19 People Foods Dogs Are Not Allowed To Eat: And Why

You and your family really need to know what your dog is not allowed to eat, in order to maintain the health of your dog.

There are certain foods that you must not allow your dog to eat. These foods can cause serious harm to your dog, some of which are fatal. If your dog has eaten any food that is poisonous, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number immediately at (888) 426-4435.

In order to ensure that your dog maintains excellent health, and for the safety of your dog, this article will reveal what not to feed your dog so that you can make your family and friends aware. Additionally, we will cover 5 people foods that your dog can eat.

To Eat, or Not to Eat?

Food is such an important part of our lives. For the most part, we eat whatever we want, whenever we want. Putting aside your personal conviction for a moment, let me ask you a couple of questions:

Would it be healthier for people to eat vegetables over desserts?

Yes. If we only ate vegetables and stayed away from all sweets and fatty foods, we would be healthier.

But if we were to only ever eat vegetables, ensuring that we stayed away from any and all sweets and fatty foods, would we be enjoying all that life has to offer? No.

Before we get started, let me emphatically state that I am a firm believer in keeping our dogs healthy. Yet at the same time, I let our dogs enjoy life.

If I may, let me elaborate for a moment. For example, we feed our dogs healthy dog food every day, but occasionally, I’ll give them a piece of chicken, or a hamburger, or a piece of a hotdog. Do I only let them eat these treats? No, of course not. I give them to my dogs on occasion, as treats.

Even those who train to keep themselves fit have a “cheat day.” In other words, it’s OK to give your dog treats that are “off the menu” on occasion. Not all the time, but on occasion.

There are, however, certain foods that you must never let your dog eat because they can cause harm to your dog, some of which can be fatal. Let’s take a look at what these foods are and why your dog can’t eat them. This way, you and your family members will know what you can safely feed your dog, and what your dog should never eat.

19 People Foods Dogs CAN NOT Eat

Below are 19 people foods that dogs CAN NOT eat and why you should not feed them to dogs.

