Twenty Foods You Should Never Feed Your Dog

Toxic foods for dogs.

toxic foods for dogs

If you’ve ever owned or been around a friendly, food-motivated dog, you probably know that dogs are true omnivores-i.e. They’ll eat almost anything that intrigues them or smells interesting. We all know that house plants can be toxic to dogs but so can many human foods.

There is a silver lining to this, though. Food-motivated dogs are generally easy to train, especially once you get a positive motivation system set up.

The downside is that there are some things that dogs should definitely NOT eat. Let’s take a quick tour of the top 20 things not to feed your dog that should never be consumed, even accidentally.

What foods are toxic for dogs?


Macadamia Nuts. Dogs love nuts, and generally speaking, that’s okay as long as the quantity is low. Not with macadamia nuts, though. They can quickly cause neurological issues for dogs, even when the amount eaten is small. The symptoms include overall weakness, tremors, and signs of hypothermia, so if you keep macadamia nuts around, seasonally or otherwise, and you see signs of these symptoms, call your vet immediately.

Xylitol. Most folks use artificial sweeteners to at least some extent, which makes it easy for dogs to get into them. The consequences can be severe and even deadly for dogs, though, so make sure this particular sweetener stays on a high shelf when you’re done using it.

Avocados. Tempting though it may be to give your dog a little guacamole, avocados can be one of the worst things to feed your dog. The problem is that avocados make their own fungicide, a substance called persin, and dogs are allergic to it across the board.

Alcohol. On the liquid side of the ledger, nearly everyone has enjoyed a video of a dog eagerly lapping up a bowlful of beer. The problem is that it intoxicates dogs much faster, which means it also induces alcohol poisoning much sooner, so make sure your dog stays a teetotaler.

Coffee. This stimulant may be liquid gold for plenty of humans, but it can cause heart issues or muscle tremors in dogs, so a jolt of joe for your best friend is a must to avoid.

Milk. Is your dog lactose intolerant? Yup! Dogs lack the enzyme necessary to break down lactose, which means they should definitely steer clear of milk.

Grapes and Raisins. Some vets believe it’s the skin of grapes and raisins that causes issues for dogs. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to avoid both foods altogether.

Bones. This is especially true with cheaper, low-quality bones. Bone fragments can cause all kinds of nasty internal issues, which makes a bone a particularly lousy treat.

Sugar. Dogs love sweet treats as much as we do, but that doesn’t mean they’re a good idea. The potential issues are the same as they are for humans: obesity and diabetes, but it takes a lot less sugar for your dog to have these issues, especially with continued consumption.

Chocolate. The issue with chocolate is a stimulant called theobromine, which causes problems similar to caffeine. The good news is that dogs would have to go on a major chocolate binge for the symptoms to become severe.

Onions, Garlic, and Chives. These three foods, which are all from the genus of plants, are not the spice of life for your dog. They irritate the digestive system, and large quantities can cause anemia by depleting red blood cells.

Peaches, Plums, and Apricots. Tasty though they may be, the pits in all three of these fruits can cause bowel obstructions. They also contain small amounts of cyanide, so eating them is a true double whammy for a dog.

Gum. Stop! Pick up that piece of chewed gum, you just dropped on the ground! If your dog happens to scarf it down, you may have a bowel obstruction to deal with, and many brands of gum contain Xylitol, too.

Raw Eggs. This one seems like a bit of a puzzle since raw eggs were recommended for a long time for a shiny coat. But there’s an enzyme in eggs that interferes with vitamin absorption, so they’re definitely not a good breakfast choice for your dog.

Salt. A small amount of salt is harmless, but the flavor is very enticing, and downing too much is very toxic for canines, so stash that salt shaker in a safe, dog-proof place.

Persimmons. There’s one weird item on every list, and persimmons get the nod here. They contain a chemical that can react with stomach acid in a way that obstructs the intestines. Not good.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SparkyGo. 

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