20 toxic foods you should never give to your dog

Besides ‘being faithful as a dog’, there is yet another common cliche. It is about dogs eating everything that is in front of them, whether they are hungry or not. And there are toxic dog foods that dogs need to avoid at all times. Luckily, there are some dogs who are happy to only eat from their bowls and actually stop when they feel full – or so the legend says. But there are many dogs who would eat everything that is in front of them and until they explode, literally.

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Scientists don’t have an explanation for this. It could be an instinct from their wolf-hunting days back when they faced food scarcity, an instinct so strong that it perseveres over constantly being given 2-3 meals a day. Who knows!

The good news is that your dog’s appetite habits can also change, just like with humans. It can happen naturally, due to ageing, but also due to some underlying health issues. So you want to keep note of any changes in your dog’s appetite. Also, you need to make sure that you train your dog well so you can instruct it to stay away for highly toxic foods.

We will do our best to list the dangerous food for dogs, but whenever unsure, it is always best to consult with your vet regarding any dietary decisions. Something that is even healthy for you can be lethal for your dog.

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Just like in humans, sugar causes diabetes, obesity and dental issues. But, for dogs this is even more severe as cavities can lead to oral infections, diabetes can not only lead to blindness but also to heart disease and additional weight is likely to result in arthritis. As much as we love our dogs, they cannot absorb the negative impact of sugary treats like us. Sugar is definitely a big one on the toxic dog food list.


What is toxic for dogs is theobromine and it is found in all kinds of chocolate, even in white chocolate. The most dangerous types are dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate. Unfortunately, the consequences can be far more severe than just diarrhoea and vomiting.


Besides the negative side effects which are vomiting, diarrhoea and seizures, caffeine can severely harm your dog’s heart and its nervous system.

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Dairy Products

Yes, unlike most humans, dogs are lactose intolerant. So just like with lactose intolerant people, milk will cause diarrhoea, bloating, gas and other unpleasant effects of this condition.


Unfortunately some bones are also on the toxic dog food list, or rather, dangerous food list. The first rule is NO COOKED BONES. The other is no poultry nor fish bones. These can splinter within your dogs intestines and cause fatal damage. Also, the fat trimmed from bones is a big no, as this can cause pancreatitis in dogs. An inflamed pancreas can lead to cyst formation and further damage to the heart, lungs and kidneys.

Xylitol – Artificial Sweetener

It is found in gums and many sweets and baked goods. Even a small dose of this artificial sweetener can cause hypoglycemia, which is an extremely low level of blood sugar. Large doses can not only result in liver failure, but also death.

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Snack Food – Salty Foods

Besides all other unhealthy ingredients in salty snacks, salt specifically can cause electrolyte imbalance. Do not share your chips or pretzels with your dog, as it will not only get very thirsty but could also face salt poisoning. Also called sodium toxicity, it refers to large quantities of salt that result in dehydration, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. The dog can seem overly tired and its stomach becomes swollen as a result. Dogs need some salt for their electrolyte balance, but it is already found in their food so do not feel bad for not giving your dog any salty snacks! Needless to say, this also goes for popcorn.

Foods With Seeds

This means no to avocados, watermelon, persimmons, peaches, and plums. Not only can their pits block intestines and cause severe damage but they are even more harmful as peach and plum pits also have cyanide. People fortunately know not to eat them – dogs don’t!

Macadamia Nuts

These contain a rare toxin which can inhibit your dog’s locomotory function and make it feel drowsy. If a dog consumes these nuts, it will likely suffer from swollen limbs and tremors. This toxin also damages both the dog’s nervous and digestive system, as well as its muscle tissue.

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Yes, it hurts people too, but it takes a lot less to harm your dog. The smaller the dog, the lesser the tolerance and the worse it can be. Surely, you don’t want to intoxicate your dog! Beer is even more dangerous as it contains hops. This ingredient increases the heart rate, elevates blood temperature and can cause death.

Onions and Garlic

Whether raw, cooked or powdered as a spice, these can cause severe poisoning. Actually, they are even more dangerous for cats! Onions, as well as chives, contain sulfoxides and disulfides which cause anemia while damaging the red blood cells in your dog’s system. Also, you must keep in mind which foods contain these dangerous ingredients, even in traces. For example, onion powder is used in chips and even spaghetti! Sad news for the Lady and the Tramp scenery fans.

Grapes, Raisins and Currants

Believe it or not, they can cause kidney and liver failure in dogs due to an unknown toxin. And only a few pieces can be lethal to your dog.

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Raw Meat and Raw Eggs

Although some claim that feeding your dog raw food has many health benefits, just like for humans, eating raw meat and eggs can also cause food poisoning from bacteria like salmonella or E. coli. So add those to your list of toxic dog foods too. Yes, raw meat can lead to a shinier coat, toned muscle mass and better dental hygiene, if your dog can digest it, but it still has its risks. It is up to you to weigh the pros and cons.


Avocado plants contain a substance called Persin which is in its leaves, fruit and seed and can cause vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs.


Although only some types of mushrooms are known to cause damage to dog’s organs and affect their systems negatively, it is best to stay on the safe side and avoid mushrooms altogether.

Cat Food

Cat food is too high in proteins and fats for dogs, and their livers will have trouble digesting it. Similarly, it is not advised to feed cats with dog food as it is insufficient for them.

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Human Medicines

Even human cough syrups contains ibuprofen and that can be lethal to your dog. Simply put, something that is a medicine for us can be poisonous for your dog. Never give any sort of medicine to your dog before you consult with the vet.

Tomatoes and Potatoes

Especially green tomatoes, but tomatoes and potatoes have solanine as their natural defensive layer. It can cause abnormalities in your dog’s gastrointestinal system as well as stomach distress, lethargy, weakness, and confusion.


In whichever form, yeast can blow up in your dog’s stomach. This expansion will result in bloating and gas, and can possibly damage its stomach and cause rupture which is followed by severe pain.

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Baking Powder and Baking Soda

These are highly toxic, as are potentially many things from your kitchen cabinet, so make sure your dog cannot come near it.

Don’t worry, you can still give your dog some treats from time to time – if he has a well-balanced diet! Just avoid the toxic dog foods

Some of the things you can freely give your dog are apple slices and bananas. Even a watermelon is ok if you clean out the seeds first! Same goes for vegetables, your dog will love carrot sticks or maybe even zucchini slices. When your dog has an upset stomach, some cooked rice will do wonders, and your vet will maybe even allow you to add some leaned boiled meat, which your dog will surely appreciate!

Memorise this list of toxic dog foods and ensure your dog is kept far away from them, as tempting as they may look to him!

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