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Which Human Foods Are Toxic To Dogs?

Anyone that owns a dog will tell you that they are best in class when it comes to begging for food. Who could blame them; People food smells amazing, especially if you normally dine on kibble. Many dog owners are big old softies and will pass Fido some scraps under the table from time to time, but be careful because some human food is very unhealthy for your dog.

In fact, some foods that we eat all the time are even considered toxic to dogs.

As summer approaches and we’re getting ready to host BBQs and parties, it’s best to also let guests know what foods are safe or unsafe for your dog. In fact, it may be safest just to request guests do not feed the dogs human food at all for the sake of simplicity.

But, accidents do happen. Like when a kid (or adult) drops their food all over the floor and your very good doggo will want to help “clean up.” If your dog does ingest any foods that it should not, you can contact your vet or the ASPCA does have a 24 hour poison control number for pets (some charges may result) at (888) 426-4435.

A Quick List Of Human Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat:

Chocolate and Caffeine:

By now it’s a pretty well-known fact that chocolate is toxic to dogs, this is because chocolate contains both caffeine and theobromine that are both toxic to dogs. The size of your dog relative to how much chocolate they ate will determine the level of toxicity. Dark chocolate is also more toxic than milk chocolate. The side effects of dogs consuming chocolate include vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, abdominal discomfort, lethargy, muscle tremors, irregular heartbeat, high body temperature, seizures and even death.


Getting your dog drunk is not funny. Dogs react to alcohol much the same way people do but at a faster and heavier rate because they are smaller. Alcohol can cause central nervous system depression, inhibited motor function, vomiting, coma, and death. Never give your dog alcohol or food with alcohol in it.


Although science isn’t exactly sure why, grapes and raisins have been known to cause kidney failure in dogs. Although it might be funny to watch your pet roll a grape across the floor with its nose, it’s best to steer clear of this particular fruit.

Candy or Gum:

Most candy and gum contains Xylitol which is very harmful to dogs. It causes an insulin release that can lead to liver failure. Plus, who wants to try to get gum out of your dog's fur?

Meat or Fish Bones:

Seems like a good idea and dogs love bones, but real meat bones and domestic dogs aren’t a good match. Smaller bones like chicken and fish bones splinter and can get caught in the dog’s throat. Larger meat bones can break a dog’s teeth or hurt their mouths.

Onions and Garlic:

Dogs should not be fed anything in the onion family. Onions contain compounds that can cause gastroenteritis, anemia and serious damage to the red blood cells. And garlic is even worse, being five times more potent than onions. Signs of onion or garlic poisoning often do not appear for several days after ingestion, but include lethargy, weakness and orange- to dark red-tinged urine.


While the inner flesh may be OK for a dog to eat, the outside rine, stems, leaves and pit all contain a toxic substance for dogs called persin.

Macadamia Nuts:

Nuts in general are not good for dogs due to their high fat content but macadamia nuts are especially harmful. For some reason these nuts cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Even a few small macadamia nuts can cause a bad reaction.

Citrus Foods:

Citric acid in large quantities can be harmful to dogs. However, most dogs tend to not like the taste of citrus foods so this isn’t usually a problem.

Salty Foods:

Overdoing it on salty foods for dogs causes increased thirst and dehydration leading to kidney and liver problems. Many people food dishes contain high levels of salt.

Raw Meat or Eggs:

Raw meat and raw eggs can contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli that can be harmful to both pets and humans. Unlike their wild wolf ancestors who could stomach the bacteria with no problems, domesticated animals have lost that iron stomach and need to only eat cooked meat and eggs.

Here are some other foods your dog should never eat:

  • Yeast dough
  • Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • Tea (because of the caffeine)
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Potato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • Peach pits
  • Mustard seeds
  • Mushroom plants
  • Moldy foods
  • Cherry pits
  • Apricot pits
  • Apple seeds
  • Fat trimmings (can cause pancreatitis)
  • Hops (beer making ingredient)
  • Marijuana

Now the good news…

If you really can’t resist the urge to give your dog people food, there are foods safe for your dog and even healthy for them too. Many fruits and veggies are not only safe but good for your dog as well. There are lots of human foods that can be combined to make delicious homemade dog biscuits. Here are some treats you can gleefully share with your best furry friend.

Human Foods Safe For Dogs

  • Watermelon
  • Berries
  • Apple Slices
  • Peanut Butter
  • Baby Carrots
  • Cheese (limited amount)
  • Bananas
  • Green Beans
  • Cooked Chicken
  • Cooked Eggs
  • Cooked Salmon
  • Cooked Turkey
  • Popcorn
  • Plain Yogurt
  • Pumpkin
  • Cinnamon (not known to be toxic but best to avoid)
  • Corn cobs

All foods on the toxic list should be kept away from your dogs at all cost. Keep them in spaces your dog cannot reach and instruct family members and guests not to feed your dog these foods no matter how adorable and pitiful they look begging.

A doggie whine can be hard to ignore but stay strong! If you feel you must give your dog a people food treat, choose one from the safe foods list above. Many people include green beans and carrots with their dog food several times a week or make their own dog treats using canned pumpkin and peanut butter.

There are plenty of safe food options to make any dog happy without putting them at risk.

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