Foods Dogs Should Not Eat – Keep Them Safe!

April 2, 2018 in Articles

In this article, I will help you to discover which foods dogs should not eat and even ones that can be fatal.  When our dogs give us that look, with those sad “puppy eyes” begging to eat our food, or bark uncontrollably because they just have to have some, we can sometimes give in and let them have a taste or two, or three, of our food.  However, this can be a very wrong move and a poor choice to make for our dog.

There are some foods that humans eat but dogs absolutely should not because they can become quite ill (or even die) if they eat these “forbidden” foods.  I’ve been guilty of this myself (in the past), but I no longer give them table food, unless I am eating raw carrots or apples, for example. 

That food was good for me and tasty!

Be sure to check if you are not sure about what you’re giving your dog because it might be a food that is off limits for him or her and can cause harm.  (My dogs live off of an organic raw-food diet.)

There are foods we enjoy on a daily basis but these are not always the best choices for your fur babies. Did you know that some of the foods we consume, such as fruits and vegetables, can be life-threatening for your precious dog? 



So, educating yourself on which foods dogs should not eat is extremely important.  Learn about which human foods are safe for your dog.  It is very important to teach young children about what foods are unsafe for the family pet or pets and for them to be careful when eating around our furry-family members.  In the event of an emergency, you will want to know what to do. 

I love this puppy!


10 Foods Dogs Should Not Eat Which Can Be Dangerous To Their Health

Below, I will provide you with a list of 10 foods your dog should NEVER eat and the steps you need to take if your dog does ingest these foods.  

1.       Chocolate 

Chocolate contains caffeine, so it acts as a stimulant.  This can cause your dog to experience a rapid heartbeat or an irregular beat.  This can lead to seizures or sometimes, cardiac arrest. To make things even worse, chocolate acts as a diuretic, causing the dog to urinate frequently, vomit, and/or have diarrhea.  If you even suspect your dog has consumed chocolate, make sure you bring her or him to the animal hospital immediately.

2.       Onion

Since onions cause the breakdown of a dog’s red blood cells, his cells become deprived of the much-needed oxygen.  If you are in the habit of feeding your dog table scraps, you need to make sure the meal was not prepared with onions.  These negative effects can be cumulative over a period of time. Symptoms can vary greatly, ranging from diarrhea and vomiting to fever, exhaustion, and/or loss of appetite.

3.       Raisins and Grapes

These two fruits, raisins and grapes, create havoc for your dog’s kidneys and also the digestive tract.  What’s worse is that the number of grapes needed to cause problems can vary greatly from dog to dog.  Symptoms include frequent vomiting, urination, and diarrhea.

4.       Bread Dough

Bread dough is soft, so dogs will often swallow it without chewing. When the dough reaches your dog’s stomach, the heat from his body causes the dough to rise inside the stomach and this, in turn, can cause discomfort from bloating, or it may cause vomiting.

5.       Alcoholic Beverages 

A dog’s physiology is not equipped to handle the consumption of alcohol.  Because of this, dogs are extremely susceptible to alcohol poisoning and even small amounts can lead to digestive problems or even death in some cases.

6.       Macadamia Nuts 

Even a small amount of macadamia nuts can cause irregular heartbeat, fever, mild paralysis, or fever. It is still unknown about the exact chemical compound that causes these issues, but I would not risk it.

7.       Caffeinated Drinks

As we know. caffeine is a stimulant and it can negatively impact your dog’s heart rate, causing seizures or heart attacks.  It is very similar to the effects that chocolate causes because chocolate contains caffeine.

8.       Avocados

Avocados are toxic to many animals, dogs included.  The offensive chemical damages the lungs, heart, and other essential tissues in the dog’s body. Be aware, since guacamole’s main ingredient is avocado.  Be certain that you keep any dips, such as avocado dip, well out of your dog’s reach.

9.       Pitted Fruits

Pears, Peaches, Pears, Apricots, and Cherries.  The pits of these fruits contain small doses of cyanide, and this can be fatal to smaller dogs. Also, if the pit is swallowed whole, it may become lodged in the intestinal tract of the dog, causing a blockage and, in that case, it will have to be surgically removed.

