Worst 20 Human Foods For Your Dog


Most dogs love nothing more than when their owner gives them a bite of food from their plate. For us as owners, it sometimes takes quite a bit of self-control not to do so. And really, most of the food we eat ourselves will be just as delicious and nutritious for your four-legged friend.

Unfortunately, there are also foods that we enjoy but which might be quite dangerous for canines due to the differences in our digestive tracts and other biological traits. There are foods that might cause some discomfort in dogs, but there are also those that are outright fatal for them.

In short, the following foods are never to be given to your canine friend


1. Chocolate

This is something that even little kids know – you do not give chocolate to a dog. We almost feel silly having to write this, but for the unlikely eventuality that there is actually someone out there who owns a dog and wonders if they should give their dog chocolate, we have to tell them no. Never.

The main reason why chocolate is the worst treat you can give to a dog is a compound known as theobromine which is found in chocolate, especially in dark chocolate. The dogs lack the ability to metabolize this compound and it can lead to serious health problems and even death.

If you notice that your dog is vomiting, having seizures, tremors or diarrhea, these may be signs of chocolate poisoning. It can lead to respiratory failure and cardiac arrest which usually ends in death.


2. Grapes

You would not expect something that is perfectly natural and found commonly in nature to be that dangerous for dogs, but grapes are definitely not something they should snack on. This is something humans discovered almost as soon as they started cultivating grapes some 8,000 years ago.

While the cause is largely unknown, it has been determined that ingesting grapes and even raisins can lead to renal failure. For those who are not familiar with the medical jargon, this means that grapes wreak havoc on dogs’ kidneys.

Perhaps the strangest fact about grapes and dogs is that some individual dogs are able to eat grapes without any problems whatsoever. Still, this is not something you want to test out and it’s best to keep them away from grapes altogether.


3. Garlic and Onions

Garlic and onions belong to the same family, the onion genus, which is called Allium in Latin. The reason for this is that it contains a substance called Allium and as you can imagine, this substance is the reason why your dog should never eat any of the vegetables from this genus.

The good news is that the dog needs to eat large amounts of garlic or onions to become sick. If they do, it will actually interfere with the production of red blood cells in the system which will lead to a whole range of different health issues, some of which can be extremely dangerous.

Some of the signs that indicate they have eaten onions or garlic include: pale gums, vomiting, lethargy, weakness, shortness of breath and diarrhea. It is nothing to joke about. Keep your dog away from garlic and onions!


4. Macadamia nuts

When we are talking human consumption, macadamia nuts are among the healthiest nuts you can find in nature. They contain a ton of monounsaturated fats which can do amazing things for your cardiovascular system. They are also packed with potassium, calcium, iron, selenium and many more important nutrients.

While they will not be fatal for your dog, macadamia nuts will still produce an array of negative effects for their health. For instance, they will often feel weakness in their legs which can become worse and they might actually experience tremors.

It is not known how many macadamia nuts it takes your dog to feel the negative effects. This all depends on their lineage and their size, so it is best to make sure they do not eat any at all. Plus there are more left for you!


5. Avocado

The avocado is native to Central America and Mexico and it belongs to the same plant family as bay laurel, camphor and cinnamon. Out of all of these, avocado is by far the most toxic for dogs.

So, what’s the reason why avocado is actually one of the worst foods for your dog? A substance known as persin.

This chemical was discovered and described relatively recently and it was determined that this fatty acid derivative is extremely toxic for your four-legged friend. Most of it is found in the seed but if the dog ingests any part of avocado, it may cause gastrointestinal obstruction which, if untreated, can lead to death.

The avocado is also very toxic for some other animals, including horses that can greatly suffer if they eat it and many types of birds.


6. Alcohol

Ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol is found in every alcoholic drink. It is a flammable, volatile and colorless liquid which also happens to be highly toxic for dogs.

Ethanol is actually toxic for humans as well, but only if ingested in sufficient quantities. For dogs, due to their inferior ability to metabolize it, ethanol becomes toxic sooner and it does not take a lot of it for the dog to experience a number of symptoms. If you notice that your dog may be drunk (the symptoms will be much similar to those observed in drunk humans), the best thing to do is to go to a vet who will pump their stomach.

It should be noted that the dog does not necessarily need to drink the alcohol. Some foods contain alcohol and dogs should be kept away from those at all times.


