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21 Things Not to Feed Your Pet Dog

21 Things not to feed your pet dog. Image by Jamie Street on Unsplash.

When feeding our furry friends, knowing what is safe and what could potentially harm them is crucial. Dogs have different digestive systems than humans, and some foods that are perfectly safe for us can be toxic to them. Below is a list of 21 things you should not feed your pet dog, along with brief explanations for why these foods can be harmful.

1. Chocolate

Chocolate bras stacked. Image by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash.

It contains theobromine and caffeine, which can be toxic to dogs, causing vomiting, diarrhea, and even death.

2. Xylitol

Put natural sweetener stevia from a pile into a spoon. Image by civil via Depositphotos.

A sweetener found in many sugar-free products, xylitol can cause insulin release in dogs, leading to liver failure and hypoglycemia.

3. Grapes and Raisins

Man holding a bunch of grapes. Image by Maja Petric on Unsplash.

 Even small amounts can cause kidney failure in dogs. The toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, but their effects can be deadly.

4. Onions and Garlic

Brown onions and garlic on a wooden surface. Image by Afibalqisanakku2 on Depositphotos.

Both can cause gastrointestinal irritation and lead to red blood cell damage and anemia.

5. Alcohol

Clinking beer. Image by Wil Stewart on Unsplash.

Even small amounts of alcohol, both in food and drink, can be toxic to dogs, causing vomiting, diarrhea, coordination problems, breathing difficulties, coma, and even death.

6. Coffee, Tea, and Other Caffeine

Man pouring tea into a cup. Image by Philipp Cordts on Unsplash.

Similar to chocolate, caffeine can be fatal. Symptoms of poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, and muscle tremors.

7. Avocado

Sliced avocado on a white surface. Image by Thought Catalog on Unsplash.

It contains persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. The large pit also poses a choking hazard.

8. Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia Nuts in a wooden bowl on a wooden surface. Image by Andrelix on Depositphotos.

It can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia in dogs.

9. Gum and Candy

Assortment of candies. Image by Luis Aguila on Unsplash.

Besides xylitol, chewing gum and candy can cause choking or gastrointestinal blockage.

10. Peaches and Plums

Peaches and plums on a white surface. Image by Rebecca Matthews on Unsplash.

The pits of these fruits can cause intestinal blockages. They also contain cyanide, which is poisonous to dogs and humans alike, but dogs are less likely to discern the pit from the fruit.

11. Salt

Salt in a spoon on a black background. Image by Jason Tuinstra on Unsplash.

Excessive salt intake can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures, and even death.

12. Yeast Dough

Man making dough balls. Image by Farhad Ibrahimzade on Unsplash.

It can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your pet’s digestive system, causing pain and potentially rupturing the stomach or intestines.

13. Bones

Meat bone on a wooden chopping board. Image by Cristiano Pinto on Unsplash.

Though it may seem natural to give a dog a bone, bones can splinter and cause obstruction or lacerations of the digestive system.

14. Fat Trimmings

Bacon fat trimmings. Image by Wright Brand Bacon on Unsplash.

It can cause pancreatitis in dogs, leading to severe abdominal pain or death.

15. Raw Meat and Eggs

Raw meat in a black bowl. Image by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash.

Just like humans, salmonella or E. coli is risky with raw meat and eggs. Raw eggs also contain an enzyme that can lead to skin and coat problems.

16. Milk and Dairy Products

A glass of milk. Image by an_vision on Unsplash.

Many dogs are lactose intolerant and can have digestive upset from milk and dairy products.

17. Human Medications

Human medications. Image by Christine Sandu on Unsplash.

Common medications that are safe for humans can be very dangerous for dogs, even in small amounts.

18. Artificial Sweeteners

Man putting artificial sweetener into tea. Image by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash.

Besides xylitol, other artificial sweeteners can also be harmful to dogs.

19. Citrus

Half of a lemon on a white surface. Image by Moritz Nie on Unsplash.

The stems, leaves, peels, fruit, and seeds of citrus plants contain varying amounts of citric acid and essential oils that can cause irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression if ingested in significant amounts.

20. Almonds

Almonds in a bag. Image by Nacho Fernández on Unsplash.

It’s not as toxic as some other nuts, but it can block the esophagus or even tear the windpipe if not chewed thoroughly.

21. Corn on the Cob

Corn on the Cob. Image by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash.

While corn itself is not harmful to dogs, the cob can cause a blockage in the intestines.


Dog looking at the camera. Image by Pauline Loroy on Unsplash.

It’s always best to err on the side of caution and keep your dog on a diet tailored to their nutritional needs, avoiding human food unless recommended by a veterinarian. When in doubt, consult with a professional to ensure the health and safety of your pet.

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