Things You Should Never Feed Your Dog 

Unless you’re adamantly against feeding your dog human food and your whole family is on board, it’s likely that your fur baby will consume some of the same foods that humans eat at some point. Take the time to know the dangers certain foods and substances pose to man’s best friend, and keep them away from your dog. If you have kids at home, go over this list with them so they, too, know the dangers! 

Onion and Garlic – Allium family vegetables, which includes all onions, leaks, chives, shallots, and garlic are toxic to dogs. These foods contain compounds called disulfides and thiosulfates, which cause damage to a dog’s red blood cells when ingested. Side note - contrary to some claims, there is no evidence that garlic deters fleas and ticks away from dogs. Do not give your dog garlic as a natural flea and tick alternative.  

Grapes and Raisins – While grapes and raisins don’t affect all dogs, kidney failure, in some, has been attributed to ingestion of these fruits. You don’t want to find out if your dog will be affected! Do not include them as meal additives or snack options.   

Macadamia Nuts – Though an excellent source of nutrients for humans, macadamia nuts are actually one of the most toxic foods to dogs. Ingestion can cause clinical signs of poisoning, including vomiting, muscle tremors, rapid heartbeat, and partial paralysis. Chocolate combined with macadamia increases the risk, so keep those chocolate covered macadamia candies you brought back from Hawaii locked away from your dog!  

Alcohol – Please do not give your dog beer or any other alcoholic beverages. Intoxication can cause toxicity in the bloodstream, organ failure, and death.  

Chocolate – No, this is not an old wives’ tale. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, and both can cause toxicosis in dogs. The darker the chocolate, the higher the level of these chemicals. Keep all chocolate products away from your dog.  

Caffeine - Caffeine raises blood pressure and causes cardiac arrythmias. Thankfully, a lick or two of coffee or tea won’t poison your dog, but if they eat coffee grounds or the contents of a tea bag, you should contact your vet immediately.  

Avocado – Avocado contains persin, which can cause gastric distress, including vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. The high fat content, if eaten in large quantities, can cause pancreatitis.  

Raw Bread Dough – Raw dough expands in the warm and wet environment of a dog’s stomach, causing bloat and even the possibility of the stomach twisting. The sugar and yeast in raw bread dough ferments in the stomach, which produces alcohol that causes toxicity in the bloodstream. Say no to dough!  

Xylitol – This artificial sweetener is often found in low-carb baked goods, sugar-free gum, and candy, and can also be found in household items like toothpaste, mouthwash, and cough drops. Ingestion of this chemical can cause a life-threatening drop in blood sugar and liver damage. Keep anything with xylitol away from your dog.  

What should you do if you think your dog has ingested any of these foods? 

If you suspect that your dog has ingested one of these foods, contact your vet immediately for advice and/or treatment. Keep these poison control contact numbers on hand, just in case.  

Animal Poison Control (ASPCA) (888) 426-4435 

Pet Poison Helpline  (800) 213-6680 

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