Most German Shepherd owners like to give their dogs human food now and again. But have you ever picked something up from the refrigerator or your plate to give to your dog, only to stop and wonder whether it’s safe, or even healthy, for him to eat? So, what foods can German Shepherds eat?
German Shepherds can eat a range of human foods such as beef, chicken, pork, turkey, salmon, tuna, and eggs. They can also eat fruits and vegetables such as apples, bananas, berries, carrots, peas, pumpkins, and other foods such as rice and pasta, yogurt, cheese, and peanut butter.
Although most top-quality commercial dog food is optimized for dogs’ needs, adding human food is an excellent supplement to your German Shepherd’s diet. In this article, you’ll learn:
Human foods your German Shepherd can eat.
Feeding tips and advice.
Human foods your German Shepherd can’t eat.
Welcome to my complete guide on the human foods your German Shepherd can eat. Let’s dive in!
What Human Foods Can German Shepherds Eat?
Although dogs metabolize foods differently than humans, many “people” foods are perfectly safe and healthy for German Shepherds to eat. Health benefits include joint strength, allergy immunity, cleaner teeth, and fresher breath.
Here is a list of human foods German Shepherds can eat:
What Human Foods Can German Shepherds Eat? Apple
German Shepherds can eat apples. They are a good source of fiber, calcium, and vitamins A and C, essential for maintaining healthy bones and tissue. Most dogs like the crunchy texture and the sweet taste of apples, which helps keep their teeth clean and freshen their breath.
Cut the apple into small pieces and don’t feed the seeds or cores.
What Human Foods Can German Shepherds Eat?
German Shepherds can eat bananas. They are high in potassium, supporting kidney and heart functions, and high in vitamins, biotin, fiber, and copper. They are also low in sodium. However, bananas are high in sugar, so feed sparingly and don’t feed the peel as it’s hard for your dog to digest.
I like to give my German Shepherd a couple of small pieces of banana when we are out on a long hike, and it helps to provide her with a quick energy boost.
What human foods can German Shepherds eat? Beef
German Shepherds can eat beef. Dogs need a high protein diet to provide the energy they need, and beef contains essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals to give your dog healthy joints, muscles, skin, and a shiny, healthy coat. Ensure the beef is lean, plain, and with no salt or seasoning.
You should cook all meats you give your German Shepherd unless your dog is used to a raw diet and the food is hygienically prepared. A few shredded pieces always go down a treat and can be part of your dog’s nutritious and well-balanced diet.
What Human Foods Can German Shepherds Eat? Berries
German Shepherds can eat strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Berries contain many valuable antioxidants that prevent or slow down damage to cells and strengthen the immune system. They are full of vitamin C and fiber and are low in sugar, making them kind to teeth.
Berries are ideal for sharing with your GSD, especially in the summer. Though some dogs may not quite like their taste, others love them. You may need to experiment. Frozen berries can also be a welcome treat in hot weather to help cool your German Shepherd down and keep him hydrated.
What Human Foods Can German Shepherds Eat? Bread
German Shepherds can eat bread as long as it’s plain white or brown. However, you should only feed it now and again because it is high in carbohydrates and calories and has little nutritional value to dogs. Make sure your dog isn’t sensitive to wheat.
It is also low in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Warning! Don’t let your dog eat the uncooked yeast dough if you make your bread at home. It can rise in his stomach, causing severe problems, from bloat to alcohol toxicosis from the fermented yeast.
What Human Foods Can German Shepherds Eat? Broccoli
Broccoli is okay for your GSD to eat in small quantities. It’s high in fiber and vitamin C and is excellent for the immune system. Broccoli also helps protect against heart disease and helps maintain healthy skin and bone.
The only downside is that it contains a chemical that can cause significant gas in some dogs, so you should experiment first as it could be pretty unpleasant for everyone in the home! If you are feeding the stalks, make sure you cut them into small pieces.
What Human Foods Can German Shepherds Eat? Cantaloupe
German Shepherds can eat cantaloupe. It is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and potassium. It is also high in antioxidant qualities to promote healthy cell function and help to reduce the risk of serious diseases such as cancer and arthritis.
Melon (including the honeydew variety) is low in calories and high in water content, making a nice and refreshing treat for your dog. It is, however, high in natural sugars, so only feed one or two pieces. Remember to remove the seeds and rind.
German Shepherds can eat carrots, and they are an excellent food to feed your dog, either cooked or raw. They are low in fat and contain high amounts of fiber and potassium. They also contain beta-carotene, which produces vitamin A, which is good for healthy eyes, bones, and the immune system.
Either raw or frozen carrots are great to give your puppy if they are teething. My German Shepherd loves crunching on a piece of raw carrot, which helps clean her teeth. I think carrots are one of the best “people” foods you can give your dog as a treat.