10.       Raw Fish

Raw fish, especially salmon, may contain parasites, usually trematode larvae.  If your dog consumes the fish and the larvae hatch in your dog’s digestive tract, they can burrow in the intestinal walls. Symptoms can take up to a week to be noticeable and these symptoms usually mimic other canine diseases, such as parvovirus or distemper.  The hazard here is a misdiagnosis by the veterinarian, which leads to an ineffective or improper or treatment for your dog.  If you choose to feed your dog fish, be sure to cook the fish thoroughly to kill any bad critters that could be lurking inside.


What Should You Do If Your Dog Ingests Any of these Foods?

If your dog has ingested any of these foods and becomes ill, make sure that you do not give any more of these foods to the dog and keep them out of sight so your children or other family members will not have the opportunity to give them, just in case they are unaware of the dangers.  Take your pet to the nearest veterinary hospital for treatment.  Call ahead if you can and tell the vet’s office that it is an emergency and you are on your way.  This way, they will expect you and take your dog right away when you arrive. It is a good idea to scoop up some of the vomit, if possible, so that the vet can test it when you arrive at the office.  If you are completely unsure of what to do, you can call a pet-poison hotline for help and explain what transpired.

Veterinarian examining the dog



Keep all foods, as well as medications and household cleaning products, locked up or put them where the dog cannot reach them.  When you are preparing foods for your meals (which are the dangerous ones for your dog), keep him or her in another room or outside so he or she cannot be tempted to eat that food or any of it that may have accidentally dropped to the floor.  If you are unsure whether you should give your dog a certain food or not,  research it, or — better yet — do not give it to them to prevent sickness or allergies from occurring.


How to Extend Your Dog’s Life

Here are 3 steps that you can take to extend the life of your dog:

1.    Learn how to read the labels on their dog food;

2.   Stop using commercial dog food with chemicals and additives as the main source of food; and

3.   Introduce some healthy, home-made food recipes (that are balanced) into your dog’s diet.

Become knowledgeable about what is best to feed your dog and choose the highest-quality food for her or him.  This can certainly increase her lifespan and save you money and heartache, in the process.

If you choose a raw-food diet, which is optimal, buy ONLY organic beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, deer, or bison.  

Click Image to Purchase


If you have decided to give your dog canned food, it is best to give Organic dog food that contains organic meat as the first ingredient, and one that does NOT contain GMO’s, processed meat, additives, preservatives, fillers, chemicals, processed meats, and No artificial colors or flavors. 

This is an all-natural, organic dog food (wet, canned) with organic fruits, vegetables, and brown rice.

No artificial ingredients, No chemicals or preservatives.  It is a good choice.



There are other foods that can be harmful to dogs, such as tomato leaves, and rhubarb. Sugary foods not only cause obesity but these food items can also cause dental problems and possibly diabetes mellitus. Avoid raw fish and raw eggs.  A lot of salt can lead to canine health problems.

Since our pets rely on us to take care of them, it is vital for us to know which foods are safe and which can cause harm to our dogs.  A little education can go a long way towards preserving their health and well-being.  When our pets are happy and healthy, it just means so much to us who love our dogs dearly.  So, just as we take time to make sure our children are properly nourished, we also need to understand our dog’s nutritional needs and what not to give them.  It is best to put them off to a good start from when they are puppies, so they can live long lives, in vibrant health!

My mom gives me the best food to keep me healthy!


Foods Dogs Should Not Eat – Keep Them Safe!


    1. Xiadani says:

      I am glad I came across this post, very informative!

      Especially since I am considering on getting a Cocker Spaniel soon!

      It makes sense why most dogs refuse to eat certain veggies, does that mean that they’re carnivores? And do certain breeds require a different diet?

      I remember as a kid, giving our family pitbull a piece of chocolate without my parents knowing, of course, I didn’t know that chocolate was bad for them, and now I know why our dog Pete ended up having diarrhea. Kind of funny when I think about it, but not really.

