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7 Surprising Reasons Why Dogs Like Human Food (2023)

Do Dogs Like Human Food

A yummy meal’s waiting for you on the table…

And you’re excited to take a bite.


You noticed Fido staring at your food. 

But why?

Your dog just had their own meal.

Why are they so interested in your snack?

As curiosity eats you up…

I’ll serve a plate of answers.

Continue reading to learn:

  • 21 human foods that your pooch can safely eat.
  • 7 surprising reasons why dogs like human food (#1, #3, and #7 will impress you).
  • And a lot more…

Can dogs eat human food?

Dogs can eat some human food in small amounts. And there are only a few they can safely consume. 


That’s because dogs have more sensitive guts than humans. 

And for your pooch…

Too much table food could cause more harm than good. 

In that case, you should know which ones are safe for your dog. 

So, as per AKC, here are a few human foods Fido can eat: 

Note: Check if your pooch is lactose intolerant. This means they get an upset tummy after eating dairy products. Also, you should only give only the food on this list in small amounts.

Why dogs like human food – 7 reasons

#1: They’re copying you

Have you noticed? 

Your pooch might copy you sometimes. 

“Wait, for real?” 

That’s right. 

How, you asked? First, experts say it’s due to domestication. 

Since dogs and humans have been around each other too long… 

Canines started picking up on their fur parent’s habits. 

Not to mention…

A study also states: 

Fidos learn tricks better when imitating their owners. And that’s because copying someone is easier than trying risky methods. 

In a sense, they’re like kids taking after their fur parents. 

Another research also adds: 

Your activities can influence your pup’s personality 

And that’s why whenever you’re ready to eat food… 

Some dogs might think they should eat too. 

Cause your furry friend’s trying to copy you.

So in that case…

They’re not really into human food. 

Your dog’s just mirroring what you do.

#2: Meat is their natural food

Meat Is Their Natural Food

The next reason might be stating the obvious. 

But I’m saying it to explain why Fidos like human food. 

Yes, dogs are carnivores. 

So naturally, their main diet should have meat. 


As they started living with humans, dogs adjusted their diets. 

Now, Fidos mostly eat dog food. 

Which are dry kibbles made with various ingredients. Sometimes, these brands even use veggies on their products.

Plus, many dog foods use grains as well. 


Other brands may use chemicals too. 

And these things aren’t part of their natural diet. 

So even if Fido eats dog food every day… 

Science says:

Dogs still prefer a piece of fresh, raw meat over kibbles

At least, most of them would. 

Some dogs can be too domesticated…

To the point that they’re not too interested in meat anymore.

But still, most furry friends can tell the difference. 

Between dog food and meat… 

Fido would know which one’s more natural for them. 

And that’s why some dogs would still beg for human food. 

Check out also: 5 Dangers When Feeding 4D Meats To Your Dog

#3: They’re bored and curious

“Hmm… there’s nothing to do. Maybe I should go to my hooman.” 

And then, just in time…

Fido arrives when you’re about to eat your food. 

Next thing you know…

They’re ready to beg for a bite. 

First, you’d think your pooch’s just hungry. Or maybe they simply like your food. 

But in some cases…

Your furry friend’s just bored. 

And you might be familiar with that kind of feeling. 

For example, you’d open the fridge for no reason. You’re not hungry. You were just bored. 

The same thing applies to your pooch. 

And this is common in naturally hyperactive dogs

So if they have nothing to do… 

Fidos will try to entertain themselves. And they’ll do any activity they can find. 


Dogs have a great sense of smell

Is your pooch sniffing you more than usual? 

Especially during breakfast or dinner? 

That’s because their nose drives them curious.

Fun fact: Experts say dogs have 300 million scent receptors.

This means their sense of smell’s 100,000 times better than humans. 

So you can’t really blame Fido for being curious when you have food.

Reading tip: 13 Fun Facts About A Dog’s Sense Of Smell

#4: You encourage them 

Fidos are smart. Most of them learn things quickly. 

