✓ Evidence Based

22 Human Foods That Can Be Toxic To Dogs

You know how dogs get super excited when they see you eating something? They activate those super adorable puppy eyes that instantly make you want to share some of your food with them. Well, you should be careful about that.

Dogs have voracious appetites and different metabolisms from us. Therefore, certain foods that are really healthy for us can prove harmful to our furry friends. Moreover, dogs don’t know when to stop eating, so they can swallow large quantities of foods that are toxic for them.

Foods Toxic To Dogs

Here are 22 foods that can kill your dog if eaten in large quantities. Keep these foods out of your little pals’ reach and everything will be alright. Let’s jump right in!

1. Avocados

Avocados contain a fungicidal toxin called persin. It is safe for us humans, but not for dogs. It could cause fluid to accumulate in the dog’s lungs and chest making it difficult for them to breathe.

Now, you’re probably not thinking about feeding your pooch avocados. He might not even like it. However, make sure they never find Avocado pits on the floor. They might chew on them and that can prove toxic for them.

2. Garlic

Garlic is toxic for dogs because of a compound called thiosulfate. Our furry friends cannot digest this compound, and it builds up in their bloodstream, causing their blood cells to rupture.

Yes, you will not feed your dogs garlic per se. However, garlic is a vegetable we largely use in our meals. So, think twice before sharing your steak dipped in garlic sauce with your dog.

3. Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are extremely fatty. They are rich in minerals, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants and really good for us humans. However, dogs have different metabolisms from us.

So, Macadamia nuts will irritate their stomachs, causing nausea, diarrhea, severe weakness, and even temporary paralysis. So, keep Macadamia nuts away from their curious, sniffing little boops.

4. Chocolate

Whenever you open a bar of chocolate, your pooch will come sniffing about and giving you those adorable puppy eyes. They love it as much as we do.

However, chocolate can be deadly for dogs. It contains certain chemicals that they simply cannot digest. So, giving your dogs chocolate can result in diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, and even internal bleeding, seizures, or death.


Of course, the severity of these side effects depends a lot on the amount of chocolate your dog ate and also his size and weight.

So, try to resist the urge to give your dogs chocolate. Although it tastes great, it’s not good for them.

5. Xylitol

Xylitol is naturally found in fruits and vegetables, like raspberries, strawberries, cauliflower or mushrooms. It is also used to sweeten certain baked goods, candy, chewing gums, even toothpaste.

This sugar alcohol is safe for human consumption, but it can prove fatal for dogs as it can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar levels, and liver damage.

The main side effects are weakness, vomiting, difficulty moving, and seizures.

So, keep your adorable pooch away from toothpaste, chewing gum and other foods that contain Xylitol, especially baked goods.

6. Yeast

Keep the unbaked bread dough away from your dogs as it can cause alcohol poisoning. The yeast will ferment in their bowels, twisting their intestines, get absorbed in the bloodstream and produce ethanol.

The main side effects are bloating, extreme pain and discomfort. It might not kill your little pal, but it will certainly be unpleasant and painful. So, save him by keeping yeast away from their curious, adorable snouts.

7. Cooked Bones

I know what you’re thinking. “Noo, not bones!” Well, not all bones are bad for your dog, just the cooked ones.

You see, when they’re cooked they are more likely to splinter when your dog is chewing on them. So, they can injure their mouth at the very least.

In some cases, cooked bones cause inflammation in the stomach tissue and even the perforation of the intestinal tract.

So, be careful with bones!

8. Raisins and grapes

Raisins and grapes can prove toxic for dogs. Even a few of these can send your dog to the emergency room with kidney failure.

The main alarming signs are excessive thirst and little to no pee. So, keep your dogs away from any raw grapes, raisins or baked goods that contain them.

Sometimes, this is what love means.

9. Caffeine

Coffee, tea, cocoa, even some soft drinks are a no-no for dogs. They contain caffeine, which can speed up your dog’s heart rate to extremes.

Caffeine can lead to unusual heart rhythm and lung failure in dogs. The main signs are unusual thirst, restlessness, poor bladder control, vomiting and diarrhea.

Caffeine is no joke for dogs. In some cases, it proved fatal. They don’t need to drink much either. A few sips of coffee or tea can lead to death. So, make sure you don’t leave any half-full coffee mugs around.

10. Rhubarb

Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable that you can roast, saute, stew or puree. It is very sweet, so you can also find it in ice creams, pancakes, or cocktails. It’s good for us, but not for dogs.

Rhubarb contains oxalic acid which can cause kidney failure in dogs. The main warning signs are extreme drooling, diarrhea and vomiting, tremors, blood in the urine, or extreme thirst.

So, no ice creams or cocktails for your little furry friend. You can give him a special canine treat instead.

11. Leeks and Onions

Just like garlic, onions and leeks can also affect your dog’s red blood cells causing severe anemia.

It can take several days before the symptoms reveal themselves and several investigations are needed before your vet discovers the cause. So, keep onions and leeks away from your dog. They’re not exactly canine treats, but your furry friends might find it fun to play and chew on them, who knows.

