Dog Food, Feeding Guidelines and Tips

What Can I Feed My Puppy Instead Of Dog Food? 14 Safe Options

What Can I Feed My Puppy Instead Of Dog Food?

All puppy parents know that pet food can end at anytime. This leads to confusion and wondering what to feed their little furry babies when they don’t have enough pet food.

Don’t worry, we all have been there. There are a lot of options you can give your hungry puppies instead of dog food. These human foods are healthy, fulfilling, and taste amazing.

If you are planning to switch your dog to a homemade diet, make sure you tailor their diet based on nutritional needs.

What Can I Feed My Puppy Instead Of Dog Food

14 Foods You Can Feed Your Puppy Instead of Dog Food

Cooked Lean Meat (Chicken, Turkey, Beef, Pork)

Lean meats are a great source of protein for puppies. They should be cooked without added oils or seasoning to avoid health issues. Always remove bones, as they can be a choking hazard or cause internal damage.

Plain Rice or Pasta

These are good sources of carbohydrates and can be easy on a puppy’s digestive system. They should be served plain and cooked, as seasonings or sauces can cause stomach upset.

Plain Rice or Pasta

Cooked Vegetables (Carrots, Green Beans, Peas)

Many vegetables are safe and healthy for puppies. They provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Ensure they are cooked and chopped into small, manageable pieces to prevent choking.

Cottage Cheese or Plain Yogurt

These dairy products are good sources of calcium and protein. Choose low-fat versions and introduce them in small amounts to ensure they don’t cause digestive upset, as some puppies are lactose intolerant.

Cottage Cheese or Plain Yogurt

Fish (Cooked, Boneless)

Fish such as salmon, cod, or tilapia can be an excellent addition to your puppy’s diet. They are rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which contribute to a healthy coat and skin. Ensure the fish is cooked thoroughly, and all bones are removed to prevent choking hazards. Avoid heavily seasoned or fried fish, as it can harm dogs.

Eggs (Cooked)

Eggs are highly nutritious, offering a rich source of easily digestible protein, fats, and essential amino acids. Cooking eggs fully reduces the risk of salmonella infection and helps make the protein more accessible. Avoid adding oil, butter, or seasonings, and serve in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a healthy, starchy vegetable packed with dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, and B6, and minerals like potassium and manganese. They should be cooked (boiled or baked) without any added sweeteners or spices and served in small, digestible pieces. Sweet potatoes can support digestive health when given in appropriate amounts.

Sweet Potatoes

Apples (Without Seeds)

Apples are a low-calorie treat, high in vitamins A and C, and dietary fiber, beneficial for your puppy’s digestive system. Always remove the core and seeds, as they contain cyanide, which is toxic to dogs. Offer apples in moderation and in small, chewable slices.

Apples (Without Seeds)


Oatmeal is a great source of soluble fiber, which can help regulate digestive health. It’s also a good alternative carbohydrate for puppies sensitive to wheat or grains. Cook the oatmeal, without sugar, salt, or flavorings, and serve it in small portions.


Cooked, plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) is a fantastic source of fiber, beta-carotene, and essential vitamins. It can help regulate digestion and is particularly helpful for dogs with bouts of diarrhea or constipation. Serve in small, controlled amounts, ensuring no added sugar or spices.


Bananas are a nutritious treat, offering potassium, vitamins, biotin, and fiber. They should be given in moderation due to their high sugar content. Peel and cut into small, manageable pieces to prevent choking and to control portion size.


These small berries are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber. They are good for boosting the immune system and overall health. Serve them fresh or frozen, in moderation, to avoid stomach upset due to overconsumption.


Peanut Butter (Xylitol-Free)

Peanut butter is a good source of protein, heart-healthy fats, vitamin B, niacin, and vitamin E. Choose a raw, unsalted variety without xylitol, a sugar substitute that is toxic to dogs. Use it sparingly as a treat due to its high-calorie content.

Cooked Broccoli

Broccoli is high in fiber and vitamin C and can be a healthy snack for dogs when fed in very small quantities. It contains isothiocyanates, which can cause gastric irritation in some dogs if fed in large amounts. Steam or boil broccoli without any added oils or seasonings.

Cooked Broccoli

Foods You Must Never Feed Your Puppy

  • Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which are toxic to dogs. Even small amounts can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially severe poisoning.
  • Grapes and Raisins: Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. Even a small amount can make a dog ill, leading to vomiting, lethargy, and eventually kidney failure.
  • Onions and Garlic: These common kitchen ingredients can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage in dogs, potentially causing anemia.
  • Xylitol: This artificial sweetener, found in many sugar-free products, can lead to liver failure and dangerously low blood sugar levels in dogs.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol can cause intoxication in dogs, leading to vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, tremors, and even death.
  • Caffeine: Found in coffee, tea, and many sodas, caffeine is dangerous to dogs and can cause restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, and muscle tremors.
  • Macadamia Nuts: These nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia in dogs. Symptoms usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion.
  • Avocado: Avocado contains persin, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and heart congestion in dogs. The pit also poses a choking hazard and can block the gastrointestinal tract.

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