      • Cathy says:


        That’s great that you are considering a new pet for your family!  Dogs are so special!  : )

        To answer your question, all dogs should consume meat and some veggies are fine, i.e., a little bit of sweet potatoes, carrots, green apples, without seeds.  I also give mine a couple chunks of watermelon.  Actually, the best diet is a raw-food diet (using organic meat only).  No pork, though.  Whenever I fed my dogs a raw-food diet, they lived a lot longer than those who ate commercial dog food.  A friend of mine had the same results and so have many others.  But if you choose canned, please try and give organic canned dog food that has no preservatives and other bad ingredients.

        Yes, there are those “forbidden” foods that should never be given to our dogs, and I taught my kids not to give chocolate, grapes, and other foods that are bad for them.  I’m glad your dogs did not get worse sick (than they did) when you sneaked the chocolate.  : )  Kids sometimes do things they shouldn’t.

        Thanks very much for your comments!


    2. Darren says:

      As a dog lover and owner I really appreciate the time you have taken to list the foods dogs really shouldn’t eat. Not only have you done that, but you’ve gone into a lot of detail about why.

      After viewing your list I’m glad to see I don’t actually feed my dog any of these things, although I have been guilty of feeding her some small bits of bread on occasion, which I’ll now cease doing.

      Thanks again for this.

      • Cathy says:

        Hi Darren,

        Thank you so much for letting me know that you appreciated the article that I wrote.  That does mean a lot to me!  : )  Just like yourself, I love dogs (and cats as well), and would never want any harm to come to any of these precious beings!

        It’s great that you’ve not been feeding your dog any of the “offenders,” except for that occasional bit of bread, which you have decided to stop altogether.  : )



    3. Ryan Basham says:

      Thanks for the information! We have a dachshund who will eat just about anything that drops on the floor. With two small children it often makes it difficult to keep the dog from getting some of these no-no foods. So far we’ve never had an issue. Maybe we should take extra precaution when our kids are eating items from this list!

      • Cathy says:

        Hi Ryan,

        Thanks you for commenting!  Yes, I think it would be a very good practice to keep the “forbidden” food list somewhere, maybe the kitchen (or just try to remember them) so that your dog does not eat them.  They can become ill or worse from some of these foods.  It’s not easy with the kids, but I kept drilling it in to my kids, do NOT give chocolate or avocados or grapes, which are things we have in the home often.  So, they paid mind to it.  But, when kids are very young, it can be difficult because they do not always understand.  I agree!  : )  

        Best wishes!

    4. Luke says:

      Very informative article Cathy, thanks for sharing! I must admit that I have been guilty of feeding my dogs a few of these items in the past before I realized it could be dangerous to my dog. Thank God there were no ill effects!

      I am also considering a homemade diet for my dog but really don’t have a recipe in hand. Is there one that you would recommend? At this point, my pooch receives a diet from a brand that is all natural and wholesome but always looking for great advice.

      Thanks again for sharing Cathy, good stuff here!


      • Cathy says:

        Hello, Luke!

        Thank you for your comment on this article. Yes, thank God, your dogs did not get ill when you gave those “forbidden” foods. I have to say that, in the past, I was guilty of this as well having been unaware of the harm they can cause.

        Presently, I feed my dogs an organic, raw-food diet of lamb, beef, chicken. I would not give anything but organic meat because of the added hormones, antibiotics, and other possible hazards that conventional meats can cause.

        I would feed them 70% organic, raw meats and the remaining 30% can be chopped carrots, apples, sweet potatoes, a little bit of watermelon. Adding a natural, superfood supplement and probiotics are also recommended.

        Some people are skeptical to give raw meats. I have not had a problem when feeding my dogs ORGANIC, raw meats. If you just do not feel good about this, you can cook the meat, but NOT well-done, and then add the raw fruits/veggies to their meat.

        I also give probiotics and a superfood supplement, too. The probiotics will populate their intestines with good flora and kill off bad bacteria; having a healthy gut is vital for pets (and humans) to sustain good health.

        Hope that helped somewhat! : )


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Foods Dogs Should Not Eat – Keep Them Safe!

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