23 worst things to feed a dog

At the dining table, you are enjoying a delicious meal and you suddenly feel a presence near your foot. You look down and find your favorite dog looking at you longingly with those dreamy eyes. Of course, you are immediately tempted to share your meal with her. Surely a little portion of your food won’t hurt her.

Well, the truth here is that a lot of things you give him or her can hurt her. Some of the foods and treats we give our dogs can be outrightly dangerous to them. We have compiled a list of food and things to avoid giving to your dog.

Some of them would be very surprising to you.


These contain substances called theobromine found naturally in all cocoa products. They are easily digestible by humans but very slow to digest in dogs making it build up to toxic levels in your dog and leading to a series of problems like diarrhea and vomiting. Depending on how susceptible your dog is, consuming chocolates may also lead to excessive thirsting and urination, heavy panting, abnormal heart rate, seizures, hyperactivity and even death.

The darker the chocolate the more at risk your dog will be. Avoid giving your dog chocolate at all costs.


The name might sound strange to you, but this is one of the substances we as humans consume on a nearly daily bases. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in most products that claim to be sugar-free. Products like chewing gum, candy, sugar-free peanuts and sugar-free cookies just to name a few.

Xylitol causes a large release of insulin in dogs which can lead to liver failure in our dogs. In worst cases, it can lead to fatal seizures and worst still brain damage in dogs.




In light doses, the danger is not obvious. But in very large doses, consumption of avocados can be detrimental to your dog. Avocados contain something called persin which can lead to vomiting or diarrhea in a dog. The consumption of the avocado seed can also lead to blockage in our dog’s intestine or stomach.


One of two laps of coffee or caffeine can lead to poisoning in your dogs (It has been known to cause death in puppies), just like in chocolate, coffee and caffeine contain the substance methylxanthines which has already been proven to be detrimental to our dogs.

The only difference between chocolates and coffee or caffeine is that they contain a higher amount of methylxanthines which make them more fatal.

The symptoms are just like in chocolate consumption but have proven to be more fatal. Excessive thirsting and urination, heavy panting, abnormal heart rate, seizures, hyperactivity and even death.

It is advisable to try and induce vomiting while trying to contact your veterinary doctor if you find out that your dog has ingested coffee or caffeine.


Has the same effect on our dog’s liver and brain as is does on humans, the problem with dog consumption of alcohol is that it takes very little dosage to have a very amplified effect on dogs. (A sip of alcohol can get your dog to a very drunk stage).

Alcohol poisoning can lead to a dangerous reduction in a dog’s heart rate, an increase in total body acid, or even a heart attack.

Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, decreased coordination, difficulty breathing, abnormal blood acidity, central nervous system depression, tremors, coma and even death.

Under no circumstance should your dog be given alcohol and if you notice that this has been consumed mistakingly, contact a veterinary doctor immediately.


In small amounts, onions and garlic present no real danger to your dogs. But in large quantities, they can be lethal to your dogs. Consuming large quantities of Onions and cloves of garlic can lead to your dog developing a condition called hemolytic anemia. This condition attacks and destroys the dog’s red blood cell, leaving him or her in an anemic condition.

It is worth noting that even though a small amount of onions and garlic does not affect our dogs, there is a cumulative effect. This simply means that, the more small dosage a dog consumes, the more the harmful toxins pile up in their system. This can be akin to slow poisoning and can lead to their death unknowingly.

The best advice would be to keep them away from onions and garlic. Luckily most dogs don’t enjoy them, you have to be sure your dog fits in this group.


These two have been confirmed to be very lethal to dogs. Consuming grapes and raisins even in small quantity can lead to kidney failure as it has been proven to be very toxic for dogs.

The main substance that causes kidney failure has not been identified.

No dog breed is immune to these two. Some of the signs and symptoms for grapes and raisin poisoning are loss of appetite, weakness, vomiting and diarrhea in just a few hours after ingestion, abdominal pain, dehydration, increased thirst and final worst-case scenario, kidney failure.


