How to Avoid Foods Dangerous for Your Dog

How to Avoid Foods Dangerous for Your Dog

There are many common foods on the human table that are deadly for dogs. It is vital to know about them to avoid causing severe or fatal illness in your loyal canine companion.


1. Understand that even though a certain food is non-toxic to you, this does not mean that the food is non-toxic to your dog. Certain foods that cause no harm to humans can be lethal to canines.

2. Familiarize yourself with the top human food culprits:

  • Chocolate contains theobromine (a methylxanthine derivative). It can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhea, pant excessively, urinate frequently, develop a great thirst, have seizures, show hyperactivity, get an abnormal heart beat and possibly die. The negative effects depend on the dosage, the size of the dog, and the type of chocolate.
  • Caffeine/Coffee warrant the same precautions as for chocolate. Caffeine, like theobromine, is a methylxanthine derivative with similar effects on dogs.
  • Alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lack of coordination, poor breathing, abnormal blood acidity, coma and death, just like in humans. The difference is that dogs are much smaller and are more susceptible to intoxication.
  • Onions, garlic and chives in all forms (dry, raw, cooked) contain thiosulphate, which can irritate the gastrointestinal system of your dog. A relatively high dosage (600-800 grams) in one meal or spread apart over a few days can damage red blood cells (haemolytic anaemia).
  • Macadamia Nuts (both raw and roasted, as well as macadamia butter) contain an unknown toxin that can cause locomotory difficulties: weakness, panting, tremors and swollen limbs. Commonly in cookies, so be careful what you feed your dog.
  • Grapes and Raisins - can lead to kidney failure. As yet, it is not known what substance in grapes causes this. Be careful, as raisins are often in cake and cookies.
  • Avocado - the substance Persin can cause vomiting, diarrhea and sometimes heart congestion.
  • Yeast dough - this refers to the dough prior to cooking. The yeast can continue to rise in the dog's stomach and cause painful bloating, gas and even rupture of the intestines or stomach.
  • Raw or undercooked meat and eggs - While there is controversy surrounding the role of raw meat in a dog's diet, studies have shown that raw meat has a higher likelihood of harboring harmful bacteria than cooked or prepared dog food. As with humans, care needs to be taken in handling raw meat and eggs to avoid the possibility of contamination with Salmonella bacteria and E. coli. Raw eggs contain an enzyme (avidin) that can lead to skin and coat problems for a dog.
  • Milk - owing to the lack of lactase, consumption may lead to bloating, gas, diarrhea and other digestive upsets.
  • Xylitol - this can lead to liver failure through the over-release of insulin, vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. It does not take long to see signs of nearing liver failure - only a few days. Be very careful as this substance in a wide range of products, such as candy, chewing gum, toothpaste and baked goods
  • Bones can cause choking, or they can break apart into jagged pieces that become lodged in the digestive tract. Look for sturdy marrow bones that are less likely to splinter or nylon bones that wear down slowly.
  • Corn on the cob is one of the most common ways a dog can get a blocked intestine. The dog bites of a piece of the cob one inch long and swallows it. The corn is digested off the cob in the tummy and the cob is left to block the small intestine and feels like a brillo pad trying to scrape it's way down the digestive track. This is seen in vet offices often and can kill the dog if not removed surgically.
  • Salmon and trout frequently have a parasite that cooking does not kill. It is fine for humans but can harm dogs.

3. Chicken bones can get lodged into the roof of the mouth

4. Check the food you are sharing carefully. Many of these ingredients are tucked away in cookies, bread, cake, preserves and other processed foods. It is really important to be aware of what you are feeding your canine companion so that you can avoid these problem foods.

5. Ensure that your dog eats a healthy and balanced diet. Read up on the appropriate foods for your dog type and make regular vet visits to ensure that your dog is in top shape.

6 .Minimize snacks from the human table. It encourages poor manners from both the dog and the human and it blurs the line between what is good food for the animal and what is not. Start out right and keep it right.

7. Contact your vet immediately if you see any signs of weakness, poisoning, lack of coordination, lethargy, frothing or any other unusual behavior after consuming any of these foods. Delay can be fatal so do not hesitate.


  • Cooked bread is okay in very small amounts.
  • Show children this list and teach them early what they can and cannot feed their dog(s).
  • Many natural dog food supplements boast garlic as a natural flea preventative.
  • Too much of nearly anything will cause pets to vomit.
  • Be very careful when taking medication. If you drop one on the floor make sure you get it before your animals do. Look for small items and pills that have fallen to the floor, in the couch cushions, and other places when you get a pet that will have "roaming privileges" in the house.


  • Dogs are not wild animals. Most of the breeds that are kept as pets are domesticated, meaning that they were bred to be kept under human care and supervision. While domesticated dogs can survive ferally on a wild diet, dogs on a controlled diet are likely to lead longer, healthier lives.
  • Take your dog to the vet immediately if it shows any signs of poisoning or any of the symptoms described above following consumption of any of these foods.
  • Be aware that just because you may have fed the dog once on a bad food that this does not mean the dog can consume it. Some foods have a cumulative effect and the dosage can be key to whether or not there is a fatal or severe reaction.
  • Always place table scraps and other garbage in a secure container, where the dog can't get to it. Never allow your dog to eat food or treats he finds on the ground in public.