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The 6 Most Dangerous Foods For Dogs

October 27, 2021

The 6 Most Dangerous Foods For Dogs

An Essential List of Foods Dogs Can’t Eat 

When it comes to dogs, most owners will find there are few things their pet won’t at least try to eat!

Dogs have all the main taste classifications as humans, which means they can taste salty, sour, bitter, and sweet foods - just like us. 

However, they do have far fewer taste buds than we do (only around 1700 compared to our approximately 9000), so they aren’t able to pick up on subtle flavors. 

This is believed to be a big reason why dogs don’t tend to get bored of eating the same foods every day - they simply don’t crave or need to experience such a wide variety of flavors as we do.

Unfortunately, because pet dogs live around humans and are exposed to many different foods that they would not necessarily come across in the wild, they are at risk of consuming foods that might be very dangerous for them.

Check out our list of the most dangerous foods for dogs and make sure you share it with any family and friends who may visit your home or come into contact with your furry friend. 


Foods That Can Kill or Harm Dogs

1. Chocolate 

Chocolate is probably the most well-known human food that is dangerous for dogs.

The reason chocolate is poisonous for dogs is because it contains a chemical called theobromine. Whilst harmless to humans, it can cause kidney failure and even death in canines. 

Most dangerous of all is dark chocolate, since it contains the highest concentration of toxic theobromine. 

Since chocolate is such a common household snack, it’s important to make sure even young children know to keep it well away from any pet dogs in the home. 

You’ll want to take care especially during times of year where more candy may be left unattended or dropped on the floor, for example at Christmas or Halloween.


2. Grapes

Another food that dog owners are hopefully already aware of is grapes.

Again, grapes contain a chemical that is highly toxic to dogs. Eating them could cause organ failure and ultimately prove fatal. 

Because raisins are made from grapes, they are also very poisonous for dogs. You may think it is as simple as removing these two foods from your home entirely, and that’s certainly a sensible step to take.

However, bear in mind that raisins can be found in a wide variety of foods, including cereal bars, breakfast cereals, cakes, pastries, and other sweet treats.

Even some savory foods include raisins as an essential yet often hidden ingredient. 


3. Alcohol

This may seem like an obvious one, but not all pet owners are aware of just how dangerous alcohol can be for dogs. 

Even a very small amount of alcohol can cause serious side effects. Dogs that have consumed alcohol may experience vomiting, tremors, excessive panting, and other very worrying symptoms. 

Family and friends who are not pet owners may not realize just how serious alcohol intoxication can be for dogs, so be sure to protect your dog from any misguided attempts to add to the fun at a party or celebration.

Dogs should not be allowed to even lick a few drops of an alcoholic drink. If owners really worry about their dogs being left out, they should think about buying them a fun dog treat instead. 

4. Onions

All kinds of onion, as well as garlic and chives, are harmful to dogs. They can cause both red blood cell and gastrointestinal damage.

Not only the onions themselves but every other part of these plants are dangerous too, including the leaves.

They also remain poisonous even when cooked and/or highly processed. That means you even need to be careful when eating meals containing onion or garlic, that you do not drop any or leave any within reach of your pet.

Even onion and garlic powders or pastes can be very toxic to your dog. In fact, once they are processed in this way they can be even more dangerous.

Foods you may not think about that you do need to watch out for are savory snacks, including potato chips, and baby foods, such as pouches and crackers. 

If you also own a cat or enjoy having a cat visit your home from time to time, it’s important to know that the onion family is even more poisonous to cats than it is to dogs. 


5. Avocados

Avocados contain a chemical called persin. It is found in all parts of the avocado plant as well as the fruit itself. 

Persin is toxic to many animals, and dogs are actually believed to be more resistant to it than other animals such as horses. However, this does not mean that avocados are safe for dogs to consume.

Persin can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs, and if they eat large amounts of it they could even suffer heart damage.

It’s also not recommended to give avocados to dogs as a treat because of their naturally high fat content, which can cause digestive issues and lead to weight gain. 


6. Macadamia Nuts

This one surprises many people who are not familiar with the kinds of foods dogs can’t eat. Like raisins, they can be hidden in a wide range of snacks, desserts, and breakfast foods. 

Even consuming a very small amount can cause signs of toxicity in dogs, including vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, fever, and lethargy. 

There have even been cases of dogs suffering from a very high fever, uncontrollably shaking, and even losing their ability to walk. 

Eating just one nut could be enough to cause a serious reaction. 


With all the foods on this list, it’s really important to contact your veterinarian immediately if you even suspect that your dog may have consumed a poisonous substance.

The sooner you act, the better the chance your dog has of achieving a full recovery - and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

We hope you’ve found this rundown of the 6 most poisonous foods for dogs to eat helpful. Make sure you share it with friends and family so they can help to keep your pet safe too. 

You may also enjoy reading about safe car travel for dogs. 

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