Treat Your Pet: 7 Dog Foods Canines Crave


Dogs love food!


Well, same reason you do!

It tastes delicious!

Word of WARNING!

Before we begin I would like to say that these foods ARE NOT necessarily the best foods for your dogs.

They are simply treats and foods that I have found dogs love over the years that I've lived and worked with them.

So some of the things in this list you need to view the same way we humans view pizza, candy-floss, pop-corn, chocolate, cheese, beer, wine, cakes and biscuits! They are naughty but nice and we still eat them occasionally.

So whilst they are not specifically that good for us, we still eat them. They are a treat!

Okay, let's get into it…

Between you and me, I believe my older dog, Peanut, has a bit of an addiction to food. She will drool as soon as we start to prepare her food so badly that we need to move her out of the kitchen BEFORE we even begin to get her food ready!

If we don’t, we end up with a lethal-sized puddle of drool on the polished wooden floor in a matter of minutes, and that's seriously slippy!

If you have a hungry hound, then that may sound familiar!

Clearly, my dogs love their kibble. And every day when mealtime rolls around, they get excited to chow down.

That being said, I have to think that eating the same food day after day must get boring. I know I’d get bored if I was stuck eating the same cereal for my breakfast, lunch and dinner my entire life.

So I got thinking and I thought, “What would make my dog's tail wag for joy?” And I decided that occasionally serving them up one of my favorite dishes was the answer.

Many dogs love human food, and when given in moderation, there’s nothing wrong with serving up your dog a treat now and then so long as it’s not a food that’s bad for dogs.

NOTE: Safety First – You do need to check what you are giving your dog because there are things that some dogs are not okay with (like some dogs can’t eat dairy just like some people can’t, so do your homework before feeding them anything new and even then I suggest you start off with a small treat or piece of anything new!).

To give you an idea of how to treat your dog every once in a while, I put together a list of my dogs’ top 7 favorite foods!

I bet your dog will love them, too!

And again, before we go any further, I just want to advise that it’s important to be very careful about what you feed your pets. Some ingredients may make your dog sick.

Always check with your vet before treating your dog to a new snack, especially if your dog has any health problems.

All right, now onto some delicious foods you can feed your dog!

Food #7 – Pizza

Ever gotten that mouth-watering feeling where you just couldn’t wait to bite into a slice pizza?

I know I have…and I’m pretty sure dogs feel the same way!

In fact, I know dogs feel the same way. Here’s a funny little story about my dog Peanut and her first encounter with a pizza…

My wife Jenni and I had just taken two lovely pizzas out of the oven, and we’d had some friends over who were just leaving, so we left the pizzas to say goodbye to them.

As we waved goodbye, I turned around to Jenni and said, “Where’s Peanut?”

At this stage, Peanut was only 1-year-old, and was a large, hungry dog with only some basic training!

I mean she knew not to take things off the table, but this was the PIZZA test!

I raced into the kitchen and saw the pizzas on the table. One was fine, but the other was just hanging over the edge of the table.

Every little piece that had been hanging over the edge had been nibbled! As if to say, “these bits were NOT on the table!”

Peanut looked at us like she was a very good dog. And I was quietly very happy…after all, she could have easily pulled the whole thing off and eaten it in a few bites!

How funny is that!

(If you have a dog that would have pulled the entire pizza off the table, I encourage you to check out my training program called The Dog Calming Code here!)

The next time you are enjoying a slice of pizza, give your dog a bite!

(Not a whole pizza…just a bite – or maybe a piece!)

Food #6 –Roast Chicken

Roast chicken is a safe and healthy treat all dogs love once it’s been properly cooked.

In fact, if your dog won’t work for chicken, then they are probably not food motivated…(or a little spoilt!).

There is one thing you have to be super careful about though…chicken bones!

Don’t ever throw your dog a piece of chicken with the bone still in. Chicken bones are small and can fracture, which makes it easy for dogs to choke on them, and if they are swallowed, they can tear up your dog’s insides.

