25 Foods Dogs Can’t Eat

Dog Health Recent April 5, 2024
25 Foods Dogs Can't Eat
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25 Foods Dogs Can’t Eat

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25 Foods Dogs Can't Eat

While it’s okay to give your dog human food on occasion, there are some foods that are not safe for your pup to eat. Many of these foods will cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or worse.

In this article, we have listed some common foods that may be found in or around your house. These items can make your dog sick, and many of them are considered toxic.

1. Chocolate

Chocolate is a food that contains toxic substances called methylxanthines. Therefore, it is good not to have chocolate within your dog’s reach.

Just a small piece of chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can cause diarrhea and vomiting. A large amount can result in seizures, abnormal heart function, or even death. These are stimulants that stop a dog’s metabolic process so if your dog manages to get ahold of some chocolate, contact a veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline as soon as possible.

2. Garlic & Onions

Garlic and onions are part of the Allium family and are five times more toxic to dogs than the rest of the Allium plants.

Garlic can cause anemia in dogs, creating side effects like pale gums, elevated heart rate, and weakness. Poisoning from garlic and onions often has delayed symptoms, so watch him for a few days if you think your dog may have ingested some.

3. Xylitol

Xylitol is one of the deadliest human foods for dogs and should be avoided entirely. It is an artificial sweetener that is most commonly found in gum and a variety of sugar-free food items. It is often sold in packets that can be stirred into drinks.

If your pup gets a hold of xylitol, it will cause his body to release too much insulin, which will quickly lead to liver damage. It may also cause seizures and brain damage, as well as lead to death.

4. Alcohol

25 Foods Dogs Can't Eat

Alcohol has a significant impact on dogs, even in small doses, and causes intoxication the same way it does in humans.

Alcohol in dogs can lead to sickness and damage to the central nervous system. Just a few minor licks of alcohol can make your dog start vomiting or have diarrhea.

4. Grapes & Raisins

The active ingredient in grapes and raisins that causes the toxin is unknown. Raisins are in many of the foods that we love to eat, such as cakes, biscuits, and cereals, so it’s not just the fruit form we should be concerned with.

Both grapes and raisins can cause severe liver damage and kidney failure. If you believe your dog has eaten either, look for vomiting, tremors, lethargy, and dehydration.

6. Macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts are part of the Proteaceae family and are some of the most poisonous foods for dogs. You should never feed your dog macadamia nuts.

They can cause vomiting, increased body temperature, inability to walk, and even lethargy. More so, they can affect the nervous system.

7. Tobacco

Cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco (snuff) are dangerous to your dog, just as they are to humans. Even a cigarette butt can be deadly to your dog if he eats enough of them.

Products that contain nicotine can cause excitement, vomiting, and tremors and are usually followed by fatal paralysis.

8. Cinnamon

While cinnamon is not actually toxic to dogs, it is best to avoid it. If your dog inhales it in powder form, it can cause difficulty breathing, coughing, and choking.

Cinnamon can irritate the inside of a dog’s mouth, causing discomfort. It can also lower your dog’s blood sugar too much and lead to diarrhea, vomiting, increased, decreased heart rate, and even liver disease.

9. Lemons & Limes

25 Foods Dogs Can't Eat

The peel of a lemon or lime contains a substance called psoralen.

While this is not the worst thing your dog can eat, it may cause an upset stomach and diarrhea.

10. Almonds

Almonds may not be as toxic to dogs as macadamia nuts are, but they can block the esophagus or even tear the windpipe if not chewed thoroughly.

However, salted almonds are especially dangerous because they can increase water retention, potentially fatal to dogs prone to heart disease.

11. Salt

A little bit of salt is acceptable for your dog but be aware of how much your dog is eating and keep the quantity at a minimum.

Too much salt can lead to dehydration and even sodium ion poisoning in dogs.

12. Raw yeast dough

If eaten raw, the dough can rise and ferment in your dog’s stomach. When making bread with yeast, avoid giving any of it to your dog.

