side view of a dog stealing a piece of cooked fish off a table

Foods that are toxic for dogs

Dogs are one of the most popular pets around the world. They’re not known as man’s best friend for no reason. Some dog owners give their four-legged friends treats from their table, not realising that some foods aren’t safe for dogs. If you’re not sure, then here’s 17 foods that are toxic for dogs and you should avoid feeding these to them.

And a note for anyone who doesn’t have a dog, do ask the owner before you give their pet food as you don’t know if they have a particular issue or diet they’re eating. Of course, that’s applicable for any animals not just dogs.

unsafe foods for dogs

Foods that are toxic for dogs

1. Avocado

Avocado contains Persin in its leaves, fruit and seed. Persin can cause dog to have vomiting and diarrhoea.

2. Alcohol

Alcohol even in small doses can be dangerous to dogs. As well as them getting intoxicated (similar to humans), in them it can lead to sickness, diarrhoea, coordination issues, difficulty breathing and even central nervous system damage. The smaller the dog, the smaller the amount of alcohol that can cause damage. Similarly raw yeast dough can also be an issue as the yeast ferments in the stomach and grows in size. 

3. Caffeine

Caffeine from any type of drink can cause poisoning in dogs. Symptoms include include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, and muscle tremors, not unlike in humans who have too much. 

4. Cat food

Cat food – cat food is made with higher fat and protein content than is good for dogs. It can cause an upset stomach, obesity, and pancreatitis

5. Chocolate

Chocolate contains theobromine which is a stimulant, with dark chocolate having the highest content. It can cause kidney failure and seizures in dogs.

6. Cooked bones

Cooked bones can splinter when dogs bite on them. In large amounts, they can cause constipation and worse, a perforated gut. Raw bones are fine.

7. Corn on the cob

Corn on the cob itself can be digested by dogs, but it can cause a blockage in the intestine which is damaging.

8. Dairy products

Dairy products – while some dogs can cope with them, many don’t have the ability to break down the lactose leading to lactose intolerance. This can lead to gas problems, bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhoea.

9. Fat trimmings

Fat trimmings both raw and cooked, can be dangerous for dogs and cause pancreatitis.

10. Grapes and raisins

Grapes and raisins have an as yet unknown toxin in, which can cause liver damage and kidney failure in dogs.

side view of a dog stealing a piece of cooked fish off a table

11. Macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts have a toxin that can affect muscles and nervous system in dogs, leading to potential weakness, swollen limbs, fever, vomiting and panting.

12. Mushrooms

Mushrooms – different types of mushrooms have different levels and types of toxins. These can cause seizures and shock.

13. Onions, garlic and chives

Onions, garlic and chives are all part of the onion family which is toxic to dogs and can cause gastrointestinal irritation and damage to red blood cells potentially leading to anaemia. Whether raw, powdered or cooked, avoid giving to dogs. Symptoms of anaemia can include lethargy, pale gums and disinterest in food

14. Rhubarb

Rhubarb contains oxalates, which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy and weakness tremors, and bloody urine.

15. Salt

Salt can cause salt poisoning or water deprivation in dogs, so avoid giving salty snacks. It cause neurological disorders, vomiting, diarrhoea, depression, tremors, seizures and fever/

16. Fruit stones and pits

Stones or pits from plums and peaches, apples, and cherries – these (and pips from other fruits) can contain cyanide, so avoid the pits/stones before handing over a fruit snack.

17. Xylitol

Xylitol is a sweetener used in lots of sugar free human food and things like toothpaste. If dogs take in any xylitol, they can get hypoglycaemia which is linked to liver failure and blood clotting disorders in dogs. Symptoms include repeated vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination that can evolve into seizures.

If a dog you know has been eating any toxic foods, keep an eye on them and speak to the vet.

If you have dogs, what’s their favourite treat food?

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  1. I loved your article, I saved it to my favorites in my browser to later see other content.

  2. This was a really helpful blog post and will be for all dog owners. Thank you for sharing.

    Lauren – bournemouthgirl

  3. I don’t have a dog currently but this is such important information to know! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Never knew cat food had more fat content and protein! Never had a cat before so that is probably why. The other ones are def not good for dogs and we don’t feed them to our doggy.

    1. I didn’t until I was researching this either, and we had cats as children. The cats on the farm do have their own tins, while the dogs have dry. But we do give them meat scraps, and boil off the bones so they can have the remaining meat/juices. We avoid too much fat though, but they do get some – but they’re big dogs, so safer with them over small ones.

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