I recommend pulling small pieces of meat off the chicken bone to serve to your dog.

Or, if you get a chicken with the giblets inside, let your dog enjoy them!

Last but not least, you can always use the juices from the chicken to whip up a savory gravy to put on top of your dog's meal.

Or if you have a “nutri-bullet” blender or something similar, you can make a chicken broth with all the bits left over.


# 5 – Tripe

You might not enjoy chowing down on tripe, the stomach lining of a cow, but your dog sure will!

To a human, tripe is stinky and gross, but to a dog, it’s a delicacy.

You can find tripe at grocery stores. If it’s not on display with all the meats, ask the butcher if they have any in the back.

#4 – Cheese

People always ask me, “I thought cheese wasn’t good for dogs, and my response is, “It isn’t good for humans!”

I believe cheese is basically mouldy fat. But boy, do both humans and canines love it!

My one piece of advice for feeding dogs cheese is to watch out for lactose intolerance. Yep, even dogs can have sensitivities to the foods they consume.

Also, be wary of feeding a dog too much cheese as it may back them up when it comes to using the bathroom.

Like any tasty treat, moderation is key.

Maybe a sprinkle grated onto their dinner is a nice balance!

Note: Cheese is also an incredibly powerful motivator for training.

#3 – Peanut Butter

Natural, unsalted peanut butter, made without artificial sweeteners is a tasty treat for most dogs. And for the most part, it’s a healthy snack.

There is one big thing you have to watch out for when you feed your dog peanut butter, though. Always check the label. If it contains Xylitol, DO NOT feed it to your pet.

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that has the potential to kill your dog. So please, be very careful.

One of my favorite ways to feed my dogs peanut butter is by putting it in their toys. Doing this will keep your dog stimulated and entertained for a good bit of time.

If your dog has a hard time with peanut butter-filled toys, simply spread some peanut butter on a plate and let your dog lick it off.

If you’re feeling really generous, spread some peanut butter on a slice of toast with butter.

# 2 — Meatballs and Rice

Now many of you who have been to the vet with a puppy who had a sick stomach will have actually been sent home with a special food for your puppy consisting mainly of rice and minced meat.

Because not only is it a healthy meal option for your pet, it’s safe, and your dog will really enjoy it. And meatballs are exactly the same thing!

It’s actually one of my favorite dishes, so every once in a while, I make it a point to cook up an extra serving of meatballs for my dogs.

I do have one word of caution though…

If you make your meatballs with onions, be sure to leave them out of the meatballs for your dogs. Dogs can get sick from eating onions.

#1 – Raw Liver

Haha! Yes, you heard me right…raw liver!

And yes, that is what it looks like raw.

Dogs’ no.1 food, in my humble opinion — bet you never thought of that one!

Now a word of warning: You need to only give your dog it in very small pieces rather like cheese, as it does have some high levels of iron and other vitamins in it.

Never feed your dog liver if they are also on vitamin A supplements.

And if your dog is not used to raw food, you’ll need to take it slowly at first so they don’t go rushing off to the toilet!

For the majority of us who are not liver lovers, this may seem like a disgusting dinner option. But to your dog, a chunk of raw liver is heaven on a plate.

It’s what the dogs and wolves in the wild will often eat first if they make a kill, which says it all really.

I’d love for some of you to take the effort to buy some raw liver (after checking in with your vet!) and see what your dogs think of it!

My dogs get so excited they go cross-eyed as I’m preparing it!

And the good thing is that it’s actually super cheap.

Yep, they actually go into a catatonic like state…it’s quite odd, like so happy they just look at each other drooling!

The only downside to this treat….it isn’t a treat you can take to the park in your pocket.

However, if you realise your dog is obsessed with liver, you can buy freeze-dried liver treats that you can bring along with you. These are not as messy or stinky.

One day I’m going to do a test and give the dogs the choice of all these 7 food on a plate and see what they eat first!

