Harmful Foods for your Dog

We’ve all been there, sitting at the dinner table, looking into those pleading eyes that say “please, may I have some too?”  Whether you choose to feed your dog from your table is your choice but you should be aware of the human foods that may be harmful to your dog and should be avoided.  Even if you don’t feed your dog anything but commercially made dog food, being aware means that you can be sure that these foods are never left within doggie reach where they may be tempted to help themselves.

Dark chocolateWhilst it is true that some foods need to be ingested in larger quantities to have a detrimental effect, they should still be avoided, even if they have been eaten in the past with no obvious ill effect. 

  • Avocados (fruit, pit, and plant) are toxic to dogs. Avocados contain a toxic component which can damage heart, lung and other tissue in many animals. They are high in fat and can trigger stomach upset, vomiting and even pancreatitis. 
  • Broccoli in small amounts is not harmful but in large quantities can cause gastrointestinal irritation.
  • Caffeine (from coffee, coffee grounds, tea, or tea bags) stimulates the central nervous and cardiac systems, and can cause vomiting, restlessness, heart palpitations, and even death within hours.
  • Chocolate & cocoa powder can cause seizures, coma and death. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. But any chocolate, in large enough amounts (and ½ a 250gm block of cooking chocolate is enough) can kill a dog. The smaller the dog, the higher the risk. 
  • AvocadoFruit pips - Apple seeds, cherry pits, peach pits, pear pips, plums pits, and apricot pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous. While a few apple seeds may not cause a problem, the effects can accumulate over time if they are given to dogs regularly. Chewing on a peach pit, cherry pit, apricot pit, or plum pit can allow ingestion of cyanide & result in the pit being swallowed, causing continuous exposure to cyanide, or could cause the dog to choke.
  • Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs.  As little as a single serving of raisins can be fatal. Even if your dog doesn't eat enough at one time to be fatal, they can be severely damaged by eating just a few grapes or raisins regularly. 
  • Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, muscle tremor and paralysis. These symptoms are usually temporary.
  • Walnuts. When dogs eat the seed hulls, they can get an upset stomach and diarrhea. The real problem is the fungus or mold that attacks walnuts after they get wet (from rain or sprinklers), which produces toxins. If the fungus or mold is ingested your dog can become very ill. Dogs can take several days to exhibit serious signs of illness.
  • Nutmeg can cause tremors, seizures and death.
  • Macadamia NutsOnions & Garlic destroy red blood cells and can cause anemia, weakness, and breathing difficulty. Even small amounts can cause cumulative damage over time. This includes onions or chives - raw, powdered, dehydrated, or cooked.  Large amounts of garlic cause the same problems as onions. Garlic contains only a small amount of the problematic substance that is in onions.
  • Potato peelings and green potatoes contain Oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.
  • Tomatoes (plant and green fruit) can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.

As always, if you’re ever in doubt about the health of your pet, consult your veterinarian.


** DISCLAIMER: This article is the personal opinion of the Pets Unleashed team. We always recommend seeking specialist or veterinarian advice when it comes to making decisions about the health or well-being of your pet, particularly in respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.