These High Calorie Foods are a No-No for Dogs

dog begging for pizza

Ever shared a pizza slice with your furry friend? Or maybe a handful of fries? Those pleading eyes, that wagging tail, and the pure joy on our dogs’ faces when they get a taste of our food… it’s hard to resist. But not all foods should be shared. You see, while sharing food with your dog can feel like a bonding moment, some human foods can contribute to weight gain and even obesity in our canine companions.

Just like us, dogs require balanced nutrition to stay healthy. Unfortunately, many human foods are high in calories, lack the essential nutrients dogs need, and can easily lead to weight gain when given in excess. And just as obesity in humans can lead to a host of health problems, the same is true for dogs.

Human Foods Too High in Calories for Dogs

Most human foods are higher in calories than what dogs are used to. Dogs have smaller bodies and slower metabolisms, so they can’t burn off the extra calories as easily as we can. Here are some of the worst offenders:

Pizza and Pasta: These foods are packed with carbs and cheese, which are both high in calories. If you’re sharing your pizza or pasta dinner with your dog, you’re likely giving them way more calories than they need.

Sweets and Desserts: Cookies, cakes, and ice cream are not only high in sugar, but they’re also packed with calories. Even a small amount can be too much for a dog.

Fried Foods: Anything fried, like chicken, fries, or chips, is loaded with fat and calories. These foods can quickly lead to weight gain in dogs.

The Problem with Table Scraps

We’ve all been there. You’re enjoying a meal, and your dog is giving you those “puppy dog eyes.” It’s tempting to toss them a piece of your steak or a chunk of your bread. But is it a good idea?

In small quantities, some table scraps might not be harmful. But the problem arises when it becomes a regular habit. Consistently feeding your dog leftovers can lead to overeating and weight gain, especially if those leftovers are high in calories and fat.

Another issue with table scraps is that they can disrupt a dog’s balanced diet. Dogs need a certain combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fats to stay healthy. Table scraps can throw off that balance and lead to nutritional deficiencies or excesses.

The Right Human Food, in Moderation

Feeding your dog human food isn’t all bad. In fact, some foods can be quite healthy for dogs. Fruits like apples and blueberries, vegetables like carrots and green beans, and lean proteins like chicken and turkey can all be good for dogs when given in moderation.

However, the risks of feeding your dog human food often outweigh the benefits. As we’ve discussed, many human foods are high in calories and can lead to weight gain and obesity in dogs. Obesity can, in turn, lead to serious health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis.

Another risk is that some human foods are toxic to dogs. Foods like chocolate, grapes, and onions can be harmful or even deadly to dogs. So, if you do choose to feed your dog human food, it’s essential to know what’s safe and what’s not.


Moderation and knowledge are key when it comes to feeding your dog human food. While it’s okay to treat your dog to a piece of apple or a bit of chicken now and then, it’s important to avoid high-calorie foods and to keep table scraps to a minimum. Your pup might not understand why they can’t have a bite of your pizza, but you’ll know you’re doing what’s best for their health.

Remember, your vet is your best resource for information about your dog’s diet. If you have questions or concerns about what you’re feeding your dog, don’t hesitate to reach out to them.

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