorry to hear of your loss of Henry. RIP sweet little guy. It sounds like he was a lucky boy to have you as long as he did. They all go to soon…

    1. My dog loves everything we eat..but I just started to cooking his food and the meal that I cook is white peas..and boiled chicken ..for the flavor, I just cook it in low sodium chicken broth..

    1. Just be careful not to feed them the seeds. They contain amygdlin which is a form of cyanide. Does it ring a bell upon seeing the word cyanide? It is not only toxic to humans, but also to dogs and most animals, so be careful.

  4. @yali: Dogs actually have a faster metabolism than humans. For instance, both humans and canines can suffer from hypothyroidism and can both be treated with the same medication, levothyroxine; however, human dosing is once every 24 hours, but dogs are dosed every 12 hours. Always check with your vet or pharmacist before giving ANY medication to your critter.

  5. Raw eggs are good for dogs but be careful not to feed its egg white. We’re in raw feeding and it is not surprising that I give my dogs raw eggs but I remove its egg white. There are health risks to dogs when they consume egg white. It may cause digestive problems and biotin deficiency which may be dangerous. Also, I crush the egg shell and sprinkle it to their food as a source of protein.

  6. Why is garlic no good, I have used it for years with my dogs they had no fleas or worms and vet very happy with the dogs. I make my own dog food using vegetables and raw kangaroo mince.

  7. I have been giving my dog potato skins from baked potato’s for 3 months now I wash the them first before baking they are hard skins , no problems so far what should I look for?

  8. It is a great infographic. Perhaps you could include mushrooms in the “healthy list”. Mushrooms are just so nutritious. However not all mushrooms are good for dogs. I have recently written an article about mushrooms for dogs. Feel free to check it out. 🙂

  9. Is boiled potatoes o.k. to feed to dog. We “rescued” our shitzu mix and she is terrible to fed. Absolutely wil not eat regular dog food, we have tried so many. She will eat mashed milk.just potato. I have been
    told to feed her baby food, example, beef in broth,chicken in broth,will eat the frozen chicken food made by BIG
    COUNTRY RAW, from Pet-Smart. Does anyone have any ideas to help us out? Thank you dog lovers out
    there, she is so loveable, She is a few pounds overweight the vet said, because she begs for “treats.” She
    certainly loves them, and we do not want to feed her these so often. Yes, we likely spoiled her from the start,
    But we love her so much! Any ideas to help, please, we would love your suggestions.

Leave a Reply to Sonia Connor Cancel reply