Tips ~n~ Tricks » Pet Care » What Can Dogs Not Eat? 20+ People Foods To Avoid

What Can Dogs Not Eat? 20+ People Foods To Avoid

fb iconpinterest iconpinterest iconlinkedin iconbuffer icon

Do you ever wonder why foods that are considered safe for humans are poisonous to dogs?

It’s simple. Dogs metabolize their foods way differently from humans, making it difficult for them to digest certain people foods. Which brings me to a frequently asked question;

What can dogs NOT eat?

Dogs can not eat avocados, grapes/raisins, macadamia nuts, onion/garlic, coffee, chocolate, or any food that contains caffeine. It is also very unsafe for dogs to consume alcohol, lemon, raw eggs, Xylitol, and more.

It’s easy for someone whose life revolves around their dogs easy to forget that these furry friends aren’t actually human. Besides, they already share your homes and heart with you; sharing a little food with them won’t hurt, right??

dog eating at table

Wrong! You might be shocked to learn how dangerous some of these seemingly harmless people foods are.

20+ People Food Dogs Can Not Eat

Even when you don’t mean to, you may end up feeding your dog foods that are very harmful to them. For this reason, it is vital to know what you shouldn’t feed them.

people foods toxic to dogs

1 Avocado

Your dog should NEVER eat Avocados.

Persin, a known toxin that naturally occurs avocados, is extremely poisonous to dogs. When they ingest avocado, fluid may accumulate in their chest and lungs, causing breathing difficulty as well as a series of respiratory problems. In the worst cases, death may occur.

The pit is equally dangerous as it may cause severe obstruction or choke your dog.

avocado toxic to dogs

2 Chocolate

Like humans, dogs love their sweet treats. However, it can be disastrous simply because their system cannot process it. Chocolate contains a toxic substance called methylxanthines, a stimulant that reduces or brings to a stop a dog’s metabolic process.

Even a minute amount of chocolate can cause excessive diarrhea and vomiting. Allowing your dog to ingest a large amount can cause seizures, heart irregularities, and, eventually, death.

chocolate toxic to dogs
Chocolate is a Big No-No for Dogs!

3 Garlic

Just like onions, garlic belongs to the gallium family. They contain toxic chemicals called thiosulfates, which are harmful to dogs. Garlic is even five times more toxic than other Allium plants.

Thiosulfates can damage the red blood cells of dogs, making them more prone to anemia and other side effects such as weakness, diarrhea, increased heart rate, etc. In worst cases, your dog may require a blood transfusion, especially when consuming it in a high amount.

garlic toxic to dogs

4 Macadamia Nuts

It is not currently known why dogs react so violently to macadamia nuts, but symptoms rapidly appear within twelve hours of ingestion. Macadamia nuts contain an unknown toxic that can cause vomiting, general body weakness, tremors, hyperthermia, and lethargy. In severe cases, they can even affect the dog’s nervous system. Not even small amounts should be given to dogs.

macadamia nuts toxic to dogs

5 Coffee, Tea, and Other Caffeine

While it may be cute to allow your dog share your mealtime, coffee and tea are things you must never share with them. This is due to their caffeine content.

Caffeine will stimulate your dog’s nervous system, causing a number of side effects, such as diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, hyperactivity, and seizures. If consumed in excess, lung failure may result, as well as untimely death.

coffee toxic to dogs

6 Xylitol

Xylitol is a sugar substitute, often found in candy, gum, toothpaste, and baked goods. Dogs should never consume anything that contains xylitol.

Ingestion of Xylitol can result in a rapid drop in blood sugar level, causing a series of symptoms such as muscle pain and weakness, seizures, and in severe cases, liver damage and even death.

b101 candycanes can kill
Did you know? Candy Canes can Kill Your Dog

7 Alcohol

I’ve seen some videos where people think it’s cute to give alcohol to dogs purposely.

The truth is, dogs will drink pretty much anything you give them out of curiosity (well, except medicines intended to make them better, lol). But that doesn’t mean it’s safe for them.