Normally, dogs are not supposed to have problems digesting milk, but some of them develop abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

This is a reaction to the lactose found in milk and dairy products. In a sense, you can say that these dogs are lactose intolerant. This is more pronounced in dogs because of the absence of a special lactose-splitting enzyme known as lactase.

Something worth noting here too is that whether your dog is lactose intolerant or not, consuming a large quantity of milk or any dairy product is going to be harmful to him or her.

If your dog seems to enjoy milk and dairy products without the given signs above, then moderation is key to keep him or her healthy.


Apples tend to be a delicious treat for our dogs, but the apple seeds and core tend to be poisonous to our dogs. Apple seeds and core contain cyanide which is a form of poison.

Even human beings are not advised to consume apple seeds and core. The cyanide effect becomes more dangerous if the core is already rotting away.

Symptoms of consumption of apple seeds and core are bright red mucous membranes, dilated pupils, shock, difficulty in breathing, and even death.

Keep apple seeds and core away from your dog at all costs.


This tends to be a controversial one, but there are few pointers to indicate that raw and undercooked meat is not good for our dogs.

In the first place, they are known to contain the bacteria salmonella and listeria. These bacteria are known to be harmful both to dogs and humans. Secondly, dogs are meant to be carnivorous. Unless there is an ulterior motive, dogs are not meant to be encouraged to eat raw meat. This act in itself puts you and your household in danger of becoming the meat in the future. Thirdly, feeding your dog raw meat is not only unethical(unless there is an ulterior motive), it is not sustainable looking at the health implications. Fourthly, dogs infected with salmonella and listeria tend to develop diarrhea with blood droplets on them, making your dog weak and inactive. Dogs with salmonella and listeria infections are also known to develop skin and coat problems.

The summary here is that we do not encourage feeding your dog with raw and undercooked meat


Although this is not an everyday food, you usually find it mixed into many baked foods. Macadamia nuts have been noted to be very harmful to our dogs even in the smallest dosage (one-tenth of an ounce).

Macadamia nuts have a poisonous effect on dogs leading to vomiting, ataxia, weakness, hyperthermia, and depression.

It is always advisable to contact your veterinary doctor immediately as the consumption of macadamia nuts have been proven to be fatal (leading to death) in many instances.


In the past, we wouldn’t think much about feeding our dogs with leftover bones from poultry and pork. But times have changed. If you are like most pet owners, you should be very mindful of the type of bone you give your dog.

The only recommended type for our dogs is raw bones. Any other bone presents some form of potential danger to your dog.

Poultry bones, pork bones and cooked bones tend to splinter while our dogs chew on them. These splinters can cause choking and serious damage to the mouth, throat and intestines of your dog.

Some would argue that cooking the bones will make then safer and kill infectious germs associated with these bones. While that might be true for the germs, what happens here is that the bone loses all the nutritious ingredients in it while being cooked and in addition to it, makes it easier for the bones to splinter leading to internal lacerations of the dog’s digestive organ as stated above.

Some veterinary doctors would even go as far as to advise not giving your dog raw bones, instead to provide them with chew toys.

We say to provide your dogs with raw bones instead, this will help them manage tooth plagues and get a more natural feel when exercising the gums.


This is generally not recommended, salty foods, chips, etc should not be given to your dog (If ever there is a reason for this do it sparingly).

Due to the presence of sodium in the salts, eating too much of it can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, high temperature, and seizures. Lastly it may even cause death.


Not all nuts are good for dogs. There are good nuts and bad nuts for your dog. I have tried as much as possible to list down the bad nuts for you to avoid for your dogs.

Walnuts have in them a toxin called tremorgenic mycotoxins which easily causes seizures in dogs.

Almonds might seem harmless because a lot of dogs love almonds, but that is not true. Dogs find it hard to digest almonds leading to stomach upset and gastrointestinal problems.

Pecans have in them the toxin juglone which can lead to gastrointestinal upset or a digestive obstruction in your dog.

Pistachios have a lot of fat and this can cause your dog to develop an upset stomach. Also, continuous consumption of pistachios can cause pancreatitis in your dog.

Hickory Nuts like pecans have in them the toxin juglone which can lead to gastrointestinal upset or a digestive obstruction in your dog.

