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Things You Should NEVER Feed Your Dog

Updated on March 25, 2013

The Dangers of People Food

As dog owners, we all have a responsibility to raise our beloved pups to the best of our abilities. Many of us see them as little humans, "our babies" so to speak, and therefore, we let them do human things, like eat people food. Unfortunately, if we are not careful, we can feed them something that could make them really sick, or even kill them. This is why it's good to educate yourself on animal safety and bear in mind that our pets don't know what's not safe for them to eat - heck, they'll eat anything. Here's a list of things that dogs should never eat.

Food that can kill your dog

  1. Alcohol - This should be a no brainer, but there are idiots out there who think giving their pets alcohol is great entertainment. These people should not have pets, and the consequences are most unfortunate. Consumption of alcohol for dogs can lead to vomiting, loss of coordination, damage to the central nervous system, difficulty breathing, and more. If the damage is severe enough, intoxication can put your pup in a coma or even kill it.
  2. Avocados (fruit, pit, and plant) - While harmless to humans, persin, which is a fungicidal toxin found in avocados, is fatal to many animals, damaging heart, lung and other vital tissue. Animals affected by consumption of this fruit experience breathing problems, swelling of the abdomen, and excessive fluids in the torso, especially surrounding the heart. Not only that, their high fat content can lead to pancreatitis.
  3. Chocolate (especially Baker's and unsweetened - the darker, the deadlier) - A misconception among some is that only cats can get sick from chocolate, when in fact it is incredibly lethal for dogs as well. The threatening factor is theobrime, which gives chocolate its bitter flavor. It has the potential to overstimulate a dog's central nervous system and cause heart palpitations. Also, it causes seizures, vomiting, and can lead to a coma. It only takes a small amount in comparison with the dog's weight to result in dire consequences. Symptoms are not immediate, so if your dog accidentally consumes chocolate and seems okay, please disregard that and take him or her to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Death is a serious possibility, occurring within 24-hours of consumption. While on the topic of chocolate, please note that anything with high caffeine content (coffee, tea, chocolate, etc) is highly poisonous to your pet.
  4. Grapes and Raisins - While the deadly toxin in these hasn't been pinpointed, the effect it has on dogs is serious. Even small amounts over time should never, ever be fed to your pets. The toxins can build in the dog's system, leading to kidney failure and potential death.
  5. Certain nuts - These can be extremely harmful to dogs, especially macadamia nuts and walnuts. Like chocolate, symptoms are not immediate, appearing within 12 hours of consumption. Ingestion of nuts can result in paralysis, hyperthermia, inability to stand or walk, tremors, and death. Watch out for cookies, cakes, and anything containing nuts that your dog may try to consume. Take note: all nuts are not bad for dogs!! Also, peanuts are legumes, not nuts, so peanut butter isn't a threat for your beloved pooch. In fact, smear it on their tongue or favorite toy and make their day!
  6. Onions, garlic, and chives - While cats are more affected by consuming these, it is still very dangerous to allow dogs to consume them. Not only can these cause gastrointestinal irritation and difficulty breathing, but the sulfoxides and disulfides in them are highly dangerous. They can destroy red blood cells (which are crucial for delivering oxygen to body tissues) and cause anemia. Garlic is less toxic than onions, and if you look careful, you'll see that a lot of the cheaper dog food brands contain small doses of garlic powder. While this hasn't been proven to be an issue in smaller doses, there is the potential for buildup in the system. This is enough for me to avoid any pet product with garlic in it. I don't see the point of putting anything that has any potential for hurting a dog into its food.
  7. Raw meats and eggs - As we know, these can contain deadly bacteria, such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can be harmful to both humans and pets. They can also contain parasites, such as roundworms, which can make your dog ill or even kill it. Additionally, any raw bones that may reside in the meat can splinter, piercing internal organs, or become lodged in the dog's throat or digestive tract.
  8. Seeds and pits found in fruits, such as apples, cherries, and peaches - Believe it or not, these contain cyanide. Yes, cyanide, the poison that leads to comas, seizures, breathing difficulties, permanent paralysis, liver and kidney damage, and cardiac arrest. Sound scary? Well, these are symptoms that can happen to people as well, if they consume enough seeds and pits. Pets, however, are at a greater risk.
  9. Tomatoes (plant and fruit) - These have two deadly factors: tomatine and atropine, both of which are poisonous. Dogs that eat these can experience lethargy, vomiting, paralysis, seizures, coma, and death. The threat is smaller in green tomatoes or ripe tomatoes, but the risk is still there. Like garlic, some cheaper dog foods will contain tomato pomace, a filler that is a combination of leftovers from making tomato sauce, paste and juice. Since pomace is made from ripe tomatoes, the risk is greatly minimalized, but once again, why put something in dog food that can be even the slightest bit unsafe? Fun fact: all parts, minus the actual tomato, are poisonous to humans.
  10. Yeast dough - If a dog consumes yeast dough, it can damage its digestive system and even result in a very painful death. The dough still has the ability to rise inside your pup's body, possibly rupturing the stomach and intestines. Bread is a safer bet for your pet, since the dough is cooked - however, this should only be in very small amounts, or even better, not at all. The high caloric intake can lead to an obese pet.
  11. Xylitol - This natural sugar substitute is especially dangerous, as it can be found in so many different products, such as chewing gum, some toothpaste, sugar-free candy and baked goods, and various beverages. Upon ingesting anything with xylitol (even in a small amount) your dog's body will respond by releasing a surge of insulin, launching your pet into hypoglycemia-induced convulsions. Hypoglycemia, which is when your blood sugar is dangerously too low, leads to vomiting, seizures, coma, possible liver failure, and death. Please watch your dog around any products that are sugar-free or reduced sugar. It only takes one gram of xylitol to kill a 10-pound dog. One 3.75-oz cup of sugar-free pudding has 7 grams of xylitol in it, enough to kill a large dog. This goes to show that the concept of "Oh, it's just a little bite, so it won't hurt my dog!" is a thought that can kill your beloved pup. It's not worth it to give your dog what you think is a treat. That's what dog biscuits are for.

