Ever found yourself in a pinch when it’s your pup’s dinner time, realizing you’re out of their special dog food? 

To prevent your dog from giving you those sad puppy dog eyes, it’s best to have a few dog food alternatives on hand should you ever run out of pet food at mealtime. It happens to the best of us! 

Your pantry and fridge may already be filled with healthy and beneficial items you can safely feed your dog. Let’s find out what those are, how to prepare them, and the foods your pup should avoid entirely. 


Human Foods Safe for Dogs

The good news is that there are quite a few safe human foods that our four-legged friends can devour like it’s their own dog food. 

You most likely already have some of these nutrient-rich foods that can benefit your furry friend as those healthy ingredients in their trusted commercial dog food. You only need to know where to look. 

Creating the perfect emergency meal can be done with a few ingredients from your pantry and refrigerator with a bit of creativity and tips from this post! Get these ingredients ready.


Lean Protein

  • Lean beef
  • Peanut butter 
  • Ground turkey
  • Salmon or tuna
  • Scrambled eggs 
  • Plain, cooked chicken
  • Cooked, low-sodium pork
  • Low-sodium deli meat, like turkey or chicken



  • Quinoa
  • Couscous 
  • Plain oatmeal
  • Cooked potatoes
  • Brown rice or pasta


Fruits & Vegetables

  • Peas
  • Corn
  • Pears
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli 
  • Spinach
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries



Before creating a dog meal that contains dairy, consider your dog’s allergies and any sensitivities they may have to dairy. 

If you’ve fed your dog regular food, including dairy, and they’ve digested it well, dairy can be a safe option for them to consume in small doses. Try mild cheese, like Colby or American, and low-fat, plain Greek yogurt in your pup’s meal for a tasty treat. 


Tips for Making Homemade Dog Food

Many commercial dog foods contain the perfect balance of protein, carbs, and grains, and we’re confident you can replicate a similar healthy meal for your dog. 

Keep the following tips in mind as you navigate meal prep when you’ve run out of regular dog food:

  • Create a healthy, balanced meal of lean protein and complex carbs.
  • Remove all skin and bones from the chicken before serving.
  • Avoid high-sodium meats, including bacon, sausage, and ham.
  • Feed your dog cooked veggies, as they are easier on their digestive system 
  • Ensure all meat and fish are cooked thoroughly unless your dog is accustomed to eating raw meat.


Tasty Dog Meal Ideas

The best dog foods don’t have to be overcomplicated or fancy. Go for a balance of protein, carbs, and a crunchy vegetable or sweet fruit to satisfy their palette. Here are a few meal ideas to replace their regular dog food in a pinch:

  • Rotisserie chicken, brown rice, with an egg and broth
  • Sweet sausage with scrambled eggs, spinach, and brown rice
  • Oatmeal with peanut butter, eggs, and potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes with eggs, brown rice, and peas 


People Foods to Avoid

The easiest dog meals may not be the healthiest or the safest options for your pup. There are quite a few people foods that dogs should never consume for health reasons and others that can do more harm than good. 


Toxic People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Dog 

  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Chocolate
  • Avocado


Unhealthy People Foods

These foods are best avoided when creating a meal from scratch because they may cause indigestion, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

  • Milk
  • Garlic
  • High-sodium meat
  • Fried or breaded foods
  • Spicy, heavily seasoned meat
  • Foods cooked in spicy or hot sauces


Transitioning Back to Dog Food

Monitor your dog for lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea after consuming human food. Stock up on your pup’s regular food to get their routine back on track as soon as possible. If you feed them multiple meals with human food, you may need to slowly wean them off these foods as you re-introduce their normal food. 

Your dog is a beloved member of your family and should be treated as such! While it’s understandable that you may run out of their food occasionally, planning ahead is the best way to avoid this scenario entirely. Rather than running out to the store in a panic, a subscription service makes life easier and guarantees your dog will always have a healthy, tasty meal in their bowl. 

With a fresh food brand like A Pup Above, your pup can get single-sourced protein (50% more protein than other brands!), non-GMO veggies, superfoods, and human-grade ingredients in every meal. Our subscription service allows pup parents to customize the frequency that the food ships so they’ll never run out. Sad puppy dog eyes, no more!