Macadamia nuts although already mentioned above is worth mentioning again. This is the most poisonous of all the nuts for your dogs, leaving the consumption of macadamia nuts unattended can surely lead to death for your dogs.


Persimmon seeds have been well documented to cause inflammation/swelling in the small intestine of dogs. This is a problem as your dog would find it hard to digest anything during this swelling period and would make him or her avoid eating for the period

For peaches, plums, cherries and apricots. These seeds are known to contain cyanide. This is a toxic substance to both human beings and dogs. To put it simply cyanide is poison and acts faster in dogs than in humans, simply because of the differences in our biology.


In earnest, raw eggs are not bad for dogs, but when it has overstayed its shelf life (minimum of two weeks). It becomes dangerous for your dogs.

These raw eggs contain the bacteria salmonella or E. coli which can lead to food poisoning for your dog.

In earnest, if you must feed your dog raw eggs, you need to be sure about the shelf life of the eggs.


This is very dangerous to our dogs. Because we consume bread and baked products daily we tend to forget one thing. Yeast is a living organism and fungi. Throughout this post, it should be clear to you by now that a dog’s metabolism (ability to digest food) is quite different from ours. Especially when it comes to digesting human food.

So what has yeast being fungi got to do with our dog’s metabolism?

Yeast enables our bread the dough to expand and in a warm moist environment transforms carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and alcohol.

This means that whenever our dogs consume yeast dough, they experience stomach bloating. For some reason, the gas (carbon dioxide) is not easily passed out in the dog’s digestive system leading to more expansion and pressure in the dog’s digestive system. As the expansion continues, it can easily lead to rupturing of the dog’s stomach lining causing damage not just to the dog’s cardiovascular system but also the diaphragm (Hopefully you understand why this is a very serious matter for your dog and why he or she needs to be attended to immediately).

The medical term for what I just described above is Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV).

Signs your dog is suffering from GDV would be excessive drooling, Shallow breathing or heavy panting, Anxiety, restlessness, Heavy Pacing, Attempts to vomit, Bloating of the dog’s abdomen.

Before we forget, there is the accompanying problem of the alcohol produced from the yeast as a by-product of the reaction in the dog’s stomach. As already mentioned above, our dogs should not be consuming alcohol, as even little doses are not good for them. So here now is a complicated issue.

Stomach bloating for unexpelled gas in the stomach and alcohol poisoning in the system.

It is worth noting that most dogs don’t survive this condition if left untreated. Contact a veterinary doctor immediately.


It is a known fact that certain wild mushrooms are toxic, both to humans and animals. If your dog mistakingly ingests this type of mushroom, he or she may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, wheezing, and a change in their heartbeat.

All this can lead to seizures, organ failure or even coma.

It is always important as a pet parent to know and understand the terrain which our dogs go through when walking. That is our responsibility as the pack leader.


The same way we should make sure all medicine is out of reach for our kids, that is the same approach we should take for our dogs. We should under no circumstance give our dogs medicine unless they are prescribed by the veterinary doctor.

For example, ibuprofen and acetaminophen are drugs which we as human commonly use as cold medicine and pain relievers, but these substances are very dangerous to our dogs.


Is another food that should not be consumed by both man and dogs, they contain solanum alkaloids which cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs, they also contain oxalates which can cause digestive and kidney problems in dogs, oxalates are also known to affect dogs nervous system leading to erratic behaviors.


are known to contain atropine and tomatine in their leaves, stems and vines which are substances that a very poisonous to dogs.

Symptoms of consuming leaves, stems and vines include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, dilated pupils, tremors and seizures.

Also for puppies, the consumption of unripe tomatoes leads to stomach pains. The only part of the tomato plant that is safe for dogs to consume is a ripe tomato and even at that, it must be given in small amounts.


Although not as deadly as some of the food mentioned above, consumption of citrus fruits can cause stomach upsets in our dogs. A larger quantity would lead to more painful stomach upset and problems with their central nervous system.


Just like potatoes also contains oxalates, and lead to the same problems encountered with potatoes. They are also known to cause calcium deficiency in dogs which can lead to renal failure.

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