Note:

There are far more dangerous things your beloved pets could get into, but these are some of the main foods that tend to be in households.

KONG CLASSIC LARGE Rubber Chew Toy For Dogs - World's Best Dog Toy (T1)
KONG CLASSIC LARGE Rubber Chew Toy For Dogs - World's Best Dog Toy (T1)

Put some peanut butter in this, and your dog will be entertained for a long time!

 

Dog Question

What is your dog's favorite pass time?

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While we're on the topic of dogs... - let's discuss something I love most!

Long fur, short fur, it doesn't matter. All dogs seem to shed, whether it's a few hairs here or enough to make a doggy toupee. The one thing that saves the day at our house is the Furminator. It's a little more costly than the standard dog brush, but it's worth it! It actually goes into the undercoat of the dog, pulling all the lose hair out. It's painless, easy, and you won't believe how much fur you'll wind up with! I can brush and brush, and when I'm done, my dog is clean and her coat is shiny and best of all, my furniture and rugs aren't covered in white dog hair. I've tried other brushes, but nothing works like the Furminator. It's my new best friend! Oh, and they have them for cats, too, so cat lovers rejoice! :)

Bark away! - But please, no fleas.

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    • profile image

      Jessica 13 months ago

      I have been feeding my dog a raw diet to help clear up his skin allergy.. I take him to the Blue Cross who are a charity vet and who are not sponsored by any of the brand named dog foods who's vets usually scare you off of doing it and buying a brand of food that they are sponsored by... I have done lots of research into feeding my dog on a raw diet and with raw bones... Bones are full of Bone marrow which is a source that dogs need also a good source of calcium.. They only really splinter when cooked it is very unlikely that bones will splinter when fed raw and it is what they would eat in the wild I often feed him chicken carcass's, steak, heart's, lung I avoid liver unless it is from an organic source.. He has been happily living on this for over a year now and I also give him one raw egg a week which helps to keep his coat in tip top condition.. I am not attacking you like you felt the previous person did but if you look at the link you posted about bones... The first thing that flashes up is a advert for HILLS DOG FOOD!!! Dog's are part of the wolves family and they eat raw food in the wild... Including bones... I do avoid giving bones that are too big as they can choke or get stuck in the roof of their mouth.. But I would say to put a raw diet down as being dangerous to animals without doing the proper research is not the best idea apart from that everything else in your post I totally agree with and knew about previously as being a responsable owner I did a lot of research into his diet before going down the raw rout! Vegetables and strawberries and blueberries are extremely good for dogs too. Although I would also say small amounts of garlic can infact be beneficial for dogs in small doses... Here are a few links I would never go back to feeding my dog on tinned and dried out food again as far as I am concerned they are far more un-natural than things they would find in the wild are... Always good to help others and you pointed out some good facts... The thing people should do is scower the internet and weigh up the pros and cons of many different peoples view points before deciding the diet for their dog..

      People considering a Raw Diet

      http://www.wolftucker.co.uk/wolftucker-raw-feeding...

      Garlic For Dogs

      http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/garlic-for-do...

    • toldyaso lm profile image
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      toldyaso lm 4 years ago

      @JoshK47: Thank you!!!! It's an honor :)

    • profile image

      JoshK47 4 years ago

      Excellent work on this lens - thanks for sharing this! Blessed by a pet loving SquidAngel!

    • toldyaso lm profile image
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      toldyaso lm 4 years ago

      @Swisstoons: Thank you very much. You are so kind to share my hard efforts with others. I really appreciate it!

    • toldyaso lm profile image
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      toldyaso lm 4 years ago

      @TheLittleCardShop: Thank you! Dogs tend to be mischievous, so if we don't watch them, who knows what they'll do! My dog has actually eaten parts of my vacuum cleaner. Sigh.

    • toldyaso lm profile image
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      toldyaso lm 4 years ago

      @PlethoraReader: haha dogs do funny things sometimes :)

    • toldyaso lm profile image
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      toldyaso lm 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Hello, Ellen! Thank you for your response!

      Giving raw meats to dogs can be dangerous. In another comment, I give a few links talking about it. I'm sure if done carefully and the wind blows rights, it may not make your pets sick. Maybe dogs raised on raw meat can grow a tolerance to some bacteria and such from animals (just speculating), but there's always risks. In regards to garlic, for a dog, it has to be a prettly large amount. Even some dog foods have garlic in them. Just like a couple aspirin are pretty harmless to an adult, an entire bottle is a different story. :)

    • ckennedy lm profile image

      ckennedy lm 5 years ago

      Excellent information. Our pets get into enough stuff as it is and owners don't always think about what they're handing out as treats.

    • toldyaso lm profile image
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      toldyaso lm 4 years ago

      @terezie-chylova: I said that certain nuts were harmful. One should not crush up nuts and give them to the dog unless they are fully certain that the nuts are safe. Even then, why risk it? Dogs have dog food and people have people food for a reason. Also, freezing meat and then thawing it is still risky. Meat that has been thawed is still dangerous and can become more so, the longer it sits out at room temperature. And last, RAW BONES CAN SPLINTER - not all the time, but it is possible. While I appreciate comments from my readers, I do not appreciate rude comments that are biased and uneducated. I'm adding some links for you, backing my post. These were all easily found using Google. You should try it sometime before insulting someone who is just trying to help. Have a lovely day!

      Bones splintering:

      http://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_dg_do_raw_b...

      http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/a...

      Raw Meats:

      (this one is great) https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache.../vet/nutrition/resources/raw_meat_diets.pdf+raw+meat+dogs+safe&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEEShdiXVOqGyfDcVxkIwczD25HI4fPSJPHWw9Oqz0Akpu3-_l_IuSQ-3WEEUS-UXLnvvL-DkxKhW592jnXy5tDdmMuX6Sd5hCo-57RLLL4WaQyyR6EYoqYdqf17UO_jbv9G-jidE-&sig=AHIEtbT0TBhXNsaAv4NRwPFB8lbPU8twfg

      http://www.dogchannel.com/dog-information/dog-vet-...

      Nuts:

      http://www.petinsurance.com/healthzone/pet-article...

      http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/peopl...

    • toldyaso lm profile image
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      toldyaso lm 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Peanuts are actually legumes, not nuts. Peanut butter is generally considered fine for dogs - however, it is fattening, so you wouldn't want to overfeed it to them. :)

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Most of the things mentioned here really are dangerous for dogs, however, I must disagree with two of them: NUTS and RAW MEAT. The only nuts that could be harmful are macadamia nuts, other nuts are even healthy (supposing they are crushed and added to the dog's meal). And as far as raw meat is concerned, that is absolute nonsense because a) the stomach enzymes and short intestinal tracts of dogs allow them to handle harmful bacteria, b) if we're still not sure we can freeze the meat before serving it, which greatly reduces extant parasites, c) only cooked bones are dangerous as they might splinter (raw bones DO NOT, plus they are fully digestible).

      So please do not spread such misleading information.

