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15 People Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat

Dog counter surfing looking at a stack of doughnuts and pastries
There are a lot of “people foods” your dog should never eat and this time, it has nothing to do with his waistline. In fact some are downright dangerous for him and this list may surprise you.

1. Your Medicine

Reaction to a drug prescribed for humans is the most common cause of poisoning in dogs. Just as you would do for your children, keep all medicines out of your dog's reach. And, never give your dog any over-the-counter medicine unless your vet tells you to. Ingredients such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen found in pain relievers and cold medicine can be deadly for your dog. 

2. Chocolate

White puppy looking at a slice of chocolate cakeMost people know that chocolate is bad for dogs. The toxic part is theobromine. It's in all kinds of chocolate, even white. The most dangerous kinds, though, are dark chocolate, chocolate mulch, and unsweetened baking chocolate. Eating it, even just licking the icing bowl, can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhea, and be excessively thirsty. It can also cause abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and death. 

3. Alcohol

Dachshund puppy trying to drink a glass of beer
Alcohol contains ethanol which is toxic for canines.

Symptoms include staggering and your dog may also be confused. He may vomit, but this can happen only 1 to 2 hours after the ingestion of alcohol. If you notice that your dog has ingested alcohol, you should induce vomiting, to prevent the ethanol from being absorbed in the bloodstream.
High amounts can cause cardiac arrest and death. 

4. Onions 

Onions - powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated - can destroy a dog's red blood cells, leading to anemia. That can happen even with the onion powder found in some baby food. An occasional small dose is probably OK. But eating a large quantity just once or eating smaller amounts regularly can cause poisoning. Symptoms of anemia include weakness, vomiting, little interest in food, dullness, and breathlessness. 

5. Coffee, Tea, and Other Caffeine 


Dog yawning sitting at a table with coffee being poured in a mug

Caffeine in large enough quantities can be fatal and there is no antidote. 

Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, fits, and bleeding. 

In addition to tea and coffee - including beans and grounds - caffeine can be found in cocoa, chocolate, colas, and stimulant drinks as well as cold medicines and pain killers. 

6. Macadamia Nuts

Dogs shouldn't eat macadamia nuts or foods with them because they can be fatal. As few as six raw or roasted macadamias can make them ill. Symptoms of poisoning include muscle tremors, weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters, vomiting, elevated body temperature, and rapid heart rate. Eating chocolate with the nuts will make symptoms worse, possibly leading to death. 

7. Grapes and Raisins

Dog lying down looking at green grapes and red raisins
Grapes and raisins have often been used as treats for dogs. But it's not a good idea so don’t give your dog a slice of Christmas pudding as a treat! 

Although it isn't clear why, grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure. And just a small amount can make a dog ill. 

Repeated vomiting is an early sign. Within a day, they become lethargic and depressed. The best prevention is to keep these off counters and other places your dog can reach. 

8. Persimmons, Peaches, and Plums 


Dog sniffing persimmons and peaches
The problem is the seeds or pits. The seeds from persimmons can cause inflammation of the small intestine in dogs. They can also cause intestinal obstructionObstruction is also a possibility if a dog eats the pit from a peach or plum. 
Plus, peach and plum pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous to both humans and dogs. The difference is that we know not to eat them. Dogs don't... 

9. Candy and Gum 


Dog wearing a hat next to a gingerbread house

Candy, gum, toothpaste and mouthwash, baked goods (e.g. cupcakes, cookies) and some diet foods (including peanut butter, protein bars) are sweetened with XylitolIt can cause more insulin to circulate through your dog's body which causes his blood sugar to drop and can also cause liver failure. 

Initial symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination. Eventually, he may have seizures. Liver failure can occur within just a few days. Hypoglycemia is usually evident within an hour or two after a dog ingests Xylitol, but symptoms are occasionally delayed for several hours. 

Treatment depends on how quickly it is given. Vomiting is induced in cases where the Xylitol has just been ingested.

10. Fat Trimmings and Bones

Table scraps often contain meat fat that a human didn't eat as well as bones. Both are dangerous for dogs. Fat trimmed from meat, both cooked and uncooked, can cause pancreatitis. And, although it seems natural to give a dog a bone, he can choke on it. Bones can also splinter and cause an obstruction or lacerations of your dog's digestive system. It's best to just forget about the doggie bag. 

11. Raw Eggs

Dog looking at a raw egg on a kitchen counter
There are two problems with giving your dog raw eggs. 
The first is the possibility of food poisoning from bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli.
 The second is that an enzyme in raw eggs interferes with the absorption of a particular B vitamin. This can cause skin problems as well as problems with your dog's coat if she's been eating them for a long time. 

12. Salt

It's not a good idea to share salty foods like chips or pretzels with your dog. Eating too much salt can cause excessive thirst and urination and lead to sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms of too much salt include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, and seizures. It may even cause death. 

13. Yeast Dough

Before it's baked, bread dough needs to rise. And, that's exactly what it would do in your dog's stomach if she ate it. As it swells inside, the dough can stretch a dog's abdomen and cause severe pain. In addition, when the yeast ferments the dough to make it rise, it makes alcohol that can lead to alcohol poisoning

14. Garlic

Little dog with tongue out next to a bulb of garlic
Garlic is a member of the Allium genus (a branch of the lily family, extremely toxic to dogs) and its safe use has therefore come under close scrutiny. One of its compounds (also found in onions) can in large doses cause oxydative damage to red blood cells, potentially leading to anemia and even death.

However a dog would need to ingest over 0.5% of his body weight to even start triggering that process (or several cloves of garlic for a dog over 25kg). 

Please note that garlic should NOT be fed to pets with a pre-existing anemic condition, those scheduled for surgery or young puppies under 8 weeks.

15. Milk and other Dairy Products

Some dogs have no problems digesting milk and dairy products. Yet others experience acute intestinal distress — like gas, diarrhea or vomiting — whenever they consume these kinds of foods.
Dachshund puppy lapping milk from a pet food bowl
It all comes down to how your dog handles a specific nutrient found in milk — a nutrient known as lactose

This inability to digest milk is infamously known as lactose intolerance. And it’s the same lactose intolerance so many humans suffer from every day. However, milk shouldn’t be considered toxic for a dog.

Many kinds of cheese contain considerably less lactose than milk and can make a great natural treat for any pet.

iKibble app screen showing toxicity of various foods

Tip: I just discovered the iKibble App (free with ads) which I check whenever I'm considering feeding my dog something new. It rarely lets me down. 

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