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A Guide to Safe and Healthy Foods for Dogs

A Guide to Safe and Healthy Foods for Dogs


We are eager to provide you with a guide to safe and healthy foods for dogs because we understand the significant role our fur family members play in our lives. Ensuring their health and well-being is a paramount concern for every dedicated dog owner.

One of the fundamental aspects of a dog's health is its diet. Just as we humans need a balanced and nutritious diet to thrive, our dogs also require a well-planned and safe diet to lead happy, active lives. 

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore safe and healthy foods for dogs, as well as those that should be avoided at all costs.

Understanding Your Canine's Diet

Before delving into specific foods, it's important to have a basic understanding of a dog's dietary needs. A dog's diet should ideally consist of a balanced mix of proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals and fibre. This combination ensures they receive the necessary nutrients to maintain good health. Read more about Creating a Balanced Diet for Your Dog.

Pet Supplements for Dogs

Enhancing or complementing your dog's nutritional intake is a wise approach to address any dietary deficiencies. To achieve this, it's essential to select premium, all-natural supplements that meet your dog's specific requirements. 

PetWell's line of supplements, each meticulously crafted using human-grade ingredients to promote optimal well-being, including support for digestive and joint health, anxiety relief, and immune system enhancement. These supplements are expertly formulated by a pet naturopath, ensuring both their effectiveness and safety for daily consumption by dogs.  

PetWell Supplements for dogs and. Cats

Safe Foods for Dogs

What can dogs eat? When it comes to feeding your fur family, there are several dog-friendly human foods that can complement their regular dog food or be incorporated into homemade treats. 

Let's look at some safe and healthy options:

Lean Proteins

Proteins are essential for muscle growth and overall vitality in dogs. Opt for lean options such as chicken, turkey, kangaroo, or lean beef. These can be great additions to their diet. You can provide these as their main meal or as a topper to their regular meal.  We always opt for raw, however, you can cook it lightly.


Eggs are an excellent source of protein and can be prepared in various ways. Raw, scrambled, or boiled eggs without added seasoning are safe and can be a delightful treat for your pup.  For extra calcium benefits, give them the eggshell with it. 

Fruits for Dogs

Fruits can be a healthy snack for your dog. Some dog-friendly fruits include bananas, apples (make sure to remove seeds and core), blueberries, and watermelon (remove seeds and rind), these provide essential vitamins and antioxidants.  Here is a list of safe fruits for dogs: The Benefits of Fruits in Your Dog’s Diet

Vegetables for Dogs

Vegetables like carrots, cruciferous veggies, green beans, and sweet potatoes (always cooked) are packed with vitamins and fibre. They can be served cooked or raw as crunchy snacks.  Here is a list of safe vegetables for dogs: The Benefits of Vegetables in Your Dog’s Diet

It’s important to know how to prepare the vegetables for maximum absorption. See Can Dogs and Cats Eat Vegetables - for preparation tips.

Peanut Butter for Dogs
Dog with peanut butter - A Guide to Safe and Healthy Foods for Dogs by PetWell

Most dogs adore peanut butter, and it can be a great way to administer medication or as a treat. Ensure it is free from xylitol, a sweetener that is toxic to dogs.

Natural Dog Treats

When it comes to commercial dog treats, opt for high-quality dog treats made with natural ingredients and free from artificial additives. Look for products from reputable brands that prioritise your pet's health. 

An excellent choice would be PetWell's freeze-dried treats—pure, single-ingredient treats free from any harmful additives or fillers.

Homemade Dog Food

Consider preparing homemade dog food to have better control over your dog's diet. Homemade meals can be tailored to your dog's specific needs and preferences, ensuring they receive a balanced diet.  There are pet nutritionists that can assist you in creating meal plans that are specifically designed for your dog's unique health needs.

Raw dog food 

Raw feeding is gaining increased recognition due to its potential health advantages for dogs. Dogs share a common ancestry with grey wolves. And their digestive systems, much like their ancestors, are naturally resilient and adept at efficiently processing raw food, thereby maximising the associated health benefits.

Premium Dog Food Brands

For convenience and peace of mind, consider investing in high-quality commercial dog food from premium brands. Many brands claim to be healthy so it’s very important to read the ingredients, natural ingredients are always the safest. Stay away from ultra-processed food such as kibble.  

Organic Dog Food

Organic dog food is made from ingredients that are grown without synthetic pesticides or antibiotics. While it can be more expensive, it may be a worthwhile choice for health-conscious dog owners.

Foods Dogs Can't Eat - Toxic Foods for Dogs

Dog with toxic food - A Guide to Safe and Healthy Foods for Dogs by PetWell

Just as important as knowing what your dog can eat is being aware of foods that are toxic to them. Certain common human foods can have severe and even fatal consequences if consumed by dogs:

Chocolate - One of the most widely recognised toxic foods for dogs.