  1. Xylitol
    There are several things that contain Xylitol, such as toothpaste, candy, gum, baked goods and even some “diet foods.” The problem with Xylitol, is that it can cause liver failure in your dog in just a few days. If you find that your dog is lethargic, or starts vomiting and doesn’t look like he’s well coordinated, it may be due to ingesting Xylitol. Of course, if you suspect this, take your dog to your veterinarian immediately.
  2. Avocado
    Who doesn’t love avocado with chips and salsa? It may taste great for people, but it can actually be fatal for your dog. There is something called persin that is found in the Avocado leaves, bark, seeds and fruit which is the real culprit. If your dog were to eat too much avocado, he would probably get diarrhea and start vomiting.
  3. Alcohol
    You may enjoy alcohol, and even think that your dog might too, but they won’t. If your dog were to drink alcohol, it could cause diarrhea and vomiting, breathing problems, or even death. You may be able to handle your alcohol, but a dog can’t, and it will affect your dog way faster than it will affect you.
    As with people, the smaller the dog, the greater effect alcohol will have on your him. If you see someone at a family reunion trying to be “funny” by giving their dog alcohol, make a big stink of it, because you just might save that dog’s life.
  4. Garlic & Onions
    Any form of onions or garlic, be it powdered, dehydrated, raw, or cooked, should be kept away from your dog. Garlic and onions kill red blood cells which causes anemia. In other words, it lowers the ability for blood to carry oxygen through the bloodstream.
    If you find that your dog ingested garlic or onions, he will probably become very lethargic and may start vomiting or have difficulty breathing. If you believe that your dog has ingested garlic or onions, either call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number immediately at (888) 426-4435.
  5. Caffeine
    Even if you are not a coffee drinker, who does not like the smell of coffee grounds? Dogs might be tempted to eat them if they find them, but that could be fatal. Do not give your dog anything to drink that promises a burst of energy, such as coffee, tea, any type of soda, or energy drinks like Red Bull or Monster. Caffeine can kill your dog, and if you think that they may have ingested any, call the ASPCA or your veterinarian immediately.
  6. Grapes and Raisins
    Grapes and raisins can be a refreshing snack for you or me (especially if chilled), but they will wreak havoc on your dog’s kidneys. It doesn’t take many of them to cause your dog to start vomiting repeatedly, so take grapes and raisins off of their snack list.
  7. Dairy Products
    Frankly, this stinks. I would love to give my dog the last bit of my ice cream cone on a hot summer day, and I’m sure you would too. But dairy products are really bad for your dog’s digestive system. Your dog’s digestive system was not designed to process dairy products like our is. If they drink milk, or the left-over cereal bowl from one of your kid’s cereal bowls, your dog can get diarrhea. Trust me, you really don’t want to be cleaning that up. Its much easier to put that left over cereal bowl in the sink, I promise.
  8. Macadamia Nuts
    It only takes 6 macadamia nuts to make your dog vomit, have muscle spasms, make it difficult to walk, and get a fever. Keep them away from macadamia nuts or any food that has macadamia nuts in them, especially chocolate cookies with macadamia nuts in them. Chocolate is bad enough, but chocolate with macadamia nuts is a double-whammy, and could even cause death.
  9. Theobromine (Chocolate)
    Theobromine is a chemical agent found in all types of chocolate, even white chocolate. Higher levels of this compound are found in dark chocolate and the nasty tasting “baking chocolate” that you probably tried as a kid. If your dog eats chocolate, they will vomit and get diarrhea. If enough is digested, they could have seizures and even die.
    Be certain that your dog NEVER has access to Halloween candy, because it could be the last thing they eat, and if you suspect that your dog has eaten any chocolate, get the Animal Poison Control Center on the phone immediately by calling (888) 426-4435 for further instructions.
  10. Bones, and the Fat From Bones
    This may come as a surprise, but fat from meat, (it does not matter if it is cooked or not), can cause pancreatitis, which will inflame the pancreas.
    Everyone knows not to give their dog chicken bones, because they can choke on it, and if swallowed, it could do some serious damage to their to their digestive system, (slicing or poking holes in the digestive tract). Larger bones are not much better because they can (and do) splinter off, causing the same damage.
  11. The Pits from Peaches, Plums and Persimmons
    The fruit is not the issue, it’s the pits or seeds within the fruit that can harm your dog. Not only might they block the small intestine, but these pits actually contain cyanide, yes, the same poisonous cyanide that can kill people.
  12. Raw Eggs
    There are those that like to feed their dog natural foods, including raw eggs. Your veterinarian would probably agree that this is not a good idea. The concern lies with the potential for bacteria, like salmonella or E. coli, and as you are probably aware, that can be deadly.
  13. Raw Meat and Raw Fish
    Can they eat raw meat or raw fish, yes. Is it a good idea? No. Why? Because raw meat and raw fish is susceptible to bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Your dog can be treated if you find that they are vomiting, or get a fever. If you want to give your dog meat or fish, just cook it first. This way, the parasites will have been cooked out of it. And who doesn’t like the smell of cooked meat? Your dog certainly will.
  14. Salt
    Offering your dog a full bag of potato chips or a bag of pretzels is not a good idea. An occasional chip or piece of pretzel is not going to hurt, however. It’s the salt content that we are concerned with. You see, the more salt they ingest, the thirstier they become, and too much salt (a lot of salt), could lead to sodium ion poisoning. If your dog has eaten too much salt, he will vomit, get diarrhea, and could get a fever and even have seizures.
  15. Sweets
    Sweets have the same effect on dogs as they do on people. They can get fat and have issues with their teeth, just like you and I. An occasional treat is OK, just not something that you want to give your dog on a regular basis.
  16. Yeast Dough
    When I was a kid, my Mom made home made bread. OK, I had no idea just how bad it was to eat yeast dough, but now I do, and it’s a HUGE no-no. If your dog were to eat yeast dough, it will “rise” while in your dog, causing his abdomen to swell which can be very painful. Additionally, when yeast ferments, the alcohol within the yeast can cause alcohol poisoning. If you want to give your dog bread, go ahead, just make sure that it’s already baked.
  17. People Medicine
    The only medicine that you should ever give your dog is that which is prescribed by your veterinarian. Just like you child-proof your medicine cabinet, make sure that your dog does not have access to any medicine whatsoever. The headache medicine that you take, like ibuprofen, could kill your dog, so keep it out of reach.
  18. Baking Power, Baking Soda, Nutmeg and Other Spices
    These items are highly toxic to your dog, so make sure that you keep them up and out of reach, preferably in a cupboard or top shelf.
  19. Corn on the Cob
    It’s not the corn that is the concern here. The cob is the issue. Dogs will break the cob and swallow parts of it whole, which can cause blockage in their digestive system. If your dog really wants to eat what you are eating at the picnic, simply take a knife and shave off the corn from the cob. Your dog will be thrilled.

