20 Foods You Should Never Feed Your Dog: A Comprehensive Guide

Foods you should never feed your dog

As pet owners, we often enjoy sharing food with our furry companions. However, some human foods can pose serious health risks to dogs. From common household items to seemingly harmless treats, it’s crucial to be aware of what foods are off-limits for our canine friends. Here’s a comprehensive guide to 20 foods you should never feed your dog.



  1. Alcohol: Dogs have a low tolerance for alcohol, and even small amounts can cause intoxication, leading to vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma, and even death.
  2. Chocolate, Coffee, and Caffeine: These contain methylxanthines, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, and in severe cases, death.
  3. Grapes and Raisins: Even in small amounts, these can cause kidney failure in dogs, manifesting as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and decreased appetite.
  4. Xylitol (Sugar Substitute): Found in sugar-free gum, candies, and some peanut butter, xylitol can cause a rapid release of insulin, leading to hypoglycemia, seizures, liver failure, and death.
  5. Onions, Garlic, and Chives: These can cause gastrointestinal irritation and damage to red blood cells, resulting in anemia, weakness, and lethargy.
  6. Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs, and Bones: These may contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli, leading to food poisoning and gastrointestinal upset.
  7. Salt and Salty Snack Foods: Excessive salt intake can lead to sodium ion poisoning, causing symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and even death.
  8. Macadamia Nuts: These can induce weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors, hyperthermia, and inability to walk in dogs.
  9. Almonds, Pistachios, and Certain Other Nuts: High in oils and fats, these can cause pancreatitis and gastrointestinal upset in dogs.
  10. Avocado: Contains persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs, and the large seed can cause obstruction in the digestive tract.
  11. Yeast Dough: Can expand in the stomach, causing bloating and potential rupture, as well as alcohol production, leading to intoxication.
  12. Milk and Dairy Products: Many dogs are lactose intolerant, leading to digestive upset such as diarrhea and gas.
  13. Moldy or Spoiled Foods: These can contain toxins causing vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and death in severe cases.
  14. Human Medications: Many human medications are toxic to dogs, so always consult a veterinarian before giving any medication to your pet.
  15. Candy, Gum, Toothpaste, and Baked Goods: Often contain xylitol, which can be toxic to dogs, causing insulin release and subsequent hypoglycemia.
  16. Caffeine: Found in coffee, tea, and some sodas, caffeine can cause restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, and even death in dogs.
  17. Fatty Foods: These can cause pancreatitis, a painful inflammation of the pancreas, in dogs.
  18. Corn on the Cob: Can cause intestinal obstruction if ingested, leading to vomiting, diarrhea, and potential surgery.
  19. Fruit Pits and Seeds: These can cause intestinal obstruction or contain cyanide, which is poisonous to dogs.
  20. Dog-Safe Foods in Excess: Even dog-safe foods, when consumed in large quantities, can lead to obesity and other health issues in dogs.

Are eggs bad for dogs?

Eggs can be a nutritious addition to a dog’s diet when fed in moderation and prepared properly. In fact, many commercial dog foods include eggs as an ingredient. Eggs are an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals like riboflavin and selenium, which can benefit dogs.

However, it’s essential to feed eggs to dogs in moderation and ensure they are cooked thoroughly.Raw eggs have the potential to harbor bacteria such as Salmonella or E. coli, which can cause digestive upset or illness in dogs. Therefore, it’s safest to feed dogs cooked eggs to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

As always, if you have any concerns about incorporating eggs into your dog’s diet or if your dog has specific dietary needs or health issues, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian for personalized guidance.

Is rice good for dogs?



Yes, rice can be good for dogs, particularly when they have digestive issues or need a bland diet. Cooked plain rice, such as white or brown rice, can be easily digestible for dogs and can help soothe upset stomachs or diarrhea.

Rice is often recommended as part of a bland diet for dogs recovering from gastrointestinal upset or transitioning to a new diet. It provides carbohydrates for energy and is gentle on the digestive system.

When feeding rice to dogs, it’s essential to cook it thoroughly and avoid adding any seasonings or additives like salt or spices. Plain, cooked rice is best for dogs.

However, rice should not be the primary component of a dog’s diet in the long term, as dogs require a balanced diet that includes protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Rice can be used as an occasional addition or as part of a temporary dietary adjustment under the guidance of a veterinarian.


Alcohol is extremely dangerous for dogs and can lead to severe health complications, including alcohol poisoning and death. Dogs are much more sensitive to alcohol than humans due to their smaller size and different metabolism.

Even small amounts of alcohol can cause intoxication in dogs, leading to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, lack of coordination, central nervous system depression, tremors, difficulty breathing, coma, and even death.

It’s crucial to keep all alcoholic beverages and products containing alcohol out of reach of dogs. This includes not only beer, wine, and liquor but also items like certain desserts, sauces, and household products that may contain alcohol.

