Foods Dogs Shouldn’t Eat & Why
Most pet owners know you shouldn’t feed a dog chocolate. There are however, many other foods dogs shouldn’t eat. Here’s a list of foods you should avoid giving to your dog:
- Alcohol – Can causes vomiting, diarrhea, intoxication, coordination and breathing problems, abnormal blood acidity, coma, and death.
- Avocado – Contains persin, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and congestion in the heart. Sadly, the pit is a choking hazard and contains a high concentration of persin.
- Bones – Bones can be a choking hazard and may splinter. These splinters can cause injuries in the mouth and throat. They may also lodge in or puncture the digestive tract. Poultry and pork bones are particularly prone to splintering. Some veterinarians say you can give dogs large bones from raw meat, but make sure to supervise them to ensure they don’t choke.
- Chocolate – Contains theobromine and caffeine, which can elevate heart rate, cause vomiting, diarrhea, frequent urination, tremors, restlessness, seizures, and death.
- Caffeine – Stimulates the nervous system, can cause racing heart, restlessness, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and death.
- Citrus – Citric acid can cause irritation and issues in the central nervous system if too much is ingested. Stems, leaves, peels, and seeds are most problematic as they contain the highest concentrations of citric acids.
- Coconut and coconut products – If eaten in excess, oil in the meat and milk of coconuts can upset the stomach and cause diarrhea. Coconut water has a high potassium content, which can cause heart problems.
- Corn on the cob – Corn in small amounts isn’t harmful, but the cob in a full ear of corn is a choking hazard, and, if ingested, can block the intestines.
- Fruit pits and seeds – Can cause intestinal problems and contain cyanide, which is poisonous.
- Grapes and Raisins – Even in small doses, these can cause vomiting, depression, lethargy, and kidney failure.
- Marijuana – There is very little research on the effects of marijuana in dogs, but common symptoms that have been observed include slow response times, dribbling urine, abnormal heart rate, hyperactivity, neurological stimulation, coma, and death.
- Milk/dairy – Can cause gas, diarrhea, and digestive problems.
- Nicotine – Can cause vomiting, abnormal heart rate, tremors, and weakness.
- Nuts – Nuts contain high fat levels that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and pancreatitis. Macadamia nuts are very dangerous in particular. They can cause tremors, vomiting, high temperature, weakness in the hind legs, and death.
- Onion, garlic, chives – These contain disulfides and sulfoxides that can cause anemia and damage to red blood cells. Symptoms include weakness, vomiting, and trouble breathing.
- Rhubarb leaves and tomato leaves – These contain oxalates, which can cause excess drool, vomiting, diarrhea, low energy, muscle weakness, tremors, and blood in the urine.
- Salt – Small amounts of salt won’t hurt your dog, but an excess of salt can lead to sodium ion poisoning, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, fever, seizures, and death. Humans use salt to add extra flavor to food, but dogs don’t need it to make their food more appealing.
- Xylitol – A sugar substitute often found in gum, candy, and baked goods, this sweetener can lower blood sugar and cause seizures, liver failure, and death.
- Yeast dough – active yeast can rise in your dog’s stomach and cause gas and discomfort. Too much can rupture the stomach or intestines. Furthermore, yeast creates alcohol as it ferments, which can lead to problems caused by alcohol.
What to do if your dog eats something it shouldn’t:
Immediately seek help from a veterinarian if you think your dog has eaten something it shouldn’t, or if it’s exhibiting any of the above symptoms. You can also contact emergency animal hospitals, call the animal poison hotline, or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.
Animal Poison Hotline: 888-232-8870
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: 888-426-4435
Sending love to you and your pets,
The Kennel Link Team
AKC. “Exercise Caution When Giving Your Dog a Bone.” American Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, 23 Feb. 2018.
“People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets.” ASPCA.
Schenker, Michelle. “28 Foods Not To Feed Your Dog (And A List Of Those You Can).” CanineJournal.com, 25 June 2019.Back to the blog archive