      I would also add sugar to this list as it is not a suitable food for dogs, especially when consumed regularly.

    • profile image

      terezie-chylova 4 years ago

      @gamecheathub: Most of the things mentioned here really are dangerous for dogs, however, I must disagree with two of them: NUTS and RAW MEAT. The only nuts that could be harmful are macadamia nuts, other nuts are even healthy (supposing they are crushed and added to the dog's meal). And as far as raw meat is concerned, that is absolute nonsense because a) the stomach enzymes and short intestinal tracts of dogs allow them to handle harmful bacteria, b) if we're still not sure we can freeze the meat before serving it, which greatly reduces extant parasites, c) only cooked bones are dangerous as they might splinter (raw bones DO NOT, plus they are fully digestible).

      So please do not spread such misleading information.

      I would also add sugar to this list as it is not a suitable food for dogs, especially when consumed regularly.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      So directly after this interesting information is the following ad:

      Kong Toy Lrg 4.5 In

      Put some peanut butter in this, and your dog will be entertained for a long time

      I guess peanuts aren't so bad then... or what?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Who knew that grapes were so bad! Thank you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      all merry thinks is bark,treat,eat,sleep,chase,and"out side".

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      No Raw meat or Garlic? Strange, not what our vet says. Frozen chicken carcasses is good for dogs. It helps clean their teeth. As long as meat has been frozen and then given to the dog, it should have no problems. With all the additives in canned and some dog rolls, its probable saver to feed dog raw meat. Having lived on a rural property, we fed our dogs, sheep and cow. None of them got sick. They were always wormed and vaccinated. Its sort of scaremongering like not giving certain things to your children. I totally agree with the nuts, onions, chocolate etc.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

      Excellent advice! I love my beautiful dogs and I would never want to give them anything that would harm them.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Good information. We used to feed our dogs years ago with chocolate, nuts, and just about all the leftover food we had, including curry and pizza and definitely with onions in it. I know better now though.

    • Jeri Baker profile image

      Jeri Baker 5 years ago

      Thanks for the information.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      enjoyed my time spent on your lens tonight, thank you for it!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Some of these I was surprised by, but luckily would have never fed my dog that anyway.

    • toldyaso lm profile image
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      toldyaso lm 5 years ago

      @Ramkitten2000: Oh wow. I always thought the chocolate one was common knowledge, but I guess not. Thankfully, you were able to save your pup!

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 5 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I once stopped someone just in time before they gave my dog a chocolate bar. Yikes! Some people just have no idea.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 5 years ago from UK

      Good to know what to avoid to keep our dogs healthy and happy!

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      SimpleSocialSolution 5 years ago

      What a great lens! Iv had a dog for 6 years and i knew most of the deadly foods but didn't know about nuts! Thanks!!

    • flashgordontags1 profile image

      flashgordontags1 5 years ago

      Good info! Wags!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Daisy's favorite pastime is eating snacks. She thinks of me as her favorite snack dispenser. Thanks for this very valuable list!

    • PlethoraReader profile image

      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      Thanks for sharing, although our dog did lap up some wine that spilled and except being cheerful was fine.

    • TheLittleCardShop profile image

      Malu Couttolenc 5 years ago

      Excellent advice! Sometimes we don't know what is bad for our dogs. Great article :)

    • wolfie10 profile image

      wolfie10 5 years ago

      well done on a good lens. many people aren't aware of the things you can't feed your pets.

    • Swisstoons profile image

      Thomas F. Wuthrich 5 years ago from Michigan

      I tweeted, Liked it and +ed it....and they went through. But only the + appears to be showing up at the top of the lens. If you can't see them either, might be a bug that should be reported.

    • toldyaso lm profile image
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      toldyaso lm 5 years ago

      @Swisstoons: Thanks for the tip! I'll do that ASAP. I really appreciate you giving my lens a boost. You are awesome!

    • Swisstoons profile image

      Thomas F. Wuthrich 5 years ago from Michigan

      An excellent lens on an important subject! People think they are being kind to their dogs when they give them a "treat." I think you should add "anything with Xylitol." That's the sweetener which causes severe liver damage and/or death in dogs. Tweeting this, FB Liking and G+ing it, too.

    • gamecheathub profile image

      gamecheathub 5 years ago

      I was totally unaware of the avocados and grapes. Fantastic info. I did know about the chocolate, but not the rest. Your Top 10 will help pet owners know what to avoid. Great lens!