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Five Dangerous Common Foods to Avoid When Home Cooking for Your Dog

No matter how much we love our pets, there are certain human foods that simply aren’t safe for them – even if they beg us! It is important when using human foods to always read the labels.

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Five Dangerous Common Foods to Avoid When Home Cooking for Your Dog

Home-cooking for your dog is one of the best ways to reduce your dog’s chances of long-term diseases and increase their lifespan.  However, it is important when using human foods to always read the labels when you're out grocery shopping for your dog. Some foods that we might not be aware of can be harmful or even toxic to your dog.  Here are 5 surprising foods that you might think are healthy but can actually include harmful ingredients.

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Chicken or Beef Broth with Onion

Broth is one of our favorite ingredients to use in when we cook for our dogs or in homemade treats. BUT, if you’re buying it from a grocery store you need to read the labels carefully as many have either onions or onion powder. We went to our local grocery store and found that every single broth except one included onion as an ingredient. The one option that didn’t have onions had extra salt which is also not good for our dogs. While the label may say “Natural” or “No Salt Added,” this doesn’t mean no onions have been added in. Onions may be a popular flavor enhancer appreciated by humans, but they are definitely not a tasty snack for pups. Anything with onion powder or fresh onions such as chicken broth or other recipes should be kept away from your pup since even small amounts of these compounds can be dangerous and potentially harmful to their health. Unfortunately, onions contain thiosulfates which can cause anemia in dogs if ingested in large quantities. Onion poisoning can take up to 7 days for your dog to show symptoms so it is important to avoid this harmful ingredient. 

This has led us to believe that making our own broth is the best way to ensure our dogs are not accidentally getting onions or added salt. It is also a great way to use any healthy dog approved vegetable scraps. We love asking our local butcher for leftover bones and making our own homemade broth with dog safe ingredients. If you’re going to use store bought just always read the label! Check out our homemade bone broth recipe here:  

Homemade Bone Broth for Dogs

Once you make homemade bone broth for dogs - the treat possibilities are endless! You can freeze them with fruit such as blueberries or use them as a topper. This is healthier for your dog than a store bought topper, and cheaper too!  


Home cooking has been proven to be one of the best ways to reduce your dog’s long term risk of certain diseases and increase longevity. Just how you feel better when you eat fresh whole foods the same goes for our pups. When home  cooking for your dog, you have complete control over ingredients and sourcing of protein. Finally your dog will love mealtime. Imagine if you were given beef jerky to eat for every meal - that’s no life to live! Want to make mealtime special for our beloved dogs with homemade meals for dogs? At Dog Child we provide you with the recipes & products to make cooking simple. Try out our Meal Mixes that help you cook in less than 15 minutes a week, knowing your dog is getting all the nutrients they require. Simply add raw or cooked protein along with water and oil, and you have a fresh home cooked meal for your dog!

Pumpkin Pie Filling                  

Pumpkin is a highly nutritious snack for both humans and their four-legged friends! Although, not all forms of pumpkin are safe for canine consumption so you need to be extra careful when buying canned pumpkin at the grocery store for your dog.  There are two types of pumpkin: 100% pure pumpkin or pumpkin pie filling.  100% pumpkin is safe and a great homemade treat. On the other hand, pumpkin filling or pumpkin pie includes added sugars and spices which can be harmful to your dog. The spices and added sugar can be difficult to digest and not healthy for your doggy.  Instead stick with fresh pureed pumpkin as it contains fewer calories and no added ingredients that can cause potential harm; this way you can rest assured knowing that your pup is snacking on something healthy and delicious!

Check out our Pumpkin Cheesecake Lick Mat recipe for dogs that uses fresh pureed pumpkin. This is a great pumpkin treat recipe for your dogs!

Pumkin Cheesecake Lick Mat

Canned Fish in Oil or Spices

Canned fish is an easy and affordable way to add extra nutrients to your dog’s home cooked meals or dog treat recipes but making sure you pick canned fish without oil or spices is important. Once again canned fish could contain onion which should never be fed to your dog. Lots of canned fishes are also packed in oil which are too high in fat and salt. To learn more about the best types of canned fish for your dog, check out our blog post featuring everything you need to know about Canned Fish.

Peanut Butter 

Peanut butter is a timeless favorite for both humans and their canine friends. However, if you plan to give peanut butter to your pup it’s important to read the labels and only serve '100% peanut only' peanut butter. Many peanut butters, even though they say they are natural, include extra ingredients such as salt, sugar and oils. And of course, never feed peanut butter containing xylitol or birch sugar.  Check out some of our favorite peanut butter brands in our recent blog post all about nut butters.  

Check out these quick and easy peanut butter recipes for dogs that are both safe, nutritious, and delicious!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Lick Mat

Peanut Butter and Jelly Lick Mat

Peanut Butter Cookies for Dogs

Peanut Butter Cookies for Dogs


Although they may seem like a harmless treat, grapes and raisins can do a lot of harm to our furry four-legged friends! Unfortunately, research has confirmed that some dogs can be at risk for serious medical complications after consuming just one grape or raisin. In severe cases these simple fruits have even been linked to kidney failure - yikes! So if you want to ensure your pup stays healthy and happy, make sure to keep any forms of grapes and raisins far out of reach. You don't want to put your pup in any unnecessary risk, so it's best not to give them as snacks even in small amounts.

Always Read the Labels 

No matter how much we love our pets, there are certain human foods that simply aren’t safe for them – even if they beg us! We can’t stress the importance of reading every label when you’re home cooking for your dog. Stay tuned as we share more tips and tricks on home cooking for your dog.