33 Foods That Are Bad For Dogs

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Food that is healthy for us may not always be healthy for our pets too. In this comprehensive guide you will learn which foods are bad for dogs.

If you ever wondered:

“What foods are bad for dogs?”

Then you are just in the right place, after reading this comprehensive guide you will know the exact answer to this key question:

Which human foods are toxic to dogs?

Food that is healthy for us may not always be healthy for our pets too.

For example:

Grapes and raisins are healthy low calorie snacks for people, but even small amounts could be fatally toxic for a dog.

Here is a more in depth explanation why this food is bad for dogs:

1. Grapes and Raisins

Even a single grape or raising could potentially be fatal for dog. Surprisingly enough, scientists aren’t sure what substance within grapes and raisins is toxic for dogs, it’s well known that grapes, and grapes’ dried version – raisins, are highly toxic to dogs and could lead to acute kidney failure.

The main signs and symptoms of toxic ingestion are loss of appetite, lethargy, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, dehydration, and kidney failure which could be fatal.

If you dog ate a grape or raisin, you should react quickly and call your veterinarian as soon as possible because the sooner the poisoning is diagnosed and treated, the less dangerous it will be. Veterinarian might recommend you to induce vomiting, if your dog struggles to breathe or shows signs of shock.

Good to know: If you want to serve figs to your dog do it in moderation, as too many may lead to health issues

2. Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are definitely dangerous, so you should never give them to your dog.

Similarly to grapes and raisins, veterinarians haven’t identified what causes macadamia nuts to be toxic for dogs, but your do can show symptoms from eating as little as 1/10 of ounce per 2 pounds of body weight.

Dogs with macadamia nut toxicosis typically develop weakness, depression, vomiting, ataxia, tremors, and hyperthermia.

Luckily, most dogs will recover, but be sure to call veterinarian as soon as possible. It might recommend analgesics or antiemetics to treat symptoms. Activated charcoal could be of benefit after large ingestions.

3. Bacon

We all know that bacon might be harmful even to humans, but you should never give it to your dog, no matter if you’re convinced that it’s not dangerous. Bacon can cause pancreatitis in your dog’s organism and also problems with digestion.

Not even to mention that it’s often way too salty and seasoned, and that’s something prohibited to all dogs. Due to high salt content, your dog will drink an excessive amount of water, that will put a pressure on other organs which could be live threatening.

If your dog ate bacon, keep a close eye on it. If you see any signs of unusual behavior, call vet.

4. Cooked bones

This might come as a surprise for many dog owners – you shouldn’t give your dog cooked bones of any kind.

While raw bones are great source of nutrients, and dogs love them, you should never give your dog cooked bones, including leftover bones from your plate. Bones become soft after cooking and they can easily splinter and therefore become choking hazard and also cause serious internal damage if swallowed, including:

  • Month injuries
  • Constipation
  • Internal bleeding
  • Peritonitis
  • Pancreatitis

5. Mushrooms

Well, this is a complicate one. There are a a lot of mushroom species (around 14,000 to be more precise). Some of them are great addition to your dog’s diet, like White button, Cremini, Portobello, Porcini, Reishi, Shiitake and Maitake. They will support dog’s liver and kidney function, stabilize blood sugar, lower cholesterol reduce blood pressure and also reduce risk of heart disease and some types of cancers.

On the other hand, there are highly toxic species. These wild mushrooms are poisonous to both dogs and people and include Death Cap, Fly Agaric, Fool’s Funnel, Panther Cap…

So, if you both some of mushrooms at the store, you can include them in small amounts to your dog’s diet. It’s not only safe, but it’s also healthy.

However, unless you are a mycologist, don’t let your dog eat any mushrooms in the nature. And if that happens, don’t try to identify it on your own; call vet immediately.

6. Avocado

Although this fruit is super-healthy for boosting your metabolism, it’s harmful to dogs. Avocado cointains a substance called persin, a toxic which most of the dogs are allergic to.

Persin can cause a serious health problems, and even death in many animals.

So, it would be the best if your dog could avoid this plant completely, even its leaves and tree. Pay good attention if you ever have a walk next to it.

7. Milk and Dairy

All of the milk and dairy products are not actually dangerous for dogs, but they can sometimes cause stomach problems, so it’s not recommended for them to take them.

Dogs are not as lactose tolerant as we are, so their organism reacts to it differently from ours. However, not all of them are allergic to it, so they can sometimes be treated. For more details, here’s an article on can dogs drink milk.

