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Back to School: What’s in Your Pup’s Lunchbox?

By Colleen Williams
published: September 5, 2017 - updated: August 1, 2022 • 2 min. read
beagle dog next to chalk board

Summer break is over and all the pups are excited to head back to obedience school! They’ll be busy showing off new outfits and summer vacation pics, bragging about what they learned (or forgot!). Some might bring treats to share with the class, so don’t forget about the lunch box!

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Back to school foods dogs can and can't eat graphic

Is your dog heading to training or obedience classes? Here are snacks to include or avoid in your pup’s lunchbox.

Snacks that are dog-safe

  1. Oranges provide energy and an immune system boost. 1 c. sliced orange is 85 calories, 21g of carbs, loads of vitamin C, A, and calcium.
  2. Apples can help freshen breath. 1 c. sliced apple is 57 calories, 3g fiber, plenty of vitamin C.
  3. Banana is a sweet treat. Sliced banana is full of potassium and vitamin B6.
  4. Carrots provide fiber, beta-carotene, and antioxidants. 1 medium carrot has 25 calories, and vitamins A and C.
  5. Green beans are full of vitamins and minerals. 10 beans have 17 calories and are loaded with vitamins A, K, C, magnesium, and iron.
  6. Cucumbers are hydrating and low in calories. A half-cup of cucumbers is 8 calories and provides vitamins K, C, B1, and potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin.
  7. Peanut butter is a great motivator. Do not use sugar-free or brands containing xylitol. 2 tablespoons contain 188 calories, 16g fat, 6g carbs, magnesium, and vitamin B6.
  8. Cheese and dairy are tasty treats. Just don’t give them in large quantities as it can cause an upset stomach. 1 c. of 1% milk has 103 calories, 2.4g fat, and 8g protein; 28g mozzarella has 78 calories, 8g protein and 4.8g fat.

Toxic items that should never be given as snacks to dogs

  1. Chocolate is toxic to dogs due to caffeine and theobromine
  2. Grapes and raisins are toxic even in small quantities and can cause kidney failure
  3. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that is extremely toxic to dogs


colleen williams
By Colleen Williams

Over the past decade, Colleen has written about health, wellness, beauty, and even pets for The New York Times, The Cut, Refinery29, xoVain, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, and Seattle Met Magazine, as well as many beauty brands. She has a BFA in Art History from the University of New Mexico and an AAS in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in New York.

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