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Foods That Can Harm Or Even Kill Your Dog

Updated on November 18, 2008

Every year, thousands of household pets, dogs to be more specific, become sick or even die due to regular foods that are kept around the house.

Here is a list of common foods that can harm or even kill your dog:

Apples, Apricots, Cherries, Peaches and Plum

These five fruits don’t seem like they would be harmful foods. However, they contain a type of cyanide complex that can poison your dog if he ingests enough of the stems, seeds and leaves. This can cause dilated pupils, breathing problems, hyperventilation, shock, and apprehensiveness.


Chocolate is harmful for 3 reasons: the chemicals theobromine and caffeine, and its high fat content. Theobromine and caffeine are nervous system stimulants. Stimulants are harmful to your dog if he eats too much.Noticeable effects of overdose include hyperactivity, restlessness, muscle twitches, increased urination and excessive panting. It can also cause internal symptoms like increased heart rate and blood pressure. Seizures may occur in the most severe cases of overdose. These chemicals increase as the chocolate gets darker.

Coffee Grounds and Beans

You may have a dog that will eat anything, especially if they're enjoying a prohibited treat from a trash can. Coffee grounds and beans have caffeine and dogs that eat them can suffer from caffeine overdose.

Macadamia Nuts

Also known as the Australia Nut and the Queensland Nut, Macadamias are one of the mystery harmful foods when it comes to your dog. Although researchers still have not determined what causes the problem, as few as six nuts, running as high as 40 nuts, can cause severe overdose. The symptoms your dog may have from macadamias include abdominal pain, vomiting, pale gums, stiffness, lameness, difficulty walking, tremors, weakness, and depression. The symptoms usually dissipate in 12 to 24 hours.


Nutmeg is a popular spice at Christmas time, especially for eggnog and baking. High levels of nutmeg can kill your dog. Symptoms include seizures, tremors, central nervous system problems, and death.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic contain thiosulphate, which is harmful for dogs. If you feed him onions or garlic regularly, his red blood cells may weaken and literally fall apart. The thiosulphate can reach harmful, even deadly levels, if he eats too much of either food.

Without treatment, severe anemia and death can result from these harmful substances. This can result in vomiting, diarrhea, gas or gastrointestinal pain and distress. These symptoms might not appear for a few days, which makes it much harder to pinpoint the poison.

Grapes and Raisins

Yes, grapes and raisins can be harmful to dogs and cause kidney failure. Scientists and vets still do not know why the kidneys fail, or the amount of raisins or grapes that causes overdose. Lack of treatment can result in death. If you catch him eating grapes or raisins, call your vet immediately for advice and direction.

Yeast Dough

If you are a bread baker, you know that the dough needs a warm, moist environment to expand. Your dog's stomach is a nice warm, moist environment, and so, the dough can expand to many times its size when he eats it. This distends his abdomen and can cause pain. As well, the dough rises because the yeast ferments it. The fermentation results in alcohol, which can cause alcohol overdose.


Alcohol is a poison that happens to produce enjoyable side effects in humans, in moderation. However, your dog is much smaller than you, and so is much more susceptible to the poisonous effects of alcohol, including death. Some of the signals that your dog has been drinking alcohol include its odor on his breath, slow respiratory rate, increased urination, staggering or a wobbly gait, excitement, depression, disorientation, behavioral changes, hypothermia, seizures and cardiac arrest.There's enough alcohol in a "mickey" to kill a small dog.

Baking Powder and Baking Soda

Baking powder and baking soda are common items found in the kitchen. If your dog eats a large amount of either of these powders, he can suffer from electrolyte changes, muscle spasms and congestive heart failure.

Fatty Foods

Dogs, just like us, love rich and fatty foods. They get them out of the trash, or as treats. Excessive amounts of fatty foods can cause pancreatitis. Small dogs like miniature and toy poodles, cocker spaniels and miniature schnauzers are especially prone to pancreatitis. Pancreatitis signs include abdominal pain, acute onset of vomiting, and diarrhea. The pain can show through a hunched posture when you pick up your dog.

We all like to think of our dogs as family members. However, don’t give him scraps or feed him from the table. Your dog may not like it, but he will be healthier.

Protect your dog from harm by keeping harmful foods locked up or out of his reach, being firm and refusing to give him any and keeping your trash or garbage out of his reach. Others substances are dangerous due to incomplete cooking or improper/non-secure storage. If your dog ingests these harmful foods, he may need aggressive, possibly long-term, treatment. Dog proof your house just like you would child proof it.


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    • godaddywebmaster profile image

      godaddywebmaster 8 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Wow, I never knew this. Thanks for sharing. Note to self, stop giving dog a piece of my snickers.

    • lacyleathers profile image

      lacyleathers 8 years ago from US

      LOL...he may get mad...but will be better off.

    • JPSO138 profile image

      JPSO138 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      I am sure that this hub is very useful. I will indeed take note of these things.

    • profile image

      anal bead master 6 years ago

      uhhh...wats a mickey? cuz i put a little bit of beer on the tip of my finger and i know that's not a lot but wat the hells a mickey cuz it sounds to me like a small amount

    • profile image

      TIA  5 years ago


    • profile image

      oscar 5 years ago

      thanks for this imformation

    • profile image

      Michelle 5 years ago

      my brother gave my dog apple and my dog just threw up

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