by Good Dog People October 01, 2020 4 min read

While it can be tempting to treat your pup to a few table scraps or homemade dog food once in a while, there are some types of food you should never feed your dog. Unsafe dog foods can cause a lot of damage to your pup. 

So what foods can a dog not eat? Let’s take a look at what foods harm dogs and what toxic compounds to look out for in a safe and healthy diet for dogs!


6 Types of Toxic Foods To Keep Away From Dogs

1. Grapes and Raisins

Some types of fruits like blueberries are great for dogs, but others can be extremely dangerous for dogs. Grapes and their dried cousin, raisins, are one example of bad foods for dogs to eat. 

Ingesting grapes can cause heavy damage to your dog’s kidneys, and even death in serious cases. Something important to note is that larger dogs may not appear as affected as their smaller counterparts, but you should still be wary.

Here are some signs your dog may have consumed grapes:

  • Vomiting
  • having diarrhoea
  • abdominal pain
  • losing appetite
  • unable to produce urine
  • walking like they’re drunk/weak


6 Types of Toxic Foods To Keep Away From Dogs

2. Avocado

One of the most popular fruits today, avocados should never be consumed by dogs. Avocados contain a toxin known as persin which can cause fluid accumulation in your pup’s lungs and chest. This can cause breathing difficulties, oxygen deprivation and even death.

Some symptoms of avocado consumption include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

If you’re looking for some treat options for dogs, here are some fruits dogs can have - apples, bananas, blueberries, watermelon, pears and cantaloupe.


3. Chocolate

Chocolates are delicious sweet treats for humans, but are one of the most poisonous foods for dogs because they contain Theobromine. Theobromine is a chemical that can negatively impact your dog’s heart, lungs, kidney and central nervous system. Plus, the added caffeine in some chocolates can worsen this effect.

The higher the cocoa content, the more dangerous it is for your dog - so pure baking chocolate can have a huge impact in a short window of time.

These are some of the signs of chocolate poisoning for dogs to look out for:

  • Excitement or Hyperactivity
  • Seizures and tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abnormal heart rate
  • Walking like they’re drunk
  • Hyperthermia, aka high body temperature
  • Coma

6 Types of Toxic Foods To Keep Away From Dogs


4. Caffeine

Similar to chocolate, caffeinated items can damage your dog’s heart, lungs, kidney and central nervous system. The biggest problem is the large number of human food items containing caffeine like coffee beans, tea, caffeine pills and other caffeinated snacks.

Again, the higher the caffeine concentration, the more dangerous they are to your pet. Just make sure you look out for the following symptoms of caffeine poisoning:

  • Restlessness or Hyperactivity
  • Vomiting
  • Panting
  • Weakness
  • Walking like they’re drunk
  • Increased heart rate
  • Tremors and convulsions


5. Macadamia Nuts

Not all nuts are toxic for dogs, but almost all nuts are unhealthy for dog consumption as they contain high levels of fat. Consuming too many legumes can cause obesity and pancreatic issues, although your pup will definitely welcome the occasional cashew nut or peanut butter treat like The Barkery Organic’s Peanut Butter.

However, nuts like macadamia nuts are highly toxic for dogs, causing them to experience the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Tremors
  • Hyperthermia, aka high body temperatures
  • Depression

6 Types of Toxic Foods To Keep Away From Dogs


6. Onions 

Containing a chemical compound known as N-propyl Disulfide, Onions can damage your dog’s red blood cells and cause anemia. In fact, onions in all their shapes and sizes, including their leaves, juice and processed powders, can cause damage to your pup. Your pup may even need a blood transfusion during treatment.

If you suspect your pup has consumed some onions, look out for the following symptoms:

  • Lethargy or Weakness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fainting


    Preventing Dog Food Poisoning

    Now that you have a better understanding of what foods you should not give your dog, keep your pup out of the kitchen. Close off areas that may contain toxic human food like in your rubbish bins using baby gates or just by closing the door.

    But if your pup experiences any of the symptoms we’ve discussed, make sure to get them to a vet as soon as possible. Once your dog’s situation is assessed your vet may order treatment like pumping their stomach to help get the toxins out.

    6 Types of Toxic Foods To Keep Away From Dogs

    While it might be tempting to give your dog human treats like blueberries and cashew nuts, to be safe, avoid feeding your pup too much human food. Instead, look to healthy supplements like NaturVet's Daily Vitamins Plus Breath Aid Soft Chew Dog Supplement.


    Looking Out For Toxic Ingredients 

    To help boost your dog’s digestive system, you may also want to give LactoGold’s Probiotics Powder a try. This supplement contains potent lactobacilli which help support a healthy digestive system and helps treat diarrhoea and food intolerances. 

    However, outside of preventing our pups from accidentally consuming human foods, some dog food can actually contain toxic ingredients. It’s important to read the ingredient list of all your pup’s food, and look for safe alternatives. 

    Here are some common chemicals and toxins you may want to look out for:

    • Hydrogen peroxide or Titanium Oxide (Commonly used in rawhide treats)
    • Artificial Colorants like E102, E110 or E129
    • Sorbitol, a type of sugar

    6 Types of Toxic Foods To Keep Away From Dogs

    Instead of very artificial and chemical-infused tidbits like rawhide dog treats, try BARE’s delicious Australian Premium Bully Sticks! All natural and made with no gluten, sugars, artificial preservatives or colorants, you can be sure your pup is getting a healthy and delicious dog snack.

    All in all, as a pet parent, it’s our responsibility to keep our pup safe. Always double check what you’re feeding your dog and ensure you give them the very best dog food you can.




      Tammi ChngTAMMI CHNG
      Tammi writes articles about anything from data analytics to animal health, and loves doing the occasional craft. But most importantly, she loves hanging out and doing photo-shoots with her dog. 

      Leave a comment

      Comments will be approved before showing up.

      Also in Academy

      How to Socialise an Older Dog
      How to Socialise an Older Dog

      by Terry Peh January 26, 2023 5 min read

      Most dog owners will agree that the best time to socialise a dog is when they are still a puppy....
      Can Dogs Forget Their Training Sometimes?
      Can Dogs Forget Their Training Sometimes?

      by Katherine Khoo January 19, 2023 5 min read

      Yes, dogs can forget their training if a cue is not repeated frequently. Sometimes, health issues or pain can lead...
      Functional and Fashionable Dog Accessories
      Functional and Fashionable Dog Accessories

      by Katherine Khoo January 13, 2023 5 min read

      Our pups’ daily wear should be comfortable and functional. As much as we love dressing up our pups in fashionable...