What Human Foods Can German Shepherds Eat? Cashews
German Shepherds can eat cashews. They are one of the safer nuts to feed but only as an occasional snack. Ensure they are free of salt and do not feed chocolate-coated cashews, as both chocolate and salt are highly toxic to dogs if eaten in large quantities. Always supervise your dog when giving nuts.
The high protein and fat content make them ideal for active dogs during a long hike.
I have a more in-depth article about nuts and which ones are safe for dogs;
What Human Foods Can German Shepherds Eat? Cheese
German Shepherds can eat cheese. This high-value protein treat is a great human food that your GSD will love. Cheese is full of nutrients, including calcium, zinc, phosphorus, and vitamins A and B12. However, it is high in calories and fat, and you should only feed in moderation.
It is good to cut cheese into tiny pieces as training treats when training your German Shepherd.
I love to feed small pieces of cheddar cheese to my German Shepherd for a well-deserved treat. Healthier options are low-fat varieties or cottage cheese, but my dog isn’t keen on these.
Some dogs may be unable to tolerate cheese due to the lactose, so you will need to experiment first. However, it’s one of the dairy foods containing a lower amount of lactose, so that they may be okay.
Your German Shepherd can eat chicken, and as a high-protein food provides your dog with lots of energy. It’s also a great source of Omega 6 fatty acids, good for the skin and coat. Chicken also contains glucosamine for healthy bones and essential amino acids. Make sure the chicken is plain and avoid the skin as this is high in fat.
Don’t feed raw chicken due to the risk of salmonella unless your dog is used to a raw diet and you buy specially prepared raw food for him. Never feed cooked chicken bones as these are fragile and can break in your GSDs mouth, causing nasty injuries. They can also cause your dog to choke.
Many dog foods contain chicken. Nonetheless, I always add pieces of leftover roast chicken to my German Shepherd’s bowl – and it certainly doesn’t last long!
What Human Foods Can German Shepherds Eat? Coconut
German Shepherds can eat coconut. Coconut contains abundant antioxidants to support the immune system, reduce inflammation, and help prevent viruses. Your GSD’s skin and coat will also benefit from the oil coconut contains. Coconut is an excellent human food to feed your GSD.
It may seem kind of weird, but coconut is a fruit! It, therefore, doesn’t contain most of the proteins that cause tree nut allergies or sensitivities, such as cashews or almonds.
You can try feeding your dog a small piece to see if he likes it but remove the shell first.
German Shepherds can eat corn. Corn is a starchy vegetable that can provide your dog with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. As it’s high in carbohydrates, you should only feed a small amount. Do not feed the cob as this is a choking risk, and avoid canned corn as it’s usually high in sodium.
It’s not the best choice of vegetable for your dog, and I’m sure you will have noticed that it tends to pass through the gut pretty much intact! However, I think it’s a good choice if your dog needs a quick energy boost during periods of high exercise.
You should not give popcorn containing butter or salt to your dog. Plain popcorn can be okay, although I would avoid it because there’s a risk that the kernels could get stuck in your GSDs teeth.
German Shepherds can eat cucumber, and they offer lots of nutritional value. They contain calcium, magnesium, copper, and potassium and are loaded with vitamins K, C, and B1. Cucumbers are 96% water, making your dog a healthy, low-fat, and refreshing treat.
Cucumbers are often the topic of many discussions. They are technically a fruit, although you may find them amongst the vegetable display in the store. In any case, slice it up, and your German Shepherd will enjoy it.
What Human Foods Can German Shepherds Eat? Eggs
German Shepherds can eat eggs. They are an excellent source of protein and are loaded with healthy vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids. Eggs are best cooked first before feeding your dog as there is a risk of salmonella in raw eggs, although this risk is low.
You can further minimize this risk by using free-range eggs and storing them in a cool, dry place.
Eggs are known for having a perfect balance of nutrients. Despite the controversy around eggs decades ago, scientists have since concluded that their high levels of dietary cholesterol are not associated with heart disease and that saturated fat has a far more significant effect on blood cholesterol levels.
What Human Foods Can German Shepherds Eat? Green Beans
German Shepherds can eat green beans. They are highly nutritious and are good for overall health. Green beans contain many vital vitamins, minerals, and fiber and are low in calories. It’s best to cut them up into small pieces to prevent choking and aid digestion.
You can also give canned green beans to your dog as long as they don’t contain salt or other additives. Your German Shepherd will love green beans.
What Human Foods Can German Shepherds Eat? Can German Shepherds Drink Milk? German Shepherd licking milk from a bowl
My GSD drinking milk
German Shepherds can drink milk. Milk contains high amounts of calcium, which is good for healthy teeth and bones. It’s also fortified with vitamin D and contains potassium (good for the heart), essential amino acids, nourishing vitamins, minerals, and healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Check out the photo of my German Shepherd enjoying a small amount of milk in her bowl. However, as in all dairy foods, it depends on whether your dog can tolerate the amount of lactose it contains.
