Which Foods Are Poisonous to Dogs?

Familiarizing yourself with the common foods that are poisonous to dogs can help prevent health issues for him further down the road. All too frequently a well-intentioned dog owner shares a "treat" from her own plate with her dog, only to find the dog suffering from the effects later in the day. By knowing what foods to avoid feeding your dog, he can remain healthy and pain-free.

Foods that Are Harmful to Dogs

  • Chocolate - contains a chemical compound that is both a heart stimulant and diuretic and potentially fatal to dogs.
  • Onions and garlic - whether in one large dose or smaller doses, onions and garlic contain a toxin that can build up in the dog's system, damaging red blood cells.
  • Grapes and raisins - an unknown substance in grapes and raisins can cause damage to the dog's kidneys and potentially cause renal failure.
  • Alcoholic beverages - can cause drunkenness, coma and potentially death.
  • Coffee, tea and soft drinks containing caffeine - caffeine of any kind can be toxic to the heart and nervous systems.
  • Fruit pits and seeds - many contain cyanogenic glycosides which can lead to cyanide poisoning.
  • Avocado - all parts of the avocado are toxic to dogs.
  • Macadamia nuts - contain an unknown toxin to dogs that can cause paralysis and damage to the nervous system.
  • Potato peelings, rhubarb and tomoto leaves - contain oxalates which can cause problems with digestive, nervous and urinary tract systems.
  • Moldy or spoiled foods - can contain toxins or bacteria that can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Milk and dairy products - while not impacting all dogs, some dogs have intolerance for milk products causing gas and diarrhea.
  • Baby food - can potentially contain onion powder causing red blood cell damage. If fed in large quantities can also lead to a nutritional imbalance.
  • Raw eggs - contain avid which decreases absorption of biotin, causing skin and coat problems.
  • Yeast dough - the active yeast culture can cause gas in the digestive tract, creating gastric distress and possible digestive tract ruptures.
  • Raw fish - can cause a thiamine deficiency which can cause lack of appetite, seizures and potential death.
  • Excessive amounts of fat - can cause pancreatitis.
  • Sugar - free foods containing Xylitol - has caused liver failure in some dogs.
  • Baking soda, baking powder and salt - in large amounts these ingredients can cause an electrolyte imbalance potentially leading to muscle spasms or congestive heart failure.
  • Mushrooms - can contain toxins that lead to kidney and liver damage.
  • Human vitamin supplements - can damage the digestive tract lining, especially those containing iron. Can lead to kidney and liver damage.
  • Nutmeg - can cause tremors, seizures and nervous system damage.
  • Bones - most bones should not be given as they can splinter and cause cuts and punctures to the mouth and digestive system.

While it is tempting to feed dogs leftovers and table scraps or to toss them a treat while cooking, it is important to be careful with what is being served. Whether it's a simple stomach upset or something more serious like kidney damage, it is the dog owner's responsibility to ensure they avoid providing food that can potentially harm their dog.