Things Dogs Can't Eat

Things Dogs Can’t Eat 

All dog owners know how hard it is to resist sharing your favorite foods with your fur babies – especially when they look at you with those infamous puppy dog eyes. Unfortunately, sometimes good intentions can have bad outcomes. The list of things dogs can’t eat is a long one, and it is important to know which foods to keep away from your dog at all costs.

Some foods that are harmful to dogs are widely known, the most noted being any kind of chocolate. However, some of the things dogs can’t eat may surprise you, as they are common and sometimes end up being the foods humans enjoy most. 

Below is a list of eight foods dogs cannot eat. Whether you’re a new pet owner or you’ve had dogs your whole life, familiarizing yourself with this list is beneficial and could save your pup from some serious health problems in the future. 

Anything containing Xylitol 

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener and is one of the deadliest human foods dogs can ingest. Xylitol is most commonly found in gum, candy, and toothpaste but can also be found in a variety of sugar-free diet foods as well. It can even be found in peanut butter – most dog owners’ go-to treat to share with their pups.

Ingesting Xylitol causes a dog’s body to release too much insulin and can lead to liver failure rather quickly. Early symptoms of xylitol ingestion include vomiting, weakness, lethargy, and coordination problems. In serious cases, it could cause seizures and brain damage. 


Avocados, while delicious in their many forms, can be harmful to dogs for a variety of reasons.

First, they contain a toxin called Persin. Persin usually leaves humans unaffected as it is normally safe for anyone who isn’t allergic to it. However, too much of this toxin can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Second, avocados are very high in fat, which can lead to diseases like pancreatitis in dogs. Lastly, the pit can be a choking hazard for small and large dogs and could lead to blockages in the intestines or stomach. 


Grapes are a bit of a question mark because experts do not currently know what exactly makes them dangerous to dogs. However, they have proven to be harmful and have led to kidney failure and even death in dogs in the past. Similar to grapes, raisins can have the same effect on dogs.

Grapes of all colors are equally toxic to dogs and should be avoided at all costs. If you have a feeling that your dog has eaten grapes or raisins, take them to an emergency vet clinic immediately.


The fact that alcohol is harmful to dogs is not really surprising, after all, it’s not good for humans either! Alcohol affects dogs similarly to how it affects humans, it changes or slows the functioning of the liver and brain. Liquor, beer, and wine are all equally harmful and should be kept away from dogs at all times.

Dogs, similar to babies and toddlers, have no tolerance for alcohol and can become sick almost immediately after ingesting it. Vomiting, diarrhea, coordination problems, and respiratory failure can occur after the smallest bit of alcohol is ingested – even if your dog just licks up a spilled drink. 


Dogs are naturally perky and energetic – they don’t need caffeine like humans do! Most people don’t know this, but one of the main reasons why dogs can’t have chocolate is because of its caffeine content.

Caffeine is heaviest in coffee, soda, and chocolate but can also be found in foods and drinks that may not be as obvious. This energy booster is just another thing dogs’ bodies weren’t made to digest and therefore can cause health problems such as vomiting and diarrhea, excessive thirst, rapid or uneven heart rate, seizures, and in some cases, death. 

Onions and Garlic

Whether they are raw, cooked, powdered, or dehydrated, allium vegetables like onions and garlic are extremely harmful to dogs. In high quantities, onions and garlic can be disastrous for dogs’ red blood cells, leading to anemia and a host of other health issues. Symptoms such as vomiting, reduced appetite, rapid heart rate, dark or pink urine, and fainting or collapsing may be signs of allium toxicity in your pet.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts, even in small quantities, can instantly cause weakness and lethargy in a dog. Look for symptoms like tremors, muscle shakes, vomiting, and high temperature if you think your dog may have consumed a macadamia nut. While it sounds absurd, as little as two of these nuts can make your pet extremely sick. 

Salt or any Salty Snacks

Just like humans, dogs can develop health issues from high sodium levels. Snacks like chips, pretzels, and popcorn have high salt content and can lead to sodium ion poisoning in dogs. For dogs with heart issues, this can raise even more concern. 

It is important to note that salt can be found in more than just food. Things like Play-Doh and paintballs also have high salt content and are things that your pooch could easily snatch, especially if you have small children. Make sure to keep your dogs away from non-food items that can be harmful as well. 

Things Dogs Can’t Eat: Conclusion

Overall, there are many foods that are extremely dangerous for dogs that many pet owners are not aware of. It is important to educate yourself on things dogs can’t eat so that you can make sure you are protecting your dog and ensuring that they live the longest and healthiest life they can. 

Written by: Francesca Bua

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