By Janice Jones |Last Updated 07-21-2022
There are some foods toxic to dogs, but otherwise perfectly
safe and loved by us humans.
hard to resist those large dreamy eyes expectantly staring into your face as
you take a mouthful of a scrumptious chocolate cake, but don’t give into that
little dog of yours.
It might add pounds
to you but it does far worse to your four legged companion. Just what are some of those substances and
foods dogs should never eat?
If you are interested in learning which plants are toxic to your dog, visit our page on Plants Toxic to Dogs.
Foods Toxic to Dogs List
Love that guacamole?
Well, it doesn’t like dogs. Avocados
often top the list of foods toxic to dogs.
Avocados contain persin, a fungicidal toxin which is normally harmless
in a human but can be toxic to dogs.
Persin is in the leaves, seeds, bark and fruit of the avocado plant so
beware if you happen to have a few growing in your yard.
Maybe not the best choice of liquid
hydration in people, it is also not good for dogs.
Alcohol including beer, liquor, wine and any
foods made with alcohol causes the same effect on a dog’s brain and liver as it
does in human, but the result is much faster and the speed increases as the dog
Just small quantities can produce
vomiting, diarrhea, depression, coordination problems and even difficulty
breathing, coma and death. It might be
cute, but it is deadly.
High up on the list of foods toxic to dogs is onions and garlic.
Onions are bad, no matter
what form they take-raw, cooked, dehydrated or in a powder form – they all can
destroy the red blood cells in a dog’s circulatory system, leading to Hemolytic
Even baby food has some onion
powder, so beware. We really don’t have a good idea on the quantity that is
bad, but the cumulative effect of eating onions is what is problematic.
not likely to cause much trouble if eaten in tiny amounts occasionally, but if
it is part of a regular diet, can poison the dog over time.
Anemia can cause weakness, vomiting, dull
coat, anorexia and breathing difficulties. Kidney damage may follow.
Garlic is one of those controversial foods. One camp says that dogs should not eat any garlic and the other camp thinks garlic is good for dogs.
Coffee, Tea, and
Very few dogs like the taste of black
coffee, but add some sweetener and flavoring you’re your little guy might just
like a sip or two.
But caffeine in any
form whether it is from coffee, tea or sodas can be fatal if consumed in large
Symptoms can include
heart palpitations, fits, muscle tremors, restlessness and even bleeding.
Caffeine can also be found in some
medications and chocolate, another major No No for dogs.
Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins are two foods toxic
to dogs and currants can be added to this category as well.
Both grapes and raisins can cause
irreversible kidney damage and even death.
Even a very small amount such as 4 or 5 grapes or raisins can make a 20
pound dog very sick.
loss of appetite, abdominal pain, coordination problems decreased amount of
urine production and depression are symptoms.
While symptoms usually occur within 24 hours, they can start in just a
few hours after the dog has ingested the grapes or raisins.
Milk and Other Dairy Products
Who hasn’t been guilty of giving a dog
a little taste of ice cream or other dairy products?
Dogs do not tolerate cow’s milk as well as
people and anything made with milk such as cheeses, yogurt or plain milk can
have the potential to cause digestive upset, usually in the form of diarrhea.
A teaspoon now and again is not going to hurt
them. If your dog is intolerant to cow’s
milk, goats milk is a good alternative and products made with goats milk seem
to be tolerated better in dogs.
a complete and balanced commercial diet should not need additional calcium in
their diet with the exception of lactating mothers. Goat’s milk is the safest product to give to young puppies and lactating mothers.
Another group of foods toxic to dogs is nuts. Dogs should not eat nuts, but macadamia
nuts seem to be the worse culprit for making dogs ill and death is not out of
Even a few roasted or raw macadamia nuts can cause muscle
tremors, weakness or paralysis, vomiting, fever and rapid heart rate. When chocolate
is mixed with the nuts, the symptoms worsen.
Symptoms often show up within 6 to 24 hours.
Types of Nuts
To be absolutely safe,
Dogs should not be given nuts to eat.
Nuts that should be added to the list of foods toxic to dogs
include: Almonds, Pistachios, Pecans,
Walnuts and Hickory Nuts.
They vary in
the harm they do to the dog. Moldy nuts
are toxic while the fresher version of the nut just makes your dog sick. Dogs seem to love the taste of almonds, but
they are not well digested giving your dog and upset stomach.
Pistachios have a high
fat content and can cause stomach upset as well. Dogs that eat pistachio nuts over a period of
time can also develop pancreatitis.
Black Walnuts are known to cause stomach
distress and even obstructions if swallowed whole. But if a dog gets a moldy black walnut, that’s
Moldy black walnuts
contain toxins produced by a fungus which leads to lethargy, vomiting and loss
of muscle control. Like black walnuts, English and Japanese walnuts can cause intestinal
upset resulting in a stomach ache, vomiting or even an obstruction.
Just like black walnuts, English and Japanese
walnuts that contain a mold that releases a tremorgenic mycotoxin which the dog
ingests causing muscle tremors or seizures.