7. Bread Dough

If you have a habit of baking your own bread at home, the smart thing to do would be to keep your canine companion out of the kitchen until the bread is in the oven. The reason for this is that bread dough can be quite dangerous for them if they eat it. And if they see it, they’ll eat it. Even the smallest amounts can be very dangerous.

This is all because of the yeast which is found in bread dough and which makes it rise. The yeast can grow and multiply in the dog’s stomach and it can lead to destruction of the tissue in the stomach. In addition to this, since yeast convers sugar into ethanol in the dough, eating dough can lead to alcohol poisoning in the dog.

In short, always keep your dough away from your dog.


8. Food That Has Gone Bad Or Moldy

This almost feels unnecessary to write about, but the fact is that most dogs will eat just about anything, including food that has gone bad or moldy. They are just not as picky as we are and if it looks remotely edible, they will stuff their faces with it.

Of course, this can lead to a number of problems and it can even be life-threatening for your dog, especially if their ‘treat’ happens to be teaming with mold. In the dog’s stomach, mold will ‘explode’ and lead to all kinds of gastrointestinal issues which can lead to very serious complications.

If you notice your dog is experiencing seizures or tremors, this may be a sign that they have eaten something moldy. The best policy is to make sure they do not have access to trash where they can find moldy or bad food.


9. Anything With Caffeine In It

Caffeine is found in a number of drinks, but in some foods as well. Coffee, tea and cola drinks are the first that come to mind when we think caffeine. It is a natural stimulant, but this does not prevent it from being extremely toxic for dogs.

It does not take too much caffeine for dog to experience caffeine poisoning and if this happens, it is often fatal. Perhaps the worst thing about it is that there is no known treatment for caffeine poisoning. Because of this, it is very important that your dog does not have access to any drinks that may contain caffeine in them.

Other stimulants such as taurine are just as poisonous for your dog as caffeine and drinks containing these stimulants should also be kept out of reach of your dog.


10. Bones And Leftovers

This is perhaps the entry on our list that will be most baffling to you, since dogs are so associated with bones that it has become a part of our culture. In reality, most experts today will tell you that feeding your dog leftovers and bones is actually bad for them.

For one, unless you are a microbiologist or a nutritionist, you will most likely have no knowledge of all the substances your leftovers may contain. Some of these can be toxic for your dog and they can cause a number of problems, like for instance pancreatitis.

When we are talking bones, the problem is mostly of the physical nature. Namely, bones easily splinter and this can lead to your dog getting sharp and hard bone splinters lodged inside their gastrointestinal system. This can lead to injury and painful procedures necessary to dislodge them.


11. Ice Cream

As irresistible as it is for us humans, ice cream is an even bigger temptation for our four-legged friends. The smell and the flavor are just too much for them to resist and many owners are tempted to do away with regular treats and actually feed their dogs ice cream. Do not make this mistake.

In small quantities, ice cream will not cause any particular problems in your dog, but it can still give them diarrhea. Dogs have problems digesting milk and some other ingredients found in ice cream and if they eat too much of it, it can lead to problems as serious as intestinal bleeding which can be life-threatening.

The best thing to do is to stay on the safe side and never give your dog ice cream. There are plenty of treats out there that will be much better for them.


12. Raw Meat And Fish (Salmon)

There are dog owners who believe that dogs should eat as they would in the wild and they give them raw meat and even fish. This is actually a very bad idea, and for a number of reasons.

The most glaring of these is that uncooked meat of any kind (including fish and especially salmon) can be riddled with all kinds of bacteria and other microorganisms. We singled out salmon because salmon poisoning can lead to a condition that can kill your dog in two weeks.

Signs of salmon poisoning disease include: loss of appetite, vomiting, depression, diarrhea, enlarged lymph nodes and high fever. If left untreated, SPD has a 9 in 10 chance to kill your furry friend. To stay on the safe side, keep all raw meat and fish away from your dog.


13.  Plums

Plums are a fruit from the Prunus genus and their relatives include the peach, nectarine and, most surprisingly, almond. The genus is characterized by hard stone pits which contain their seeds.

As you can imagine, these fruits pose a risk for your dog simply because of these stones that they tend to eat whole without worrying about what might happen once they swallow them. Inflammations and obstructions in the gastrointestinal tract are quite common.

Furthermore, some dogs, especially those that have reached a certain age, can break their teeth on the pits, trying to gnaw on them and chew through. If your dog simply cannot live without plums and other similar fruit, you can always take out the pits and then feed them the fruit.

Just make sure they cannot find them later.


