11 Human Foods Dogs Should Never Eat

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Some human foods may seem harmless to feed our dogs, but they can actually be very dangerous. My two dogs, Bentley and Bailey, are Shih Tzus and I wanted to research what is safe to feed dogs and what is unsafe to give them. I put together a list for you in case you have four-legged puppies as I do.

I went this morning to a local pet store for some new ideas on options for healthier dog food brands and types. I love supporting the locals in every way I can. Natalie owns the store and the staff is so awesome you feel like family when you walk in there.

That’s why I keep going back, plus they know tips to keep our dogs healthy. This is Bentley below. I was prompted to do some dog food research and write this blog post today due to the current challenge we have with our puppies and their poops.

Generally, things have been great, but for some reason, they are both experiencing some less-than-solid poops. It hasn’t been fun checking up on things and then having to clean up. Hoping the new food we got today will help. If not, we’ll be off to visit our favorite local vet.


11 Foods Dogs Should Not Eat

1. Chocolate

Dogs and Chocolate

Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine which are toxic to pets. The darker the chocolate the more dangerous it is. If a dog eats chocolate it can cause vomiting, dehydration, elevated body temperatures, seizures, and death. Thank goodness I’m not a dog, I love chocolate.

2. Grapes/Raisins

Dogs and Grapes/Raisins

It’s not entirely known why grapes are toxic to dogs, but the chemicals and compounds toxicity consumed can be pretty devastating. Please be careful with small children who may have some raisins in their lunch boxes or they’re eating as snacks.  The dogs may vomit, have diarrhea, stop eating, become dehydrated, and actually have kidney failure if consumed.

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3. Onions

Dogs and Onions

Yikes, these are really dangerous. They make our eyes water, but they can damage the red blood cells of our pets. If they ingest too many pieces of onion they may need a blood transfusion.

4. Avocados

Dogs and Avocados

The skins of avocados, the pits, leaves, and fruit contain persin. They can cause an upset stomach, breathing difficulties, and fluid may build up in the chest. The pit is the most dangerous because dogs may think it’s a ball or toy and can choke on it because it’s slippery from the fruit and can lodge in their throats.

5. Apple Cores

Dogs and Apple Cores

My dogs love small pieces of apples, Mark loves giving them to our puppies. Of course, their tails wag in anticipation of the plate served with a few morsels on it. It’s the core of the apple that is toxic. The seeds contain cyanide. Please watch out for those cores that might be left on the coffee table. To be safe, throw the core out as soon as you eat the apple.

6. Bacon

Dogs and Bacon

Bacon is high in fat and can cause pancreatitis in our four-legged friends. I had heard they couldn’t have bacon, but now I know why. It’s so high in fat content they can’t digest it properly. So, the next time you feel tempted to give your dogs a slice of bacon under the table, think again.

7. Raw Potatoes

Dogs and Raw Potatoes

Potatoes (nightshade veggies) contain solanine which is toxic to animals. I read that if they are boiled or cooked the amount of solanine from the heat diminishes. I know we may be tempted to give those sweet pets a small piece while chopping them on the counter, but it may not be a wise decision.

8. Garlic/Onions

Dogs and Onions/Garlic

Garlic is part of the onion family and is stronger in flavor per ounce and very toxic to dogs. The dog’s urine will become dark-colored in a few days and the pet will become tired and lethargic. Onions or garlic may cause a pet to need a blood transfusion because it will disrupt their red blood cells.

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9. Corn on the Cob

Dogs and Corn on the Cob

Corn cobs are frequently given to dogs at barbecues. You may not want to give Fido the cob from that yummy corn you finished eating. The cob may get ingested and the results would be devastating as you can imagine. If the dog is heaving or trying to vomit after ingesting a cob, take the pet to your veterinarian ASAP.

10. Tomatoes

Dogs and Tomatoes

This one is interesting because it’s not the red part of the tomato but the green part contains solanine like potatoes. Unripened tomatoes are the most toxic to pets. I can still remember seeing tomato seeds on one of my Shih Tzu’s face, you know the look, like, what??? Those puppies can get into our gardens and eat those cherry tomatoes thinking I won’t see the seeds on their chins, oh my gosh! I giggle every time, but I will make sure they can’t reach my green tomatoes from now on, that’s for sure.

11. Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts & Macadamia Nuts

Dogs and Nuts

I know people who fill dog toys with peanut butter, I have never done that only because I don’t want to clean the rubber toy. Well, it’s not entirely known why, but it’s assumed to be the high-fat content of the nuts. They can cause our dogs to vomit, disrupt their digestion, and cause diarrhea, and depression. Wow!

We try to figure out why we get an upset tummy from time to time. Was it something we ate, a flu bug, an allergy, or what? Pets can experience the same uncomfortable feelings. If the pet acts differently, their stool consistency changes or they start to throw up, you may need to make a trip to the pet vet. The hot days ahead can also affect your pet if left out in the hot weather. Good luck with your efforts to help keep these special family members safe and healthy!

You may want to think about putting together an emergency 72-hour kit for your small dogs, cats, or other animals.

