What can dogs not eat?

HotbotBy HotBotUpdated: June 20, 2024

What Can Dogs Not Eat?

Dogs are often considered part of the family, and it’s natural to want to share food with them. However, not all human foods are safe for dogs. Some foods can cause severe health issues, while others can even be fatal. Knowing what dogs cannot eat is crucial for their well-being. Below is a comprehensive guide detailing various foods that are harmful to dogs, categorized for easier understanding.


Chocolate is one of the most well-known foods that dogs should never consume. It contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which are toxic to dogs. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate are particularly dangerous due to their high theobromine content. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning can include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and even seizures.

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins can cause acute kidney failure in dogs. Even small amounts can be toxic. The exact substance in grapes and raisins that causes toxicity is still unknown, making them particularly dangerous. Symptoms to watch for include vomiting, lethargy, and depression.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic, whether raw, cooked, or powdered, can be harmful to dogs. They contain compounds that can damage red blood cells, leading to anemia. Signs of onion or garlic toxicity include weakness, vomiting, and a diminished appetite.


Alcohol is highly toxic to dogs and can lead to ethanol poisoning. Even small amounts can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, coordination problems, difficulty breathing, tremors, and in severe cases, coma or death. Never give dogs any form of alcohol, including beer, wine, or spirits.


Xylitol is a sugar substitute commonly found in sugar-free gum, candies, and baked goods. It can cause a rapid release of insulin in dogs, leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Symptoms of xylitol poisoning include vomiting, loss of coordination, and seizures. In severe cases, it can cause liver failure.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs, even in small quantities. Symptoms of macadamia nut poisoning include weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia. These symptoms typically appear within 12 hours of ingestion and can last up to 48 hours.


Avocados contain persin, a fungicidal toxin that can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. While the flesh of the avocado is less toxic, the pit, skin, and leaves contain higher levels of persin and should be avoided. Moreover, the pit poses a choking hazard.


Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, and energy drinks should never be given to dogs. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and can cause restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, and bleeding. In severe cases, it can lead to death.

Raw Meat, Fish, and Eggs

While some dog owners advocate for raw diets, there are risks associated with feeding raw meat, fish, and eggs. These foods can contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli. Raw fish can also contain parasites. Additionally, raw eggs contain avidin, an enzyme that can reduce the absorption of biotin, leading to skin and coat problems.

Cooked Bones

While raw bones can be a treat for dogs, cooked bones should be avoided. Cooking makes bones brittle, increasing the risk of splintering. Splintered bones can cause choking, blockages, or tears in the digestive tract. Always opt for raw, meaty bones or specially designed dog chews.


Excessive salt intake can lead to sodium ion poisoning in dogs. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, high temperature, and seizures. In severe cases, it can lead to death. Avoid feeding dogs salty snacks like chips and pretzels.

Fat Trimmings and Bones

Feeding dogs fat trimmings from meat can cause pancreatitis, a potentially life-threatening condition. Symptoms include abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Bones can cause choking, blockages, or tears in the digestive tract, so they should also be avoided.

Certain Fruits

While many fruits are safe for dogs, some should be avoided. For example, cherries contain cyanide, which is toxic to dogs. Apple seeds also contain cyanide and should not be given to dogs. Additionally, the pits of peaches and plums can cause intestinal blockages and contain cyanide.

Yeast Dough

Yeast dough can expand in a dog’s stomach, causing bloating and potentially leading to a twisted stomach, a life-threatening condition. Additionally, as the dough ferments, it produces alcohol, which can cause alcohol poisoning.

Human Medications

Many human medications are toxic to dogs, including over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Always keep medications out of reach and consult a veterinarian before giving any medication to your dog.

Understanding what foods are harmful to dogs is essential for their health and safety. While it’s tempting to share your meals with your furry friend, it’s crucial to know which foods can pose serious risks. By being informed and cautious, you can help ensure that your dog stays happy and healthy.

Every dog owner wants the best for their pet, and sometimes that means saying no to sharing certain foods. Like a guardian of ancient knowledge, you now hold the wisdom to protect your loyal companion from hidden dangers. The choices you make today will ripple through the sands of time, shaping the longevity and happiness of your faithful friend. Choose wisely, for their sake, and the bond you share will only grow stronger.

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