12. Alcohol

Of course, you will not get your dog drunk on purpose. We’re not thinking about that. However, alcohol can be found in many other products, from mouthwash to cleaning products and perfumes.

So, keep them away from your dog’s curious, sniffing snouts. Even a small amount of alcohol can prove fatal for them. The main signs of alcohol poisoning in your dog include vomiting, poor breathing and terrible muscle coordination.

Specialists estimate that 8 milliliters of pure alcohol per kilogram can cause death in 12-24 hours. So, alcohol is no joke, especially for dogs.

13. Salt

Did you know that dogs can die from salt poisoning? According to specialists, 2.2 teaspoons of salt per pound, or 4 grams per Kg of body weight can be fatal for dogs.

The main symptoms are depression, then tremors, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, fever and even seizures.

So, next time you open that bag of pretzels or chips, try to keep your dog away. Give him a canine treat or some soft wet food. This way, he will ignore you and you can eat your pretzels in peace.

14. Citrus oil

Does your dog come wagging his tail when he sniffs you eating oranges? Does he like to lick the orange juice from your fingers? It’s ok.

Nevertheless, cold-pressed citrus oil is not OK. It can lead to liver failure.

Citrus oil is usually used for medicinal purposes. It can also be found in many essential oils. So, keep them away from those curious sniffing snouts. Moreover, do not rub your dog’s skin with any essential oil as he might lick it off.

15. Dairy

Dogs are usually lactose-intolerant. Therefore, milk, cheese or any other dairy products can cause major stomach issues.

They might not be fatal, but they can lead to diarrhea, vomiting and other gastrointestinal troubles. In some cases, your dog might require hospitalisation.

16. Cat Food

Now, it might seem all the same to us, but cat food and dog food are quite different.

First of all, cats and dogs have different dietary needs. It might surprise you, but cats are carnivores by nature. They have a biological need to eat meat. Dogs, on the other hand, are omnivores. They can eat a more varied diet of meat, vegetables, or fruits.

Therefore, cat food is more meat-based, high in fat and protein. In low amounts, on rare occasions, it won’t do any harm to dogs. However, in the long-term, it can cause gastrointestinal upset, sickness and diarrhea for your dog.

17. Bacon

The average American consumes 18 pounds of bacon each year. However, that could prove extremely harmful for the average dog.

Dogs love bacon. They would eat it directly from your hand. But, bacon is high in fat and salt.

The main health risk associated with bacon and dogs is pancreatitis. It is a disorder caused by the inflammation of the pancreas.

Pancreatitis is very painful and requires serious veterinary treatment. The symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea. So, keep any bacon, grease, ham and other fat trimmed meat away from your furry friends. They might not love it, but it will be good for them in the long term.

18. Tobacco

Ok, so tobacco is not something you would willingly give to your dog. Dogs usually don’t like tobacco. However, nicotine poisoning is not that uncommon in dogs.

If you’re a smoker and keep your cigarettes everywhere, your curious pooch might come and chew on them. Dogs like to gnaw on random objects around the house. It could be a liquid nicotine vial, chewing tobacco, inhalers with nicotine, even nicotine patches or cigars.

An accidental nicotine poisoning can prove really critical for your pooch. The first warning signs are restlessness and stomach upset.

Other signs of nicotine poisoning include abnormal heart rate, convulsions, diarrhea, dilated pupils, drooling, incoordination, even paralysis or tremors.

If your dog gets the right diagnosis and treatment in the next 3-4 hours since he’s ingested tobacco, the chances of recovery are good. However, on the contrary, tobacco can be lethal for him.

19. Nutmeg

Nutmeg contains myristicin, a naturally-occurring compound that can cause hallucinations, and seizures in dogs. Baked goods with nutmeg will not pose a threat.

However, make sure that your dog does not chew directly on the spice container or packets. That could prove really toxic for him.

20. Peaches

The pits of peaches contain amygdalin, a cyanogenic glucoside. If your pooch chews on several peach pits, he will get in trouble, as amygdalin releases cyanide in the bloodstream.

Moreover, little pooches might even choke on peach pits. So, make sure you always throw the pits in the trash. Peach flesh is ok.

21. Mustard

Mustad is not lethal in small quantities. However, it can cause serious stomach unrest in dogs. Actually, some vets use it to induce vomiting in dogs.

Mustard is quite toxic for your little furry friends. The same goes for the mustard seeds. So, make sure you don’t feed your dog meat with mustard on it. He will eat it, but his stomach won’t like it.

22. Fat trimmings

Don’t feed your dogs the fat you’ve trimmed off meat. They might love it, but it’s not good for them.
Raw fat can cause diarrhea, vomiting and even pancreatitis for your dog. In some cases, high-fat foods can lead to blood infections for your canine friends.

So, if you don’t eat the fat trimmed off meat, don’t have your dog eat it either.

The Bottom Line

Our little furry friends have their own dietary needs. Some foods that are extremely healthy for us can prove lethal for them.

The best way to avoid any food poisoning is to stick to dog food. Treat them with some human food on very rare occasions. When you sit down to eat, give them a small canine treat or some wet food to keep them occupied. It’s for the best.