Consuming even the smallest amount can lead to alcohol poisoning. Effects of this include lack of coordination, fatigue, seizures, vomiting, and in severe cases, lung failure, coma, and death. Always keep alcoholic products such as perfumes, alcoholic beverages, and mouthwash out of reach from them.

alcohol toxic to dogs

8 Apple Seeds & Peels

While apples are safe to eat, the skin and apple seeds are toxic to dogs, especially large amounts. These contain a chemical called Amygdalin, which releases cyanide into the bloodstream when ingested by dogs. If you want to feed apples to your dog, always make sure to seed them first and peel off the skin completely.

apples toxic to dogs

9 Cooked Bones

Raw bones are considered healthy and nutritious for dogs, but cooked bones aren’t easily digestible.

Unlike raw bones, cooked bones easily splinter into shards when chewed by dogs. These shards can cause them to choke and damage the dog’s mouth, throat, or intestines.

10 Grapes, Raisins, and Currants

Avoid feeding grapes, raisins, and currants (fruits from the Vitis species) to dogs. Recently, it’s become abundantly clear why these fruits are highly toxic, often leading to immediate lethargy and kidney failure.

ASPCA Poison Control Center (APCC) veterinarians solved the 20-year mystery of why grapes, raisins, and sultanas are poisonous to dogs. As it turns out, grapes contain tartaric acid, which causes these symptoms:

1 Vomiting
2 Diarrhea
3 Excessive thirst
4 Kidney damage or failure
5 Death

In the past, grape toxicity has been difficult to assess. Dogs that ate grapes suffered mild effects, whereas others developed acute renal failure. Knowing tartaric acid is the culprit explains a lot.

Depending on the type of grape, where it was grown, and when it was ripe, different grapes, raisins, and sultanas contain different levels of tartaric acid. Potassium bitartrate is usually removed in items that have been processed, such as jellies, jams, and wines, which explains the lack of toxicosis when dogs consume these items.

Potassium bitartrate (cream of tartar) is the salt of tartaric acid.

Researchers previously believed that mycotoxins (a toxin produced by fungus or mold) are to blame for dogs’ severe injury when they consume raisins. Others believe that the naturally occurring levels of Salicylate result in decreased blood flow to the kidneys.

Look out for that glob of fruit salad you dropped to the ground by mistake, and keep raisins from your dogs. Some dogs have developed a severe reaction after ingesting just three or four raisins.

grapes toxic to dogs
Grapes are HIGHLY Toxic to Dogs, this is a BIG NO-NO!!

11 Tobacco

Dogs should never ingest tobacco as it contains nicotine, which can be very harmful to dogs. Tobacco poisoning can become visible within an hour of ingestion. Signs of this include vomiting, tremor, irregular heart rate, etc. Keep in mind if you chew tobacco or have friends or family members that chew not to spit dip onto the ground, as dogs may consume it.

tobacco toxic to dogs

12 Nutmeg

While it may be tempting to share your eggnog over or spiced treats over the holidays, you must keep nutmeg away from your dog. Nutmeg contains a toxic compound known as myristicin, which is poisonous to dogs when consumed in large amounts. Symptoms may include increased heart rate, high blood pressure, disorientation, abdominal pain, and seizures.

nutmeg toxic to dogs

13 Lemon and Lime

The skin of lemons and limes contain a chemical substance called psoralen, which may lead to symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea if consumed. In large amounts, symptoms such as liver failure, tremors, and even death may occur. Hence, both lemons and limes very harmful to dogs.

lemon toxic to dogs

14 Salt and salty snacks

Salt and salty foods like chips and pretzels may lead to excessive loss of moisture and thirst in dogs. Signs and symptoms include tremors, vomiting and diarrhea, elevated temperature, seizures, and maybe death.

salty snacks toxic to dogs

15 Dairy Products

Sometimes, it may be tempting to share that bowl of ice-cream with your dog in the summer. Your dog may scream for it too! However, it would be best if you always resisted the urge to do so.

