Critter Culture
Harmful Human Foods Your Pooch Should Avoid

Harmful Human Foods Your Pooch Should Avoid

Critter Culture Staff



It's no secret: dogs like to eat. Professional beggars, they give you those puppy-dog eyes at the dinner table, and you can't help but sneak them a nibble or two. Before doing so, think about what you're giving your pooch.

Some human food can be toxic or deadly to your pet, so it's important to know what's harmful. These foods should be kept away from your buddy at all costs.



Dog giving paw asking for chocolate rfranca / Getty Images

Naturally, chocolate takes the top spot. Chocolate is one of the most well-known toxic foods to canines, and it's thanks to theobromine. This chemical is a stimulant that halts a pup's metabolic process. It causes agitation, upset stomach, increased thirst, pain, fever, muscle tremors, irregular heartbeat, and seizures. If the concentration is powerful enough, it could kill a dog if not treated.

The darker the chocolate or cocoa powder, the higher chance of poisoning. Yes, a dog can still get ill from eating a nibble of milk chocolate, but dark chocolate will have far worse effects.



dog licking dough in the kitchen Aleksandr Zotov / Getty Images

In small doses, bread isn't bad for a dog. It has no nutritional value to them, but it's not a hazard. Bread dough, however, is a different story. Yeast is the culprit, causing dire complications when it multiplies. It can block the pup's airway, distend their stomach, or get them drunk. Signs of yeast ingestion include confusion, vomiting, and eating grass. If a dog is inebriated, it should be put under medical observation until symptoms subside.


Garlic and onion

dog looking at garlic Barbara Rich / Getty Images

Onions and garlic, while flavorful additions to human meals, are toxic to dogs. Every part of the onion plant - the flesh, leaves, juice, and even processed powders - can cause damage to a dog's red blood cells, leading to anemia. Similarly, garlic, even in small amounts, can cause upset stomach and damage red blood cells. To prevent accidental ingestion, it's essential to keep these food items out of your pet's reach.


Cooked bones

dog eating bone from owner

Except for small bones, raw bones are fine for a dog to consume. Cooking them is when things become problematic. Poultry bones, in particular, tend to splinter when digested, causing internal blockages or tears. Feeding your pooch the meat is okay, but clean it off the bone first. And while you're at it, skip the cooked fat and skin, as they aren't healthy for your pup.



chihuahua with a nut

Most nuts, including almonds, pecans, and walnuts, are harmful to dogs due to their high oil and fat content, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially pancreatitis. Nuts also pose a choking hazard due to their size and shape. It's best to keep your dog away from nuts to prevent these health issues.



dog in front of candy

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener. Found in candy, soft drinks, and other sugar-free products, it's quite popular. Unfortunately, even a tiny amount of xylitol can make a dog deathly ill. Symptoms show themselves only a few minutes after ingestion. A rapid drop in blood pressure and seizures are the most common indicators of poisoning.

Quite frequently, chewing gum contains xylitol. Aside from this toxicity, gum is difficult for dogs to digest. Even if it doesn't have an artificial sweetener, gum can cause severe harm to a pup by blocking their intestines.


Rotten or moldy food

dog rummaging in a home bin Ирина Мещерякова / Getty Images

Mycotoxins are found in moldy food. Anything that's spoiled or rotten should be kept out of your dog's reach. Pay particular attention to trash cans and make sure they're properly protected from a potential pooch invasion. Always be attentive to your pup's canned food too, as it can develop mold once opened. Even fallen fruit from trees could be dangerous.

Mold can be deadly for dogs. Mycotoxin poisoning, if treated, may run its course. But it also has the potential for long-term fatal effects such as cancer and immune deficiency. Symptoms show up fairly quickly and include tremors and convulsions.


Coffee, tea and other caffeine products

Four jack russell terriers sitting in front of cups in cafe Ksenia Raykova / Getty Images

Caffeine, present in coffee, tea, and certain foods, is harmful to dogs. Consumption can cause restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, and even seizures. This applies not only to the drinks themselves but also to any food products containing caffeine. To ensure your pet's safety, always keep caffeinated items out of your dog's reach.



dog in front of grapes

Grapes are extremely dangerous for dogs to consume, but the verdict is still out as to why. This mysterious fruit can initially cause diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy, but symptoms might take a sudden turn into full-blown kidney failure.

Any edible counterparts of grapes have the same effect. Keep your dog away from currants, raisins, and sultanas. Beware of any foods that use these dehydrated fruits as ingredients.



Young couple toasting on picnic with a dog on a lap eclipse_images / Getty Images

You already know that alcohol is bad for a dog. Beer adds another element of toxicity thanks to hops. An integral part of beer hops are flower cones that influence flavor, bitterness, and aroma. However, they also dramatically increase a canine's body temperature. This can lead to organ failure, seizures, and death.

