These 9 Toxic Foods Should Never Be Fed To A Dog


All dogs like food. Some, maybe too much. 

It’s hard to resist those big, sad, puppy dog eyes begging you under the table for food scraps. 

But, you must resist them. There are some human foods like chocolate and garlic that should not be consumed by dogs… Ever! 

The following list contains foods that shouldn’t be served on a doggy’s dining table at all costs!

1. Garlic

golden retriever with willow basket with onions and garlics

My mommy really loves garlic bread, but she never lets me have a piece. Am I allowed to eat garlic?

Sorry, pooch. Garlic is strictly off limits for dogs. And, not just garlic, but onions are forbidden, too. You shouldn’t eat them in any form, not even powder!

Garlic will kill all your red blood cells. And, you need those, buddy; otherwise, you’ll become anemic. Treating anemia is no piece of cake, so don’t expect an easy recovery.

What’s even worse is that too much garlic or onions can cause poisoning. The most common signs of garlic poisoning are nausea, vomiting, and weakness. |1|

You should read what Pet Poison Helpline has to say about dogs and garlic.

dog looking in a plate looking as human
Source: Worldofangus

2. Xylitol

sugar-free xylitol gum for teeth in a woman's hand

Once, my mom dropped a piece of gum, and I swallowed it. Also, I chewed on her packet of gum, too. Should I be doing that?

Oh, poor fella. Just because nothing happened the first time doesn’t mean it won’t happen the next time. You were lucky because gum is forbidden for dogs, as well as toothpaste, candy, and any product containing xylitol. 

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener, which gives that minty-fresh taste to things like candy and gum.

Besides the most common symptoms of vomiting and nausea, your pup can have severe consequences. Eating xylitol can cause liver failure and even seizures! |2|

Check out how this Lab almost didn’t make it because she ate a pack of gum containing xylitol!

I wouldn’t joke about xylitol if I were your owner. 

READ MORE: Are Products Containing  Xylitol Dangerous For My Dog?

3. Avocado

pug chewing avocado from woman's hand

Okay, but you gotta let me have avocado! Dogs surely can eat avocados. Why would mommy’s sister name her dog after one if they couldn’t? I see her spreading that buttery goodness every morning on her toast. Makes me drool even when I think of it… 

I’m really impressed with your love for avocados, but little pupper, you can’t have them either! Sorry to break your heart. </3

The entire avocado, including the bark, the pit, and the flesh, contains this thing called persin. This is a fungicidal toxic that can even harm hoomans if they’re allergic to avocados.

The AKC says dogs can and can not eat avocados. This depends on the specific breed and the origin of avocados. Not all of them are treated with the same pesticides or grown in the same area. You never know how the producer handles his fruits. 

Because of this uncertainty, it would be better for your dog not to eat avocados. |3|

I’m really sorry this fruit is on your forbidden list, too. But, look on the bright side: there’s always a new trending toast spread. You just follow Instagram trendsetters to discover it!

pug wearing avocado costume looking into camera
Source: Petcostumecenter

4. Caffeine 

dog sniffing coffee in woman's hands

Come on, I can at least drink coffee, right? It’s not like I’m gonna grow a tail; I already have one. Imagine me and my mommy out shopping and having a coffee break. Wouldn’t that be great?

It is great, but when you’re a hooman. Since you’re just a little pupster, you can satisfy yourself with a puppuccino once in a while.

Caffeine isn’t even good for us, not to mention our furry buddies. Just the fact that it increases the heart rate is good enough for me to never offer it to any dog. |4|

So, little buddy, even if you find coffee beans on the ground… don’t eat them. They’re yucky, and your tummy will hurt. I don’t want to frighten you with what else could happen. Pet Poison Helpline knows all the gruesome details.

dog licking whipped cream from coffee
Source: Myrecipes

5. Macadamia Nuts

macadamia nuts on the table

I’m curious… What is this nut? Is it like my favorite peanuts? Oh, boy, I really love me some peanuts!

Oh, don’t even think about it. The only nuts you’ll be having are peanuts in the form of butter. But, you can’t even have too much peanut butter either! Watch what you eat so you don’t end up with a huge tummy.

Anyway, let’s go back to the macadamia nut. Experts say it only takes 1/10 of an ounce per 2 pounds of weight to make a dog ill. I wouldn’t risk having even one of them.

Little buddy, if you eat these nuts, your muscles will become weak, you will vomit until you start vomiting the yellow stuff, and you’ll feel super sick. |5|

Stick to the peanut butter, pretty please. Don’t be that curious.

6. Chocolate

dog giving paw asking for chocolate from woman's hand

Okay, I’ve heard from my mommy I can’t have chocolate. Why? Will it go straight to my hips? 

Unfortunately, that’s not why chocolate is dangerous for you. If your mommy is a chocolate addict, then she should munch on choco bars when you’re asleep or else hide them from you.

