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  • Writer's pictureDenise Helmuth

Best Foods for Dogs and Foods to Avoid: A Guide to Canine Nutrition

Updated: Oct 1, 2023


When it comes to your canine companion, their health and well-being depend on proper nutrition. Just like humans, dogs require a balanced diet to thrive. However, not all foods that are safe for humans are safe for dogs. In this post, we'll explore the best foods for dogs and those you should avoid.


Best Foods for Dogs:

  1. High-Quality Dog Food: The foundation of your dog's diet should be a high-quality commercial dog food. Look for options that list meat as the primary ingredient and are appropriate for your dog's life stage (puppy, adult, or senior). We choose to feed Purina Pro Plan All life stages Chicken & Rice. We feel its proven to be a high-quality food for our dogs.

  2. Lean Proteins: Lean meats like chicken, turkey, beef, and fish are excellent sources of protein. They provide essential amino acids to support muscle growth and overall health.

  3. Fruits: Many fruits are safe and healthy for dogs, such as apples (remove seeds and core), blueberries, strawberries, and bananas. These provide vitamins and antioxidants.

  4. Vegetables: Dogs can benefit from veggies like carrots, green beans, and sweet potatoes. These offer fiber and essential nutrients.

  5. Rice and Pasta: Plain, cooked rice or pasta can be added to your dog's diet in moderation for extra carbohydrates.

  6. Eggs: Eggs are a good source of protein and can be given as a treat or added to your dog's regular meals.

  7. Peanut Butter: Peanut butter (without xylitol) is a tasty and protein-rich treat for dogs. It can be used as a filling for toys or as a training reward.

  8. Plain Yogurt: Plain, unsweetened yogurt contains probiotics that can be beneficial for your dog's digestive health.

Foods to Avoid:

  1. Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs. Even small amounts can be harmful.

  2. Grapes and Raisins: Grapes and raisins can lead to kidney failure in dogs and should be avoided entirely.

  3. Onions and Garlic: These can cause damage to a dog's red blood cells and should be kept out of their diet.

  4. Avocado: Avocado contains a substance called persin, which can be toxic to dogs in large amounts.

  5. Xylitol: Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in sugar-free gum, candy, and some peanut butter. It can cause a rapid insulin release in dogs, leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and liver damage.

  6. Bones from Cooked Meat: Cooked bones can splinter and cause internal injuries or blockages. Stick to raw bones designed for dogs.

  7. Alcohol: Alcohol can be life-threatening for dogs, even in small amounts. Keep alcoholic beverages out of reach.

  8. High-Fat Foods: Foods high in fat, like fried foods or fatty cuts of meat, can lead to pancreatitis in dogs.

  9. Dairy (in some cases): While plain yogurt is fine, many dogs are lactose intolerant and may experience digestive upset from milk or cheese.

Remember that every dog is unique, and dietary needs can vary based on factors like age, breed, and activity level. Always consult with your veterinarian for personalized nutrition advice. Additionally, portion control is crucial to prevent obesity and maintain a healthy weight for your furry friend.


In conclusion, providing your dog with a balanced and safe diet is a crucial part of responsible pet ownership. By choosing the right foods and avoiding harmful ones, you can ensure your dog lives a long, healthy, and happy life.

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