Traveling with Pets

72-Hour Kit For Pets

Copyright Pictures:

Chocolate: AdobeStock_110607823 by Grafvision, Grapes: AdobeStock_25953124 by Subbotina Anna, Onions: AdobeStock_71659175 by Printemps, Avocados: AdobeStock_79978154 by Nata_Vkusidey, Apple Cores: AdobeStock_87934445 by Hookmedia, Bacon: AdobeStock_82943959 by MSPhotographic, Potatoes: AdobeStock_81391773 by Nblxer, Onions/Garlic: AdobeStock_194630241 by SauravG, Corn on the Cob: AdobeStock_24866279 by 14KTGold, Tomatoes: AdobeStock_69276511 by Mara Zemgaliete, Nuts: AdobeStock_54884259 by dream79

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  1. And if you use alternative sweeteners, keep away the xylitol! It can put them into kidney failure. I know of several people that have lost dogs this way.

    1. Hi Stacey, I read that!! Thank you, I didn’t want to make my list too long. I was amazed at the things I researched. That’s so sad they lost their dogs. Even coffee was posted but I thought who would give their dogs coffee? I don’t know. Great comment, thank you! Linda

    2. Stacy,
      Good call on the Xylitol, which is only one of the “sugar alcohols” used as sweeteners. The other sugar alcohols like Sorbitol, Maltitol, and Erythritol are not poisonous to dogs or in our case cats..
      On the onion and garlic, keep in mind that the other member of the genus Allium, which comprises approximately 750 species like Leeks & Chives are also bad for dogs & cats. I brought some fresh garlic into the house to hang and dry; but, had to take it out to one of the barns, since one of our indoor cats was desperate to get at it. Depending on where you live, Allium Tricoccum known locally as ramps, spring onion, ramson, wild leek, wood leek, and wild garlic is a North American species of wild onion that grow around here and in western PA where I am originally from. You just need to be aware if these grow wild on your property.

  2. I know this is “No No” or “Do not feed” list, but I feed my dogs sweet potatoes as that seems to be what all the dog food prepping people use. Pumpkin or calabasa (popular among latinos) is good for them too. I prefer the calabasa with it’s sweeter taste, it also is a natural diuretic, but either pumpkin variety introduces fiber into the dogs diet.

    Also, my dogs like onions and garlic since my mother used them a lot in powder form and now I still do, but not for the dogs. Some people say it’s okay, but I stick to the “rules” and it has made a difference. I read they use onion powder in dog food, but then they use garbage and rotten organic matter, so that only serves to reinforce the point…. make your own dog food. 🙂

    I love that you are talking about dogs. Pet care is expensive and to have effective, home remedies from trusted people makes it easier to care for them as they age or suffer minor injuries and conditions like dry skin or fleas. It’s appalling how bad some of the pet care food and products are made.

    1. Hi, Frank, that’s so funny you mentioned the garbage in some dog foods. I am totally rethinking how I feed my new puppies. Vet prices keep rising so we want to keep out pets healthy!! I’m giving them some pumpkin to hopefully help their stomachs. I need to write a post on the foods that are good for our four-legged friends! Great comment my friend as always, Linda

  3. I was surprised to see tomatoes on the list. I have issues with this – my golden retriever, Sage, LOVES tomatoes! She’s always picking them off my plants and eating them. Even worse, she picks the apricots and peaches off the low tree branches and eats those, too. Then she looks guiltily at me like she knows she’s not supposed to do it…but does anyway!

    I think it’s great that you’ve addressed a blog for our four-legged friends. In my food storage, I have dog snacks/treats and I have numerous bags of dog/cat food for that “emergency” that I hope will never happen. I even have food for our feral cats that we feed (we got them spayed/neuterd for free and brought them back home). We have 3 that never leave and several guests that show up periodically…we even have a cat hotel in the back where they can be warm in the snowy winter. I must say, I’ve enjoyed our wild family (except that pesky raccoon that keeps crashing the pad) because I never, ever have a rodent problem! I hope people remember their pets when prepping!

    1. Robbie ,
      Our feral cats are come and go; but, are a big part of rodent control here on the homestead. With two large barns, machinery shed, and a chicken coop the cats always find a warm place to sleep, often with the horse or goat that don’t seem to mind even the occasional kitten under foot. It’s great that you have a cat hotel so they can get in out of the weather and I really understand the raccoons, since we have a bunch of them. On occasion we have trapped a few with a dog proof raccoon trap, after which we dispose of them. We have generally left them alone until a few braved the fence around the chicken paddock and even managed to crawl over the hot top wire. When the wife found what was left of one of the girls (head, bones, and feathers) laying in the paddock, we went to war on the raccoons and after removing just a few of them, the free chicken dinners abruptly stopped.

    2. Hi Robbie, I hear you on the tomatoes. It’s mainly the green center part of the tomato. I know my Shih Tzus eat my cherry tomatoes and they are fine. The guilty look of eating the apricots and peaches, I love hearing that! I hope people remember their pets when prepping as well. Great comment, I love it! Linda

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