Dogs should not eat chocolate… ever. No white, no dark, no milk… no chocolate at all!

I don’t care if your mom is a chocoholic. If you even eat one piece of chocolate, especially the raw, unsweetened kind, you’re risking diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, tremors, and even death. |6| 

So, it’s not really a matter of one moment on the lips, forever on the hips. When dogs consume chocolate, it goes much further than obesity. 

RELATED: How To Make A Dog Throw Up After Eating Chocolate

7. Salt

pit bull about to eat a french fry from woman's hand

Hold on… You’re telling me salt is not good for me? But, why does mommy sprinkle some over my dinner?

Bad mommy! You shouldn’t do that. Don’t you know that salt can cause so many issues not just for your dog, but for you, too? 

If your pup ingests too much salt, he’s at a high risk of getting sodium ion poisoning. The obvious symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and seizures. However, continuous use of too much salt could have fatal outcomes. 

Another great issue you should know about is water poisoning. When a dog eats salty food, he will drink too much water afterward. And, too much water will lead to poisoning. You can read more about this unusual condition here. 

8. Alcoholic Drinks

french bulldog puppy drinking beer from a glass

Umm, I’m not sure about this one… I feel a lot of peer pressure from my buddies down the street. Apparently, they drink beer with their owners all the time. Are my friends lying to me or is alcohol okay?

Here’s another obvious ingredient on the list of foods that are toxic for dogs. Technically, it’s not a food, but it is something humans consume. And, yes… it’s strictly off limits for dogs. 

If you’re not familiar with all the terrible impacts alcohol has on the brain and the liver, then you shouldn’t be an adult. Sorry, but that’s the truth. 

Sure, lots of humans handle alcohol well, until the point where they drink too much. But, it’s not the same for dogs. Just a teensy tiny bit of any alcoholic drink can cause terrible consequences to your dog, including coma and death! |7|

So, don’t joke with giving your dog a sip of beer… Never. 

9. Grapes Or Raisins

white french bulldog sits at a table with grapes and pears in a bowl

Oh, boy… grapes! I love that crunchy, juicy sound it makes when my mommy munches on them. But, why isn’t she sharing some with me? Also, she was quite mad when I ate some chocolate with raisins she got from someone at work. Please, I saved her the trouble… Who even buys chocolate with raisins?

Well, your mommy played it right! Surprisingly, grapes and raisins are the last on this list. I bet you didn’t know that they cause kidney damage and failure! Seriously, they’re not delicious nor refreshing treats for your dog.

Even a couple of grapes or raisins could make your dog throw up for hours. The condition could last for days, and lead to severe kidney damage, which then leads to kidney failure. |8|

READ MORE: Dog Kidney Failure: When To Euthanize? The Hardest Decision 

Is This All?

Oh, pwease tell me this is all I’m not allowed to eat. What’s even left for me that IS allowed?

Sorry, buddy, but this is only a list of the top 9 human foods that are toxic for dogs. There are other foods, fruits, veggies, grains, and spices that are not good for you. But, they’re mostly not lethal like chocolate and garlic. 

I hope you’ll keep your paws away from such food and munch only vet-approved kibble. 

You’re a growing dog. It’s okay to be curious, but don’t let your tummy explore first before your mom says it’s okay. Mommy really knows the best in this case.


|1| Qing Yang , Qiuhui Hu , Osamu Yamatoc , Keun-Woo Lee and Teruhiko Yoshihara. (2014). Organosulfur Compounds from Garlic (Allium sativum) Oxidizing Canine Erythrocytes. DOI

|2| Lisa A. Murphy, VMD, Adrienne E. Coleman, DVM.(2012). Xylitol Toxicosis in Dogs. DOI

|3| Buoro, I.B.J.; Nyamwange, S.B.; Chai, D.; Munyua, S.M.; Verwoerd, Daniel Wynand. (1994). Putative avocado toxicity in two dogs. DOI

|4| Martha Hensel, Medora Pashmakova, Brian F. Porter. (2017). Fatal caffeine intoxication in a dog. DOI

|5| C.J. Botha and M-L. Penrith. (2009). Potential plant poisonings in dogs and cats in southern Africa. DOI

|6| Peter-John M Noble, Jenny Newman, Alison M Wyatt, Alan D Radford, and Philip H Jones. (2017). Heightened risk of canine chocolate exposure at Christmas and Easter. DOI 

|7| Gang Lu, Michael G. Sarr & Joseph H. Szurszewski. (1997). Effects of Ethyl Alcohol on Canine Jejunal Circular Smooth Muscle. DOI

|8| Paul A. Eubig, Melinda S. Brady, Sharon M. Gwaltney-Brant, Safdar A. Khan, Elisa M. Mazzaferro, Carla M.K. Morrow. (1992). Acute Renal Failure in Dogs After the Ingestion of Grapes or Raisins: A Retrospective Evaluation of 43 Dogs . DOI