Okay. That’s it!

I’d love to know if you think I’ve missed on the list of foods that dogs will love.

Enjoy preparing your dog’s next “special meal.’

Doggy Dan Signature
~Doggy Dan 🙂

Doggy Dan

Doggy Dan is the founder of The Online Dog Trainer, a wildly successful online training program for dog owners. His goal is to continue to share his unique approach to dog training with like-minded people who wish to make a difference in the world of dogs. His training methods focus on creating and building the connection between dogs and dog owners, and are shared and used around the world.

58 Responses

  1. Cannot wait to try these tips. I have heard NO human food as they would learn to beg. But, so far my biggest problem is NO luck potty training. Regressing actually!!!

  2. I remember seeing a video where you made a dog gravy blending up chicken bits including the softened cooked bones which blended down nicely.
    Has that video been removed and if so why?

  3. OMG!!! They love all those food but I don’t give them any of them is unhealthy and I’m the only one who have to take care of them. BTW thank for sharing this article was interesting to read it.

    1. Hi Tiana, I’m gad you found my Blog interesting! Our dogs can be very good at coaxing food from us and so I think it’s really important for dog owners to know which foods are safe for our dogs and which ones aren’t. The occasional treat is fine and moderation is key! Best, Doggy Dan.

  4. I have recently adopted a 3 yr Golden Retriever that was only given dry food that was on sale and I am concerned that this is the 2nd time he has been sick, not eating or drinking and lethargic. Pedialyte and small amounts of boil chicken and rice but diarrhea and squat to pee only?

    1. Hi Donna,
      There may be a couple of factors resulting in your dog’s physical state but if he has been unwell for an extended period of time then I would advise taking him to your Vet for a check-up, especially if he hasn’t eaten or taken in fluids. Moving into a new home can be stressful and loss of appetite and even a little diarrhea can be a part of this anxiety. When transitioning from one food to another it’s really important that you do this gradually, rather than a quick swap. Gradually reducing the old food, while you gradually increase the new food, every few days will lessen the impact on your dog’s digestive system. Lastly, some male dogs do squat to pee and it’s nothing to be concerned about…unless they are doing it to avoid pain in their joints. Hopefully he starts to feel better soon! Doggy Dan

  5. Our puppy, about two and a half years old and a mix of Boston and chijuajua? Anyway, she won’t eat. We have tried many different kibbles, even refrigerated chicken. No go. She will eat people food but she won’t even touch her doggie treats. Help!!!

    1. Hi Pam,
      A dog not eating can be pretty unsettling experience for owners and provided the dog is not unwell, they generally will eat eventually. Dogs are designed to be able to survive for a days without food, in fact s are we, because in nature they may not be successful in a hunt 100% of the time. The best way to ensure that your dog does eat her own food is to ensure that she is not given a better option (human food). If she is fed human food by the family then she will be less likely to eat her own food. I also like to mix something really lovely smelling (to them) in their bowl, like broth or sardines. The smell of a dog’s food is a large part of the appeal in eating it. Also, if you do provide your dog with food and she chooses not to eat it then remove her bowl when she walks away. This shows here that the opportunity to eat is only when you provide it to her and that she will not be able to access it again, until her next scheduled meal-time, if she walks away. When she realises the process is eat now or miss out then she will eventually eat but she may hold out for a day or so. We cover fussy eaters and the real reasons why dogs do it on my membership website …maybe take a quick look…its a $1 trial for 3 days…all the best Doggy Dan

  6. My Ridgeback LOVED fruit, it was a race between her and me to get the plums off my plum tree. She would eat all the ones at head height (spitting out the stones!) and then she would stand on her hind legs and use a front paw to pull branches down so that she could get to the fruit higher up…10 outta 10 for problem solving!

    1. Hi Debbie,

      One of my dogs loves strawberries and at the moment we are also seeing him picking olives off my olive tree! At the end of the day fruit is a source of nutrition and therefore means survival for another day. Best….Doggy Dan

  7. Hi Dan,

    My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m Founder of Feedspot.

