Human foods that dogs should avoid

Sharing is caring, but not when it comes to what’s on your dinner plate.

Grapes and raisins

The toxic substance is unknown, but the threat is very real – when ingested grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure. This includes baked goodies with raisins and sultanas.

Chocolate, coffee and caffeine

The three C’s might be appear in a human’s diet, but they all contain methylxanthines (found in cacao seeds) which can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate, white chocolate has the lowest level of methylxanthines and baking chocolate contains the highest.


There’s nothing better than smashed avocado toast for breakfast, but not only is it a problem when dogs get their paws on it, it’s also problematic for small pets like birds and rabbits. Avocados contain persin, which when ingested can cause mastitis, heart failure, and death. Eating a small bit of avocado won’t cause lasting damage, the biggest danger, however, is the pit which contains persin and it’s also a choking hazard.


Dogs should not be touching alcohol – not even for a ‘fun’ Instagram picture. Beverages and food containing alcohol cause vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.

Milk and dairy

Animals don’t have a lot of lactase, so milk and other dairy-based products like cheese can cause diarrhea or other digestive upset. Don’t be fooled into thinking dogs need to drink so-called puppy milk products either.


Almonds, pecans, and walnuts, all contain high amounts of oils and fats but just a few macadamia nuts can make your dog seriously ill. Symptoms include vomiting, muscle tremors, inability to walk and paralysis. Baked treats containing nuts, should also be avoided.

Onions and garlic

Tastes delicious in pasta sauce, but to your dog can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed so monitor your dog and phone the vet.

Salt and salty snacks

Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination even in humans, so its risky in our dogs and can even lead to sodium ion poisoning in pets. Signs that a pet may have eaten too many salty foods include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death. Keep the salty snacks – potato chips, pretzels, and salted popcorn – well away from your dog.


Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release, which can lead to liver failure. Initial signs include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Signs can progress to seizures. Contact a vet immediately if ingested.

Cooked bones

Cooked bones – those left over from a roast or soup – may drive your dog’s nose crazy with excitement, but they shouldn’t be fed to your dog as a treat. They can splinter and cause internal damage. Feeding your dog raw meat and bones is usually fine but they should be supervised in case of splintering.

What to do if your dog is ill

Contact a vet or emergency vet after hours if your dog has eaten foods it shouldn’t have, or even if you suspect it. A quick phone call will but your mind at ease

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