What NOT to Feed Dogs

A lot of human foods are perfectly safe for dogs. However, many of us are not fully aware for the extensive list of foods dogs shouldn’t eat. When getting a new puppy, it is especially important to be educated on what not to feed dogs.

Some of these foods may or may not be allergens for your unique dog. So when giving dogs anything new, be sure to give them a small amount and watch closely for an allergic reaction.

Never Give These 22 Things to Your Dog

  1. Xylitol (Found in some peanut butter, gum, toothpaste, mouthwash, candy, etc.)
  2. Macadamia Nuts & Almonds
  3. Cooked Bones
  4. Garlic, Onions, Chives, & Leeks
  5. Apple Seeds
  6. Dairy
  7. Avocados
  8. Fat Trimmings
  9. Peaches & Plums
  10. Alcohol/Hops
  11. Raw Meat & Fish
  12. Sugar/Chocolate
  13. Salt
  14. Tobacco
  15. Grapes/Raisins
  16. Raw Dough (Yeast)
  17. Coffee, Tea, & Soft Drinks (Caffeine)
  18. Commercial White Bread
  19. Tomato & Rhubarb Leaves
  20. Raw Eggs
  21. Human Medication/Vitamins
  22. Cinnamon

Scroll down to find out why you shouldn’t give these foods to your dog!


1. Xylitol

Xylitol is a sweetener that is sometimes used in candy, gum, diet foods, peanut butter, toothpaste, mouthwash, and baked goods. While not toxic to humans, even a small amount can cause huge health risks for dogs. At first, symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and coordination problems. Later on, dogs may experience seizures and liver failure. [1] [2]

Yeah… This is serious!

2. Macadamia Nuts & Almonds

Macadamia nuts are probably the wort nut you can feed your dog! According the WebMd,

Just six raw or roasted macadamia nuts can make a dog sick. Look for symptoms like  muscle shakes, vomiting, high temperature, and weakness in his back legs. Eating chocolate with the nuts will make symptoms worse, maybe even leading to death.

WebMd [2]

Almonds, while not toxic, can cause your dog to choke or cause esophageal tearing if not chewed properly. [2]

3. Cooked Bones

Once animal bones are cooked, they become soft and brittle. This makes it easier for them to break and splinter. And can cause the bones to become lodged in your dog’s throat or damage the digestive system. [2], [3]

4. Garlic, Onions, Chives, & Leeks

Onions, garlic, chives, and leeks be it dehydrated, powdered, fresh or cooked, contain disulfides and sulfoxides (thiosulphate). These chemicals can injure red blood cells and cause anemia. Symptoms include vomiting, weakness, and breathing problems. [1], [3]

5. Apple Seeds

The chemical, amygdlin, found in the casing of apple seeds can be harmful in large amounts. When digested, it releases cyanide which can then invade the bloodstream. [1]

6. Dairy

Feeding your dog excess dairy can cause digestive problems similar to lactose intolerance in humans. [2]

7. Avocados

The avocado seed can become lodged in the digestive system which could definitely be fatal. Along with the seed, the bark, leaves, and fruit contain persin. This is fungicidal toxin that isn’t harmful for humans who aren’t allergic to it, but too much can be harmful for dogs causing diarrhea and vomiting. [2]

8. Fat Trimmings

Raw and cooked fat trimmings, as well as fatty foods, can cause pancreatitis. [1]

Certain breeds like miniature schnauzers, Shetland sheepdogs, and Yorkshire terriers appear to be more susceptible to a bout of pancreatitis than other breeds.

Veterinary Pet Insurance from Nationwide Insurance [4]

9. Peaches & Plums

The fleshy parts of these fruits are fine. However, the pits – seeds – are large enough for your dog to choke on. The pits also contain cyanide which is poisonous to dogs and humans. [3]

10. Alcohol/Hops

Alcohol affects dogs the same way it does people, but much worse. Ingesting alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, breathing problems, and may even lead to death.

The Pet Poison Helpline lists hops – a plant used in the process of brewing beer – as a possible toxin. [7]

When ingested by dogs (or rarely, cats), signs of hop poisoning include malignant hyperthermia (with temperatures exceeding 105⁰F/40.6⁰C), increased breathing, a racing heart rate, anxiety, vomiting, abnormal clotting, and even death. 