8. Rhubarb Leaves

Feeding your dogs rhubarb leaves or letting them eat it by accident is definitely something that should be prevented – substances from this plant could mess up your pet’s urinary, nervous and digestive system.

When Rhubarb, or pie plant, are eaten, they bind with body’s calcium which cause a sudden drop in calcium. This could potentially lead to acute renal failure, so avoid Rhubarb for dogs.

9. Salt

By this we mean salty food, especially snacks – we know that your dog is probably dying to try it every time, but you should learn how to make him resist.

Salt can cause dehydration and diarrhea, but also some more serious things, like depression or high body temperature. So keep your dog away from it, just in case.

Also, after eating food high in sodium, your dog will drink an excessive amount of water, that will put a pressure on other organs which could be live threatening.

10. Medicine

We’re not thinking about dog medicine, of course, but if you give your dog some of the human medicine, it could turn out to be fatal.

Although there are some of the medicines that could be given both to humans and dogs, you should never take one on your own and give it to your pet without consulting a vet – you could end up being terribly wrong.

11. Caffeine

We’re aware of the fact that you’re not giving your dog coffee to drink every morning, but we’re trying to warn you that you should never let your dog lick coffee that’s spilled on the floor.

It can cause vomiting and stomach pain, and also some changes in the nervous system – so pay attention your dog doesn’t get in contact with it.

Caffeine will increase your dog’s heart rate, and large ingestion can be fatal, especially if no treatment is given.

12. Xylitol

This substance is actually a sweetener that’s used in several products, like candy and baked sweets. Dogs are especially sensitive when it comes to it, because you’re probably aware how much sweet things are harmful for them.

According to VCA Animal Hospital, xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs and even small amounts can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure, or even death in dogs.

13. Onion and Garlic

Substances contained in these vegetables become toxic once they enter any dog’s organism, because they can’t digest them.

Onion and garlic contain thiosulfate, which is fine for humans, but toxic to dogs. Thiosulfate can damage red blood cells, and ultimately causing anemia. Symptoms of anemia include rapid breathing, lethargy, weakness and dark colored urine.

Good to know: Discover what food can cause dog to throw up blood

Garlic could also cause gastrointestinal upset, including vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and dehydration.

What about onion powder?

Onion powder is harmful for dogs in the same way as onions, so you should be cautious – it’s in wide range of foods, from soups, over chips to baby food. Be sure to read labels before feeding your dog.

14. Mustard Seeds

Although some consider them to be healthy for humans, mustard seeds could cause problems to your dog. Luckily, vomiting is the most dangerous thing that could happen, but we believe you wouldn’t be glad to see that either. So keep your dog away from the mustard seeds – and we’re sure you won’t have any big trouble doing that.

15. Human Vitamin Supplements Containing Iron

Iron could harm your dog’s organism more than you could imagine – it’s very toxic for them. Their liver and kidneys could be damaged by taking some of the vitamins meant for humans. Just like it was the case with medicines meant for human, it’s basically the same thing here – never try to help your pet on your own, consult a vet first.

16. Hops

Another plant that should definitely be avoided in your dog’s diet is hops. It can cause stomach pain, but also some more fatal things, like high body temperature, increased heart rate, and all that could lead to the worst. That’s why your dog should stay away from it always and in any occasion – you can never be cautious enough when it comes to this.

17. Cherry Pits

Just like many other fruit pits, there are different opinions on whether to eat them or not. When it comes to your dog, it’s recommended to avoid it for possible cause of poisoning. However, it doesn’t have to happen necessarily, so don’t freak out if your dog ate few of those. Just keep in mind that it might be dangerous in bigger amounts.

18. Raw Meat and Bones

You might think that bones are a real treat for your dog, but if it’s not used to it, you shouldn’t feed it with bones – they could break in little pieces that could get stuck into dog’s throat. Raw meat is also not recommendable because it might contain some of the bacteria that could harm your pet. However, if you’re sure about it, you could give it in small portions.

19. Citrus

The large amounts of acid in these plants could cause stomach irritation in bodies of dogs. Having in mind they’re not used to acid at all, you should really be careful if you have any citrus trees in your yard or neighborhood. However, if your dog takes small amounts of it by accident, don’t worry; it won’t cause any great harm. Read more in depth article about eating citrus fruits.

