Why Do Dogs Love Human Food: Canine Dietary Preferences?

Imagine having a cozy family dinner with laughter, stories, and a hint of a drooling canine companion patiently waiting for his share of the meal. There is a lovely bond between humans and dogs that even leads to sharing food. So, it raises the question: Why do dogs love human food so much? Let’s explore it together.

How It All Began: Dogs and Human Food Behavior

Over 23,000 years ago, a unique partnership between humans and wolves emerged in the harsh environments where wolves scavenged for food scraps around human camps. This mutual exchange made a deep connection between the dogs and humans. This made the dogs the first domesticated species. Although these days dogs don’t have to beg for food from humans, this historical context sheds light on the roots of dog’s affinity for human food.

Reasons Dogs are Attracted to Human Food:

There are several reasons behind curbing dog’s desire for human food:

1. Genetically Predisposed:

In recent studies, it has been revealed that certain breeds, like Labrador Retrievers, possess a certain genetic alteration in the POMC gene that makes them more predisposed to love food. This gene alteration in dogs affects their hunger cues which explains why some dogs seem to be more food-obsessed than others.

2. Dog Food Can Get Boring:

There is an extensive dog food industry offering various options. Despite this, dogs may still find their daily kibble monotonous. On the other hand, human food, with its diversity and aromas makes it a more enticing option for your canine companions.

3. Human Food Tastes and Smells More Interesting:

everyone agrees on the supremacy of human foods. Dogs despite having fewer taste buds than humans, can still savor the flavors of food. Human food has diverse scents and tastes to capture the attention. Dogs with their enhanced sense of smell amplify the appeal of human food. It entices them to explore beyond their regular diet and eat human food.

Should I Feed My Dogs Human Food?

The majority of a dog’s diet comprises balanced dog food so, occasional treats are acceptable. It is safe to feed dogs small quantities of safe human foods like vegetables, fruits, pasta, rice, eggs, and meat can be enjoyable for them. However, it’s important to be cautious about toxic foods and ensure that treats constitute less than 10% of the dog’s total diet.

Dog-Friendly Human Foods:

Dog-friendly human foods are nutritious snacks to occasional treats. Discover the safe and tasty options to pamper your furry friend:

  • Vegetables: Cucumbers, carrots, green beans, broccoli
  • Fruits: Apples (without seeds), bananas, blueberries, raspberries
  • Carbohydrates: Pasta, rice
  • Proteins: Eggs, lean meats (cooked, unseasoned)
  • Dairy: Plain yogurt, cottage cheese (in moderation)
  • Treats: Peanut butter (without xylitol), unsalted plain popcorn
  • Herbs: Parsley, mint (in moderation)
  • Grains: Oats (cooked), quinoa
  • Others: Sweet potatoes (cooked, without seasoning), salmon (cooked, without bones)

Remember moderation is the key.


Q1. Why is my dog so obsessed with human food?

Dogs can be genetically predisposed to love food, and their strong sense of smell makes human food irresistible for them.

Q2. Is it normal for dogs to eat human food?

Some occasional treats of dog-safe human food are normal and can be enjoyable for dogs.

Q3. What human food do dogs love?

Dogs may love a variety of safe human foods which includes vegetables (cucumbers, carrots), fruits (apples, bananas), pasta, rice, eggs, and meat.

Q4. Do dogs love humans or just food?

Dogs’ love for human food is intertwined with their affection for their human companions.

Q5. Why do Dogs Always Want Human Food?

Dogs’ consistent desire for human food stems from a combination of factors:
The basic instinct to eat for their survival,
The appealing taste and smell of human food, and
Dogs’ inherent curiosity towards their human companions.


The reasons why dogs love human food enrich human connection with their furry friends. Moderation is key in sharing safe and healthy human treats and can enhance the joy and bond between dogs and their owners. So, the next time your dog gazes at your plate with those longing eyes, remember it’s not just the food; it’s the moments of sharing to make the culinary connection special.

Medical Disclaimer: The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice.

Kelly Han

Dr. Kelly Han is a seasoned medical professional with a passion for holistic wellness and integrative health. Based in San Francisco, her expertise spans across various domains of health, from fitness and skincare to oral health and weight management. Understanding the intricate connections between different aspects of health, Dr. Han believes in a comprehensive approach. Whether it's the latest skincare regimen, effective weight loss strategies, or understanding hormonal imbalances, she's dedicated to providing readers with evidence-based advice and actionable insights on a wide array of health topics. Through her articles, Dr. Han aims to empower individuals to take charge of their well-being, offering them the knowledge and tools they need to lead healthier, more vibrant lives. Join her in exploring the multifaceted world of health, beauty, and wellness.

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