Dangerous and poisonous foods for dogs

poisonous food for dogs

Damn! Those cute eyes! I know, it can be tempting to share some tidbits with your dog occasionally, but some foods that are nutritious and safe for us, can be downright dangerous for our dog’s health, and even prove to be toxic in just one bite. The list below highlights certain fruits, veggies, snacks, and ingredients that are commonly noted as dangerous and poisonous foods for dogs. 

If you frequently bring the food items mentioned in this list into your home, make sure the members of your household are educated about the risks of feeding these human foods to your dog.

You may even want to print out this list of dangerous and poisonous foods for dogs to keep on your fridge.

If your dog tends to get into the trash bin, get a closed garbage can, so that he can’t rummage around when you aren’t looking.

So, can a little reward from the table really hurt your dog? What will happen to ‘naughty boy’ if he slurps up momie’s plate of food? Well, that depends on what it is, and what’s in it.

Let’s take a look at the list of dangerous and poisonous foods for dogs !


Raw Meat & Fish

Uncooked meat contains bacteria like E.Coli and parasites that can instantly cause food poisonous in dogs, or serious diseases in the long run. Additionally, fish like Salmon is known to cause Salmon Poisonous Disease (SPD), a fatal condition.

Symptoms of food poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and weakness.

However, cooking kills the bacteria and other germs that cause food-borne illnesses. So, be sure to cook your dog’s meat or fish prior to feeding him.


While dogs go crazy about bones, it can be quite dangerous for their internal organs if not chewed properly.

Bones tend to have splinters and pointy edges, which when chewed by your pup, can rupture his food pipe. This can cause internal bleeding and pain in your dog.

When not digested fully, bones can also get stuck in your dog’s stomach, causing blockage in the intestinal track. In some serious cases, a surgery may be required to remove the bone.

Additionally, too much bones can cause constipation in dogs. Further, constipation can lead to rectal lining damage and cause severe piles in dogs.

However, if your dog is young and active enough, you can occasionally give your dog a washed and sterilized raw bone for his teeth and biting pleasure.

Fat Trimmings

Both, cooked and uncooked fat trimmings cause pancreatitis, a painful condition of inflammation and swelling of the pancreas.

Soon, your dog will have a weak pancreas, and will hinder the basic function of the pancreas to absorb nutrients from foods.


Liver in small amounts is generally fine for dogs, but you must avoid feeding too much to your dog.

Liver contains a good amount of Vitamin A which can cause gastrointestinal issues in dogs. It can also create joint problems in pups.


Dogs do well with certain types of fish as far as they are cooked, with no-bones, and definitely in small amounts. 

Other seafood like crabs, clams, and shrimps must be shelled and cooked (not smoked) before giving it to a dog.

Remember, seafood contains high levels of mercury and other pollutants which can be toxic for dogs. Additionally, commercial dog food with fish contains high amounts of sodium and other preservatives which can be harmful for your dog.

So, it is always good to weigh the risks to the benefits of feeding a particular food to your dog.

Also read – List of good vegetables for dogs that are very healthy for them (5-min read)



Every part of the avocado is toxic for your dog.

The plant, the leaves, the skin, the fruit pulp, and the pit (the seed), all contain a fungicidal toxin called persin. It can cause serious health problems like gastrointestinal upset and pancreatitis, and even death in dogs.

Though, in all animals, dogs are known to be most resistant to persin, it doesn’t mean Avocados are safe for them.

Another concern is the huge seed in the centre of the fruit, it can cause choking.


Plums are one of the many fruits that contain hydrogen cyanide which is extremely toxic for dogs if eaten.

All the parts of the plum plant contains the toxin – hydrogen cyanide. This toxin stops the cells from absorbing oxygen from the blood. The result of plum poisoning in dogs is respiratory collapse or death.

The most common signs of plum poisoning are: Red gums and tongue, difficulty breathing, and dilated pupils.


Dogs should never eat grapes. They are known to be one of the most dangerous and poisonous foods for dogs.

Grapes cause kidney failure, kidney injury, and lack of urine production in dogs. Even a small amount can put your dog in trouble.

Vets around the world have reported cases of dogs dying from only a handful of grapes, so please do not feed your dog this potentially toxic fruit.

If your dog has eaten grapes, look out for symptoms like vomiting and fatigue, and contact your vet immediately.

Pits & Seeds

Apart from the obvious choking hazard, pits and seeds of fruits like apples, cherries, plums, peaches, and nectarines contain a poisonous toxin – cyanide.

Cyanide can poison a dog in only a couple of minutes. Even if only a small amount is consumed, signs like severe salivation, rapid breathing, and even convulsions and paralysis can occur.

Though most of the toxin is in the seeds of these fruits, the minimum percentage which can cause worry is not known.

So, make sure your dog does not ingest any seed while munching on these fruits occasionally.

Nuts & Other Dried Fruits

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts found in many households can be unknowingly given as treats to dogs. They are usually found in cakes, cookies, or as whole nuts.

It is unknown what makes Macadamia nuts toxic, but it is reported to be highly poisonous for dogs. They contain a toxin that can affect a dog’s muscles and nervous system.

Clinical signs of macadamia poisoning in dogs include vomiting, weakness in hind limbs, staggering, drop in oxygen levels, abdominal pain, and elevated body temperature.

Almonds, Pistachios & Walnuts

On the other hand, Walnuts have high fat and oil content, and can also cause gastrointestinal concerns and even pancreatitis in dogs.

