20 Foods Harmful to Dogs: Foods To Avoid

20 Foods Harmful to Dogs: Foods To Avoid

Dogs are beloved members of our families, and as pet owners, we want to ensure that they are well taken care of. Part of being a responsible dog owner is understanding what foods can be harmful to your furry companion. While some human foods may seem harmless, they can actually be poisonous to dogs. In this article, we will discuss 20 common foods that are harmful to dogs and should be avoided in their diets.

20 Foods Harmful to Dogs: Foods To Avoid20 Foods Harmful to Dogs

  • Chocolate: contains theobromine and caffeine which can be toxic to dogs and cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizures.
  • Grapes and raisins: can cause kidney damage and failure in dogs.
  • Onions and garlic: contain compounds that can damage red blood cells and cause anemia in dogs.
  • Garlic salt and onion powder: can be even more dangerous than fresh onions and garlic as they are more concentrated.
  • Avocado: contains persin, a compound that can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.
  • Macadamia nuts: can cause weakness, tremors, and hyperthermia in dogs.
  • Xylitol: a sugar substitute found in gum, candies, and other sweets, is toxic to dogs and can cause seizures and liver failure.
  • Alcohol: can cause vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and even coma in dogs.
  • Coffee, tea, and other caffeine-containing foods: can cause restlessness, rapid breathing, and muscle tremors in dogs.
  • Raw dough and yeast: can expand in the stomach and cause bloating and gastric dilation in dogs.
  • Fat trimmings and bones: can cause pancreatitis or intestinal blockage in dogs.
  • Salt: excessive salt intake can lead to electrolyte imbalances and dehydration in dogs.
  • Avocado pits and leaves: contain persin and can be toxic to dogs.
  • Milk and dairy products: many dogs are lactose intolerant and consuming dairy products can cause digestive issues.
  • Raw meat and eggs: can contain harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella which can cause food poisoning in dogs.
  • Raw fish: raw salmon and trout can contain a parasite that can be lethal to dogs.
  • Citrus fruits: can cause irritation in the digestive system and potentially lead to central nervous system depression in dogs.
  • Mushrooms: can contain toxins that can cause liver and kidney damage in dogs.
  • Cherry pits, peach pits, and apple cores: contain cyanide which is toxic to dogs.
  • Alcohol: Dogs are much more sensitive to the effects of alcohol than humans, and even small amounts can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, and breathing difficulties.

Top 10 Toxic Foods for Dogs

  • Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that can be toxic to dogs in large quantities. It can cause an increase in heart rate, vomiting, and even seizures in some cases.
  • Grapes and raisins: Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs, with symptoms including vomiting, decreased appetite, and lethargy.
  • Onions and garlic: These foods, particularly in their concentrated forms like powder or broth, contain compounds that can damage a dog’s red blood cells and cause anemia.
  • Xylitol: This artificial sweetener is often used in sugar-free gum and other products, but can be highly toxic to dogs and cause hypoglycemia, liver failure, and seizures.
  • Alcohol: Dogs are much more sensitive to the effects of alcohol than humans, and even small amounts can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, and breathing difficulties.
  • Avocado: The leaves, seeds, and fruit of avocados contain persin, a substance that can be toxic to dogs and cause vomiting, diarrhea, and pancreatitis.
  • Macadamia nuts: These nuts can cause weakness, tremors, and even temporary paralysis in dogs due to their high levels of fat and certain compounds.
  • Raw/undercooked meat, eggs, and bones: Raw and undercooked meats and eggs can contain harmful bacteria and parasites that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other digestive issues. Cooked bones can splinter and cause obstruction or choking in dogs.
  • Caffeine: Similar to chocolate, caffeine can be toxic to dogs due to its effects on the heart and nervous system.
  • Milk and dairy products: Many dogs are lactose intolerant and consuming milk or dairy products can cause digestive issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, and bloating.

These foods are toxic to dogs because they either contain compounds that are harmful to their bodies or because dogs lack the enzymes needed to break down certain substances. Ingesting these foods can lead to a range of symptoms and health issues, from upset stomachs to organ failure or even death in severe cases. It is important for dog owners to be aware of these toxic foods and keep them out of reach of their pets to prevent any accidental ingestion. If a dog does consume any of these foods, it is important to seek immediate veterinary attention.