    I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Doggy Dan | The Online Dog Trainer has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 100 Dog Training Blogs on the web.

    I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 100 Dog Training Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!

    Also, you have the honor of displaying the badge on your blog.


  8. Hi Dan love the site and and proud to say our recall for my girl Tess who is a 2yr old red cloud kelpie is now up to 80%. Working on her excited play bark manners at the moment. I was super excited at how fast she responded when I put the 5GR in place. As a treat for Tess I add sardines in oil to her kibble. Lip smacking delicious.

    1. Hi Wendy,

      Thanks for the feedback and I’m glad your recall with Tess has improved so impressively! Sardines are a favourite of my dogs as well, but I always make sure that if I am using tinned ones that the sardines are in water with no added salt. Best…Doggy Dan

  9. Tripe. I don’t think I’ve even heard of that. Our dogs love the majority of the ones you listed, especially the peanut butter. And I’ve found that for taking pills (for picky dogs) pinching off a piece of string cheese works great to get them to take the pills. We also do a lot of different fruits and vegetables. I agree with the comment you made above. Everything in moderation. Even junk food (as long as it’s not anything poisonous or that’d make them sick) can be a great little treat here and there for dogs. Even cats. Our cat LOVES celery leaves. Goes crazier over that than catnip, haha.

    1. Yep cheese is great for hiding the pills in. The pills don’t even touch the sides! A cat loving celery leaves? I wonder whats going on there! I loved watching my cats try Catnip for the first time….that was so funny 🙂

  10. Love your website and being part of this group. Thanks for the ideas! My Shih Tzu mix, Charlie, would certainly second the cheese and meat but she also LOVES watermelon and is very fond of steamed veggies. I haven’t found a veggie she won’t eat (of the ones that are good for dogs). Don’t feed them the watermelon rind, though….not good for them.

    1. Hi Marti, thanks for the watermelon rind tip. Its funny how dogs are like people in that some are food fussy, some love veg and some don’t. Two of my dogs will gobble down the veg, others look at things like carrots like I am trying to trick them!

  11. Dear Doggy Dan,
    My dog likes horse shoe “clippings”!

    I greatly enjoy your website and the many videos. I’ve started implementing the 5GR a month or so ago. It has helped immensely, although we are not out of the woods yet…
    Best wishes,

    1. Hi Sophie, great to hear that you are using the site with success. Stick to it and we’ll get there. Eating, horse shoe clippings is one of Peanuts favorite pastimes…She’s a master at it, and after 12 years of doing it I believe it cant be that bad for her and may even be good for her…Interestingly Peanuts nails grow super fast…maybe thats why!

  12. I found my dog eating lots of grass outside, so I though why not feed her a salad inside. Turns out she loves lettuce and carrots for sure. But, she also loves ALL food. She can’t wait for her meals and consumes everything. She is a true garbage hound, but I limit her food intake and treats. I think I’ll try the liver.

    1. Wow! What breed is she? Not many dogs love lettuce! That is quite unique! My dogs love to eat the seaweed on the beach. I wonder if its got something beneficial in it. They all eat it now…I call it their doggy Sushi !

  13. Hi, Dan – my Wheaten Terrier loves the special chicken broth you once prepared in a video, where you blitzed all the bits we wouldn’t eat in the Nutribullet with a little water – put on top of his usual biscuits it all disappears in a matter of minutes!

    1. Yep…I must admit I was not sure how long my nutri bullet would last, smashing everything into a soup but its still going strong and its still one of the dogs best meals !

  14. Hey Dan! Whenever we use up a jar of peanut butter I cut it in half. I give one half to each dog. They love cleaning out the jar and making it sparkle for the recycle bin!

    1. Yep…that one is a win win. We do the same, the only thing is with 4 dogs and only 2 halves it can become quite a trick to split the peanut butter up fairly, with it smeared over two plates as well! Got to treat them all fairly or they look at me in what feels a bit like disgust and disbelief if I miss one of them out!

