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What Can Dogs Not Eat?

It’s well known that dogs love to explore the world around them with their mouths. As many dog owners know, not everything they put in their mouth is good for them, and often what we take for granted can be extremely harmful to our furry family members. So here’s our guide for all the foods that your dog should never eat, and why.


That guac on the tip of your tortilla can be big trouble for your dog. Avocados contain a chemical called Persin, which is generally harmless to humans. When consumed in large quantities, Persin is highly toxic to dogs and cats. As well, if you grow avocados at home, be sure to keep your dog away from the entire plant, as the leaves, stem and seeds all contain Persin.


If you’ve ever spilt some wine and let your dog lick it up, you may want to think twice. Alcohol has the same effect on dogs as humans, but to a much greater extent. Alcohol attacks the brain and liver, as well as nervous system. Smaller dogs are more effected by the effects of alcohol, so be sure to keep the beer and wine out of reach during your next party.

Onions & Garlic

Onions and garlic are delicious and found in most foods. In any form, whether it’s raw, powdered, cooked or dry, onions and garlic are very dangerous for dogs and cats. Through a process of oxidizing an oxygen-transporting protein called hemoglobin, a dog’s red blood cells can be destroyed, causing an anemia. Again, small doses are OK, but occasional small doses, or one big one, can be deadly.


Caffeine in large doses is fatal to dogs, and once the symptoms begin, there’s no cure. Caffeine poisoning symptoms include: restlessness, rapid breathing, muscle tremors, fits and bleeding. This also includes tea, chocolate, cola, and energy drinks. Caffeine can also be found in certain cold medications and pain killers.

Grapes & Raisins

Many of us have given our dogs grapes from one time or another as a treat, but many of us don’t know how harmful they are to dogs. This phenomenon was first discovered by the Animal Poison Control Center, with the cause of poisoning still unknown to this day. Grapes, in particular, are notorious for causing sudden acute kidney failure, and just a small amount can make a dog ill. Repeated vomiting is the first clear sign of this. Keep grapes off countertops where dogs may reach them to avoid this.

Macadamia Nuts

Even a small amount of macadamia nuts can be fatal to a dog. These types of nuts can cause muscle tremors, weakness or paralysis, as well as vomiting and rapid heart rate. While we are not sure what chemical it is inside the nuts that causes issues, we do know that there’s no specific cure for the symptoms, making it especially dangerous.


This is the one that most people are familiar with, and for a good reason. A chemical inside chocolate called theobromine is what causes problems. Both white and dark chocolate both have this chemical in it, with dark chocolate being the most dangerous kind. Eating just a small amount of it will make a dog vomit, have diarrhea, and be excessively thirsty, followed by tremors, seizures and death.

What Your Dogs Should Be Eating

Your vet at Dewinton Pet Hospital can recommend a high-quality dog food to be sure your dog is well-nourished. A number of dog food brands are rich in the nutrients that they need to be happy and healthy. This isn’t to say that you can’t sometimes give them something special, as long as it’s fully cooked, pure and not fatty or heavily seasoned. These include:

  • Lean meats free of bones
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Banana
  • Watermelon
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Cooked white rice & pasta
  • Fully cooked chicken

If you believe your dog has eaten a potentially dangerous food, call our 24/7 emergency line at Dewinton Pet Hospital – (587) 317-0717.