10 Foods You Should Feed Dogs With Caution

  • Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which are toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizures or death. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate are more dangerous due to their higher levels of theobromine.
  • Grapes and raisins: These seemingly harmless fruits can cause kidney failure in dogs. Even a small amount can be toxic and lead to vomiting, increased thirst, and decreased urine production.
  • Onions and Garlic: These common kitchen ingredients contain compounds that can damage a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. Symptoms include weakness, pale gums, and increased heart rate.
  • Xylitol: This artificial sweetener found in sugar-free products, including gum, candy, and baked goods, can cause a dangerous drop in blood sugar and liver failure in dogs.
  • Avocado: While avocado is a healthy snack for humans, it can be toxic to dogs. The fruit contains a substance called persin, which can cause stomach upset and even heart damage in dogs.
  • Macadamia nuts: These nuts can cause weakness, vomiting, and elevated body temperature in dogs. In severe cases, they can also affect the nervous system and muscles, leading to tremors or even paralysis.
  • Alcohol: Just like in humans, alcohol can have serious and potentially fatal effects on a dog’s body. Even a small amount can cause vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and eventually, coma.
  • Raw meat and eggs: Raw meats and eggs may contain bacteria, such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can cause food poisoning in dogs. They can also result in digestive issues and can even lead to illness in humans who come into contact with the dog’s feces.
  • Salt: While small amounts of salt are necessary for a dog’s diet, excessive amounts can lead to electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, and kidney damage. Snacks like pretzels or chips are particularly dangerous due to their high salt content.
  • Bones: It may seem like a natural treat for dogs, but bones can actually cause serious harm. They can splinter and cause internal damage to the digestive tract, or get stuck and block the passage of food, leading to vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially, surgery. Cooked bones are particularly dangerous as they can become brittle and prone to splintering.

SEE ALSO: Why Is My Dog Drinking So Much Water?

5 Foods Dogs Can Eat Safelydog feed 3

Dogs are true companions to humans and deserve to be well taken care of. In addition to providing them with exercise and proper training, feeding them a well-balanced diet is crucial for their overall health and well-being. While there are certain human foods that can be harmful to dogs, there are also many foods that they can safely eat and even benefit from. Below are five foods that dogs can eat safely and what makes them beneficial for our furry friends.

  1. Carrots: Carrots are a healthy and safe option for dogs to eat. They are low in calories and high in fiber, making them a good choice for dogs that need to shed a few pounds. Additionally, carrots are rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps promote healthy vision, skin, and coat in dogs. Dogs can eat carrots both raw and cooked, but it is recommended to cut them into small pieces or shred them to prevent choking.
  2. Salmon: Salmon is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for maintaining a dog’s healthy skin, coat, and joints. It is also a good source of B vitamins, which are important for energy production and nervous system function. When feeding salmon to dogs, it is crucial to ensure that it is fully cooked and does not have any bones.
  3. Plain, cooked chicken: Chicken is a common ingredient in many dog foods and for a good reason. It is a lean protein source that is easily digestible for dogs. When feeding chicken to dogs, it is vital to remove the skin and any bones, as they can pose a choking hazard. Additionally, chicken should be plain and cooked without any added salt, seasonings, or sauces that may be harmful to dogs.
  4. Green beans: Green beans are a versatile and safe option that dogs can eat. They are a good source of fiber and low in calories, making them a suitable treat for overweight or obese dogs. Additionally, green beans are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals such as calcium and iron. It is recommended to serve green beans to dogs cooked and in small pieces to avoid choking.
  5. Peanut butter: Peanut butter is a tasty and safe treat for dogs in moderation. It is a good source of protein and healthy fats and contains vitamin B, vitamin E, and niacin. When choosing peanut butter for dogs, it is essential to check the ingredients list and make sure that it does not contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that can be toxic to dogs. It is also important to feed peanut butter to dogs in moderation, as it is high in calories and fat.

It is essential to provide dogs with a well-balanced diet that meets their unique nutritional needs. While these five foods are generally safe for dogs to eat, it is crucial to consult with a veterinarian before introducing new foods to your dog’s diet. Some dogs may have specific dietary restrictions or allergies that may require a different approach. Additionally, it is important to feed these foods in moderation and always supervise your dog while they are eating to ensure their safety.

Human Foods Dogs Can Eat

  • Cooked chicken – provides protein and nutrients for dogs.
  • Turkey – a lean protein source for dogs.
  • Carrots – high in fiber and vitamins for a healthy digestive system.
  • Apples – a good source of fiber and antioxidants.
  • Blueberries – contain antioxidants and can help improve cognitive function in dogs.
  • Sweet potatoes – are rich in vitamins and minerals, and a good source of carbohydrates for energy.
  • Salmon – a great source of healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids for a shiny coat and healthy skin.
  • Eggs – a good source of protein and can be fed cooked or raw.
  • Green beans – a low-calorie and high-fiber vegetable that can help with weight management.
  • Peanut butter – is a good source of protein and healthy fats, as long as it does not contain xylitol.
  • Oatmeal – can help soothe digestive issues and provides fiber and nutrients.
  • Cheese – in small amounts, cheese can be a tasty treat for dogs and a good source of protein and calcium.
  • Pumpkin – can help with digestion and is a good source of vitamins and minerals.
  • Bananas – provide potassium and fiber, and can make a great snack for dogs

Signs of Food Poisoning in Dogs

  • Vomiting: One of the most common signs of food poisoning in dogs is vomiting. This can occur shortly after consuming contaminated food or may take a few hours to show up. The vomit may contain partially digested food, mucus, or even blood.
  • Diarrhea: Diarrhea is another common sign of food poisoning in dogs. The stool may be watery or contain blood, and your dog may have an increased urgency to go to the bathroom. This can lead to accidents in the house or frequent trips outside.
  • Lethargy: If your dog is suffering from food poisoning, you may notice a lack of energy or enthusiasm. They may seem weak or unwilling to engage in their usual activities.
  • Lack of appetite: Food poisoning can cause a decrease in appetite in dogs. Your dog may refuse to eat or show little interest in their food. They may also turn away from treats and table scraps, which they would normally eat eagerly.
  • Dehydration: Both vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration in dogs. You may notice that your dog is drinking more water than usual, or they may have dry or sticky gums. Dehydration can be a serious complication of food poisoning and should be addressed immediately.