If you suspect your dog has ingested alcohol or is showing signs of alcohol poisoning, it’s essential to seek veterinary care immediately. Time is of the essence in such cases, and prompt treatment can make a significant difference in the outcome for your pet.


Avocado is a tricky one. While it’s not necessarily toxic to dogs like some other foods, it’s best to avoid feeding them avocado due to the potential risks it poses.

The main concern with avocado is a substance called persin, which is found in various parts of the avocado tree, including the fruit, pit, leaves, and bark. While the flesh of the avocado itself contains lower levels of persin, the pit and skin have higher concentrations, which can be toxic to some animals in large amounts.

In dogs, consuming avocado may lead to gastrointestinal upset, including vomiting and diarrhea. Additionally, the pit poses a choking hazard, and its ingestion can cause an obstruction in the digestive tract, which may require surgical intervention.

While some dogs may tolerate small amounts of ripe avocado flesh without any adverse effects, it’s generally safer to err on the side of caution and avoid feeding them avocado altogether. If your dog accidentally ingests avocado or shows any signs of distress afterward, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian for guidance.

Chocolate, Coffee, and Caffeine

Chocolate, coffee, and caffeine-containing products are all toxic to dogs due to the presence of theobromine and caffeine. Here’s how they affect dogs:

  1. Chocolate: As mentioned earlier, chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which are toxic to dogs. The darker and more concentrated the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, tremors, seizures, and potentially death.
  2. Coffee: Coffee contains caffeine, which is also toxic to dogs. While dogs are less likely to ingest coffee grounds or brewed coffee compared to chocolate, it’s still essential to keep coffee and any products containing coffee out of reach of dogs. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning in dogs are similar to those of chocolate poisoning and can include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, tremors, seizures, and even death.
  3. Caffeine: Caffeine is found not only in coffee but also in other products such as tea, energy drinks, soda, and certain medications (e.g., some cold medicines and diet pills). These products can be harmful or even fatal to dogs if ingested in sufficient quantities.

If you suspect that your dog has ingested chocolate, coffee, or any caffeine-containing product, it’s crucial to seek veterinary care immediately. Treatment may involve inducing vomiting, administering activated charcoal to absorb the toxins, providing supportive care to manage symptoms, and closely monitoring the dog for any complications.

As with chocolate, prevention is key when it comes to protecting dogs from caffeine poisoning. Keep all caffeine-containing products out of reach of dogs, and be mindful of where you store them to prevent accidental ingestion.


Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins are highly toxic to dogs and can cause kidney failure, even in small amounts. The exact toxic substance in grapes and raisins is currently unknown, but ingestion can lead to severe health complications in dogs.

Symptoms of grape or raisin poisoning in dogs may include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, decreased appetite, weakness, dehydration, and decreased urine production. In severe cases, kidney failure can develop, leading to symptoms such as increased drinking and urination, bad breath, ulcers in the mouth, seizures, and coma.

It’s essential to seek veterinary care immediately if you suspect your dog has ingested grapes or raisins, even if symptoms have not yet appeared. Treatment may involve inducing vomiting, administering activated charcoal to absorb the toxins, intravenous fluids to flush out the kidneys, and supportive care to manage symptoms.



Prevention is crucial when it comes to protecting dogs from grape and raisin toxicity. Keep all grapes, raisins, and products containing them out of reach of dogs, including foods like trail mix, baked goods, and certain cereals. Be vigilant and ensure that visitors to your home are aware of the danger grapes and raisins pose to dogs, especially if they bring potentially harmful snacks or treats.

Milk and Dairy Products

While milk and dairy products aren’t inherently toxic to dogs, many dogs are lactose intolerant, meaning they have difficulty digesting lactose, the sugar found in milk. As a result, consumption of milk and dairy products can lead to gastrointestinal upset in some dogs, including symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and gas.

However, not all dogs are lactose intolerant, and some may tolerate small amounts of milk or dairy products without any adverse effects. It depends on the individual dog and their level of lactose intolerance.

If you want to give your dog milk or dairy products, it’s essential to do so in moderation and monitor for any signs of digestive upset. Additionally, opt for lactose-free or low-lactose dairy products when possible, as these are less likely to cause problems for dogs with lactose intolerance.

Some dairy products, such as cheese and plain yogurt, are lower in lactose and may be better tolerated by dogs than milk. These products can also provide beneficial nutrients like calcium and protein.

As always, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new foods or treats into your dog’s diet, especially if your dog has a history of digestive issues or food sensitivities.

As responsible pet owners, it’s essential to be mindful of what foods we give our dogs. By avoiding these 20 foods, we can help keep our furry companions safe and healthy. When in doubt, always consult with a veterinarian for guidance on your dog’s dietary needs and restrictions. After all, our dogs rely on us to make the best choices for their well-being.

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