The fermentation in the dough can cause alcohol poisoning, and the rising will stretch your dog’s stomach, causing pain.

13. Coffee & Tea

Dogs do not handle caffeine well, so keep them away from coffee grounds or tea bags. Caffeine is found in coffee, soda, chocolate, and many other foods and drinks that you may not even expect.

Caffeine can negatively affect a dog’s nervous systems and lead to elevated heart rates, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and seizures.

14. Mushrooms

The severity of mushroom-induced illness depends on the kind and amount of mushrooms ingested. Its best to keep them all away from your dog.

Many types of mushrooms contain many different toxins that may cause kidney and liver failure, vomiting, diarrhea, hallucinations, and damage to red blood cells.

15. Ice Cream

25 Foods Dogs Can't Eat

Ice cream contains lots of sugar so it is best not to offer it to your pup.  Try to avoid giving your dog milk products and offer frozen strawberries, raspberries, apples, and pineapples instead.

Some dogs have an intolerance to lactose and this can cause stomach pain and diarrhea.

16. Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob could consequently be fatal if your dog eats it entirely.

While the corn is digested by your dog, the cob can cause a blockage in your dog’s intestine.

17. Nutmeg

Nutmeg contains a toxic substance called myristicin but your dog would have to consume a lot of it before it caused concern.

If your dog does ingest too much nutmeg, it may lead to seizures, stomach discomfort, dry mouth, disorientation, and increased heart rate.

18. Avocados

Every part of the fruit has a strain of fatty acid called persin, which is toxic to your dog in large quantities. While not all parts of an avocado are 100% bad for your dog, it is best to avoid.

If your dog ingests any part of an avocado, it is a good idea to watch them for 24-48 hours, and report any vomiting, diarrhea or signs of abdominal issues to your veterinarian.

19. Spicy Food

Extra heat added to a dish can be unpleasant for your pup.

Spicy food could potentially cause vomiting, stomach ulcers or diarrhea in your dog.

20. Milk & Dairy Products

Milk and dairy are like ice cream and can cause problems for dogs with an intolerance. It is best to avoid it.

They can cause diarrhea and gas in dogs who suffer this condition.

21. Broccoli

Broccoli contains isothiocyanate, which may be harmful to dogs in very large doses. Also, broccoli stalks are very fibrous and can cause a choking hazard if given in large pieces.

If your dog eats a large amount of broccoli, expect an upset stomach, significant health problems or even death.

22. Apple seeds

Apple seeds contain cyanide, which could be harmful to dogs if eaten in large quantities.

Symptoms of cyanide poisoning in both humans and dogs include breathing issues, bright red gums, weakness, dilated pupils, and even death.

23. Apple Cores

Apple cores can be quite difficult to chew and could be a choking hazard in smaller dogs or puppies. A small seed is unlikely to cause much harm, but its best to avoid actively giving them to your dog.

The flesh of apples is safe for dogs to eat, so it is fine for them to have properly prepared fruit.

24. Baking Soda & Powder

When used in baking, the chemical balance changes, meaning that many baked goods are just fine for our dogs.

If your dog eats a large quantity of baking soda or baking powder, it is known to cause tummy upsets and electrolyte imbalances.

25. Raw Bones

Raw bones have been known to carry potentially harmful bacteria like salmonella and E.coli. It is better if you give your pup dog-safe treats and toys to chew on instead.

Raw bones can cause illness, but there is also a risk of germs being spread to humans.

Final Thoughts

Dogs are curious animals and given an opportunity, they will eat just about anything. If your dog eats anything toxic or harmful, it is best to get them to a vet as soon as possible. The earlier that treatment is started, the sooner your dog will recover.

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Amy Towry is a Certified NAVC Pet Nutritionist and pet lover. She is the proud owner of two rescue cats and a rescue dog and her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care, nutrition, and product reviews.
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