Foods to Avoid

Just because you eat this stuff doesn’t mean they should. Learn this list of foods and beverages dogs should never get hold of.


Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central-nervous-system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.


The leaves, fruit, seeds, and bark of avocados contain persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Birds and rodents are especially sensitive to avocado poisoning and can develop congestion, difficulty breathing, and fluid accumulation around the heart. Some ingestions may even be fatal.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are commonly used in many cookies and candies. These nuts have caused weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and last approximately 12 to 48 hours.

Grapes & Raisins

These fruits can cause kidney failure. In pets that already have certain health problems, the problems can be even worse.

Yeast Dough

Dough that’s made with yeast can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your pet’s digestive system. This can be painful and cause the stomach or intestines to rupture. Because the risk diminishes after the dough is cooked and the yeast has fully risen, pets can have small bits of bread as treats. However, these treats should not constitute more than 5-10% of your pet’s daily caloric intake.


Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods, and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release in most species, which can lead to liver failure. The increase in insulin leads to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels). Initial signs of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination — and can even result in seizures. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.

Onions, Garlic, Chives

These vegetables and herbs can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red-blood-cell damage. Although cats are more susceptible, dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed. Toxicity is normally diagnosed through history, clinical signs, and microscopic confirmation of Heinz bodies. An occasional low dose, such as what might be found in pet foods or treats, likely will not cause a problem, but we recommend that you never give your pets large quantities of these foods.


Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium-ion poisoning in pets. Signs that your pet may have eaten too many salty foods include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures, and even death.


Chocolate is bad for dogs — in fact, veterinarians consider it poison. Chocolate contains theobromine, a central-nervous-system stimulant that may cause seizures, excessive urination (leading to dehydration), and heart damage. The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains. Milk chocolate is less toxic than dark chocolate, which is less toxic than baker’s chocolate. Symptoms of chocolate toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, twitching, and seizing. This is considered a veterinary emergency requiring prompt attention.

Other Dangerous Foods

Talk to your vet to understand why certain foods are unhealthy and/or dangerous to your pets. Please take this matter seriously.