Foods You Should Not Feed To Your Dog

Foods You Should


Feed To Your Dog

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There are certain foods dogs shouldn’t eat because these foods contain ingredients that can be harmful and even toxic for them. These ingredients can cause many health risks for dogs, for example, some can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and some more severe health problems, such as kidney failure or death.

In this article, I have listed foods and substances, which can be dangerous for dogs.

It’s important to acknowledge that this list does not include all the foods and substances that aren’t safe for your dog. If you are unsure whether food is safe for your dog or not, it’s better to be more cautious and not feed the food to him, or you can contact your vet.

If you suspect that your dog has eaten something harmful to him, contact your vet immediately. Not every dog will experience the symptoms listed, but it is better to be cautious when considering your furry friend’s health and safety.

1. Chocolate

Dogs can be very attracted to the smell of chocolate which is why you should keep chocolate and chocolate-containing foods out of your dog’s reach. 


Why? Because chocolate is toxic for them since it contains a substance called theobromine. The level of theobromine in chocolate defines how dangerous it is for your dog. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate contain the highest amount of theobromine making them more toxic compared to white chocolate and milk chocolate because they contain lower amounts of the substance.


When a dog eats chocolate, the theobromine invades the bloodstream and can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, or even death. 


The severity of the symptoms depends on the amount of chocolate the dog has eaten. Also, size, age, breed, and overall health can affect how severe the symptoms are since some dogs are more sensitive to the substance than others.

2. Grapes and raisins

The reason why grapes and raisins are toxic for dogs is still a bit mystery. It’s suspected that a substance in grapes and raisins called O-methylated flavonoids is what is making them toxic. 

Although there is no certainty as to what causes harm to dogs in grapes and raisins, what is certain is that no amount of them is safe for dogs to eat. For some dogs, even a tiny amount can cause serious damage to the kidneys.

Other symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, lethargy, tremors and seizures.

3. Avocado

Avocados contain a substance called persin, which is what makes the fruit toxic for dogs, especially if digested in large amounts. Persin can be found in many parts of the avocado. The fruit, leaves, bark, and seed include this substance. The ripeness of the fruit affects the level of persin in the fruit.

If your dog eats avocado he may experience symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty in breathing, and also in more severe cases fluid accumulation in the lungs, which can be life-threatening.


4. Nuts

Nuts, especially macadamia nuts, are toxic for a dog. Macadamia nuts can cause vomiting, lethargy, tremors, and hyperthermia.

Also, walnuts and pecans can be harmful to dogs since they can cause digestive problems and pancreatitis.

It’s best to keep any food items that include these types of nuts out of your dog’s reach.

5. Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant, and if ingested in large amounts, it can have severe effects on dogs. Like chocolate, caffeine also contains theobromine.

Dogs metabolize caffeine more slowly than humans and that makes dogs more sensitive to it. This means that even a small amount of caffeine affects dogs’ health. The older and smaller the dog is, the more caffeine impacts the dog’s health. Also, pre-existing conditions have an impact.

Your dog may experience symptoms such as restlessness, heart palpitations, rapid breathing, muscle tremors, and seizures, and more severe symptoms can be coma or even death.

Coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks are products that include caffeine so it is best to keep your dog away from such products.

6. Alcohol

Even a tiny amount of alcohol can be dangerous and toxic for dogs. It’s because their bodies are unable to metabolize it like humans. 

When a dog digests alcohol, it rapidly enters its bloodstream. It can lead to alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, difficulty breathing, and even coma and death.

Keep any food items that include alcohol out of your dog’s reach.

7. Dairy

Like humans, some dogs are also lactose intolerant.

While some dogs can tolerate small amounts of dairy products, some have difficulty digesting lactose. Lactose is a sugar found in dairy products.

When lactose is not properly broken down it can cause some problems. These problems are gas, bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Dairy products like cheese, milk, and yogurt can be tolerated in small amounts by some dogs. If you want to add dairy to your dog’s diet, give it in moderation. If digestive problems occur or you have other concerns about your dog’s digestive health and his diet, it’s best to contact a vet.

8. Raw or uncooked meat

Raw or uncooked meat can sometimes be toxic for dogs because it can have harmful bacteria in it. These bacteria can for example be Salmonella or E. coli bacteria, which can cause food poisoning.

Dogs can still get sick from consuming raw or uncooked meat even though dogs generally are more resistant to the type of bacteria mentioned above than humans. 

The symptoms dogs might experience are vomiting, diarrhea, fever, dehydration, lethargy, kidney failure, and even death.

Sometimes raw diets lack the needed nutrients and therefore can cause health issues. If you are considering giving your dog a raw food diet it’s best that you consult with a vet and, that you make sure the diet is safe and works for your dog.

9. Salt

Salty foods aren’t great for dogs because if a dog consumes too much salt it can lead to sodium poisoning. This can cause symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures.

So avoid giving too salty foods to your dog and it is generally good to keep these types of foods out of his reach.

