Foods Dogs Should Not Eat - 10 Human Foods That Are Dangerous To Dogs

Human Foods That Are Dangerous To Dogs

A canine body and a human's body just don't work the same way, but try telling your dog that!

Much as it's tempting to give your pooch a little nibble of people foods, dogs are actually susceptible to getting sick from eating human foods. Some of them contain toxic substances for dogs but not for humans.

However, there are, of course, also many different foods people eat that are good for your dog.

Many, but not all, fruits and vegetables can have great health benefits for canines.

Lean protein and home herbs can be beneficial to our furry friends as well.

Be sure to do your research before feeding your pet any type of human food.

Some people food can cause minor irritation to your dog's skin or short-lived side effects, including nausea or diarrhea, but some can have severe effects and even be fatal.

Here's a list of ten everyday foods and ingredients – some of which may surprise you – that should never be given to your dog.

Foods Dogs Should Not Eat: 10 Human Foods That Are Dangerous To Dogs

Human Foods That Are Dangerous To Dogs


Chocolate is dangerous for dogs

Probably the most well-known food on this list, chocolate is bad for your dog because it contains caffeine and theobromine.

Theobromine is a stimulant that will affect your dog's heart, nervous system, and kidneys.

As little as one ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight is enough to be a fatal dose. But the most dangerous for them is dark chocolate.

Symptoms of chocolate toxicity can include extreme thirst, diarrhea, pacing, excessive or nervous energy, panting and shaking, and even seizures.

Remember to be careful with other foods that may contain chocolate, such as cookies, cake, ice cream, and candies.

Apart from the chocolate, the fats and sugars are bad for your dog too.

If you believe your dog has eaten chocolate, don't wait to see symptoms, as it can take anywhere from four hours to a whole day to show up.

Call your vet immediately and ask for advice.

RELATED: Dog Food for Dogs with Diabetes: What You Need to Know

9 Tea, Coffee, and Soda

Just like chocolate, tea, coffee, and soda contain caffeine, a stimulant that is bad for your dog.

Caffeine is a methyl xanthine and can overstimulate the heart, increasing the heart rate and can cause cardiac arrhythmias at high concentrations.

On top of this, soda contains high concentrations of sugar, which isn't good for your dog either.

If you're a gardener, make sure you don't use coffee grounds as a fertilizer if your dog can access the area.

8 Xylitol

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is found in many foods and drinks, often found in baked goods, candy, and diet products.

While it's perfectly safe for human consumption, it can be highly toxic for your dog.

Xylitol causes a spike in insulin, in turn leading your dog's blood sugar levels to dip.

Signs of xylitol poisoning can include lack of energy, coordination problems, and vomiting.

Even very small amounts of xylitol can cause symptoms such as seizures and liver failure, so be extremely vigilant when feeding your pet anything that isn't specifically a dog treat.

Frenchie on a seashore - saltwater is highly toxic for dogs

7 Salt and High-Sodium Snacks

Like in humans, too much salt can be extremely toxic to your dog.

Some high-sodium salty foods include chips, pretzels, popcorn, ready-made meals, takeaway meals, and many other savory snacks.

Too much salt can cause symptoms such as excessive thirst and urination, vomiting and diarrhea, lethargy, loss of coordination, and abnormal fluid accumulation within the body, and it is toxic to the kidneys.

Higher doses can induce shaking and seizures leading to coma and death if not treated immediately.

RELATED: Vet-Recommended Safe Dog Treats for Snacking

Be careful with soups and stews, too, as stocks and broths are often very high in salt.

It isn't just the food you need to be careful with either; some regular household items, such as driveway de-icers, can contain high levels of salt, so always make sure you keep any cleaning and household products locked away and out of your dog's reach.

Also, be careful if you take your dog to the beach, as he can ingest seawater.

If you think your dog has ingested salt or you notice any of the above symptoms, seek veterinary attention immediately, as salt toxicity can be treated with IV fluids if caught in time.

Dog holding raw fish in his mouth - Foods Toxic to Dogs

6 Raw Fish

Consumption of raw fish, particularly red, oily fish such as salmon and trout, can cause vitamin B deficiency.

The symptoms can include loss of appetite, vomiting, seizures, and in some cases, death.

Raw salmon can make a dog sick when eaten as it contains a bacteria called neorickettsia helminthoeca.

If you have been preparing raw fish, or any raw meat at all, be extra careful to dispose of any leftovers properly and cover trash bins.

If you take your pet along with you while camping, hiking, or doing any type of fishing, be sure to keep any leftovers in a sealed bag until you can dispose of them properly so that your dog cannot get to them.

ALSO READ: Let’s Talk: Raw Dog Food Diet – Dietary Concerns, Benefits, and Risks

Yeast and Cakes can harm dogs when eaten

5 Yeast Bread and Cakes

Yeast is a fungus that promotes the rise of bread and other yeast products such as cakes and donuts.

We all know how good a great bread or cookie dough can smell while it's rising, and your dog may think so too.

