To Feed or Not to Feed: Here’s A List of Food Your Dog Can’t Eat

list of food your dog can't eat

When my dogs give me the puppy dog eyes while I’m eating a snack, it takes a whole lot of self-control not just give them everything I’m eating right there and then. Instead, I have to think about how safe the food is for them before I allow them a taste of it. Since this has been a question that has been asked time and time again, here’s a list of food your dog can’t eat.

Human foods can be sorted into four kinds when it comes to how safe they are to feed to dogs: some are perfectly safe and even beneficial, some can be given in moderation (much like junk food for us humans), some are okay but aren’t really recommended, and others are downright forbidden.  

When it comes to food that dogs can’t eat, it’s more of a matter of these foods being unsafe for your dog. Some of these have or are ingredients that your dogs’ bodies can’t process properly, while others are just plain toxic. Here’s a helpful infographic which we found from the great folks over at kuddly.co:

list of food your dog can't eat

Chocolate

Quite possibly the most well-known food on this list, chocolate is something that you should steer your dog clear of. Here’s why. Chocolate contains theobromine and theophylline, which do not have any adverse effects on humans but can be fatal for dogs. Plus, caffeine can also be found in chocolate, which in itself is toxic for dogs in large amounts.

All kinds of chocolate are forbidden, but the harmful ingredients are most common in dark chocolate. Either way, keep your dog away from all forms of chocolate. So while it’s a yummy treat for us humans, chocolate is a major no-no for our canine friends.

Caffeine

If you’re tempted to give your dog a taste of your morning coffee, don’t. Coffee and other caffeinated food contain methylaxanthines which are fatal to dogs. Like we mentioned above, chocolate is one of the foods that contain caffeine. Energy drinks, sodas, coffee, tea, some painkillers and medications for cold also contain caffeine.  

Xylitol

This next one is more of an ingredient rather than a food itself, but like chocolate can cause drastic effects on your dog’s body, liver failure and death being two of the worst. So which foods contain xylitol?

It’s most common in sugar-free chewing gum as an artificial sweetener, but xylitol can also be found in candy, mouthwash, toothpaste, and some baked goods. Ingesting xylitol can cause your dog’s blood sugar to drop and cause symptoms such as vomiting, seizures, lethargy, and more.

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Sugary Food

That being said, artificial sweetener or regular ones, sugary foods aren’t a good idea for dog food. Like us humans, high amounts of sugar in the body can cause diabetes, obesity, even poor dental health in dogs. Actually, these consequences are just as bad for us humans so while it takes less amounts for these to happen to our dogs, we probably shouldn’t push our own lucks either.

list of food your dog can't eat

Grapes

Such small fruits can’ possibly be harmful for your dog, right? Unfortunately, they are. Grapes, and by extension, raisins, are fatal to dogs. The exact component of these foods which causes renal (kidney) failure in dogs and other adverse effects haven’t been pointed out yet, but that doesn’t disprove how toxic they are to dogs. Once your dog’s organs fail as a result of toxic food, death may be imminent.

Avocado

Another fruit that you should watch out for are avocados. All parts of an avocado from the seeds to the stem have persin, which is fatal to dogs in large doses. Again, it’s not fatal to humans, so you can still enjoy your guac, but keep it away from your dog when you do eat some.

Peaches, Plums, or Persimmons

Keep away from the pits!

While we’re at it, add these fruits to the no-eat list. Basically, the pits of these fruits can cause obstruction in your dog’s intestines when ingested and can also cause inflammation in their small intestines. Plus, peach and plum pits have cyanide, so you better take care when eating these fruits too.

Garlic and Onion

While these two make food so tasty and smell delicious being sautéed, they’re not that good for our dogs. Garlic and onion, in all forms (but most particularly concentrated ones), should not be fed to dogs as ingesting them can lead to the destruction of a dog’s red blood cells. Once that happens, dogs become anemic. Garlic tends to be more toxic and can also cause ruptured red blood cells, but onions can be just as bad for your dog’s health.

So if you season your food with these ingredients, it’s best to not share portions of your meal with your pup.

Alcohol

We’ve mentioned this before, but you shouldn’t allow your dog into your alcohol cabinet. No matter how much they argue that they’re of legal age now…

Even the smallest amounts of alcohol can cause intoxication in dogs and alcohol poisoning is not too far off. Alcohol poisoning can then lead to death if not addressed immediately. If we humans shouldn’t drink and drive, our dogs shouldn’t drink at all.

Dairy Products

If your dog isn’t allowed to drink the adults’ drink, then maybe they can drink the one meant for kids, right? Not necessarily. Dogs don’t have the enzyme that we humans have to process milk sugar, which causes lactose intolerance. Whatever symptoms people have when they’re lactose intolerant, the same is pretty much the same for dogs. If you don’t want your dog to have an upset stomach, keep them away from milk and other dairy products.

But what about cheese? It’s a dairy product and a lot of dog owners have been known to sneak their dogs’ pills within a small chunk of cheese. This is one of those foods which are okay but not really recommended, due to the inability to process dairy products. However, small amounts are okay, if it’s for purposes like pill-disguising. Take note though, that the salt content in cheese is just another thing to look out for.

And speaking of salt…

Salty Food

Once upon a time, using salt to induce vomiting in dogs that have ingested something toxic was recommended. However, it’s since been found out that salt itself can cause poisoning to dogs. Feeding your dog with salted foods like popcorn or pretzels can cause sodium ion poisoning, as well as other bodily damage like kidney injuries, seizures, and even death.

Fatty Food

If you’re still tempted to give your dog just the tiniest sliver of bacon or ham because of those irresistible puppy dog eyes, this may further cement your resolve not to. Not only are those salty foods bad for your dog, they are also fatty. Fats from meat, whether cooked or uncooked, can cause your dog to have pancreatitis.

Macadamia Nuts

Steer your dog away from these nuts at all costs, and that goes for any food with these as a possible ingredient as well. Raw or roasted, just a few pieces (as few as six!) of these nuts can cause extreme sickness in your dog and there is no known antidote to toxicity caused by macadamia nuts.

Raw Food

There was this whole fad about feeding dogs raw meat, but we believe that feeding your dog raw meat, fish, or eggs isn’t worth the potential risks. Primarily, the bacteria and parasites found on raw meat and fish like salmonella, e. coli and more are the main reasons why we’re against this kind of diet. Plus, most proponents of this diet also include meat still on the bones, which by themselves are harmful to dogs (cooked or raw, bones can splinter and hurt your dog’s digestive tract).

If you do decide to try feeding your dog a raw diet, better check all the pros and cons first. As well as how to do it right.

Conclusion

There are human foods which are safe to be shared with dogs, and some of those you can find on the infographic presented above. However, we must stay alert about the ones that must be strictly avoided in order to keep our dogs safe and healthy.

If you’re still wondering about other foods not mentioned in this list of food your dog can’t eat, here’s a great resource for all kinds of food and whether or not they can be fed to dogs.

So try not to leave any of these foods lying around in your home where your dog can grab them, for their own sake. At the very least, tell them to “Drop it” when they do get ahold of any of these.

Let’s not get to the point when we can say nothing but ‘alas, poor Yorrick’ to unfortunate dogs who eat any of these foods. Happy dog parenting!

list of food your dog can't eat

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