What human foods are safe for dogs to eat? Here's what is and isn't safe for your pet.

·4 min read

Are you getting bored of the same old dog treats or looking to avoid buying an expensive name brand?

The Spruce Pets estimates the average American spends between $250 and $700 per year on dog food and treats.

If you’re looking to save some money, supplementing your dog’s treat regimen with human foods, such as fruits and vegetables, could be a potential alternative. But not all foods are safe for canines to eat.

If you’re trying to mix things up, or if your dog has snuck something off the counter, here’s what you need to know about each food item.

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What foods can dogs eat?

Apples

Yes, dogs can eat apples. Because they are high in vitamins A and C, are low in calories and contain lots of fiber, they can be a healthy snack.

Avocados

No, dogs should not eat avocados. They contain persin, which is toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhea and other health issues.

Bananas

Yes, dogs can eat bananas. Because they contain vitamins B6 and C, as well as potassium and fiber, bananas can be a healthy treat, though they shouldn’t be eaten in large quantities because of their high sugar content.

Blueberries

Yes, dogs can eat frozen or fresh blueberries without a problem. Because they’re low in calories and high in fiber and vitamin C, they make a healthy snack. But be aware that they are a potential choking hazard.

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Just curious? We're here to answer your everyday questions.

Broccoli

Yes, dogs can eat broccoli, but feeding them too much can cause gastric irritation. While the snack has vitamin C and fiber, it also contains isothiocyanates, which can upset your pup’s stomach.

Carrots

Yes, dogs can eat carrots, as long as you cut them into small pieces they can swallow. In addition to providing your pet with vitamin A, potassium and fiber, cold or frozen carrots can also help a teething puppy.

Cat food

Yes, dogs can eat cat food, but it shouldn’t consistently be part of their diet. Cat food is much higher in protein and lacks some nutrients dogs need. Your dog might like the high protein content, but cat food should only be used as an occasional treat.

Chocolate

No, dogs should not eat chocolate. Be aware you may need to take your dog for an urgent visit to the vet because, if your dog eats enough of it, it can become sick and even die. Follow these steps to help you diagnose how dangerous of a situation your pup is in.

Cucumbers

Yes, dogs can eat cucumbers, which are low in calories, fat and sodium. Cucumbers can also be hydrating, since they are mostly made of water. If the cucumber has been pickled, do not feed it to your dog because salt and spices used in this process could harm your dog.

Gluten

Yes, dogs can eat gluten. Like some humans, some dogs may have trouble digesting gluten and can even have celiac disease. Most dogs, though, can process gluten proteins just fine.

Grapes

No, dogs should not eat grapes or raisins, as they can have lethal effects. Even a single grape or raisin could quickly cause issues such as vomiting, diarrhea or sudden kidney failure. If your dog has eaten a grape, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Raw meat

Yes, dogs can eat raw meat because of their stomach acids, which are stronger than humans'. Dogs living on raw meat, though, are more likely to have nutritional deficiencies, so a raw diet is probably not a good idea in the long run.

Strawberries

Yes, dogs can eat strawberries. In addition to providing vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants, strawberries can help dogs’ skin and coat health. Make sure your dog doesn’t eat too many because the high sugar content can upset its stomach.

Tomatoes

Yes, dogs can eat tomatoes — but only if they are ripe. Tomatoes, members of the nightshade family, contain a toxin called solanine, which exists in higher concentrations in unripe tomatoes, as well as the stems and leaves. So make sure your dog eats only ripe, red tomatoes. You should also avoid feeding your dog tomato products like sauces or soups.

Watermelon

Yes, dogs can eat watermelon with certain precautions. The seeds can lead to intestinal blockage, and the rind can cause tummy trouble, so make sure to remove those parts before serving. Watermelon contains potassium, fiber and several vitamins, so it’s good for your dog in moderation.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: What can dogs eat? Here's what is and isn't safe for dogs to consume.