A few tablespoons of either cow’s milk or goat’s milk are safe, enjoyable foods for your dog.
What human foods can German Shepherds eat? Noodles
Noodles are made with soft flour milled from common (bread) wheat mixed with water or eggs. They contain micronutrients such as iron, folate, manganese, and B vitamins. A small treat of plain noodles is a safe human food for German Shepherds.
If your German Shepherd has an allergy to eggs, avoid egg noodles! Likewise, if your dog has a wheat allergy, he should not eat noodles.
One other thing to watch for is that dried noodles often contain a high amount of salt (sodium), so you will need to check this first. Japenese ramen noodles are loaded with sodium or flavored with soy sauce, and you should not feed these to your dog.
What Human Foods Can German Shepherds Eat? Oatmeal
German Shepherds can eat oatmeal. This staple food is high in fiber and loaded with nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It also contains linolic acid that helps to keep your dog’s skin healthy.
Oatmeal is also a great alternative if your German Shepherd is sensitive to grains or wheat, although, contrary to popular belief, food allergies in dogs are rare.
Mix the oatmeal with water instead of milk, as some dogs can’t tolerate milk, and serve cooked without butter or syrup. Your German Shepherd will enjoy one or two spoonfuls added to his food. Remember, this food is a carbohydrate and is high in calories, so feed in moderation.
What Human Foods Can German Shepherds Eat? Parsnip
Parsnips are an excellent vegetable to feed your German Shepherd as they contain plenty of potassium, folic acid, and vitamins C and B6. They are good for healthy kidney function, supporting your GSDs nervous system and metabolism, and contain antioxidants to help fight cancer.
They are better fed cooked, but you can give them raw as long as you chop them into small pieces. Sometimes I like to mash some cooked parsnip and add it to my dog’s bowl as she enjoys the sweet taste. Make sure only to feed sparingly, though, as parsnips are quite starchy (like other root vegetables such as beets, sweet potatoes, and carrots).
Can German Shepherds Eat Pasta? What Human Foods Can German Shepherds Eat? German Shepherd and a plate of pasta
My GSD with pasta
German Shepherds can eat pasta as long as it’s cooked and given plain. The photo is of my dog Willow with a massive plate of pasta in front of her. Of course, she can’t have all that, just a few pieces!
Pasta is usually made from semolina flour, milled from durum (hard) wheat. Water or eggs are then added where it’s mixed into a dough, made into various shapes and sizes, and finally cooked by baking or boiling.
People once believed this staple food to be fattening and starchy; however, pasta is now considered nutritious, providing lots of energy.
Avoid pasta sauces as they often contain garlic and onions, poisonous to dogs. GSDs with a wheat allergy or a sensitivity to grains or eggs shouldn’t eat pasta. I have a more detailed article on German Shepherds and pasta that you may find helpful.
What Human Foods Can German Shepherds Eat? Peanuts
German Shepherds can eat one or two plain unsalted peanuts as they are rich in healthy unsaturated fats and fiber and many vitamins and minerals. However, you must not forget about their high-fat content, which can cause your dog to have a stomach upset as fat is harder to digest.
It’s weird, but did you know that peanuts are not nuts! Technically speaking, peanuts are legumes, similar to peas and lentils, as they grow in pods that mature beneath the ground. However, for nutritional and culinary purposes, peanuts are considered nuts!
Peanuts are also high in calories, and you must also consider the general risks of choking. Although they are okay for your GSD to eat as they are not toxic, I’ve mentioned the risks. It isn’t something I’ve fed my dog, but I’ll let you decide when it comes down to whether you should feed your dog peanuts.
German Shepherds can eat peanut butter as it is a nutritionally well-rounded treat containing protein, healthy fats, and fiber. It also has various minerals, including iron, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin E and B vitamins, and is a good source of folic acid.
Ensure the brand you buy is organic, with nothing added. Some brands contain xylitol (sweetener), and you must avoid these as xylitol is toxic to dogs, so ensure you carefully check the label.
As peanut butter is a high-value treat, it is ideal during training sessions. However, it is high in calories and fat, so feed sparingly. It’s perfect for concealing pills and stuffing interactive toys like KONG.
Peas are good for boosting energy levels as they are starchy carbohydrates. They are also gentle on your German Shepherd’s digestive system. They are good for the eyes, heart, and skin and contain vitamins such as vitamin A, K, and B. Peas also contain iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium, and fiber.
I think peas are an excellent human food that you can easily add to your GSDs bowl at mealtimes. Fresh or frozen peas are okay. However, avoid the canned variety due to their high salt content.