Foods Your Dog Should Avoid

You may already know what foods are bad for your dog and which foods are good. Just to avoid any confusion, here is a run down of the top twelve foods which can seriously damage, and in some circumstances even kill your dog.

This is NOT an exhaustive list and is for information only. If you suspect that your dog is demonstrating any of the symptoms mentioned below then please consult a vet immediately! Just because your dog may have consumed one of the foods in the list below does not mean there will be severe consequences!

1. Chocolate

Chocolate is one of the most common foods that is bad for dogs. Dog owners know better than to leave a box of Ferrero Rocher lying around!

Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine which fall under the methylxanthines category. When we hear the phrase "the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous," it's because white chocolates contain fewer methylxanthines. Thus, less toxicity. If eaten by a dog, chocolate can cause vomiting, dehydration, abdominal pains, severe agitation, muscle tremors, irregular heart rhythm, elevated body temperature, seizures and in some cases death. So keep that Snickers bar out of reach!

2. Cows milk

Just like some humans dogs can suffer from being lactose intolerance. A bitch, allowing her puppies to feed off her milk during the first few weeks of their lives as we know is absolutely essential and fine. There is nothing better than this. Cows milk contains milk sugar and dogs do not possess the enzymes to break this down. This can result in vomiting and diarrhoea and other gastric issues. It is not immediately life threatening but can result in bacterial disease.

3. Cheese

Just like milk, cheese contains sugars and fats that your dog cannot break down resulting in the same issues as milk. Again, not immediately life threatening but just try to avoid feeding your dog that spare lump of cheese that they love so much!


Yes, onions are bad for your dog. They are very good for humans but remember that our anatomies are very different from dogs. They contain harmful compounds that if ingested in enough quantities can damage red blood cells. This can make your dog weaker and less mobile. In extreme cases a blood transfusion could be necessary.

5. Macadamia Nuts

Native to Australia, I don't think I have ever eaten a macadamia nut myself, but they are available in most supermarkets so they are worthy of mention. They are extremely TOXIC for your dog and can result in macadamia toxicosis. This is marked by weakness and hind limb paralysis with the inability to stand, occurring within 12 hours of ingestion. Depending on the quantity ingested and size of the dog, symptoms may also include muscle tremors, joint pain and severe abdominal pain. In high doses of toxin, opiate medication may be required for symptom relief until the toxic effects diminish. Full recovery is usually within 24 to 48 hours

6. Garlic

Being part of the onion family garlic can be more dangerous than onions due to it's high toxicity per gram compared to onions. The effects of the garlic will not appear for a few days but your dog will appear listless and reluctant to move. Their urine will be orange to dark red in colour and in extreme cases a blood transfusion could be necessary.

7. Grapes

Like macadamia nuts grapes and raisins contain harmful toxins for your dog. Consumption can lead to kidney failure and result in vomiting and diarrhoea. Your dog would appear lethargic, dehydrated and may lose their appetite. Death from kidney failure may occur in three to four days.

8. Avocados

Avocados contain a toxin called Persin. This is a fungicidal toxin and can cause vomiting and diarrhoea in your dog. It can also lead to breathing difficulties and fluid build up in the chest. However, the most dangerous element of the avocado is the pit or stone which is left after the flesh of the fruit has been eaten. As it is slippery it can be easily swallowed by a dog and obstruct the gastrointestinal tract. That is not good.

9. Apple Cores

Be careful not to leave apple cores lying around as they are very toxic for dogs. Plums, peaches, pears and apricots are also bad for dogs. They all contain cyanogenic glycosides better known ascyanide. Symptoms include dizziness, struggling to breath, seizures and even a coma.

10. Yeast Dough

Raw yeast dough used for making bread can ferment in a dogs stomach which then becomes toxic! Alcohol is produced in the stomach through the fermentation which is very toxic. Also, the yeast can expand causing large amounts of gas and can lead to severe pain and a potentially ruptured stomach or intestinal tract. Vomiting, abdominal discomfort and lethargy can also occur.

11. Caffeine

If you give your dog tea or coffee with your morning brew then PLEASE STOP!!

Caffeine contains a stimulant called Methylated xanthine. This stimulates the nervous system in dogs causing vomiting, heart palpitations and in extreme cases even death.

12. Bacon

"You cannot be serious!" as John McEnroe would say. Yes, consumption of bacon can result in pancreatitis for your dog. This is serious as once the pancreas stops functioning correctly can lead to digestion problems and nutrient absorption issues.

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