7 Foods to Cook For Your Dog

3 min read
Sep 12, 2023

It’s fun to do something different for our pets once in a while, and they certainly appreciate it, too. Here are seven different foods and meals that are safe for your dog to eat and tips on how to prepare them.


Cooked chicken is a good source of protein for dogs. Choose skinless chicken and boil it; then feed a small portion to your dog a couple of times a week. Chicken and rice is a good recipe to give to dogs — simply cook a cup of rice, boil a chicken breast, and shred the chicken into pieces before combining it with the rice. If you want to get even fancier, mix the chicken and rice with a vegetable such as string beans.

Things to keep in mind before cooking chicken: The AKC advises to always take the chicken off the bone to prevent choking, and to be aware that some dogs are actually allergic to chicken.

Lean Ground Turkey

Lean ground turkey is a safe food to cook for your dog. Like chicken, turkey provides a lot of protein and is an ingredient in many kinds of dog food. You can cook ground turkey in a saucepan or skillet, or boil it until fully cooked. Then, like chicken, you can mix it with rice before feeding it to your dog. Avoid giving your dog turkey with any seasonings on it or turkey on the bone.


Cooked eggs are a safe, healthy food with lots of minerals and vitamins. Feeding your dog a scrambled egg is a delicious option every once in a while. Don’t feed your dog eggs more than a couple of times a week, though, and never add spices to the eggs — not even salt or pepper. If your dog has conditions such as diabetes or pancreatitis, check with your vet first about whether eggs are safe.

Raw or Steamed Vegetables

Several vegetables are safe for dogs to consume:

  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Peas
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Lettuce
  • Celery
  • Peas

According to the AKC, vegetables that are not safe include:

  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions

As with any human foods you feed your dog, just make sure to go easy on portion sizes and do not add any extra spices.

Fresh Fruits

While fresh fruits aren’t a dish you actually need to cook, this food is a great source of antioxidants and other nutrients. Grapes are toxic to dogs and should be avoided. But dogs can safely eat many other fruits.

There are a couple of things you should be mindful of when giving your dog fruit. Don’t let your dog eat seeds, the peel, the pit, or the rind of any fruit you give them. Additionally, only give your dog small amounts of fruit, since the high sugar content can cause diabetes or other health issues.

Boiled Potatoes

While dogs struggle to digest red and brown potatoes, they can have sweet potatoes cooked in several different ways. You can prepare mashed sweet potatoes; make dehydrated sweet potatoes by cooking potato slices at 250 degrees for three hours, or even use cooked sweet potatoes to stuff a Kong toy. Sweet potatoes are a good source of Vitamin A and fiber, and they help fight obesity, too.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter that does not contain xylitol, a sugar substitute that’s toxic to dogs, is safe for dogs to eat. Make sure to read the label carefully before purchasing a brand of peanut butter; if the product does not have xylitol, you’re good to go. You can also make homemade peanut butter, or use store-bought peanut butter to combine with other ingredients and make dog treats.


While consuming dairy regularly isn’t usually recommended for dogs, most dogs can safely consume small portions of plain yogurt on occasion. Other dogs, however, are lactose intolerant — just like many humans. For a treat, try adding a dollop of yogurt to their regular kibble to add some digestive benefits. You can either buy plain greek or regular yogurt or make your own at home.

Stay Aware and Keep Your Pet Safe

There are many poisons or poisonous materials our pets can get into – no matter how diligent we are in pet-proofing the home. If your pet gets into a poison or eats a poisonous plant or food that is dangerous for pets (like chocolate), call the vet or Animal Poison Control Center at (855-764-7661) immediately. Let them know what your pet has eaten, how much and when. Do not induce vomiting unless it is recommended. For more information about keeping your pet healthy, check out this list of dog food do's and don'ts, and consider taking out an active dog insurance policy.

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Dr. Hunter Finn is an integrative veterinary expert first, and social media star second. America’s favorite veterinarian owns Pet Method in McKinney, Texas, where he cares for pets while prioritizing their emotional well-being. When he’s not at his clinic, he’s starring in viral videos on TikTok (2 million followers) and Instagram (500K followers) — where he’s been known to snuggle puppies and conquer the latest dance trends.

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.