Call your vet immediately if your dog shows signs of illness due to consuming beer or other toxic substances. Some problems will be more serious than others, so play it safe and make an emergency appointment. This could be the difference between life and death.



Side view of dog looking while girl eats sitting on sofa Lourdes Balduque / Getty Images

Avocados are known for their health benefits in the human diet, but for dogs, they're a dangerous food. Containing a toxin called persin, these fruits can cause severe stomach upset in our canine friends. Not to mention, the large pit in the center of the avocado can be a choking hazard and has the potential to create a blockage in your pet's digestive system. It's crucial to keep avocados well out of reach of your furry companions.



Border Collie puppy with tongue in a red wine glass brazzo / Getty Images

The consumption of alcohol is incredibly harmful to dogs. Even ingesting small amounts can lead to significant health complications. In dogs, alcohol can cause a range of distressing symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty in breathing. It can even lead to more serious conditions, like abnormal blood acidity, tremors, and in severe situations, it could be fatal. To ensure your pet's safety, it's important to keep alcoholic beverages inaccessible to them.


Grapes and Raisins

Crackers and dried mixed fruits on a wooden cutting board MichikoDesign / Getty Images

Despite their small size, grapes and raisins pose a serious health risk to dogs. Consuming these can lead to sudden kidney failure, a condition that can be life-threatening. Symptoms include excessive thirst and urination, loss of appetite, and lethargy. Even though it remains unclear why these fruits are so toxic to dogs, their potential for harm is significant. To protect your pet's health, it's crucial to prevent their access to these fruits.


Dairy products

Golden Retriever puppy licking milk from a spilled bottle cmannphoto / Getty Images

Most dogs are lactose intolerant, meaning their bodies can't properly digest dairy products. Consuming these can lead to an upset stomach, diarrhea, and other digestive problems. They might also trigger food allergies, resulting in itchiness and skin problems. To prevent such issues, it's best to avoid giving your dog dairy products.



Dog fond of tangerines trying to steal low hanging fruit from tree branch alexei_tm / Getty Images

Large amounts of citrus can cause a reaction in dogs leading to central nervous system depression. This condition can lead to noticeable changes in behavior, including listlessness or seeming disoriented. While small amounts are generally safe, it's better to avoid giving your dog citrus to prevent any potential harm.


Coconut and coconut oil

Portrait of chihuahua dog on the beach near coconut drink FluxFactory / Getty Images

While small amounts of coconut and coconut oil are not typically dangerous to dogs, they can cause stomach upset and diarrhea. In addition, coconut water should not be given to dogs due to its high potassium levels. It's advised to give coconut or its products to dogs sparingly.



spilled Salt Sebalos / Getty Images

Excessive salt intake in dogs can lead to salt poisoning, which presents symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, high body temperature, tremors, and even seizures in severe cases. Keeping salty foods, including snacks like chips or pretzels, away from dogs is important for their overall health.


Raw eggs

Dog watching egg MeePoohyaphoto / Getty Images

Feeding raw eggs to dogs may expose them to harmful bacteria such as salmonella or E. coli, posing a risk of food poisoning. The enzyme avidin, found in raw eggs, can also interfere with the absorption of the B vitamin biotin, potentially causing skin and coat issues.


Raw meat and fish

Top view of a jack russell terrier dog next to a plate of raw red fish steaks marinated in spices outdoors inside-studio / Getty Images

Raw meat and fish can contain bacteria that can cause foodborne illnesses. Certain fish like salmon, trout, or shad may carry a parasite that causes "fish disease" or "salmon poisoning disease," potentially fatal if not treated. To ensure your pet's safety, it's best to offer them thoroughly cooked meat and fish.



Adorable German Shepherd dog steals a sweet pink donut from the table. Dog and sweet. Animal diet. The concept of food for dogs. Nataliia Dubnytska / Getty Images

Excessive sugar can lead to several health issues in dogs, including obesity, dental problems, and diabetes. While it may be tempting to share a sweet treat with your pet, it's better for their long-term health to avoid foods with high sugar content.


Artificial sweeteners

sugar substitute xylitol, a glass jar with birch sugar, liefs and wood nadisja / Getty Images

Artificial sweeteners, particularly xylitol, can be extremely harmful to dogs. Even small amounts can cause a dangerous drop in blood sugar, leading to hypoglycemia. Consuming these sweeteners can result in lethargy, loss of coordination, vomiting, seizures, and in severe cases, liver failure.


Corn on the cob

Happy French Bulldog dog playing fetch with corn vegetable Firn / Getty Images

While the corn itself is safe for dogs to eat, the cob can pose significant health risks. It can be a choking hazard and, if swallowed, cause intestinal obstruction, a serious and potentially life-threatening condition. To prevent these issues, always remove the corn kernels from the cob before giving it to your dog.


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