But sometimes…

They pick up the wrong message. 

For example…

You smile or laugh when your pooch begs for food.

I mean, it’s irresistible.

After all, Fido looks cute with those sparkling puppy eyes.

But this can be confusing for your dog.

How so?

Your pup could be thinking…

“Oh, my hooman likes it when I ask for food. I’ll do it again.” 

See? Your furry pal thinks you’re encouraging them. 

And it makes you question…

“But how would they know that?” 

Fun fact: Dogs can recognize human emotion. 

That’s how smart they can be. And even science proves this claim. 


Fidos have a skill called emotional contagion. 

It’s their ability to know your facial expressions. 

And that’s why your pooch might get the wrong message at times. 

In that case…

How can you stop your dog’s habit of begging for human food? 

Tip: Keep a straight face and tell Fido a hard no. By being firm, your furry friend will get the message. 

Of course, some dogs won’t pick it up right away. 

But you have to keep repeating it. Until they learn the right behavior. 

And if you need more help teaching your pooch…

Check out this trainer’s video: 

You might also like: Demand Barking: 19 Simple Tips To Stop It (How-To Guide)

#5: They got used to human food 

Most dogs enjoy routine. 

But this can lead to unwanted habits… 

Especially if you’re unsure how to guide your pooch. 

That said… 

Fidos could get used to human food. 

And this might happen if you: 

  • Don’t give them a feeding schedule.
  • Always feed table scraps to your pooch.
  • Introduced human food to them as puppies.

From this list… 

The third one’s the most common reason. 

And by feeding human food to dogs when they were young…

These puppies would think that’s all they can eat. 

Also, remember what I said in reason #2? 

Most dogs can tell the difference between:

Natural vs. unnatural food. 

So when they get used to real meat…

It’s natural for Fidos to stick to that instead.

“How can I make my pooch eat dog food?” 

There are many ways to teach your furry friend.

And here’s an easy tip.

First, let your dog try a half cup of kibbles first. 

Then if Fido doesn’t eat them…

Mix the kibbles with human food they often eat. Finally, slowly increase the kibbles per feeding. 

You can do this until your pooch fully accepts their new dog food.

And for better accuracy, try using this table from the AKC

DayDog foodHuman food
Day 125%75%
Day 350%50%
Day 575%25%
Day 7100%0%

With this, you can train your pooch to stop eating human food.

#6: Your dog likes the texture

Fact: Fidos don’t taste food as well as you do. 

“Huh? What do you mean?” 

I know it’s shocking. 

But science reveals:

Dogs have fewer taste receptors than humans. Specifically, Fidos have 1,700 flavor sensors.

Meanwhile, you have over 9,000. 

See that great difference? 

“Then why do they like human food?” 

Sometimes it’s not the taste that Fido enjoys. 

Instead, they love the texture. 

As per vets, some dogs have food preferences. And they can be picky eaters too. 

So if your pooch only eats dry kibbles all the time…

It’s not surprising if they want some of that gravy-filled chicken. 

To Fido, that’s a whole new flavor and texture. 

Isn’t it exciting to try something new? 

So, in this case…

Your pooch might like a certain texture of human food.

And it’s something that most dry kibbles don’t have.

#7: Food sharing is part of their instincts 

Now, let’s talk about Fido’s ancestry. 

As most fur parents know…

Dogs came from wolves. 

And as their distant relatives… 

Some Fidos still carry a wolf’s instinct. 

Here’s an example.

Research states that food sharing’s a natural habit in wolf packs. 

When they bring down a large animal… 

Wolves typically do it as a team. So naturally, they’d share the meal together. 

Simply put, they work and eat as regular families would. 

In this case… 

Your pooch could’ve kept that natural trait. 

So whenever you eat, Fido expects you to share. 

But of course…

It doesn’t mean that your furry friend thinks you’re a pack. 

No one’s a group leader or an alpha between both of you. 

Instead, it’s only a simple act of socializing for dogs. 

To them, sharing food is a familial act in the wild.