There’s often a lot of talk about healthy things to feed your dog. But what about foods which are harmful or dangerous? If you’re new to owning a dog and want to know what to avoid, start with the list below. Some of these may surprise you!

Chocolate & Caffeine

Most dog owners are aware that chocolate is harmful to their pooch, but they may not know why. Products like chocolate (and other caffeine-laden foods) contain a substance called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds and some nut extracts.

While low doses may not be an issue, methylxanthines can cause vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and urination, seizures, abnormal heart rhythm, and more. If you suspect your dog has ingested chocolate or caffeine, take them to see a vet at right away.


While most owners aren’t in the habit of plying their dog with alcohol, it’s important to know why exposure can be dangerous. Even a small amount of alcohol can cause vomiting, breathing difficulties, decreased coordination, tremors, coma, blood issues, and death. If your dog has been mischievous and found a way to ingest alcohol, contact your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.


Xylitol is a plant-based sweetener found in products like baked goods, chewing gum, candy, and toothpaste. While xylitol can be beneficial for humans with diabetes because of its low glycemic index, it is known to be dangerous for dogs. Xylitol acts on insulin and can lower your pooch’s blood sugar, resulting in liver failure. Initial warning signs of liver toxicosis include lethargy, vomiting, and loss of coordination.


Avocadoes are touted as a miracle food for humans, but in dogs, it can lead to dangerous reactions. The reason? Avocadoes contain an ingredient called persin. While small amounts may not harm your dog, too much of this substance can cause vomiting and diarrhea. If you regularly eat or grow avocadoes, make sure these are kept away from your dog, especially as the seed can pose a choking hazard or obstruct their bowels.

Grapes and Raisins

If you’re a fruit lover, it may be tempting to share these snacks with your pooch. While most fruits are fine, grapes and raisins are not. This fruit seems to cause kidney failure in dogs. To keep your pooch safe, ensure items like breakfast cereals and oatmeal cookies are safely away from prying noses!

Onions, Garlic and Chives

Onions, garlic, and chives aren’t a customary food for dogs. But as we all know, dogs are curious and full of mischief, which means they can sometimes gain access to dangerous human foods. An onion-like food (even the powdered kind) can affect their red blood cells, causing anemia. Signs of onion poisoning include weakness, vomiting, and breathing issues.

Macadamia Nuts

Nuts can generally be hazardous to a dog due to the choking hazard, but macadamias are especially important to avoid. As many as just six raw macadamia nuts can make a dog sick, leading to vomiting, fever, muscle shakes, and weakness in the back legs. Chocolate covered macadamias are even more dangerous, so make sure you keep these well out of your dog’s way.

Posted in: Dog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *