10 foods that are poisonous to dogs

Keep your dog safe by learning about the everyday foods that can be toxic to them – and what to do if they eat them

10 foods that are poisonous to dogs

Quick takeaways for a dog-safe kitchen

  • A surprising amount of human foods are harmful to dogs like onions and macadamia nuts.
  • Common symptoms of food poisoning include vomiting, abnormal heart rate and lethargy.
  • Opt for dog-proof bins (to avoid sneaky snacking) and never feed your dog cooked bones.
As a responsible dog owner, you’re probably aware that chocolate is off-limits for dogs.

But, did you know several other everyday foods like grapes and avocado can pose a risk to your dog's health?

It’s crucial to know which foods are dangerous to ensure your dog stays safe and healthy.

Here, we outline 10 common foods that are toxic to dogs, the symptoms they can cause, and tips on creating a dog-safe kitchen.

10 foods to avoid feeding your dog

1. Chocolate

This well-known offender contains a compound called theobromine, which is toxic to dogs.

Dark chocolate and baking chocolate are the most dangerous. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, and seizures.

2. Grapes and raisins

Even in small amounts, grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. Signs of toxicity include vomiting, lethargy, and depression.

They may be small, but they can also be deadly.

3. Onions and garlic

These common cooking ingredients can cause gastrointestinal problems and red blood cell damage in dogs.

Symptoms might include weakness, vomiting, and breathing problems.

4. Artificial sweetener (xylitol)

Found in many sugar-free products, xylitol is a sweetener that’s harmful to dogs. It can lead to hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar level) in dogs, as well as liver failure.

Symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination.

5. Caffeine

Caffeine in large quantities can be fatal for dogs and there’s no antidote. Don’t forget that caffeine is in coffee, but also tea and drinks like cola.

Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, and muscle tremors.

6. Alcohol

Alcohol affects dogs much more than humans. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, tremors, and even death.

7. Macadamia Nuts

These particular nuts are poisonous to dogs and the reason why is relatively unknown. If your dog eats them, it can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia.

Symptoms usually appear within 12 hours and can last up to 48 hours.

8. Avocado

Avocado contains a toxin called persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.

The pit is also a potential choking hazard and can cause a blockage in the digestive tract.

9. Yeast dough

Yeast dough can unsurprisingly cause gas to build up in your dog's digestive system.

This can be painful and potentially cause their stomach or intestines to rupture.

10. Cooked bones and fat trimmings

While not toxic, cooked bones can splinter and cause obstruction or lacerations in the digestive system.

On their own, trimmings aren’t toxic to dogs but the high-fat content of cooked fatty scraps can cause pancreatitis and cause weight gain if fed too often.

Spotting the signs – symptoms of food poisoning in dogs

Symptoms can vary, but they often include:
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Abnormal heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Abdominal pain

How to be food-safe around your dog

The key is taking precautions to make sure your dog can’t help themselves to your food at home – either from the kitchen counters or your bin.

Take these steps to keep them safe:
  • Store poisonous foods out of your dog’s reach – and make sure not to leave any leftovers out
  • Educate family members and friends about which foods might be dangerous for your dog – and discourage them from feeding your dog at the table
  • Be cautious with food scraps
  • Keep an eye out on dog walks for discarded food and rubbish
  • Use dog-proof lids on your bins (they can be sneaky at times!)

What to do in an emergency

If you think your dog has ingested something toxic or poisonous:
  • Contact your vet immediately
  • Provide information about what your dog ate – including how much and when
  • Follow their instructions – your dog might need vomit-inducing medication

The bottom line

Knowing which foods are harmful and taking proactive steps will help to prevent your dog from getting sick.

Stick to dog-friendly foods and treats to keep them happy and healthy.

Keep your dog healthy and happy with Nature’s Menu meal plans – offering balanced, nutritious meals for every stage of your dog's life.