15 Human Snacks For Your Labrador – Healthy Human Foods


Our labradors love to stare up at us, begging for the last scrap of food we’re eating.

But should we give labradors human food? Which human foods are safe for labradors.

We are usually a little nervous about exactly what our labradors should be eating, we know that not all human foods are suitable for labradors, some are even toxic.

That’s why I’ve put together this list. It shows a range of foods that I know a labrador can not only eat but may have added health benefits for them.

There are many foods from this list which labradors technically can eat, but aren’t particularly good for them, so I’ve excluded those (like cheese and naturally sweetened peanut butter).

As always with treats, you should still stick to only feeding the below foods in moderation. Your labrador should get all the nutrients they need from a good quality dog food, and even too much of a good thing can have side effects.

Only feed your labrador small, infrequent amounts for the below foods.

As a general rule, labradors are more likely to be able to eat natural foods. That’s things like eggs and vegetables. Processed food is often not going to be good for a labrador, and some may have added ingredients. Even some natural foods (like many types of berries, or grapes) are toxic to labradors, so always check or ask your vet before feeding them new foods.

Beef

Not the processed kind. That excludes the type of beef mince you might use for a pasta sauce.

This needs to be lean beef with little fat. If it’s good and fresh then you can feed beef to your labrador raw.

It’s packed with protein and provides essential amino acids. It also contains vitamins B3, B6and B12 as well as plenty of zinc and iron.

Beef is often used in quality dog foods and will help promote strong and healthy muscles.

You should only serve your labrador plain meat, so no leftovers covered in gravy or salt.

Blackberries

Blackberries are the first of three berries that are safe for your labrador (the others being blueberries and strawberries), other berries are likely to be toxic to your pooch, but these three are fine for them to eat and have some great health benefits.

You shouldn’t feed your labrador too many of any type of these three berries as they do contain a lot of sugar, but if you feed them a few whilst on a walk they should burn off the excess.

Blackberries are a great source of antioxidants. They also defend against free radicals in the body. Free radicals are atoms that attach themselves to cells in your labrador body, the body thinks the cell is an invader and attacks it, causing damage. Blackberries help to provide an effective defense against the accumulations of free radicals.

Blackberries are packed with vitamins too, containing vitamins A, C, E and B. These vitamins play a huge number of roles within your lab’s body, from maintaining strong cognitive and nervous system function to keeping a strong immune system.

Blueberries

Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits to give a labrador as a treat. They are perfectly sized and naturally packaged up, you can easily carry them around in your pocket without any mess or freeze them to make them last all summer.

They also have loads of health benefits for labradors. Just like the other berries though, they contain a lot of sugar, so don’t feed your lab too many and try to only use them on days when they’re getting a lot of exercise.

Blueberries are very low in calories and contain large amounts for vitamins C and K. They also have those great antioxidants just like blackberries, that’s the reason for the rich blue/purple color.

They do contain lots of fiber, which is another reason your labrador should have too many. Whilst fiber is vital for a lab, they probably get enough from their normal meals and an excess of fiber can cause digestive issues.

In moderate quantities, blueberries are a great contribution to a labrador’s health and help support a strong immune system.

They’re also nice and small, so it is relatively easy to keep the quantities you feed your labrador low, whilst still being able to treat them with a tasty blueberry.

Bread

Yes, labradors can eat bread. You should stick to plain bread, plain white or whole grain is best. Nothing with added bits in it.

Bread doesn’t have loads of health benefits for labradors but many people do believe it helps to calm an upset stomach.

So bread can be a good choice of snack for a long walk, it contains carbohydrates that help the body’s ability to use glycogen which gives your labrador more fast-burning energy.

The high fiber content of bread may also help their digestive system cope if they do eat something they shouldn’t on a walk, I find that particularly common on beach walks!

The downside is that too much fiber can actually cause its own digestive issues, so only feed bread to your labrador in small amounts.

Carbohydrates aren’t an essential part of a labradors diet either, they can actually have a healthy diet without any carbohydrates at all. So only feed them carb-heavy food on very active days.

Carrots

Carrots of one of my very favorite vegetables to give labradors as a treat, they have so many nutritional and surprising physical benefits.

Let’s start with the surprising benefit. Carrots can actually help clean your labrador’s teeth! This works even better if they’re frozen, the hard crunchy carrot scrapes against your labrador’s teeth whilst they chew it, that in turn scrapes off plaque from the teeth, helping to prevent plaque build-up.

Then there are the nutritional benefits of carrots. They are a brilliant source of vitamin A (the one that your parents said would let you see in the dark), that’s great for lots of important functions, with the best-known being that it supports good vision but it also strengthens the immune system and promotes strong bone growth.

To add to that carrots are low in calories and labradors just love the hard crunchy texture of them. You just need to watch out for the high fiber which can cause stomach upset if eaten in excess, so never feed your labrador lots of carrot at once.

Celery

Another vegetable with a great crunchy texture that labrador will love. The only danger is that they are a little stringy, so if you have a labrador who likes to wolf down their food before properly chewing it they may end up choking on celery.

If they do manage to swallow it, celery is a great source of vitamins A, C and K. It also contains plenty of potassium and manganese which helps to promote strong and healthy bones, teeth, skin and hair, helping to give your labrador that lovely shiny and thick coat.

Again, celery contains quite a bit of fiber, so to avoid digestive issues only feed your labrador small amounts.

Chicken

Chicken is a great meat for labradors and is used in many good dog foods. One of the reasons it’s so good is because it’s very lean, containing little fat.

Chicken has lots of protein, and protein is vital for labradors, it helps them to build strong muscles and delivers their body plenty of healthy omega 6 fatty acids, promoting healthy skin and that lovely thick and shiny coat.

