What foods are toxic to dogs?

As pet owners, it is normal for us to want the best for our dogs and we often treat them to a bit of our food. However, we have a responsibility to understand which human foods can be harmful or toxic to our furry friends. While some foods can be safe and even beneficial for dogs, there are certain foods that can pose serious risks and potentially lead to severe health complications.

8 Foods that are toxic to dogs:

  1. Chocolate

Taking note of the potential health risks that stem from consuming chocolate is especially relevant for pet owners. Be aware that both caffeine and theobromine are key compounds found in varieties of chocolates which can cause significant havoc in dogs when consumed. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, increased respiratory rate and abnormal breath sounds as well as disturbances in heart rhythm possibly resulting in organ failure like heart failure, among others warranting immediate medical intervention. As a responsible dog owner part of our duty lies in keeping all forms of chocolates (and some foods) securely out of reach from our furry friends.

  1. Avocado

Let’s talk about persin, which is a toxin found in avocados that’s bad news if consumed by dogs! The issue lies with the pit and skin where there are higher levels of this harmful compound in comparison to the flesh itself. Eating avocado may lead to symptoms for your dog such as vomiting, diarrhoea or difficulty breathing. 

  1. Artificial sweetener (Xylitol)

Xylitol which often acts as a staple ingredient for many sweets including gums or peanut butter products proves itself detrimental when ingested by our furry pals, leaving them with substantial repercussions! It plays with their insulin production causing rapid decline in the blood glucose level which ends up creating significant health impairments that could potentially be dangerous or life-threatening. Apart from symptoms like vomiting, seizures, and loss of coordination, liver failure might occur too with prolonged exposure to this substance. Therefore, storing any food product containing xylitol securely avoids such hazards needlessly risking our pets’ physical conditions.

  1. Cooked Bones

As you cook meat, the bones present in it tend to become brittle. Therefore, when dogs consume chicken, turkey or goose bones there exists a potential risk of large bone fragments causing an obstruction whereas smaller pieces might inflame their gut or pierce through the stomach or intestinal wall leading to surgical interventions. Ensuring that such scenarios are avoided is paramount for maintaining the safety of our pets

  1. Grapes and Raisins

Dogs hold a special place in our hearts as companions which calls for taking care of their wellbeing through informed choices about their nutrition. Did you know that some innocent human snacks like grapes and raisins could lead to severe complications such as kidney failure? Even when eaten at low levels, the symptoms can cause vomiting, reduced food intake, pain in the abdomen and heightened thirst. 

  1. Alcohol

The ramifications of giving your dog alcoholic beverages should not be taken lightly under any circumstances due to its high level of toxicity for dogs. When dogs consume alcohol irrespective of its quantity levels; they become very susceptible to injury via central nervous system depression leading up-to difficulties in breathing properly along with poor coordinated movements such as stumbling around or appearing unsteady on feet which includes falling over. Within more severe cases, alcohol consumption in dogs can lead to death. Never give your dog alcohol, especially on purpose.

  1. Onions and Garlic

Our canine friends depend on us for their nourishment on a daily basis; therefore we are responsible for ensuring that they’re consuming what is safe for them. Onions and garlic are items that should not be included in their diet plan because the harmful substances found in these ingredients may disrupt a dogs’ red blood cells causing chronic anaemia which is indicated by symptoms like lethargy, weakness, pale gums, and loss of appetite. It is imperative to steer away from dog food products containing onion extracts such as gravies, soups or seasoned meats.

  1. Macadamia Nuts

It’s puzzling why macadamia nuts turn toxic when consumed by our canine friends; however science has established the detrimental effects they can have on our beloved pets if accidentally ingested. Dogs who have snacked on these nutty treats will show observable weakness around their hind quarters along with fatigue setting in rapidly making them appear dull or listless. Some pets may also display difficulty standing without losing balance all together as they navigate about clumsily.

What to do if you think your dog has eaten something toxic

If ever you suspect that your dog may have consumed something poisonous or toxic it is important that you contact a veterinarian without delay. It’s not wise to try and induce vomiting in an effort to help; this could lead to complications and endanger the health of your pet.

When you take your dog to the vets you should tell them exactly what it is they have eaten, such as chocolate or alcohol including any relevant information such as product names and how much they were exposed to. It is much easier to care for a pet sooner rather than later, so do not wait to see if it’ll pass.

If you are wondering what you may need to take to your vets when your dog has eaten something harmful, it is best to take any relevant packaging such as the wrapper or a sample. This could be part of the plant or the box it came in, just make sure that it is not harmful to you as the owner as well.

How to avoid your dog ingesting toxic foods

It is best to try and feed your dog in set times, and avoid any snacking on human foods unless you are completely certain they are safe for your pet. A slow feeder may also be the best option, to help your dog avoid rushing their food and enjoy their meal with patience. Also, remember to keep any toxic food out of reach of your pup, and stay observant and vigilant on what they are eating at all times.


As reliable dog owners, it is important that we need to remain aware and alert of the foods that are toxic to our four-legged friends. By understanding the potential dangers that are associated with certain human foods, we are able to prevent any unnecessary health risks and protect our pets. Try to remain vigilant whilst you prioritise your dog’s health and happiness by keeping them away from harmful foods.