  15. Hi Dan. My dogs love raw carrot “bones” (which they eat in one sitting). They also adore cheese and can smell it from a long way, so that’s what I use for special training treats.
    Once a week they get bone broth which they obviously love – you don’t need a special tool though, just boil the carcasses/bones for a while and then remove the bones by hand – or if that seems time-consuming, sieving the lot to make a consommé . Super nutritious and an efficient use of leftovers! Occasionally I add herbs to help them stay worm free (not too much, which could be dangerous) and they still love it.
    If you do a subsequent post on food health for dogs as you say in a comment, I’d suggest going cereal free if you think your dog has allergies – it cured the recurrent ear infection one of my dogs’ had.

    1. Sounds like you know what you are doing. Yep the bone broth would be a winner…something about boiling those bones into a broth just does something special to it…my dogs love it. I know a lot of dogs who got better when they moved off the cereal and also when they moved onto food that had NO ARTIFICIAL preservatives. That will make a HUGE difference.

  16. Thanks DD!

    Always love to read about what you have to say!!

    A question: Is it possible if I give my dog these kind of food that she won’t like her regular dog food anymore? How do you balance between these two?

    Thanks and again, love to read whatever you have to say!


    1. Hi Zhu, I feel that so long as YOU decide when they get these treats and you make it quite random, then the dog will still eat their food. Its like children, you can give them a few treats but dont give them too many before dinner and certainly not all the time everyday or they will start to expect them and fill up on them. All the best, Dan

    1. Haha! Not literally but they do almost look it when we are preparing their favorite meal!

  17. My dog is actually on a completely raw diet. I know it’s not for everybody but he absolutely loves it. And as for the liver, he not only eats it raw but I take the liver and chicken breast, slice in thin pieces and dehydrate them in my dehydrater. He loves it and I use them for treats.

    1. I understand, all dogs are different and I am sure that if you know what you are doing raw can be an excellent option. My dogs would love it! Something I often consider…You clearly love and care for your dog 🙂 All the best Dan

  18. Hi, Dan,
    I enjoy reading your posts and have incorporated some of your training techniques with mostly good success!
    My 3 dogs love ice cubes! Cheap, zero calories, and keeps them hydrated. I hope it’s ok for their teeth! They love all the other things you mentioned – but they don’t get them on a daily basis. Cheers!

    1. Oooo our dogs love ice cubes too. Makes great toys to play with until they think they can bury them, and the ice won’t melt, haha.

  19. Hi Dan. Thanks so much for your brilliant training advice. My Blue Heeler, Spock loves veges! He steals carrots from my vege drawer, loves cabbage, cauliflowers and pretty much any green leafy but he loves tomatoes so much that he eats them right off the vine! I’ve never had such a vege loving dog.

    1. Yeh, we have had quite a few comments about veggie loving dogs. There are a lot of good things in vegetables for humans AND dogs. I read that there are over 2000 different elements in a stick of celery. Unbelievable…!

  20. Walnuts. My dogs love walnuts. All I have to do is get out the nutcracker and they’re all three sitting right there, doing their best Oliver Twist rendition!

    1. Hi Annik, walnuts contain a toxin named tremorgenic mycotoxins according to Wikipedia, that can cause seizures. I am not an expert on walnuts and the danger to dogs and your dog may be fine eating them but I wanted to let you know. All the best…Dan

  21. Hey DD,
    regarding favorite dog’s food. You have great advise, and ideas how to train dogs with your gentle method, and I love it, I’m totally hook on it. But, if it comes to food, well, obviously it is up to you how you feed your dogs, but at least, don’t confuse the public. There is plenty of B.S from dog food manufacturers, so do what you do best, and leave the food advice for those who did solid homework on it. I hope you don’t mind my direct way of speaking, and I’m really admiring the training method you presenting.