If he ingests raw yeast dough, the dough will continue to rise in his stomach, which will cause him a lot of gastrointestinal discomforts as it causes the belly to swell.

In severe cases, this can rupture the intestines in your dog's stomach.

Additionally, yeast can continue to ferment and turn into alcohol after it's been eaten, causing symptoms of alcohol poisoning for your pup.

If you're a home baker, make sure you keep any yeast dough covered and far out of your pet's reach.

ALSO RELATED: Can Dogs Eat Pizza?

4 Onions and Garlic

While your dog is unlikely to chew on a bulb of garlic, remember that many foods he might find tempting contain onions and garlic, such as Italian food, stews, soups, and pies.

The onion family contains toxic compounds that can cause anemia in your dog, and you may notice symptoms such as dehydration and extreme lethargy.

Because of how common onions and garlic are in many everyday foods, especially meaty dishes that your dog would be giving you the puppy-dog eyes over, it's important to be very careful with treating your pup to anything that you haven't prepared yourself.

Also, be wary of feeding him snacks like chips that often contain onion powder.

Foods Dogs Should Not Eat - Dairy Products

3 Milk and Dairy Products

Like onions and garlic, dairy is a hard one to avoid and is something that your pup probably drools over!

But you must never feed your dog anything containing milk or milk powder, cream, cheese, yogurt, or ice cream as dogs are lactose intolerant, and they will experience uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, gas, and bloating.

RELATED: How to Use Pet Treats to Keep Your Dog Happy

Many treat foods designed specifically for pets might come in milk or cheese flavors but have the irritating lactose removed, so it's safe for them to enjoy.

In fact, there are multiple manufacturers that make ice cream for dogs, so your pooch can enjoy a refreshing treat without digestive distress.

While not fatal like many of the others on the list, consumption of dairy will make your dog feel uncomfortable and unwell, so it's best to avoid anything containing dairy altogether.

2 Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are often found in baked goods such as cakes and cookies and sometimes in flavored trail mixes or nut mixes that your dog might be tempted to eat.

The reason for its toxic effect on dogs is not yet known, but macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression symptoms, overheating, swelling of the legs, tremors, and loss of control over their movements.

All of which is frightening for both the dog and his owner.

If you think your dog may have consumed anything containing macadamia nuts, call your vet, as the symptoms can be treated if caught in time.

Foods Dogs Should Not Eat - Grapes and Currants

1 Grapes, Raisins and Currants

Grapes contain a toxin that causes severe liver damage and kidney failure in canines.

These are another food that can be found in many things such as cakes, bagels, cookies, and trail mixes, as well as some savory dishes like stuffing and tagines.

Ingestion can cause symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, thirst and excessive urination, tiredness, and dehydration.

Also, be careful if you grow any grapes in your garden, and make sure neither your dog nor anyone else's can access the area.

Toxicity can occur even with very small amounts, so never allow your dog to eat anything containing grapes, raisins, or currants.

If you think your dog might have eaten something with a grape product in it, call your vet immediately to seek treatment advice.
Foods Dogs Should Not Eat - Human Foods That Are Dangerous To Dogs

ALSO READ: Can Dogs Eat Lentils? 5 Health Benefits and 4 Risks

FAQs on Toxic Food For Dogs

Are eggs good for dogs?

Eggs are perfectly safe and good for dogs. They are high in protein and also contain linoleic acid, Vitamin B2, B12, and water-soluble Vitamin A.

You can give it to them boiled, sunny side up, or scrambled, but it should be without oil, salt, and other flavorings.

And yes, you can allow them one egg a day if your dogs enjoy it. Just make sure to limit it to one, as too much can make them overweight because of its high-calorie content.

Can dogs eat bread?

As we discussed, doughs with active yeast can upset your dog's digestive system, but when baked as bread, generally, dogs can eat them.

But it's important to note that bread doesn't have nutritional value to dogs.

That said, they should only be given in moderation as an occasional treat.

Can dogs drink milk?

As we've already discussed above, dogs generally can't drink milk. but there are exceptions!

If you really want to give them milk, opt for lactose-free or plant-based ones, like soy milk, oat milk, or almond milk.

These don't have the usual ingredients that cause diarrhea, upset stomach, and pancreatitis in dogs.

Human Foods Dangerous for Dogs – Final Thoughts

We sure love our dogs to enjoy as much as we do, but not everything humans can eat is safe for them!

This is why dog owners, especially when making homemade dog food, should be aware of which ones are the healthy food to feed their pets and which ones are better left on the kitchen counter or in the fridge.

Make sure to protect your pup from getting sick by avoiding these dangerous human foods in its diet!

READ NEXT: 5 Toxic Substances Frequently Found in Pet Foods and Pet Products


Diana currently lives and works in London, UK and she's been an animal lover and dog owner since she was a child. After graduating high school, she focused on getting her degree in English to become a writer with a focus on animals, pets and dogs.