Milk and other dairy products can cause diarrhea, intestinal cramps, bloating, and a series of digestive problems. They may also trigger food allergies. If you’d like to share a frozen treat with your pup, make them homemade icy paws treats.

b101 frosty paws ice cream for dogs
Icy Paws Frozen Dog Treats

16 Fat Trimmings

Fat trimmings can cause pancreatitis in dogs.

fat trimmings toxic to dogs

17 Peaches, Plum, and Persimmons

We often think of fruits as a healthy dessert or snacks… Well, not so much for dogs. The major problem when consuming the fruits is their pit. These can cause a blockage, which may result in intestinal swelling and obstruction. It is best always to keep them away from your dog.

peaches toxic to dogs

18 Raw Eggs

Unlike cooked eggs, raw eggs may be contaminated with a bacteria called Salmonella. If consumed, it may result in food poisoning. You can avoid this by simply boiling the eggs.

raw eggs

19 Raw Fish and Meat

Like raw eggs, raw meat and fish may have bacteria, which causes food poisoning. Early symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, vomiting, and fever.

raw fish toxic to dogs

20 Raw Yeast Dough

If consumed by dogs, raw yeast dough can cause bloating as they expand in their stomach. Also, alcohol poisoning may occur as yeast cells produce alcohol when they ferment.

21 People’s Medicine

While this is not a food, you mustn’t feed your medicine to your dog. Some ingredients, such as ibuprofen, are present in pain relievers and can be very harmful to your dog. Just like with kids, keep all medicines out of your dog’s reach.

people medicines toxic to dogs

What Can Dogs Eat?

After scanning through lists of what dogs cannot eat, it’s normal to wonder, “what then is safe for my furry babies?” Can my dog eat this? Here’s a short list of human foods dogs can eat:

  • Lean meats
  • Cooked white rice
  • Chicken
  • Broccoli
  • Shrimp
  • Sweet Potatoes (cooked)
  • Bananas
  • Carrots
  • Peanut butter (as long as it doesn’t contain Xylitol)
  • Cooked oatmeal

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats What It Shouldn’t?

No matter how cautious you are, there are times when your dogs might swallow something that they shouldn’t.

In this case, you must always keep the number of your vet and the closest emergency clinic. Call for immediate help if you think your dog has eaten any toxic food.

If your dog appears to be choking, you can apply the Heimlich maneuver to try to dislodge the object or food.

how to perform the heimlich maneuver on a pet
How to Perform the Heimlich Maneuver on a Pet

Final Thoughts

As you can see, not all foods that are safe for humans are safe for your dogs.

Also, no matter how safe some food is, they must be introduced gradually and in moderate amounts into your dog’s diet. Doing so will help you monitor adverse effects like allergies.

Finally, keep your vet’s number close in case of any emergencies.

View More Pet Care Tips-n-Tricks

4 thoughts on “What Can Dogs Not Eat? 20+ People Foods To Avoid”

  1. I would also add the following people foods to avoid

    Pickles & Onions – Pickles and certain types of onions contain the chemical disulfide which can cause oxidative damage to your dog’s red blood cells. This can lead to anemia resulting in lethargy, pale gums, increased heart rate, and exercise intolerance.

    A Can Of Tuna Or Salmon
    – Too much fish can give your dog mercury poisoning which will damage his nervous system. Small amounts are fine but avoid giving him too much for this reason.

    Moldy Foods – Mold is toxic to dogs. It causes gastrointestinal upset which could spiral into something worse if left untreated. It has also been known to cause liver damage in dogs with prolonged exposure.

    The main concern with moldy food is that your dog might inhale mold spores while eating them which will enter his lungs causing severe respiratory issues down the road. If your dog does eat moldy food and starts showing symptoms like wheezing or difficulty breathing, call your vet right away.

    Soda – Contains sugar and carbonation which will give your dog gas, bloating, and play havoc with his internal organs. Carbonation can also cause intestinal irritation in dogs if he swallows it whole/in large quantities.

  2. Thank you for this article, I was wondering if my little guy could eat some of these foods because we were feeding him carrots and green beans off our dinner plates and wanted to know if that was safe or not.

  3. Hey, I’ve got 2 more to add to your comprehensive list!

    Corn Cobs & Sticks

    These foods can become lodged in your dog’s digestive system and cause a blockage that is known as a “choke”. It could also cause the intestines to swell and twist which can cut off blood flow. If not treated, it will lead to death.

    Potato Eyes & Tops

    These vegetables contain solanine which causes dilated pupils, tremors, heart problems and even seizures. Ingested by dogs it could be lethal.

  4. Pets are natural stress-relievers. Just spending a few minutes with our furry friends can help us feel more relaxed and calm.


Leave a Comment