    1. Hi Frank, thanks for your kind words about the training. I appreciate it.
      The foods in this list are more like treats that we as humans sometimes eat, you know, stuff such as chocolate, beer, cheese, cake etc…not necessarily brilliant for our health but certainly something that we love and enjoy. Its by no means a list of the most healthy dog foods…although that could be an idea for another post! Have a great day and glad you are enjoying the training. Dan

  22. Great ideas, thank you Doggy Dan 🙂 I give my dogs organic chicken breasts that I dehydrate myself. Also, I cook up duck breast for myself. I take the fat off of the chicken breast and cook it slightly. Both my dogs love each of these. They would do back flips for them if they could 🙂

    1. You are welcome Velda, its great to see dogs just loving their foods and especially treats! I feel sorry for some dogs who get the same old dry biscuits every day their whole life (Some of these bags of dry dog biscuits cost more than meat itself – work that one out) love to your dog, Doggy Dan 🙂

  23. Love your work Dan and am using your methods on my 11yo Parson Russell terrier – a great wee dog but has a couple of habits I’d like to correct (barking when people arrive – so I’m implementing your 3-step programme – the other 4 rules I pretty much had in place, just a couple of small adjustments to make). I’m also a puppy class trainer at one of our Vetlife clinics and have started recommending that attendees should visit your website. A small comment about the liver though – if your dog ever visits farms in NZ liver (or any offal) needs to be cooked, or frozen for at least 7 days to prevent the spread of sheep measles. All dogs who visit farms should also be wormed monthly with a tapewormer product. Have a look on the Ovis Management website:
    Regards, Helen

    1. Hi Helen,
      thanks for your kind words about and support. I appreciate it.
      Good information about the NZ liver. Always good to know these things, have an awesome day. Cheers Dan

    1. Hi Sam,
      thats great! My question is does he actually eat the Broccoli or just dance with it?
      Best, Doggy Dan

  24. Mine enjoys skinless apples, but LOVES coconut oil (paste): It really helped FAST with his year-long dry skin problem. Humans find it tasteless and odorless, but he Loves It on his food …and in the form of a DIY homemade toothpaste recipe from Dogs Naturally or Modern Dog (I skip the bullion).

    1. Excellent. Yes my dogs Jack and Peanut love apples too. Moses and Inca see them as a sort of take it or leave it food.
      For anyone reading this just make sure your dogs don’t eat too many, especially the seeds as they are poisonous. The seeds contain amygdlin, a form of cyanide, which is very poisonous to every living thing. There you go. Still…I’ve eaten quite a few seeds in my life and I’m still standing!

        1. Yes, bananas are a crow favourite at my house too! Before your give your dog the last bite try waiting until she leaves you alone and then call her to you to give it to her. It may seem like ‘mean’ thing to do but doing it this way can help your dog understand that she has not influenced you to give her the banana, rather than you have decided she can have it…….it’s a subtle difference but it’s a big one for your dog! This will also help avoid a dog begging for food in the future. She may struggle a bit with the new routine but if you are consistent she will start to understand and adapt her behaviour! All the Best, Doggy Dan

  25. Love reading your dog stories and training advisement… I lost my dog a year ago when he was 18. He had Alzheimer’s. I sometimes made him liver treats but I baked it with garlic until it was a little dry and cut in pieces.

    1. Wow… 18 years old…thats special. Must have had a good life and a strong heart 🙂
      Yep dogs love liver! All the best, Doggy Dan

  26. Pizza?? Toast?? Really?? Of course they will love it but it’s not good for them! Lots of healthy treats out there for dogs no need to feed them junk food

    1. The way I see it is it’s the same as humans! For example even though I know that ice-cream is simply sugar, fat and a bit of artificial food colouring and flavouring I still give it to my children as a treat 🙂
      I am a big believer in everything in moderation…for me and my dogs.
      In fact I think its important that we treat ourselves every now and then.
      Other people are more strict with their diets, I guess its a personal thing. All the best, Dan

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