Good to know: Lemon water is bad for dogs

20. Alcohol

One of the most dangerous things you could give to your dog is alcohol, having in mind their sensitive organisms. Alcohol can cause damages of the nervous system and changes of behavior, but also digestive issues and losing consciousness. We don’t know under which circumstances anyone would give alcohol to his dog, but it’s strictly prohibited.

21. Coconut

Feeding your dog with coconut probably won’t cause any serious harm if given in smaller amount. However, if you’re feeding it with coconut often, you should pay attention to your dogs stool – it might cause diarrhea and stomach problems. That’s why we’re recommending offering small amounts of it to your pets.

22. Nuts

We’re all familiar with the fact that nuts contain high amounts of oil and fat, so that’s what might cause problems with dogs’ stomachs. Your dog will possibly have troubles with vomiting and pain, and also diarrhea, so we recommend you don’t feed it with nuts. However, if you give it a bite or two, it surely won’t do any harm. Can Dogs Eat Peanuts, Almonds and Pistachios: Find out here.

23. Moldy foods

Although we’re assuming you’re not giving any moldy foods to your dog, we still have to repeat how important that is. Some dogs might handle it well, but those are usually non-domestic dogs. It can cause pain in its stomach and irritation of it, and we’re sure you don’t want to do that. So keep your dog away from smelling garbage, although it probably loves it.

24. Yeast Dough

Yeast dough could be dangerous for your dog due to several reasons – first, it can grow inside of your pet’s stomach and cause pain; and second, it could be digested and turned into alcohol, as mentioned before. This food is just another one that is harmful only if given in large amounts, so don’t panic if you dog accidentally take a bite of it.

25. Marijuana

We know that marijuana isn’t something you consume on a regular day basis, but you should definitely be careful with it. Even eating its plants can cause your dog to become depressive and have problems with the nervous system. Even if marijuana is something that relaxes you, it’s definitely not the same case with your dog.

26. Chocolate

You’ve probably heard before how chocolate could make dogs go blind, and it’s not a myth. That happens because of sugar that’s contained in it, but there’s another dangerous ingredient, called theobromine that’ll cause vomiting and stomach pain to your dog. That’s definitely a good reason for dog owners to avoid chocolate.

27. Peaches and Plums

The most dangerous part of peaches and plums are its pits. Your dog could possibly swallow it and choke on it, but only that – pits contain a substance that could irritate their stomachs and that could be poisonous. Many dogs are not really fan of fruits, but if your dog is, give it peaches and plums in small amounts with pits taken out.

28. Table Scraps

If you’re taking good care of your dog, we recommend you never give it table scraps. First, they can be consisted of everything we’ve mentioned on our list. Second, and more important, table scraps are always salty and there’s always much fat there – so if you put aside something you wouldn’t eat, don’t feed your dog with it either.

29. Raw Eggs

Raw eggs are usually dangerous for the same reason as raw meat – it could contain bacteria that cause poisoning, but not necessarily. However, there’s another problem with your dog eating raw eggs – it’s digested in a specific way that absorbs vitamin B, which means it could cause biotin deficiency. This could result in skin problems and loss of your dog’s hair, so better avoid it.

30. Fish

Just like some of the ingredients we’ve mentioned before, fish can also carry bacteria in it. However, fish is especially dangerous for causing diseases that can be carried only by them, and there are no specific signs of it, except from vomiting and diarrhea. Each of these threats could possibly lead to death, so we believe you wouldn’t want to take the risk.

31. Tobacco

Just like children, dogs are also highly recommended to be outside smoking spaces. Despite being bothered by the smoke, nicotine can increase their heart rate and lead to more dangerous things. We know that it’s impossible for the dog to literally take tobacco, but try to be more cautious when you go for a smoke.

32. Seasonings

Here we don’t mean only seasonings could be harmful, but everything found on your kitchen shelf – like baking powder, baking soda etc. It’s recommended for your dog to avoid even food that contain some of those ingredients and especially to stay away from taking it raw – you’re the one who’s in charge of that never happening by accident.

33. Cat Food

We all know how food-motivated all the dogs are – just make a sound of taking something out of the bag, and they’ll be there waiting to be treated. However, if you own both a dog and a cat, be careful to never mix their foods – it could end up badly. Cat food contains much higher doses of protein and fats, which could harm your dog.

Click here to find out is broccoli safe for dogs?

Hope you found this article interesting. If so, feel free to spread the word!