Sheltie Planet: Your Complete Guide to Everything Sheltie

33 Foods That Are Toxic to Dogs

By Rebecca Turner - download her Sheltie Anthology today


Have you ever fed your dog a grape as a treat? How about let him eat leftover meals containing onion, mushrooms or garlic? Unfortunately, even these common foods are toxic (and sometimes fatal) to dogs.

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Alcohol - Can cause intoxication, coma and death.

Avocado - Can cause difficulty breathing; fluid accumulation in the chest, abdomen and heart; or pancreatitis.

Baby food - Can contain onion powder (poisonous to dogs).

Caffeine - Stimulates the central nervous and cardiac systems; can cause vomiting, heart palpitations and death in hours.

Cat food - Large amounts contain too much protein and fat.

Chocolate - Can cause seizures, coma and death. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous. But any chocolate, in large enough amounts, can kill a dog. An ounce of chocolate can poison a 30 lb dog, causing death within 24 hours.

Citrus oil extracts - Can cause vomiting.

Dairy products - Can cause pancreatitis, gas and diarrhea. A small amount of non-fat, plain yogurt is usually safe.

Eggs (raw) - Can cause hair loss, weakness, growth retardation or skeleton deformity. Raw eggs can also contain Salmonella.

Fat trimmings - Too much fat or fried foods can cause pancreatitis.

Fruit pips and seeds - Many fruits seed contain cyanide, which is poisonous to dogs and humans alike if you chew the seeds in number. 

Grains - Large amounts of grain leads to poor nutrition.

Grapes and raisins - Can cause kidney failure and death in dogs - either in small amounts over time or even in a single serving.

Ham and bacon - Too much fat and salt can cause pancreatitis.

Hops - An unknown compound in hops causes panting, increased heart rate, elevated temperature, seizures and death.

Liver - Large amounts of liver cause vitamin A toxicity, which can lead to deformed bones, excessive bone growth on the elbows and spine, weight loss and anorexia.

Macadamia nuts - An unknown toxin affects the digestive and nervous systems and muscle. Can cause temporary weakness, muscle tremor and paralysis.

Marijuana - Can depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, and changes in the heart rate.

Milk - Can cause diarrhea if the dog doesn't have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk. Lactose-free milk products are fine.

Moldy food - Can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhea.

Mushrooms - Certain types of mushroom can cause abdominal pain, drooling, liver damage, kidney damage, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, coma or death. 

Nutmeg - Can cause tremors, seizures and death.

Onions and garlic - Can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Garlic is less toxic than onions.

Potato peel - Contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems. Green potatoes are worst. 

Raw fish - Large amounts can result in a thiamine deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death.

Salt - Large amounts can lead to electrolyte imbalances and kidney problems. Large dog breeds may then drink too much water and develop bloat, which is fatal unless emergency treatment is given very quickly.

Sugar - Sugary foods can lead to obesity, dental problems and possibly diabetes mellitus.

Tobacco - Nicotine affects the digestive and nervous systems. Can result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma and death.

Tomatoes - Can cause tremors and heart arrhythmias.

Tomato leaves and stems - Can cause digestive, nervous and urinary upset.

Walnuts - Can cause gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting and diarrhea, as well as respiratory issues.

Xylitol - Can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, resulting in depression, loss of co-ordination, seizures and death.

Yeast dough - Can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and rupture of the stomach or intestines.

Please make a note of all these foods and ensure you keep them out of your dog scraps. Share this list of foods with other dog owners because most people don't realize which human foods may poison a cherished pet.

If, like many people, you have been inadvertently feeding these foods to your dog, don't beat yourself up about it. The best thing you can do is print out this list and remember not to feed these foods in future.

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Author Bio

Rebecca Turner is a writer studying for a BSc in Zoology at Massey University. She's taken care of Shelties for 10 years and written 100+ articles about the breed. Rebecca has a passion for animal biology and evolution which she writes about on her websites Sheltie Planet and Science Me. Visit Rebecca on LinkedIn or download her complete guide to Shetland Sheepdogs: The Sheltie Anthology.