14. Raw Eggs

There used to be a time when people would feed their dogs eggs, especially raw ones as they were supposed to strengthen their teeth and bones. And while you can definitely provide them with high calcium content by first boiling and then crushing eggshells, there is very little in the remainder of the egg that will be especially beneficial for your dog.

In fact, it is far more likely that your dog will get a Salmonella infection, just as humans can when ingesting raw eggs. However, it is not just about salmonella poisoning with the dog. If you give them raw eggs for extended periods of time, they may develop problems with regulation of vitamin B levels.

A much safer alternative is to simply cook the eggs and then feed them to your dog. They will get all the nutrients but without the risk.


15. Salt

While it is highly unlikely that any owner would feed their dog raw salt in the form of powder or rocks, it should still be pointed out that very salty snacks of any kind can cause health problems in your dog. Excessive amounts of salt in their diet can cause them to experience sodium ion poisoning which is something you will definitely want to avoid.

Some of the symptoms of this condition involve vomiting, dehydration and excessive shaking. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is of paramount importance that you take your dog to a vet as soon as possible so that something can be done about this.

The treatment will involve rehydration through IV fluids; other forms of dehydration treatment and electrolyte monitoring. It is an ordeal and it is much simpler to make sure your dog doesn’t ingest too much salt in their diet.


16. Candy

There are very good reasons why there are doggie treats being sold. One of the most important is that ‘human’ candy is just not good for them. It may be convenient for you, but you should always keep their health in mind when sharing your treats with them.

Candy that we eat usually contains an artificial sweetener known as Xylitol which can cause a sudden release of insulin in dog’s body. This can lead to liver damage and low blood sugar which will produce additional symptoms and problems for the dog. Candy contains other additives, preservatives and artificial sweeteners, all of which can be harmful to your dog.

Luckily, there are plenty of dog treats that do not have to be particularly expensive and which will be much healthier for them, while still being delicious.


17. Hops

Hops are one of the main ingredients in beer. Hops are the female flowers of Humulus lupuplus, also known as the hop plant. And while they are not something you will have lying around your house (unless you brew your own beer), they are commonly found in nature and if you are taking your dog for a nature walk, they might sniff them out and eat them.

The culprit is a chemical called succinylcholine which interferes with the body’s mechanism for oxygen supply and carbon dioxide removal. This makes it impossible for the dog’s body to regulate its temperature, which can lead to hyperthermia (increased body temperature). If it is not treated at once, this can lead to circulatory collapse and death.

Some breeds, like Greyhounds, Dobermans, English Springer spaniels, Saint Bernards and Labradors are even more sensitive to hops than the average dog.


18. Chicken Jerky Products

There has been much talk about chicken jerky products imported from China being toxic for dogs that it provoked a response from the Food and Drug Administration. Namely, the FDA had to come forward with an official report in which they warn about the harmful effects these products can have on dogs. While most of these products come from China, this warning also mentioned chicken jerky products made in other parts of the world.


Perhaps the most worrying thing is that no one is sure why these products cause such severe symptoms and can even lead to death. The symptoms include: decreased appetite and activity, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), increased thirst and urination.

Since these can be lethal for your dog, the only sane thing to do is to avoid buying them altogether. Make sure that no one feeds your dog these products.


19. Dairy

Dairy products are usually not recommended for dogs, although there are some pups that love dairy and have absolutely no problems with these products. The thing is that this is very individual and that you can never know how your dog is going to react to eating cheese or ice cream.

At best, they will have no adverse reaction at all. At worst, they will develope some or all of these symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, severe stomach upset, excessive gas and even weight loss. It all depends on how well your dog will tolerate lactose found in dairy products.

If you know that your dog does not handle lactose very well, you should ensure that they are never fed any dairy products and that they cannot access any such products. Also, check your dog treats for traces of dairy.


20. Yeast

We talked about yeast when we talked about bread dough, but since it is even more dangerous when it is on its own, we figured we should cover it separately again. In short, live yeast can be extremely dangerous for dogs, as well as other animals.

First of all, when yeast is ingested, it finds its perfect environment in the stomach, further expanding, causing the stomach to expand itself. This can lead to breathing problems and blood flow obstructions. In addition to this, yeast ferments sugar and turns it into alcohol. If this happens ‘inside’ your dog, it can lead to alcohol poisoning because of the rapid absorption of alcohol into the blood.

If you are baking or using yeast in your cooking, always make sure that your dog cannot reach it and eat it.

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