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Guide to choosing a cat

A guide to what dogs can and can’t eat

In a lot of cases, human food isn’t good for our furry friends – no matter how much they might beg. Often, it’s best to ignore those puppy eyes and keep the tasty human food separate. But there are some treats that are safe for our dogs to enjoy too.

Can my dog eat this?

Dogs are always getting into mischief and places they shouldn’t. If your dog eats something they shouldn’t, you’ll need to act  quickly. This guide will give you some more intel into what human food dogs can and can’t eat.

What human food can dogs eat?

Next time your dog gives you puppy eyes while you’re eating, consult this list to see if it’s safe to give them a bite or not.


While dogs can eat ripe tomatoes in moderation, they shouldn’t have too many of them. Green tomatoes contain substances that are harmful to your furry friend – so avoid these ones . Natural chemicals are also found in the stems and leaves of young tomato plants. If you enjoy growing your own, keep them in a fenced area, secure from any hungry dogs.


You may be surprised to learn that, yes, dogs can eat pineapple. Raw pineapple in small amounts is actually a great snack . In fact, in some cases, eating pineapple can deter dogs from eating their own poo . Just be sure to avoid canned fruit as the syrups will be too much for your dog’s digestive system.


Dogs can eat blueberries as they’re rich in antioxidants. They can also prevent cell  damage in dogs the same way as in humans. Why not teach your precious pooch tricks with blueberries as a healthy treat?


A healthy snack for canines on a diet, dogs can eat cucumbers to cool down on a hot day thanks to the high water content. Cucumbers are also full of healthy vitamins and have low amounts carbs or fat. 


Speak to your vet before feeding your dog eggs. Eggshells should be given with caution as the sharp edges could scratch their throat. Eggs should be cooked before given to dogs – and keep them plain .


Frozen carrots make a great treat on a hot day and may help to soothe teething puppies. Carrots are a great high fibre but low-calorie snack and are often included in commercial dog foods .


Bananas are another good treat to freeze, to help with teething or to cool down your pup on a hot day. They’re high in potassium, vitamins, fibre and copper. They do have a lot of sugar though so don’t go overboard. 


Cheese is a good high-reward training treat. Only treat occasionally though, as too much dairy can be fattening and bad for their tummies.


Ice can be good for teething puppies. It can also help to cool dogs down on hot days – but be careful with ice cubes as they can cause a choking hazard .


If you remove the seeds and rind, watermelon can be a tasty dog treat. The high water content makes it great to help keep your pooch hydrated on a hot day. Watermelon also contains potassium, vitamin A, B-6 and C .


Oranges aren’t toxic but should only be allowed in small amounts – but never the peel. Most dogs don’t like citrus fruits due to  their strong smell. Some people use citrus smells as a repellent to deter their furry friends from chewing things or getting into certain places .

Raw meat

Some owners decide to feed their dogs a raw  food diet. While dogs can digest raw animal protein, this should  be sourced from specific dog food providers to avoid the risk of food poisoning. 

Food dogs can’t eat

Some human food is very harmful, or even fatal, to dogs. If your mischievous pup gets a hold of any of the following, you should contact your vet as soon as you can.


Grapes are very toxic to our furry friends. In severe cases they can cause kidney failure and death. Be careful to avoid anything containing grapes, like fruit cake.

Sultanas and raisins

Sultanas and raisins are similarly toxic. As raisins are found in combination with other foods, dogs are more likely to be exposed to them – so be particularly careful with your cake tin.


While it may be a delicious treat to humans, it’s a definite no for your dogs. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is very poisonous to dogs, so keep any chocolate far out of reach of mischievous pups.


Dogs should not eat sweetcorn from the cob. While it’s not toxic, the cob is a choking risk and shouldn’t be given to your furry friend. They can eat sweetcorn kernels in very small amounts . 


Dogs can eat plain nuts as a rare treat, but you do need to be careful with them as some varieties may be toxic. They are packed with nutrients, but also have high fat content and can lead to obesity so it’s all about moderation. Nut shells can also be a choking hazard or cause abdominal obstructions. 

Onions and garlic

Garlic and unions are both part of the family of Allium plants that are toxic to cats and dogs. They can cause nasty consequences like vomiting, stomach pain and sickness .

Non-human food

Dogs don’t always have a filter when it comes to eating off the floor and they may try to eat all sorts of strange things. Always keep an eye on what your dog is up to on walks so you can stop them from eating things they shouldn’t.

Slugs and snails

Slugs and snails are no friend to curious pups. They’re not poisonous, but they are harmful. Dogs can get lungworm by ingesting slug or snail slime  and they can get very poorly if they eat one that’s ingested poisonous pellets.


Raw meat bones may be good for dogs teeth, but they carry a risk of salmonella . Cooked bones are also very risky as they can splinter and pose internal risks to your dog. They can get stuck in their airways or cause blockages in their intestines. 

It’s important to have a good level of training with your dog on drop and leave – so you can stop them from eating any bones they get their noses to.


Don’t allow your dog to eat rocks. Not only could they harm their teeth, but they could also cause digestive problems and your dog could choke. Large rocks could cause an intestinal blockage .

Sticks and wood

While lots of dogs enjoy playing with sticks and searching for the biggest stick they can find on walks, it’s safer to prevent your dog from chewing sticks. Sticks can splinter and hurt their mouth, throat and stomach if swallowed. 

Household objects

Your puppy may not differentiate their toy to your child’s – or any other household object. Keep all small and swallowable objects well out of reach as these can cause obstructions. Things with batteries in and sharp edges are particularly dangerous if ingested. 

Dog insurance for vet fees and dental cover 

Dogs are naturally inquisitive and downright mischievous at times. Insurance may help provide some relief if they do anything unexpected. Vet bills are expensive, so it’s better to be prepared in case the worst is to happen.

Dog insurance could help to cover your dog for examinations, treatments, or operations that your dog could need if they eat something they shouldn’t. 

Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance, provided by Pinnacle Insurance plc, could provide cover up to £10,000 a year, depending on your policy. We offer time-limited, maximum benefit and lifetime insurance, so you can choose the cover that suits you best.  All insurance policies have restrictions. To find out more about our terms and conditions including exclusions, excesses and limits, please take a look at our policy documents.

Frequently asked questions 

What can I feed my dog?

To avoid any potential health risks, feed your dog a commercial dog food or treats that have been recommended by your vet. If you want to treat them to something a little different, make sure you do your research to make sure you’re not doing more harm than good.

How long after eating bad food will my dog get sick?

The length of time between a dog eating something they shouldn’t, and being sick, varies depending on what they’ve ingested. Some toxins cause an immediate reaction whereas some symptoms don’t start to show until hours or days later. Chocolate poisoning can take six to 12 hours  to show symptoms. 

What are the signs of food poisoning in dogs?

Your dog may have food poisoning if they start to display these symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Extreme thirst
  • Salivation
  • Panting

In severe cases your dog may suffer from seizures, tremors, heart palpitations or even death. If you suspect your pup may have food positioning, contact your vet as soon as possible.


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