Just make sure you only feed your labrador plain chicken, nothing covered in gravy or fried in oil. The best way is a simple boiled chicken, it might sound a little boring to us, but your lab will think they’re in heaven!

What about chicken bones?

Many people say labradors shouldn’t eat chicken bones. They are half right. Labradors shouldn’t eat cooked chicken bones, so no leftover bones from your roast dinner.

They can, however, eat raw chicken bones. If you’re worried about bacterial contamination on raw chicken you can always freeze the bones first, which will kill any bacteria.

Then let it thaw and you can give it to your labrador. Raw bones are much safer than cooked bones because they are softer and your labrador’s digestive system can cope with them much more easily.

Eggs

This is a labrador superfood. Full of protein and low in calories. Labradors can eat raw or cooked eggs.

With raw eggs you should generally remove the white, just feed the yolk. This can be mixed in with their normal dry kibble to make it extra tasty. That’s because egg white contains avidin which can cause biotin deficiency in large enough quantities.

Cooked egg whites are fine though, although raw eggs are often preferred as they retain more of the nutrients which are good for your labrador such as vitamin A, iron and selenium.

A little known fact is that eggshell is also good for your pooch. It’s full of calcium, so you can either feed them a whole boiled egg, shell and all, or you can grind the shell up to a powder and mix it with their normal food.

Fish

Fish is known to be good for humans, but it’s also great for labradors.

There are a couple of up-front warnings I’ll give for fish, the first is to make sure any bones are removed from the fish before giving them to your labrador. The second is to be cautious around canned fish which may be mixed with salt and oils that won’t be very good for your labrador.

The best fish is deboned and simply cooked, such as gently steamed in the microwave.

It’s a healthy source of protein without the fat content of some meats. Fish also has plenty of omega-3 fatty acids which helps to support a healthy kidney, eye and liver function.

Green peas

Peas are a great treat for your labrador. Just avoid the canned ones (or any canned vegetables really) as they often contain excess salt.

Peas are full of protein and have lots of vitamins A, K and B and also include iron, zinc, potassium, and magnesium.

They are often included in many good dog foods. There are just a couple of things to watch out for.

The high fiber could cause digestive issues if you give your labrador too many peas. Additionally, labradors with kidney problems shouldn’t eat peas as they contain the uric acid, produced by purines found in peas is usually filtered out by the kidney if they aren’t they can cause kidney stones.

Pork

Pork is a great source of protein and nutrients for labradors and it’s perfectly safe to feed it to your lab. Raw pork may contain certain bacteria and parasites that are harmful to your labrador.

The best way to deal with this is to either boil the pork to cook it, or to freeze it. Both processes should rid the pork of anything nasty.

With pork, you need to be aware that the many forms of processed and heavily salted pork which we can buy are not good for your labrador, that’s things like bacon, sausages and ham.

Only feed your labrador pure cuts of pork, and remove the fat, just use the lean meat only… otherwise, you’ll end up with a porky labrador.

Strawberries

The last of our three berries that labradors can eat. Strawberries are great for your labrador health, containing plenty of antioxidants and vitamin C.

They are high in fiber and sugar though so you need to be careful of how much strawberry your labrador eats. I prefer blackberries and blueberries purely because they naturally come in a smaller package so it’s hard to overfeed your labrador without noticing.

You should always slice down a strawberry into smaller chunks before feeding to your lab.

Tomatoes (not the green ones)

Ripe tomatoes are fine for your labrador to eat and have lots of health benefits.

They are full of antioxidants and contain vitamins C and K as well as potassium.

What you need to know is not to feed green tomatoes to your labrador. Green tomatoes are not ripe, and unripe tomatoes can be toxic to your labrador. Once they turn red they are a perfectly healthy snack for your lab to enjoy.

Tomatoes are slightly acidic, which could cause your pooch digestive issues if too many are eaten. Only feed your labrador small amounts of tomatoes.

I prefer cherry tomatoes because they are naturally small and many labradors find the texture intriguing, sometimes they enjoy just holding the tomato in their mouth for a while before they give in and chomp it!

Turkey

Low in fat and high in protein, turkey has similar health benefits to chicken. It’s nice and lean and helps your labrador to build strong muscles.

The main warnings with turkey are to avoid serving it the way you might eat it, with added gravy and salt. You should only treat your labrador to plain turkey, usually boiled is the bed method.

You should also avoid processed turkey ham, stick to natural turkey meat. Finally, you shouldn’t feed your labrador cooked turkey bones, they are hard and could splitter and cause choking. At the very least they will be difficult for your labrador to digest.

Watermelon

Watermelon is a great treat for your labrador, especially on a hot summer’s day where they may get a little hydrated, it’s 92% water so in many ways it acts as a refreshing drink as well as food!

Watermelon has plenty of vitamins, containing A, B6 and C. It also includes potassium which promotes lots of healthy bodily functions including strong bones growth.

Watermelon is quite low in sugar for a fruit. So the main thing you need to watch for is the high fiber content.

Too much fiber can upset your labrador’s stomach, and they probably get enough from their daily dog food already. So only feed your labrador small quantities of watermelon so they get the benefits, but not the bad tummy!

A final note – All labradors are different

Whilst the above list should provide a handy guide of some of the best human food you can treat your labrador to, it is important to remember that all labradors are different.

My own labrador (George) would have been allergic to the majority of foods in the above list, even though they are perfectly fine for most labs. So I know the importance of treating each labrador as an individual.

Always be cautious when feeding your labrador new foods. Only give them a very small amount, to begin with. Monitor them for a day or so after giving them the food checking for any unusual digestive issues such as diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, or discomfort.

If you notice any of those symptoms, or something else unusual, stop feeding them that food and make sure they have plenty of water. If the symptoms persist or worsen you should contact your vet.

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