When Should I Take My Dog to The Vet for Something They Ate?

It is recommended to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible if they have eaten something they shouldn’t have. This is especially important if the item ingested is toxic or harmful, as immediate treatment may be necessary to prevent serious health issues. If your dog has ingested something foreign, it is also important to monitor their condition to ensure they do not experience any complications such as vomiting, diarrhea, or difficulty breathing. If your dog shows any concerning symptoms, it is best to err on the side of caution and seek veterinary care. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your dog’s health.

What To Do If Your Dog Eats a Toxic Fooddog feed 2 1

  1. Stay calm: First and foremost, try to remain calm. While it can be scary to think that your dog has eaten something toxic, panicking will not help the situation.
  2. Remove any remaining food: If your dog has only taken a few bites of the toxic food, try to remove any remaining pieces from their mouth. This will prevent them from consuming any more of the toxic substance.
  3. Identify the toxin: If you know what your dog has eaten, take note of the name or ingredients of the toxic food. This will help your veterinarian determine the best course of action.
  4. Call your veterinarian: Contact your veterinarian immediately and let them know what your dog has consumed. They will be able to advise you on the next steps to take.
  5. Induce vomiting: In some cases, your vet may recommend that you induce vomiting in your dog to remove the toxic substance from their system. This should only be done under the guidance of a veterinarian, as inducing vomiting can be dangerous if not done correctly.
  6. Seek emergency veterinary care: If your dog has eaten a significant amount of a toxic substance, it is important to seek emergency veterinary care as soon as possible. Do not wait for symptoms to appear, as this could delay treatment and potentially be life-threatening for your dog.
  7. Watch for symptoms: Keep a close eye on your dog for any symptoms of poisoning, such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, seizures, or difficulty breathing. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek veterinary care immediately.
  8. Bring a sample of the toxin: If possible, bring a sample of the toxin with you to the veterinarian’s office. This can help them identify the toxin and determine the best treatment.
  9. Be honest with your vet: It is important to be honest with your veterinarian about what your dog has consumed. This will help them provide the best treatment and ensure the best outcome for your dog.
  10. Take steps to prevent future incidents: After your dog has been treated, take steps to prevent them from accessing toxic foods in the future. This may mean keeping toxic foods out of reach or training your dog to not eat anything they find on the ground. Prevention is the best way to keep your dog safe from toxic foods.


Q. What foods are extremely bad for dogs?

A. Some foods that are extremely bad for dogs include chocolate, grapes and raisins, onions and garlic, xylitol (artificial sweetener), avocados, and macadamia nuts. These foods can cause various health issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, pancreatitis, kidney failure, and even death in dogs. It is important for pet owners to educate themselves on which foods are safe and which ones should be avoided for their dog’s overall health and well-being.

Q. Can dogs eat rice?

A. Yes, dogs can eat rice in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Rice can provide them with carbohydrates and essential nutrients. However, it is important to feed dogs plain, boiled, or brown rice without any added seasonings or flavorings. Additionally, rice should not make up the main part of a dog’s diet and should only be given as an occasional treat. Consult a veterinarian for specific recommendations on your dog’s diet.

SEE ALSO: Why Do Dogs Sniff Butts?

Q. What fruit can’t dogs eat?

A. Grapes, raisins, and avocados are harmful for dogs to consume and can lead to serious health issues such as kidney failure.

Q. What human food is okay for dogs?

A. Some human foods that are generally considered safe for dogs include cooked lean meats (such as chicken, beef, and turkey), cooked fish, plain cooked rice, cooked eggs, plain non-fat yogurt, and certain fruits and vegetables (such as apples, bananas, carrots, and green beans).

Q. What food can kill dogs instantly?

A. Chocolate, grapes, raisins, garlic, onions, and xylitol (a sugar substitute commonly found in sugar-free gum and candies) are all potentially deadly for dogs.


In conclusion, it is important for dog owners to be aware of the foods that can be harmful or even deadly for their canine companions. While some human foods may seem harmless, they can have detrimental effects on a dog’s health. It is essential for dog owners to research and educate themselves on the foods that are safe and appropriate for their dogs to consume. By avoiding the 20 foods listed in this article, dog owners can ensure their furry friends stay healthy and happy. Remember, when in doubt, it is always best to consult with a veterinarian before introducing any new foods to your dog’s diet. Your fur baby’s well-being is of utmost importance, so it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to their nutrition.

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