Survey Results: Which Human Foods Do Veterinary Professionals Feed Their Dogs?

Dog Getting Snack
Which foods are veterinary professionals most likely to allow their dogs to sample? Our new survey found out.

Many of us find it difficult to resist our pooch's puppy dog eyes as we're chowing down on our own tasty treats. And, if it's a food that's good for them (and not on this list of dangerous foods), and if our pet's weight is right on target, we'll often share a bite or two.

But have you ever wondered if veterinary professionals do the same?

It turns out that many of them do. In our latest survey, 198 dog-owning veterinary professionals (including veterinarians, vet techs and office managers) revealed which of the 25 foods we listed (ranging from apples to cheese to popcorn to zucchini) they allow their dogs to eat. We separated those foods into five categories: Fruits, Veggies, Meats, Dairy/Other Protein and Junk Food. A few of the results were quite unexpected.

The Top of the List

The four foods veterinary professionals were most likely to allow their dogs to eat were: No 1. carrots, with 74 percent saying they allow their dogs to eat them, No. 2 chicken (70 percent), No. 3 cheese (65 percent) and No. 4 peanut butter (64 percent). You can see what rounded out the top 10 in the chart below.

Rank and Food Percentage of Respondents Who Allow Their Dogs to Eat This Food
1. Carrots 74%
2. Chicken 70%
3. Cheese 65%
4. Peanut butter 64%
5. Green beans 57%
6. Apples 55%
7. Beef 53%
8. Eggs 49%
9. Popcorn (tied) 47%
9. Sweet potato (tied) 47%

Now, it should be noted that we did not ask for further information on  why they allow their dogs to eat certain foods, and there are numerous potential reasons. It could simply be because the veterinary professionals we surveyed tend to eat a lot of carrots, chicken and cheese, so, naturally, their dogs would get more of those foods. Maybe it's because their dogs are more likely to beg for certain foods that smell appetizing, like beef and popcorn. Or, of course, it might be a conscious choice — many people, veterinary professionals and pet owners alike, use peanut butter to stuff treat toys or administer medications to their dogs, or utilize chicken to tempt a finicky pup.

How the Categories Stack Up

You might guess that since carrots were the most popular item on the list, Vegetables would be the top category, but that was not the case. To find out, we averaged the "yes" percentages of all the foods in each category. Dairy/Other Protein (cheese, peanut butter, eggs, yogurt and nuts) came out on top with a 47.1 percent "yes" average, followed closely by Meats at 46.6 percent (chicken, beef, pork and fish/seafood). Veggies, at 45.9 percent (carrots, green beans, sweet potato, broccoli, peas and zucchini), were a very close third. There was quite a gap between this and the next category: Fruit came in at 32.6 percent (apples, bananas, berries and oranges), which just barely squeaked out a fourth-place finish over Junk Food, with 32.2 percent (popcorn, French fries, chips, pizza, ice cream and cookies).

The Bottom of the List

If you're anything like us, you probably assumed the food that would earn the bottom spot on this list would fall into the junk food category, but in fact, it was a fruit — oranges earned the lowest score, with only 15 percent of veterinary professionals claiming to allow their dogs to eat them. Cookies were the next lowest scoring food, with nuts and berries being slightly more allowed. And, yes, you read that correctly — that means that the veterinary professionals we surveyed are more likely to give their dogs a taste of pizza or ice cream than a bite of berries!

Rank and Food Percentage of Respondents Who Allow Their Dogs to Eat This Food
21. Zucchini 26%
22. Berries 21%
23. Nuts 18%
24. Cookies 16%
25. Oranges 15%

Wondering whether cats get the same treatment? We were curious, too. So stay tuned — we'll have the results from that survey coming up soon!

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