Due to their shape and size, Almonds and Pistachios can be potential choking hazards for dogs. Commercial ones are super salty, so it is better to avoid giving these to your dog.

Raisins & Prunes

Raisins are dried grapes, and Prunes are dried plums. Raisins and Prunes are equally fatal for dogs just like grapes and plums.

So, hide those plum cakes from baby Drools.

Also read – Homemade Dog Treats Recipes That will Make Dogs Happy (5-min read)



As there are a large variety of mushrooms, some can be just fine, while others can be dangerous and poisonous for your dog.

Some species of mushrooms can be toxic and potentially lethal to your dog, as it is for you.

Depending on what type of mushroom your dog ate, he may experience a variety of symptoms like: Vomiting, diarrhoea, neurological issues, disorientation, and jaundice.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic, and the rest of the allium family (leeks, shallots, and chives) are all toxic for dogs.

Raw, cooked, fried, or powdered – they are poisonous in all forms.

The entire allium family contains, not one but two toxic compounds called disulphides and thiosulphates, which are extremely toxic if ingested by dogs. The allium toxicity ruptures the red blood cells in dogs.

So, every time you feed your dog any food with onion or garlic, he may not fall sick instantly, but he will surely lose some of his RBCs, which will gradually cause anemia.

Corn on the cob

Corn in small amounts is totally fine for dogs, but if you give him an entire corn, it can be really dangerous.

If your dog is determined (which, let’s face it, most dogs are), he will consume the cob and all. Your dog can choke on the cob and experience serious digestion issues later on.

Tomatoes, Potatoes and Eggplant

The leaves, stems, and unripe green tomatoes of the tomato plant contain high amounts of solanine which proves to be poisonous for dogs if swallowed.

Likewise, potatoes and eggplants too contain solanine that causes health problems for dogs. Additionally, the potato skins contain oxalate which might cause kidney problems if eaten in large amounts.

When your dog eats the green parts of the tomato plant or a raw potato, he may show signs of vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, confusion, and increased heart-rate.

Dear dog owners with a garden, please be watchful if you have these plants in your backyard.


Rhubarb contain oxalates, which can cause irritation, drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, weakness, tremors, and bloody urine in dogs if eaten in moderate to high amounts.

Pantry & Household Staples


It is obvious, your dog is attracted to chocolate, and for the same reasons that you are! 

After tasting a small dash of chocolate, dogs come to know that chocolate is sweet and lip-smackingly good.

What they don’t know is that chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which are substances that speed the heart rate and stimulate the nervous system.

Eating too much chocolate may result in vomiting, diarrhoea, restlessness, increased urination, tremors, elevated heart rate, seizures, and sometimes even death. 

Generally, the darker the chocolate, the more harmful it is for dogs.

Bread and foods with yeast

Just like yeast rises in bread, it will also ferment and rise within your dog’s stomach.

Make sure your dog doesn’t eat any food with yeast in it, as it will cause stomach discomfort, gas, and pain.

Additionally, yeast dough is also extremely dangerous because as it ferments and expands, it releases lots of ethanol into your dog’s bloodstream, which leads to alcohol poisoning.

Candy, Chewing gum, Toothpaste & Mouthwash

These items contain a toxic artificial sweetener called xylitol.

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol found in peanut butter, gums, candies, toothpaste, baked goods, commercial yoghurt, and other sugar-substituted items.

Although, xylitol is not harmful for humans, it is highly poisonous for dogs. Even a small amount of it can lower blood sugar levels, cause seizure, and even death in your pup.

Before you buy your dog’s favourite peanut butter or yoghurt from the super-market, do confirm it is ‘xylitol-free’.


Dogs can float their way into a kitchen that smells like a bakery!

Nutmeg is a common baking spice which can have negative effects in your dog if eaten in large amounts.

Nutmeg contains the toxin myristicin, which can cause stomach upsets and nervous system irritation.

Also read – Things dogs hate about humans that you should be aware of (4-min read)



Milk and other dairy products can cause diarrhoea and similar gastrointestinal problems for your dog. They can also activate food allergies, which can cause them to itch.

Milk is safe only when given occasionally in a small quantity and diluted form.

Coffee & Tea

With the introduction of a variety of good-smelling flavors, coffee and tea can be enticing to your dog.

Coffee beans contain caffeine, a very dangerous and toxic chemical for dogs. Even a few slurps of coffee can be life threatening.

Other caffeinated drinks like – chocolate coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, etc. must be kept away from dogs.


The effects of alcohol are negative in dogs just as it is in humans.

Though no one necessarily pours his dog a drink, there are some food items that contain alcohol as an ingredient.

Syrups, sauces, bread dough, cakes, marinades, and other preparations of food involve the use of alcohol in quite a good amount. Even a small dose of alcohol can be fatal for dogs.

Symptoms of alcohol toxicity in dogs include weakness, depression, lethargy, incoordination, drooling, vomiting or retching, collapse, and hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar).


It is not uncommon to spoil a pet dog by sharing table scraps or your favourite snack. But, a habit can cost you your dog, because dogs do not know how much is too much. So, it is very important to identify the high-risk foods for dogs. While some food can make your dog sick in a bite or two, others can be deadly. Lastly, this might not be an extensive list of dangerous and poisonous foods for dogs, and if you decide to feed your doggo any human food, you must first discuss it with your dog’s veterinarian or nutritionist.

Please share this very important article with all the dog lovers out there.

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