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12 Foods You Should Never Feed Your Dog

Updated on April 26, 2015

How do I know if my dog will react to these foods?

You really don’t know, but this is a rule in general that prevention is the best cure. There are many variations in a dog’s breed, size and composition, however in general this list of foods applies to all dogs and should be carefully monitored to prevent any unforeseen sickness or injury to you dog.

Why can my toddler not be harmed by these foods yet my dog is bigger and could get sick?

Well, first of all foods that are consumed by your toddler that are perfectly suitable for human consumption, could be toxic and even poisonous to your dog. Eating these foods could pose a serious hazard to its health and welfare. This is due to most animals have varying degrees of metabolism, which means the manner of how food is broke down and then turned into energy.

Here’s the alphabetical List of 12 foods never to feed your dog

  1. Alcohol-Now, hopefully you wouldn’t give this to your dog, but they could get to a cup and lick the liquid out. Dogs should never even have a drop, especially beer. Did you know beer contains Hops and this can cause panting and then your dog’s heart rate increases which could then lead to seizures and possibly death depending on how much the dog drank?
  2. Avocado’s- You could be making guacamole or drop an avocado half on the floor by accident and your dog snatches it up, so try to t keep this away from dogs. Avocados contain a toxin called Persin. This toxin can cause some real bad intestinal problems in dogs, besides vomiting and diarrhea.
  3. Candy and Chewing Gum - this is dangerous if they contain the ingredient Xylitol in them. Did you know Xylitol can cause possible liver failure, seizures and a sudden drop in blood pressure?
  4. Citrus Fruits Peels - These include oranges tangerines, lemons, limes and grapefruit I just encountered this when my new puppy took my orange peel out of our compost and ran with it and was starting to chew it up. I did manage to get it out before he swallowed it but I immediately looked online to see if this was dangerous and it was! The peel, pith and seeds from the citrus fruits can cause irritation in your puppies (and dogs ) digestive system, particularly if eaten in large quantities.
  5. Chocolate - While most of us heard about this one, the reason why your dog can’t have this is due to chocolate holds large amounts of natural stimulants called Methylxantines. The darker the chocolate (ie, 70% dark chocoate you see on the wrapper) the higher concentration of these compounds in them and the worse it is on your dog. It’s a good idea to keep all chocolate, cocoa beans and candy bars out of reach to your dog, even white chocolate can be harmful. On Holidays, keep chocolate out of the Christmas stockings, Easter Baskets put up out of the dog’s ability to snatch the candy and Valentine day chocolates on the table, put high up to avoid running into potential dangers. This could damage your dog’s heart and nervous systems. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs could consist of agitation in your dog (acting real nervous), extreme panting, seizures and possibly death.
  6. Coffee - Now you would say to yourself, why would a dog want coffee, but I’m here to tell you that years ago when I had my beloved Dalmatian he would sniff out anyone’s coffee cup and try to lap it up. He absolutely loved coffee and if some spilled on the floor, he licked it up before you could wipe it up.(luckily he never drank more than a tablespoon or two and to be honest we didn’t’ know better) Caffeine is harmful to your dog’s digestive tract and kidneys. This is in essence a poison for your dog if ingested. Caffeine poisoning symptoms are muscle tremors, rapid breathing, fits and high anxiety. Did you know caffeine can be found also cola, in cocoa, cocoa beans,, chocolate, and energizing drinks such as Red Bull?
  7. Corn on the cob - This can really get your dog’s intestine blocked. The corn might be digested if it’s not a lot but too much corn kernels can upset your dog’s digestive tract . It’s the cob that raises more concern, which has the potential to get lodged in the small intestine. If the cob is not removed surgically, this can prove fatal to your dog. Your dog can find one on a day you Barbeque outside, in the trash and like us our dog found a small cob after getting through a fence (he was a King Charles Cavalier puppy so he was small) and got into our compost pile and dug one out. Luckily we got it out of his mouth before he ingested. Dogs so love to chew on these but the risks are too high so vets recommend you don’t give these to your dog. Obstruction symptoms could be dry heaving, vomiting, lethargy, painful abdomen and loss of appetite.
  8. Grapes and Raisins - I’ve read where a dog had a fatal outcome by only ingesting a handful of grapes. Grapes contain a toxin that can cause severe liver damage and kidney failure. Your dog can have a horrible reaction to either of these, and symptoms include fatigue, repetitive vomiting, diarrhea and possibly even kidney) failure. Years ago before the internet, we did not know this and when I mentioned to the vet that our Dalmatian loves grapes and goes crazy each time we eat them and, she said never give it to him again. Who Knew?
  9. Macadamia Nuts - Never give your dog even one nut; these are so bad for your dog. Macadamia nuts are shockingly toxic to dogs and could possibly cause temporarily paralysis. These nuts contain a toxin that can inhibit use of their extremities and the consequences are weakness, panting, and swollen limbs. Tremors could conceivably happen but also possible impairment to the digestive, nervous and muscle structures of your dog. Pretty scary, isn’t it?
  10. Persimmons, Peaches, and Plums - The problem with these are not the fruits but the seeds or pits. The seeds from persimmons can cause swelling of the small intestine in dogs. They can also result in intestinal obstruction. Obstruction could happen if your dog eats the pit from a peach or plum too but the pits also, contain cyanide, which is poisonous to not only dogs but humans too! (Just a side note: just make sure when you give your dog apple slices that you don’t give them the core which has the seeds in it. A good amount of seeds chewed up would cause an issue. It’s been found that the casings of apple seeds are toxic to a dog because they have a natural chemical called”amygdlin” which releases cyanide when digested.
  11. Onions, Garlic Leeks and Chives – These are from the Allium family, and are poisonous to both dogs and cats. These are dangerous whether they are dry, raw, cooked, powder form or mixed in with other foods. Onions and Garlic are one of the worst foods you could ever give your puppy especially, but to dogs and even worse for cats. They contain disulfides and sulfoxides), both of which can cause anemia and damage red blood cells. Symptoms of this kind of toxicity/ anemia include muscle weakness, drooling, pale gums, vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, plus depressed and shallow breathing. Some breeds are more sensitive to these then others and the animal poison center states play it safe and don’t ever give to your dog. The sulfurs in these foods react with the cell membranes of the red blood cells and could cause them to rupture. Dogs have to have their red blood cells to oxygenate their brains and other important organs. The toxicity of these to your dog is rarely fatal but could cause serious secondary illness to the red blood cells.
  12. Yeast Dough - If the raw or uncooked dough is ingested by your puppy or dog it can swell inside their tummy and it can cause serious abdominal pain and possible internal damage. It’s been also stated that as the dough rises in their body (it’s fermenting) it can form alcohol and result in alcohol poisoning. Always keep the bread and rolls you are making out of your dog’s reach.

