Dogs are definitely not picky eaters, but that doesn’t mean that everything is healthy for them to eat. While you may want to share some of your food with man’s best friend, make sure the ingredients are dog-safe and won’t cause them any digestive distress.
But knowing which foods are dangerous for dogs to eat is half the battle—the other half is keeping your dog’s jaws off of whatever is on the table! If you are unsure about what your dog has ingested, you should contact your local veterinary practice right away for advice.
The following are an introduction to the toxic foods that you should avoid feeding your dogs at all costs.
Even in small doses, alcohol is dangerous to all pets. Not only does alcohol cause intoxication symptoms in dogs, but it also leads to sickness, diarrhea, and even damage to your dog’s central nervous system.
Apple seeds contain amounts of cyanide, which is poisonous to humans and animals in specific amounts. So, keep apple seeds well away from your dogs—eating apple slices is just fine, though!
While avocado toast is delicious for dog owners to enjoy, avocado plants have a substance called “persin” in their fruit, leaves, and seeds, making it poisonous for dogs and causing vomiting and diarrhea.
Because cat food contains proteins and fats specially formulated for cats’ diet and digestive systems, this type of pet food is not suitable for dogs to eat. Ingesting too much cat food can result in digestive upset, obesity, and pancreatitis in dogs.
Chewing Gum, Toothpaste, and Mouthwash
Not only do these products contain large amounts of sugar-substituted goods, but too much artificial spearmint flavoring can also lead to dehydration in dogs.
Chocolate is particularly poisonous to dogs because of the stimulant it contains called “theobromine,” which can cause kidney failure. In particular, dark chocolate has the highest content of theobromine and should be kept away from your dogs at all times.
Ingesting too much of the theobromine and caffeine found in chocolate can result in vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, tremors, elevated heart rate, seizures, increased urination, and in the most severe situations, death.
The following are chocolate products that are all dangerous for dogs and need to be avoided:
- Cocoa Powder
- Dark Chocolate
- Milk Chocolate
- Semisweet Chocolate
- Unsweetened Baker’s Chocolate
- White Chocolate
Because all parts of a citrus plant contain varying amounts of citric acid, you should not feed your dog citrus products. Citric acid causes irritation and even depression of the central nervous system functioning if ingested in large doses. However, small amounts are unlikely to cause lasting harm beyond a minor upset stomach.
Coffee and Other Sources of Caffeine
Caffeine is very dangerous to dogs, so keep it well away from them no matter what. Within hours of ingesting caffeine, your dog could begin experiencing mild to severe hyperactivity, restlessness, elevated heart rate, increased blood pressure, tremors, seizures, and in the worst cases, death. Do not allow your dog to eat any caffeinated products.
Corn On The Cob
Though corn is edible for dogs in small amounts, do not give your pet a whole ear of corn on the cob. Not only is it a choking hazard, but small pieces of the cob can get stuck in a dog’s digestive system, creating a blockage in the intestines.
You should avoid feeding your dog any fat trimming from meats. Both cooked and uncooked fat trimmings can cause pancreatitis.
Not only do some kinds of fruit pits contain levels of cyanide, as apple seeds do, they also present the risk of choking or causing obstructions in your dog’s digestive system.
Tiny amounts of garlic can be alright for dogs to ingest, but more significant portions can be incredibly poisonous. It kills red blood cells in pets, causing anemia. Symptoms include weakness, vomiting, and trouble breathing.
Grapes and Raisins
While the active ingredient in grapes and raisins that causes toxin reactions in dogs is unknown, these foods can cause severe liver and kidney damage and even lead to kidney failure.
Small amounts of liver can be acceptable, but it is safer to avoid feeding your dog liver. It contains large amounts of vitamin A, which is excellent for people, but not for pups. Too much vitamin A can adversely affect your dog’s joints and lead to gastrointestinal issues.
Milk and Dairy Products
Small amounts of milk or other dairy products will not be deadly to dogs, but you run the risk of a nasty case of diarrhea. Most dog breeds become lactose intolerant once they have been weaned off of their mother’s milk, so milk and dairy products can cause digestive issues and trigger food allergies.
Nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc.) should not be fed to your dog, as they contain high levels of oils and fats that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and possibly pancreatitis.
Macadamia nuts are particularly toxic for dogs, so avoid them at all costs. Ingesting macadamia nuts can cause weakness, vomiting, tremors, weak back legs, muscle shakes, and even hypothermia in dogs. These signs usually appear around 12 hours after eating the nut and can last between 24 and 48 hours.
Onions and Chives
Because these can cause extreme gastrointestinal irritation from disulfides and sulfoxides that can lead to red blood cell damage and anemia, you should avoid feeding them to your pets. Cats are more at risk for issues arising from the consumption of onions and chives, but your dog is also susceptible to harm if large amounts are eaten. Signs of illness are not always immediate and could occur up to a few days later, so be vigilant!
Don’t feed your dog popcorn—the corn seeds and kernels can get stuck between their teeth, scrape their throat, or even get lodged in their airway. In addition, the toppings that people usually put on popcorn are not healthy for dogs to eat either. The large amounts of salt, fat and other unhealthy additives can lead to digestive issues, diarrhea, and dehydration, contributing to kidney damage and obesity.
Give your dog a bone, but make sure they are cured and pet-safe! Raw bones may seem natural and healthy for your pet, but they are major choking hazards, and bone splinters could cause significant damage to your pet’s gums, throat, or digestive tract.
Raw or Undercooked Meat, Fish, and Eggs
Feeding your pet a raw diet is possible with safe and reputable raw food suppliers, but other forms of raw meat and eggs are dangerous. Meat can contain harmful bacteria such as E. coli or Salmonella, and eggs have an enzyme called avidin that decreases the absorption rates of biotin and B vitamins in pets, leading to issues with your pet’s skin and coat.
Salt and Salty Snacks
It might be tempting to share your packet of chips with Fido, but it’s best not to. Salt is not the healthiest thing for humans and even less so for dogs. Too much salt leads to sodium ion poisoning in dogs, with symptoms that include vomiting, depression, lethargy, diarrhea, tremors, increased temperature, seizures, and in severe cases, death. So avoid feeding your dog anything overly salty.
Dogs should not ingest sugar or sugary foods in large amounts, including granulated sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, corn syrup, glucose, sucrose, etc. It leads to diabetes, obesity, and dental issues for dogs.
Giving your dog vitamins is essential for their health, but don’t give them vitamins formulated for human consumption. Because human vitamins often contain 100% of daily recommended vitamin levels, feeding them to your dog can cause a canine overdose. Prenatal vitamins are the most dangerous vitamin products for your dog, as they have a high iron dose and can lead to iron toxicity in your pets.
All kinds of artificial sweeteners are not suitable for your dog. Commonly found in products like chewing gum, soft drinks, and sugar-free diet products, always check the label for Xylitol and other types of artificial sweeteners before sharing food with your dog. These kinds of foods can make your dog go into hypoglycemia, linked to liver failure and blood clotting disorders.
Yeast rises, and it’s no different when consumed by your dog. Ingesting yeast will lead to gas, discomfort, and bloating, and too much could rupture your dog’s stomach or intestines. Yeast bread dough is also dangerous for dogs to eat because it will release ethanol into your dog’s bloodstream as it ferments, which can cause alcohol poisoning.
What To Do if Your Dog has Eaten Something Bad
Even small amounts of certain foods are toxic for dogs, so it’s best to act immediately if you witnessed or suspect that your dog has eaten something they shouldn’t have. You can also call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 for more information and guidance.