Grapes and Raisins - Grapes and raisins are highly toxic to dogs and can lead to kidney failure. 

Onions and Leek - Onions and leek, whether raw, cooked, or powdered, contain compounds that can damage a dog's red blood cells, leading to anomia. 

Alcohol - Alcohol can have a severe impact on dogs, causing symptoms like vomiting, diarrhoea, coordination problems, and even coma or death.

Xylitol - Xylitol is an artificial sweetener commonly found in sugar-free gum, lollies, some peanut butter brands, and certain baked goods. Even small amounts can lead to a rapid release of insulin in dogs, causing a severe drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which can be life-threatening.

Certain common human foods can have severe and even fatal consequences if consumed by dogs.

Macadamia Nuts - Macadamia nuts are extremely dangerous for pets. Even a few of these nuts have enough toxins to cause harm. 

Salty Processed Snacks – Too many salty processed foods can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea and elevated body temperature.

Raw Yeast Dough - Feeding raw yeast dough to dogs can be dangerous and life-threatening.  

Cooked Bones - Although bones are not toxic for pets, cooked bones can cause serious damage. 

For more detail click here > Dangerous Foods: What’s Toxic for Dogs

Crafting a Balanced Diet for Your Dog

Dog in fridge - A Guide to Safe and Healthy Foods for Dogs by PetWell

Maintaining a balanced diet is crucial for your dog's overall health and longevity. Here are some guidelines to ensure your canine companion receives the nutrition they need:

Consult a Pet Nutritionist

Before making any significant changes to your dog's diet, consult with a pet nutritionist or a holistic vet who has further studied nutrition. They can provide valuable insights based on your dog's breed, age, size, and specific health needs.

Portion Control

Proper portion control is essential to prevent obesity in dogs. Follow the feeding guidelines on your dog food packaging or consult your pet nutritionist for personalised recommendations.

Fresh Water

Ensure your dog always has access to fresh, clean water. Hydration is key to their overall well-being.

Monitor Their Weight

Regularly monitor your dog's weight and adjust their diet as needed to maintain a healthy body condition.

Variety in Moderation

While variety in your dog's diet can be beneficial, avoid abrupt changes that can upset their stomach. Gradually introduce new foods or treats to prevent digestive issues. 

If your dog suffers from gut issues, you may want to try PetWell DIGEST - Digestion Relief.  

Treats in Moderation

If you are providing your dog with ultra-processed treats, they should be given sparingly and should not exceed 10% of your dog's daily caloric intake. Buy dog-friendly treats that are healthy, like PetWell freeze-dried treats rather than those high in sugars or artificial additives.   

Frequently Asked Questions

Dog with apple - A Guide to Safe and Healthy Foods for Dogs by PetWell

Are Human Foods for Dogs safe?

The good news is that the majority of human foods are safe for your dog. Discover which ones are canine-approved foods here > Human Foods for Dogs: What You Can Share with Your Canine. Ensuring you do NOT give your dog toxic foods, see here is a list of toxic foods for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Bananas?

Yes, bananas are safe for dogs in moderation. They are a good source of vitamins and potassium. Remove the peel and offer small pieces as an occasional treat.

Are Apples Safe for Dogs?

Apples are safe for dogs, but be sure to remove the seeds and core, as these contain cyanide, which is toxic to dogs. Offer apple slices in moderation as a healthy snack.  Read more here on the benefits of apples for your dog > Can Dogs Eat Apples?

Is Peanut Butter Safe for Dogs?

Peanut butter is generally safe for dogs, but it should be unsalted and free from xylitol. It can be a tasty treat or used to hide medications.

Are Grapes Safe for Dogs?

No. Grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs, and ingestion can lead to kidney failure. In addition, grapes or raisins can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, loss of appetite, and increased thirst in dogs. In severe cases, it can even lead to death.

Can Dogs eat Chocolate?

No, dogs should not eat chocolate. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which are stimulants that can be toxic to dogs. Consumption of chocolate can lead to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, increased heart rate, and seizures, and in severe cases, it can be fatal.

In Summary

Ensuring your dog's diet is safe and healthy is a fundamental aspect of responsible pet ownership. By feeding them healthy dog food options and a balanced diet that includes high-quality dog food, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables, you can contribute to their overall health and happiness. 

Remember to always be cautious of toxic foods like chocolate, grapes, and xylitol-containing products. With the right care and nutrition, your dog can enjoy a long and fulfilling life by your side.  

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are not to be taken as medical advice. The team at PetWell encourages you to make your own pet healthcare decisions based on your research. And in partnership with a qualified pet healthcare professional.

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