10. Sugary and fatty foods

Sugary and fatty foods can be bad for dogs because eating them can cause weight gain and obesity for a dog. This can cause a lot of stress on his joints and organs, which can cause diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, or arthritis. 

Also, sugary foods cause dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease and other health problems can occur. Fatty foods can also cause gastrointestinal problems such as pancreatitis. High amounts of fat in a dog’s diet can trigger inflammation of the pancreas. This can lead to other symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ache, organ failure, or even death.

Dogs have different nutritional needs than humans and sugary and fatty foods don’t have any nutritional benefit to dogs. It’s okay to give your dog sugary treats occasionally but it shouldn’t be part of his regular diet. 

Make sure you give your dog a diet that includes protein and healthy fats, rather than giving him treats that include tons of sugar or foods that include unhealthy fats, such as bacon and fried foods.

11. Xylitol and other artificial sweeteners

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener used in sugar-free gum, toothpaste, some vitamins, and even in some peanut butter brands. 

Even in small amounts, this substitute is extremely toxic for dogs. Xylitol can cause a rapid release of insulin in a dog’s body which leads to a hazardous drop in blood sugar levels. This can cause many other symptoms such as vomiting, seizures, loss of coordination, liver failure, and even death. 

If your dog has consumed xylitol take him to the vet immediately since a quick treatment is critical when preventing severe symptoms like death.

Since xylitol can be found in so many products you must read the labels of any product before you give it to your dog. Keep any product including it out of your dog’s reach.

Xylitol isn’t the only artificial sweetener that’s toxic for dogs. For example, erythritol and stevia can cause digestive problems and hypoglycemia in dogs.

12. Cooked bones

Cooked bones such as chicken or turkey bones, can be harmful to dogs because they can break and cause blockages or cuts in a dog’s digestive system.

Make sure you are giving your dog bones to nibble on that are made specifically for dogs.

13. Human medications

There are many medications meant for humans that even in small amounts can be very toxic for dogs. Never give your dog human medications since they can be very dangerous and even deadly for him.

Many over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) can cause severe liver and kidney damage. Also, anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin can cause symptoms such as bleeding, ulcers, and perforation of the stomach or intestines, therefore being very harmful to dogs.

Other medications such as sleeping pills, antidepressants, and blood pressure medications can be extremely toxic for dogs.

Keep all medications out of your dog’s reach.

14. Some fruits

Some fruits, especially fruits with pits, can be harmful to dogs. 

Fruits with pits can cause choking or intestinal blockage in dogs. So avoid giving cherries, plums, and peaches to your dog.

15. Certain vegetables

While many vegetables are safe and even healthy for dogs to eat, some can be harmful. For example, onions and garlic (raw, cooked, dehydrated) can damage your dog’s red blood cells and lead to anemia.

Corn on the cob is a food that many dogs might be tempted to eat, but it can be a chocking hazard. It can also cause intestinal blockages.

Other vegetables that can be harmful to a dog are tomatoes, mushrooms, and raw potatoes because these can cause digestive problems.

Remember that the severity of the symptoms depends on the amount of substance the dog has eaten, the size of the dog, age, breed, and overall health can affect how severe the symptoms are since some dogs are more sensitive to the certain substance than others. 

The best way to prevent your dog from getting side effects from any food items and substances mentioned above is to keep them out of his reach.

Keep in mind that this list doesn’t include every single food item or other stuff that can be harmful and toxic for dogs. If you are unsure if something you are about to give to your dog is safe or not, it’s better not to give it to him. It’s better to be safe than sorry when considering your dog’s health.

What to do if your dog has ingested something harmful?

If your dog has ingested something toxic and harmful, it’s important that you don’t hesitate and you act quickly. This way you minimize the potential harm.

Here I have listed a few steps to take if your dog consumes something mentioned in the list above or something else you are unsure of.

  1. If possible try to remove as much of the substance from your dog’s mouth or from his coat to prevent any further consumption.

2. Call your veterinary emergency clinic immediately. They can tell you what should be done next based on what your dog has consumed.

3. You must know what your dog has consumed, so you can inform the amount and the substance to the vet. Therefore your vet knows the severity of the situation and she can guide you on what to do next. So try your best to identify what your dog has eaten.

4. Don’t try to make your dog vomit or give him any medications unless the vet instructs you otherwise. Some substances can cause harm if they are vomited up or if medication is given incorrectly.

5. Watch your dog if you see any symptoms of poisoning or signs of other health problems or risks.

6. Your vet can instruct you to bring your dog to the clinic for treatment for getting rid of the toxin from the system and supportive care to control symptoms.

In conclusion, to avoid your dog consuming anything inappropriate for him it is best to keep such things away from him and keep an eye on him as much as possible.

Book recommendations

Plants And Foods That Are Toxic To Pets

If you want to learn more about foods and other ingredients that are toxic for your furry friend, I recommend you to read this book.

In this book, there are more toxic and harmful foods, plants, chemicals, and medications that are common but you should avoid giving them to your pet.

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