A List of the Worst Foods for Your Dog

Many dogs will eat almost anything, or at least try to. Your dog probably wants a bite of anything you’re eating—or eat all of it! But just because something is okay for you to eat doesn’t mean it’s okay for your dog. After all, we’re completely different species with different digestive systems and nutritional requirements.

The following is a list of human foods that you should never feed your dog.


Alcohol can cause metabolic acidosis. What seems like only a little amount to us is a lot for a dog. Keep in mind that some cooking products, mouthwashes and cough syrups also contain alcohol. Even if a dog doesn’t die from the acute effects of alcohol poisoning, it’s still harmful to their kidneys and liver.

Anything with caffeine

Dogs are more sensitive to caffeine than we are. A few licks of coffee won’t do much, but a couple of diet pills, coffee grounds and teabags can result in:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Restlessness
  • Vomiting Elevated heart rate
  • Hypertension (elevated blood pressure)
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Tremors
  • Hyperthermia (elevated body temperature)
  • Seizures
  • Collapse
  • Death

Anything with xylitol (A sweetener in gum, toothpaste, baked goods and some diet foods.)

Even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia, seizures, liver failure and even death.


Avocados contain persin, which can cause mastitis, hearth failure and death. The pits are also a choking hazard.


Chocolate—especially darker kinds—is one of the most common causes of dog poisoning. It can take 6 to 12 hours after consumption before the following symptoms occur:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Diarrhea
  • Hyperactivity
  • Pacing
  • Panting
  • Shaking
  • Seizures


Although many dogs are repelled by the scent of citrus fruits, some dogs will eat said fruits. Citrus fruits contain a number of substances that are harmful, even toxic, to dogs.

Dairy products

The vast majority of dogs—but not all—are lactose intolerant. Dairy products aren’t deadly; but if your dog is particularly lactose intolerant, it’s flatulence might smell deadly to you 🤢!

Fatty Meat and Bones

Fat trimmings and fatty meat can cause pancreatitis. Bones can splinter and become a chocking risk, as well as cause cuts in your dog’s digestive system.

Grapes and Raisins

Researchers don’t know why grapes and raisins are so toxic to dogs, but they are, even in small amounts. Avoid them at all costs.

Items in the pantry

Keep that pantry shut. It’s full of things that are toxic to your dog, such as baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and other spices.

Macadamia nuts (Avoid nuts in general.)

Like raisins and grapes, macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs, but it’s not known why. Symptoms include:

  • Weakness and inability to walk (Especially in the hind legs.)
  • Vomiting
  • Staggering gait
  • Depression
  • Tremors
  • Hyperthermia

Onions, Garlic, Leeks and Chives

All four are members of the Allium family and if ingested by dogs (and cats) can cause:

  • Drooling
  • Nausea
  • Oral irritation
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Elevated heart rate and respiratory rate
  • Weakness
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Collapse
  • Pale gums

Persimmons, Peaches and Plums

These fruits have seeds or pits that can cause inflammation of the small intestines and intestinal obstruction.


Keep the pretzels, Doritos, Cheetos, etc., to yourself. If your dog eats too much salty food, she will become excessively thirsty, drink large amounts of water, and have to go pee—a lot. It could also result in sodium-ion poisoning. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, hyperthermia and seizures.


Too much sugar for your dog will do the same thing it does to a person, i.e. lead to weight gain, cavities, diabetes, etc. Keep the sugar intake to a minimum.

Yeast dough

Dough needs to rise before it’s baked. If your dog eats it, that’s exactly what it will do inside her stomach. It will result in abdominal pain and, if the yeast ferments when the dough rises, will create alcohol—which can lead to alcohol poisoning.

Your Medications

For similar reasons that you keep your medications out of children’s reach, you should do the same regarding your dog.

What to do if your dog ingests a dangerous food?

Make sure to have the phone numbers of your local vet, the closest emergency clinic, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) handy. If you think your dog has eaten something toxic, call for emergency help right away.