Pet Poison Helpline [7]

11. Raw Meat & Fish

Raw meat in general is known to carry harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning in human and dogs. But giving your dog raw fish can cause some SERIOUS problems. According to Pet Health Network salmon poisoning disease is among the most serious adverse affects of giving your dog raw fish. [5]

Contrary to the name, salmon poisoning disease is not a poisoning at all. But rather an infectious disease caused by a parasite called Nanophyetus, which becomes infected with a rickettsial organism called Neorickettsia helminthoeca. It’s this microorganism that causes salmon poisoning disease.

Surprisingly, it’s not exclusive to salmon; perhaps even more surprisingly, the organism responsible for the disease is not harmful to fish.  

Pet Health Network [5]

12. Sugar/Chocolate

Theobromine is the substance in chocolate that causes many problems. Darker chocolates with less sweetener pose a greater risk of toxicity compared to overly processed chocolate like white chocolate. Depending on how much chocolate your dog ingests, symptoms could be fatal. [7]

 Ingestion in toxic amounts can result in vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, elevated heart rate, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and possibly even death (though death is rare in pets who receive prompt and appropriate treatment).

Pet Poison Helpline- Chocolate

13. Salt

Feeding dogs too much salt can cause sodium ion poisoning .

Salt poisoning in dogs and cats results in signs of vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, lethargy, incoordination, excessive thirst or urination. In severe cases, tremors, seizures, coma, and even death are possible.

Pet Poison Helpline- Salt [7]

14. Tobacco

Consumption of tobacco can cause a lot of problems for your dog. According to Pet Poison Helpline, it can cause…

initial low heart and respiratory rates which then change to overstimulation, uncontrolled urination/defecation, tremors, seizures, paralysis and death.

Pet Poison Helpline [7]

15. Grapes/Raisins

These little fruits can cause big problems. Even a small amount make dogs very sick and can cause kidney failure. Early on, your dog may vomit repeatedly. Lethargy follows soon after. [2]

16. Raw Dough (Yeast)

Because yeast causes dough to rise, if eaten raw, dough will expand in your dogs abdomen causing pain and discomfort. Another side effect of eating raw dough is alcohol poisoning. This is caused when the yeast ferments and produces alcohol to make the dough rise. [2]

17. Coffee, Tea, & Soft Drinks (Caffeine)

According to the Pet Poison Helpline,

Depending on the amount [of caffeine] ingested, signs of hyperactivity, restlessness, vomiting, elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, and elevated body temperature may be seen. In severe cases, seizures, collapse and death are possible.

Pet Poison Helpline [7]

Coffee beans, grounds, coco, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, some supplements (like pre-workout and weight-loss supplements), and chocolate all contain caffeine that could be very harmful to your dog. [1]

18. Commercial White Bread

White bread bought from the super market contains high levels of oils and sugar. This can cause pancreatitis, especially if your dog eats a lot of bread. [3]

19. Tomato & Rhubarb Leaves

These contain oxalates. Which can cause, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, tremors and bloody urine.

Canine Journal [1]

20. Raw Eggs

Raw eggs can host many harmful bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli. Feeding your dog raw eggs white can also cause a biotin deficiency.

Thoroughly cooked eggs are a great source of protein and are good for soothing your pet’s upset stomach. [6]

21. Human Medication/Vitamins

Any over the counter or prescription medications not recommended by your pet’s veterinarian are not safe for animal consumption.

Human vitamins often contain 100% of the recommended daily amount of various minerals. This could cause a mineral overdose for your dog. The most dangerous vitamin is prenatal vitamins, which have a higher dose of iron and can cause iron toxicity in pets. If your dog ingests a bunch of prenatal vitamins (or other vitamins with a high dosage of iron), you should call your vet immediately.

CanineJournal.com [1]

22. Cinnamon

While cinnamon is not actually toxic to dogs, it’s probably best to avoid it. Cinnamon and its oils can irritate the inside of dogs’ mouths, making them uncomfortable and sick. It can lower a dog’s blood sugar too much and can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, increased, or decreased heart rate, and even liver disease. If they inhale it in powder form, cinnamon can cause difficulty breathing, coughing, and choking.

American Kennel Club- Human Foods Dogs Can and Can’t Eat [6]

Foods That Are Toxic For Dogs
Source: CanineJournal.com

Sources:

Canine Journal [1]

FETCH by WebMd [2]

Good Housekeeping [3]

Pet Insurance by Nationwide [4]

Pet Health Network- Salmon Poisoning Disease [5]

American Kennel Club [6]

Pet Poison Helpline [7]

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