Foods That Are Unsafe For A Dog To Consume

It happens every day. You sit down to the table for a meal, while your dog looks wistfully upon your plate. Unable to resist that sweet face, you offer your dog a tasty morsel. But, you need to use caution when feeding your dog table scraps. Not all foods consumed by humans are safe for your furry friend. Many of our favorite treats, including chocolate, coffee, dairy, and even grapes can harm your dog. Ingesting these foods can cause a variety of health problems, including vomiting, diarrhea, seizure, heart problems, kidney failure, and trouble breathing. Some foods may even cause death.

Take a look at the below list to make yourself aware of which foods are unsafe and possibly hazardous for your dog to consume.

Chocolate and Caffeine

The caffeine and theobromine in chocolate can cause vomiting and diarrhea in your dog. Dark chocolate is most dangerous because it contains more of these substances than white or milk chocolate. Baking chocolate has the highest amount of theobromine. Chocolate can also cause dehydration, fever, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, seizure, and even death.

The caffeine found in coffee can cause a life-threatening reaction in your dog as well. Similar to chocolate, caffeine can cause a dog to experience hyperactivity, elevated or abnormal heart beat, heart palpitations, fever, vomiting, seizure and even death. This is all connected to theobromine which is found in cacao seeds.

Grapes & Raisins

While the toxic element in grapes and raisins is still unknown, research has shown that ingesting grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in your dog. It can also cause vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.

Milk & Dairy

You should avoid feeding your dog milk and dairy products because dogs lack the enzymes needed to break down lactose. Not all dogs will experience symptoms after ingesting these foods, but those that do will suffer from digestive upset including gas, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Onion & Garlic

Onions and garlic in large amounts, or in a concentrated form like onion and garlic powder, can cause digestive upset and damage to red blood cells in dogs. Eating these foods can also cause anemia, which in turn can lead to organ damage or death.

Apple Seeds & Cores

The cyanide in apple seeds and cores can cause seizure, hyperventilation, trouble breathing, and shock. Similar symptoms can result from eating the core/seed in plums, peaches, pears, and apricots.

Avocado, Including Leaves, Pit, Bark & Fruit

According to the ASPCA, eating any part of an avocado can cause digestive upset and diarrhea in dogs. A substance in avocado known as “persin” is responsible for this toxic effect. In more severe instances, ingesting avocado can cause trouble breathing. If a dog ingests the pit, it can cause blockage in the gastrointestinal tract.


Many types of nuts, including walnuts and almonds, can cause digestive upset in your dog. Nuts are also high in fatty acids, which can cause pancreatitis in large quantities. In addition, nuts can pose a choking hazard. Whole nuts can also cause an obstruction in your dog’s intestinal tract.

Unknown substances in macadamia nuts cause a host of problems, including weakness in hind legs, hypothermia, depression, vomiting, and tremors. Sensitivity to the nut tends to vary among dog breeds.

Raw Bread Dough

The yeast in raw bread dough can expand inside your dog’s stomach, leading to painful gas. In some instances, it can rupture the stomach or intestines. If the bread dough ferments inside the dog’s stomach, it can also cause alcohol poisoning.

Raw Eggs, Meat & Meat Bones

The salmonella and e.coli in raw eggs and meat can cause a host of digestive issues in your dog. Raw bones also pose a choking hazard. A splintered bone can puncture a dog’s digestive tract.

Xylitol (Artificial Sweetener)

The artificial sweetener causes your dog’s pancreas to rapidly release insulin, which can result in a dangerous drop in blood sugar. Life-threatening hypoglycemia can result. Xylitol is found in candy and baked goods, as well as other household products.


Alcohol can cause your dog to experience vomiting, movement impairment, and liver failure. Effects can begin in as little as 30 minutes. Depending on the amount of alcohol consumed, effects may be mild or severe. Too much alcohol may cause coma and death.


Avoid feeding rhubarb to your dog. The oxalates in the plant can harm your pet. While the leaves of the plant tend to be more toxic than the stem, large quantities of either part can cause stomach upset. In rare instances, damage can occur to your pet’s kidneys or nervous system.

If you suspect your pet has eaten a toxic food, contact your veterinarian right away. Prompt medical treatment can lessen the toxic effects of many of these foods, and potentially save your dog’s life. You can also contact the Pet Poison Hotline for help at 1-800-213-6680.

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