5 Safe People Foods Dogs CAN Eat

There are certain foods that are not going to harm your dog if you let them indulge once in a while. It is up to you to ensure that you and your family members are only offering these foods to your dog on occasion, as a treat. I encourage you, however, to contact your veterinarian with any questions regarding your dog’s diet.

  1. Lean Meats
    If you want to reward your dog with a nice juicy steak, be sure that you thoroughly cook lean meat, so as to remove any possibility of bacteria. When looking for the right piece of steak to cook, be sure to cut away any remaining fat, as the fat can cause pancreatitis, which will inflame the pancreas.
    As we have already mentioned, do not give your dog the bone to eat because these bones will splinter and can cause serious damage to their small intestine.
  2. Certain Types of Fruit
    You can give your dog slices of apple, but be certain that they do NOT eat the seeds, as apple seeds can cause serious issues. They can also have bananas, apple slices, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, cranberries, mangoes, oranges, peaches, pears, pineapples, raspberries. Just be sure to remove the seeds. In fact, just make sure that you don’t give them seeds, stems or leaves from any fruit.
  3. Certain Vegetables
    Like people, some dogs are just not going to like vegetables. If I were a dog, I would not like vegetables for sure, but your dog just might. You can feed your dog broccoli, brussel sprouts, peas, carrots, celery or even slices of zucchini. Any of these vegetables can be served raw or cooked, however, when it comes to potatoes, be sure that they are cooked. You do not want to feed your dog raw potatoes.
  4. Pasta
    Dogs can eat pasta, but only AFTER it has been cooked. If they were to eat raw pasta (including rice), it would swell in their digestive system and could cause abdominal pain. When serving rice, make sure that it is white rice.
  5. Cooked Eggs
    Dogs love cooked eggs. Serving them scrambled is best because you can ensure that they have been thoroughly cooked. When you serve them, however, be sure to allow them to cool down before giving them to your dog. Remember, dogs tend to “woof” their food down. You do not want them to get burned when eating the eggs, so just wait 2 or 3 minutes after taking them out of the hot pan, before giving them to your dog.

If You Don’t Know, Ask Your Veterinarian

If you think that your dog may have digested something he should not have, and you find that your dog is displaying odd behavior, looks lethargic, lacks coordination, is vomiting or has diarrhea, call your veterinarian. If you can’t get a hold of them, call the ASPCA (Animal Poison Control Center) at 888-426-4435.

When speaking with the ASPCA, you will want to be as accurate and specific as possible when conveying how much poisonous food was digested, and how long it has been since your dog ate that food. They will tell you exactly what to do. Your next phone call should be to your local veterinarian, possibly for an emergency visit.

Take the risk and call your veterinarian or even the ASPCA. I would rather have them tell me not to worry, than to find out later that I should have called them when I had time. Your dog’s health is at hand, and you want to do everything you can to ensure that they stay healthy, so if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA. They will welcome your call.

Rebecca Chesonis

Rebecca Chesonis is a business professional with a lifelong love for dogs. She has owned and worked around dogs since she was a child. She has a love for all breeds, and a particular fondness for large dogs. She loves to write articles and create videos that will help you take care of your dog and find activities to make life with your dog even more fun!

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