Hickory nuts and pecans both follow the same patterns as walnuts.
Fresh hickory nuts will cause a tummy ache
while moldy nuts can be affected with the tremorgenic mycotoxin.
Most people know that chocolate is bad
for dogs but did you know that even white chocolate can cause symptoms and dark
chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate is the most dangerous.
A 20 pound
dog can be poisoned on 2 ounces of baking chocolate, but it would take 20
ounces of milk chocolate to cause harm.
toxic agent in chocolate is Theobromine. Chocolate can cause vomiting diarrhea and
increased thirst, tremors, seizures, abnormal heart rhythm, coma and death.
Peaches, Plums and
Persimmons, Apple Seeds, Cherry Pits
Included in this section of foods toxic to dogs is not so much the food, but rather the seed. The problem is not so much with the fruit, but with the seeds or
Many small dogs will eat the pit
which contains cyanide which is a known poison to both dogs and people. If that doesn’t hurt them, intestinal obstruction
is a real possibility.
Peaches, and Plums Seeds or Pits. Don’t
let a dog eat apple seeds or cherry pits as they can wreak havoc giving your
dog an upset stomach and possible cyanide poisoning.
Dogs can eat apples and most love them as a
very special treat, but don’t know not to eat the seeds. If you do serve these apples, core them as
you would a small child.
Dogs seem to love eggs, but cook them first
if you intend to serve them. 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 which is why raw eggs makes the list of foods toxic to dogs.
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 raw
eggs are fed for a long time.
If you make your own bread, be sure to
allow the bread to rise in a place where the dog cannot reach it.
If a dog eats the dough as it is rising, it
will continue to rise in his little stomach.
You can just imagine what happens next — as the dough rises, it
stretches the stomach wall causing severe pain.
Beyond that, the yeast which makes the dough rise begins to ferment in
the stomach which can lead to alcohol poisoning.
This odd sounding chemical is the
sweetener often found in toothpastes, mouthwashes, some medicines and sugarless
You can also find it in many baked
goods and that is why this common ingredient makes the list of foods toxic to dogs.
While being recommended for human
diabetics, it is definitely not recommended for dogs. Xylitol causes a rapid
rise in insulin levels which leads to hypoglycemia.
Symptoms in dogs can range from vomiting,
lethargy and poor coordination to seizers possibly leading to liver failure.
Wild mushrooms — those that grow in
your backyard or along a trail can be dangerous not only to you but to your
People know not to sample them, but
dogs can be curious. Toxins in the mushroom
can create havoc with many different organs including the liver, kidneys and
Symptoms include vomiting, seizers,
coma, and even death. So check your yard
periodically and remove any mushroom looking plants.
Fat Trimmings and
Dogs love fat and bones, but fat
trimmings are not good for you and not good for your dog.
Here I am referring to the cooked or uncooked
fat trimmed from meat that the humans did not want. Too much leads to pancreatitis.
Bones are different. Cooked bones are the most dangerous. They can break or splinter as the dog gnaws
on them causing the dog to choke or create lacerations in the digestive wall
and even obstructions. Fish bones are
There does not
seem to be this type of problem with uncooked bones and so uncooked bones have
become a part of a raw diet.
When dogs ingest large quantities of
salt, it leads to excessive thirst and subsequent urination.
This usually happens when a dog gets too many
salty foods. It the salt intake is large
enough, sodium ion poisoning occurs.
Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, fever,
seizures and even death. Think twice about allowing your dog to help themselves
to those salty treats.
So when you sneak
your tiny dog into the movie theater, don’t let them eat all your popcorn!
Human Vitamin Pills
that Contain Iron
It is tempting to give our fur children
the same medicine we give our human babies, but before you do so, make sure it
is not toxic to dogs.
There are some
human medicines that are fine for dogs, but not all of them and some can be
Human vitamins that
contain iron can damage the wall of the stomach and intestines and be toxic to
the liver and kidneys.
OK, OK, vitamin pills are not food, but
some might argue that statement. I added
this to the list of foods toxic to dogs, just to see if you would catch my
Take-a-way for Foods Toxic to Dogs
Prevention is easier than the cure and much less
costly. Know that you are familiar with
the foods toxic to dogs, you will be less likely to allow your small dog to
come into contact with those dangerous substances.
Things happen often very quickly.
do you do if you suspect that your dog has consumed a substance or food likely
to be toxic?
Keep the phone numbers of your
veterinarian and 24 hour emergency veterinary hospital handy and make a call as
soon as you discover what has happened.
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center 888-426-4435
Does This Article Deserve Your Thumbs Up?
We always appreciate your support and encouragement. Your thumbs up means so much to us. Please like this article.
If you find this page or any page on Small Dog Place Helpful, or Useful in anyway, I’d love it if you would click the small heart found on the bottom right of each page.
You can also share or bookmark this page — just click on the:
Free Monthly Newsletter
Sign Up for Our Free Newsletter and get our Free Gift to You.
my E-book, The Top 10 Mistakes People Make When Choosing a Dog (and how to avoid them)