August 26 2019

What Human Foods Should I Not Give to My Dog?

The foods listed below should not be given to dogs in any amount.  Many of these foods are used in baking and can be hidden in other foods such as cookies and breads, be especially cautious during the holidays and special occasions.  Be aware that many foods might contain the below in varying amounts, it is always better to err on the side of caution and always check ingredient lists.


Coffee and  Tea

dogs should not eat coffee and tea

Why can’t dogs drink coffee or tea?

Coffee, tea, energy drinks and chocolate drinks contain caffeine which is toxic to dogs.  Always check for caffeine or caffeine like substances (guarana) before allowing your dog to consume any product.


Grapes (raisins)

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Why can’t dogs eat grapes and raisins?

The exact chemical that causes problems for dogs is not know but eating any type of grape or raisin can lead to acute kidney failure.  Keep grapes and raisins away from your dog, do not put them in bowls that your dog can reach.  If your dog does eat grapes or raisins contact your vet immediately.



dogs should not eat chocolate

Why can’t dogs eat Chocolate?

Chocolate contains Theobromine which is toxic to dogs.

Can Dogs eat dark chocolate? No.  Dark chocolate can contain double the amount of Theobromine than milk chocolate contains. 

Chocolate contains caffeine which is also toxic to your dog.

If your dog does chocolate contact your vet immediately.


Alcoholic Beverages

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 Why can’t dogs drink alcoholic beverages?

Alcohol is toxic to dogs and they should not consume anything containing alcohol.  Remember there are hidden sources of alcohol such as Vanilla and Almond Extract, Liqueur Filled Candies. Ethanol toxicity is extremely dangerous to dogs and can be deadly.  Some drinks might taste delicious to dogs and contain high levels of alcohol and other poisonous ingredients found on this list such as coffee and chocolate so be sure to keep those type of drinks out of reach of your canine companion.  Symptoms are similar to those found in humans after alcohol consumption such as loss of coordination, change in behavior and vomiting.  Sometimes dogs could just sleep off a small amount of alcohol but we recommend always calling your vet as they will know your dog and offer the best advice.



Peaches, apples, apricots, cherries, and plums 

dogs should not eat peaches apples peaches apricots cherries plums

Why can’t dogs eat certain fruits like apples, peaches, cherries, plums and apricots? 

The seeds or pits of these fruits contain the substance amygdalin.  When the seeds are chewed or digested the amygdalin breaks down into cyanide, which as most people know, is extremely poisonous.   If you suspect your dog has eaten any seeds it is best to contact your vet immediately.


Onions, shallots, leeks, chives and garlic 

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Why can’t dogs eat certain plants like onions, shallots, leeks, chives and garlic?

These are all members of the Allium family  and contain the substance N-propyl disulfide which damages hemoglobin, the oxygen carrying compound in blood. Symptoms include reduced appetite and weakness.  Be diligent, onion powder and garlic powder are found in many prepared foods.  It is best to contact your veterinarian if your dog has eaten any of these allium family plants.


Macadamia Nuts

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Why can’t dogs eat Macadamia nuts?

Like grapes and raisins, scientists have not yet identified the exact substance that causes problems for dogs, but Macadamia Nuts are extremely toxic for dogs and should be completely avoided.  Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, fever and weakness in the hind legs.  These nuts are often found in cookies and other deserts so be extra cautious during the holidays or special occasions or any type these types of treats are consumed.



dog should not eat xylitol candy

Why can’t dogs eat products sweetened with Xylitol?

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in candies, gums and many other products is very toxic to dogs.  Keep these products away from dogs (probably best to keep them away from your human kids too).  If your suspect your dog has consumed anything containing this chemical contact your veterinarian.



dogs should not eat avacado

Why can’t dogs eat Avocado?           

Avocados contain the chemical Persin which, even though tolerated in small amounts in most dogs, can cause serious health issues such as vomiting and diarrhea.  I addition, avocados are quite high in fat which can lead to pancreatitis and also have a large pit or stone which can cause dogs to choke.  This is definitely on the do not eat list for dogs but if your dogs eats a small bit of guacamole that fell on the floor it should not be problem.


Salty Foods and Salt

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Why can't dogs eat salty human snacks?

Like humans, dog need a small amount of salt in their diet.  According to the National Academies an average dog weighing 33 pounds (lbs) and eating 1,000 calories per day, 200 mg of sodium is recommended.  However, many snacks contain very high levels of sodium and should be avoided.  Most dog foods will contain the proper amount of sodium for optimal health.  If you are concerned you should let you vet know which type of food your dog eats and the amount of sodium per serving.  If you are making homemade dog food it is important to calculate the amount of sodium and other nutrients.


Raw Dough Containing Yeast

dogs should not eat raw dough with yeast

Why can’t dogs eat raw dough containing yeast?

Don’t feed your dog any raw dough.  Raw dough that contains yeast is especially dangerous because as the yeast ferments is produces alcohol (ethanol) which can cause alcohol poisoning.  In addition, carbon dioxide is also produced which can be very dangerous as the gas expands inside the dog’s stomach.  Symptoms include loss of coordination and behavior changes as well as a distended belly.  If your dog consumes any type of raw dough contact your vet immediately.


Raw Potatoes 

dogs should not eat raw potato

Why can’t dogs eat raw potatoes?

Raw potatoes are a member of the nightshade family and contain solanine which can be poisonous to  dogs. 



Having a dog in our lives is a true blessing and it is our responsibility to keep them healthy and happy.  Part of keeping our fur babies healthy is not letting them have access to foods that are harmful to them.  Be vigilant, these foods are found in many dishes and desserts and those who do not know these foods are dangerous to our beloved dogs might inadvertently give them what they believe to be a treat.

Be careful not to bring these foods during your next camping trip!

7 Tips for Summertime Camping with Your Dog

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