Avoid Foods Dangerous for Your Dog

Sharing your food with your dog may seem like a fun way to bond, but it can be dangerous to beloved pet. Some common human foods can lead to severe symptoms in your dog, and others may even lead to death. If you want to feed your dog human food, know which foods to avoid to keep them safe. Never feed your dog food items such as chocolate, many fruit seeds, alcohol, products containing caffeine, grapes, and onions.


Avoiding Dangerous Food Items

  1. Refrain from giving your dog alcohol. You should never give your dog alcohol. Foods or drinks with alcohol in them can cause problems for your dog. This includes beer, liquor, and wine.[1]
    • Alcohol can cause digestive problems like vomiting and diarrhea, problems breathing and with coordination, tremors, and coma. Alcohol can also lead to death in dogs.
  2. Keep your dog away from caffeine. Caffeine and products containing caffeine can cause problems for your dog. Caffeine is included in coffee, tea, chocolate, and sodas. These can cause diarrhea and vomiting, panting, excessive urination and thirst, hyperactivity, seizures, and tremors. It can also lead to death.[2]
    • Dark chocolate is the most dangerous chocolate. White chocolate has the lowest level.
  3. Avoid giving your dog dairy. Dairy products can cause problems for dogs. These include milk, cheese, and yogurt. Dogs are lactose intolerant, so they cannot digest milk. This leads to digestive distress, such as diarrhea, gas, and bloating.[3]
  4. Refrain from giving your dog macadamia nuts. Macadamia nuts can cause almost immediate problems in dogs. Within 12 hours, your dog may show weakness and depression, start vomiting, experience tremors, and suffer from hypothermia. You should refrain from giving your dog any nuts due to the oils and fats.[4]
    • These symptoms may last for up to two days.
  5. Avoid foods containing xylitol. Xylitol has been proven dangerous for dogs. Since xylitol is a sugar substitute, it doesn’t affect a human’s blood sugar level. However, in dogs, the xylitol can trigger a dangerous level of insulin to release from the pancreas.[5]
    • Xylitol can be found in sugar-free candy, breath mints, baked goods, medications, and toothpaste.

Monitoring Your Dog’s Fruits and Vegetables

  1. Do not give your dog raisins and grapes. Grapes and raisins can be extremely harmful to your dog. There are substances found in grapes that are toxic to dogs, even though experts don’t know what it is. Don’t give this to your dog because it can cause kidney failure.[1]
  2. Avoid fruit seeds. The fruit part of the fruits are okay for dogs, but the seeds or pits are toxic. Apple seeds and peach pits contain chemicals that release cyanide in the body when it’s digested. Pear seeds contain small amounts of arsenic. Also be wary of persimmon seeds or plum pits.[6]
    • Generally, this only occurs when a large amount of seeds are chewed and eaten.
    • To reduce the risk, make sure to remove the core so your dog doesn’t accidentally get a seed.
  3. Refrain from feeding your dog onions and chives. Onions can be extremely harmful to your dog. This is true for any form of the onion, whether it is dry, raw, cooked, or powder. It can even harm your dog if it is in other foods.[6]
    • Onions are toxic and may lead to anemia or damage your dog’s red blood cells.
  4. Avoid avocado. You may think avocado is healthy and delicious, you should never give it to your dog. It contains something called persin, which can cause allergic reactions to dogs and lead to unpleasant side effects.[7]
    • This includes avocado products, like guacamole.
  5. Discourage your dog from chewing on corn cobs. Corn cobs can cause severe problems if your dog eats them. The cob ends up in the small intestine and gets stuck there. It will need to be removed, and if it’s not, your dog could die.[6]
    • Corn can be digested by your dog, but too much corn can cause digestive upsets.

Using Caution With Meat Products

  1. Avoid giving your dog raw fish. Raw fish can lead to a vitamin B deficiency, which can cause problems. Raw salmon and raw trout are dangerous for dogs because when they are raw, they sometimes contain bacteria-carrying parasites that can prove fatal.[6]
    • Cooked fish should be okay for dogs.
  2. Refrain from giving your dog raw meat. Raw meat has the potential of containing harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella or E. Coli. These bacteria can cause digestive issues, such as vomiting or diarrhea. Only give your dog cooked meat.[8]
    • This includes raw eggs. Raw eggs can cause vitamin deficiencies and cause negative symptoms in your dog.
    • If you are unsure about the type of meat to give your dog, talk to your vet.
  3. Use caution when giving your dog bones. Bones can be dangerous for your dog. Bones soften during cooking, so cooked bones can easily splinter in your dog’s mouth as they chew on it. This can cause injuries in the mouth or become a choking hazard. Small chicken bones or fish bones can splinter and cause problems.[2]
    • Larger raw, uncooked bones are okay for the dog. Talk to your vet if you are unsure.

Eliminating Bad Habits

  1. Keep your dog away from old food. Food that is spoiled or moldy can cause problems for your dog. They may get sick from the bacteria and end up with a variety of symptoms. Make sure to properly throw food away so your dog can’t get in it.[8]
  2. Stop giving your dog leftovers. Many people give their dogs leftovers, especially after your dog has sat there and watched you eat with puppy eyes. While you won’t get sick from your plate, your dog might. Avoid giving them any leftovers.[6]
    • Dogs are sensitive to common foods, like onions, capsaicin found in spicy foods, fat, dairy, sugar, and nuts. They may come into contact with any of this through leftovers.
  3. Buy foods that do not contain artificial preservatives. Many dog food companies are putting artificial preservatives in dog food now to extend the shelf life. These chemical preservatives can be toxic for dogs. When buying dog food, avoid the following ingredients:[9]
    • Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
    • Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
    • Propylene glycol
    • Ethoxyquin
    • TBHQ
    • Propyl gallate


  • If your dog has gotten into any of these foods and is experiencing any symptoms, take them to the vet immediately.

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