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What should I do if my dog consumes one of these danger foods?

Immediately call your Veterinarian for advice and if after hours, call a 24 hour emergency Animal Hospital and tell them what your dog has ingested and go from there. Another source you can call is the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center -- (888) 426-4435 -- Also it’s important to note that while this article is about foods that are dangerous to your dogs, be on alert for human medicine, house-hold cleaners, plants, sharp objects, rubber bands, etc. that your dog (especially puppies) could possibly ingest. Try to save some evidence if you have any, in case the Vet needs to treat accordingly.

Does this mean I cannot give my dog any human food?

No, you can, give your dog approved human foods for them, but it’s best to know what you can and cannot give your dog. If you ever turn a bag of natural dog food to its’ label to read you will see it’s made up of a lot of foods that human’s consume as well. I make my own organic dog food weekly but I had to really do my research to make sure I’m making it well balanced and then had my Vet look over it as well. Also, each dog is different (size, weight and breed) and some have allergies so it’s best to try the approved foods for dogs and practice trial and error. (As I stated always get their diet approved by your vet) Foods that dogs can normally have unless of an allergy are safe lean meats, baby carrots(mine love to chew on this), apple slices, watermelon slices, banana slices, blueberries, green beans, cucumber, zucchini slices, boiled rice and chicken(especially with a tummy upset), pumpkin, cooked sweet potato, spinach, scrambled eggs(if they need a protein boost), and oatmeal( great for soluble fiber or senior dogs with bowel problems). Remember these are just a few of the human foods that you can allow your dog to have but always try them in small amounts first to make sure no reactions.


Please note that I am not a medical doctor so I cannot offer medical advice nor diagnose or cure, please always consult your physician when in question. However I’m happy to offer you suggestions for possible enhancements to your health per my research and what I have learned as a Health Coach. I want to educate you the best possible way so you can be equipped with superlative information and make healthy decisions for yourself as you see fit, for this is my sole purpose.


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    • Organic Susana profile image

      Susana Danielle 2 years ago from Newark, DE

      Hi Novilyn, great question! I also came across this because I make my own organic dog food for my dog and wanted a different kind of meat in there plus my dog loves sausage so I conferred with my holistic vet and she said once in awhile a small sausage link won't hurt but just do it occasionally. The reason is sausage is loaded with fat and sodium and could cause pancreatitis in your dog. The fat load in sausage is very high. Dogs are prone to pancreatitis eating fatty meals.

      This is also true of poultry skin and gravy made from fat drippings, neither of which should be fed to dogs . The vet said after Thanksgiving they treat more dogs for acute pancreatitis and recommend to their clients not to feed their pets this. Also my Cavalier King Charles loves these 3 treats which are much better for them. They are Sam's Yam Calmly Chamomile bones, and Zuke's Skinny Bakes with peanut butter and bananas, but his favorite is Zuke's Healthy Little Sausage links (chicken & apple). We can cut his nails no problem by holding these in our hands and I have a feeling your toy poodle will love these much better than your sausage in the morning. Sure hope this helped you and you can find these products on Amazon, that's where I purchase them. Have a Happy Healthy Day!

    • profile image

      Novilyn 2 years ago

      every morning i feed to my toy poodle 1 sausage every day is it can be harm to my dog?

    • Organic Susana profile image

      Susana Danielle 2 years ago from Newark, DE

      Thanks Tami for the great question! I did research your question and according to some vet centers, a few fresh beans won't hurt them but they recommend you never feed your dog the edamame dishes because most are prepared with heavy salt and too much salt can be toxic to dogs. So in ending, they all state about 1-5 unsalted, out-of-shell beans is okay for your dog if you already tried them and see no allergic reaction. They are high in protein, fiber and omega 3. As always watch while they eat them since they are whole and small and so you dog don't gobble them and choke. Hope this helps you Tami! Have a Happy Healthy Day!

    • profile image

      Tami 2 years ago

      Our corgi Little Z loves to eat edamame if I happen to drop one. Do you know if these are bad for him?

    • Organic Susana profile image

      Susana Danielle 2 years ago from Newark, DE

      Cassia, thanks for taking time out to comment! I know, I didn't know either about grapes until my vet warned me, my doggie loves grapes and begs for them but our vet said play it safe than sorry and don't give your dog grapes! Hoping you are having a Happy, Healthy Day Cassia!

    • profile image

      Cassia 2 years ago

      Nice imfomation,glad to know that! No more grapes to my poppy.

    • Organic Susana profile image

      Susana Danielle 2 years ago from Newark, DE

      Gail, thanks again for taking time out to comment. I am so glad you remembered this article about harmful foods and didn't give their dog the grapes! I am so happy that my article made you refrain from possibly harming a dog! Good outcome and thanks for sharing this Gail! Have a Happy Healthy Day!

    • profile image

      Gail 2 years ago

      Outstanding article. I was a5 a graduation party this past weekend and was tempted to give the family lab a grape. I am so glad that i decided not to because i was not sure if grapes were good for dogs. After reading your article now i know. I am sharing this right away! Thanks so much!! It may save a life!!

    • Organic Susana profile image

      Susana Danielle 3 years ago from Newark, DE

      Hi Gail...thanks for commenting. Yes, according to ASPCA website, a lot of the foods mentioned here also are applicable to cats. but yes, maybe I shall write an article about foods to avoid for cats too since they have different digestion issues than dogs!--thanks for the suggestion! Have a Happy Healthy Day!

    • profile image

      Gail 3 years ago

      Wow I never knew half of these items caused a problem! Now I am wondering what about my cat? Hint , hint! Thanks for the info.


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