10 Things Not to Feed Your Dog

Ten foods you should never feed your dogs and the reasons why.
Ten foods you should never feed your dogs and the reasons why. | Source

We love our dogs—but just like kids, they can get into things they should not eat. This is the first of four lists of ‘10 Things You Should Not Feed your Dog'.

Here is the first list of 10 food items that you should never feed your dog:

  1. Chocolate
  2. Onions
  3. Tomato stems or leaves
  4. Pits from peaches or plums
  5. Raisins
  6. Rhubarb leaves
  7. Sugary foods
  8. Tobacco
  9. Bones
  10. Nuts

First and most importantly, everything you feed your dog should be in moderation. Even if it's supposedly safe, do not give your dog large amounts of any people food.

As for the food items on this list, never give them to your dog. Yes, I am sure that there are dogs that have eaten some of the above items and lived to tell about it without harmful side effects. However, the purpose of this article is to help dog owners become aware of the items that should not be given to our beloved buddies and why! We believe it safest to err on the side of caution; that is why our lists are so stringent. Always, always, check with your vet first!

Why You Should Not Feed Your Dog These Foods

Now for the reasons why you should not feed your dog these foods:

  • Chocolate—Chocolate, especially baker's chocolate, is dangerous for dogs. Cats are mostly unaffected since they do not like the taste of chocolate; however, dogs love it. Chocolate contains various chemicals called methylxanthine alkaloids. Some types of chocolate have more of these chemicals than others. Relatively small amounts of chocolate can cause serious problems such as constriction of the arteries and increased heart rate. Large amounts may cause even more dire symptoms, and a pound of milk chocolate can possibly kill a 16-pound dog. Make sure your children understand how important it is not to feed your dog chocolate. Almond bark and other chocolate substitutes are also not good for dogs—the high fat content can cause gastrointestinal upset, and the sugars can lead to dental problems, obesity, and possible diabetes mellitus.
  • Onions—Onions and anything from the onion family, such as garlic, contain sulfoxides and disulfides known to damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Raw onions can cause liver damage. Cats are more susceptible than dogs. Avoid using onion (or garlic) powder in any food you are feeding your dog or cat—this includes dog and cat food.
  • Tomato leaves and stems—The green parts of the tomato plant are considered toxic because they contain solanine, which has the potential to produce significant gastrointestinal and central nervous system effects. However ripe tomatoes, the part of the plant typically used in food products, are not toxic.
  • Pits from peaches, plums, or other fruits with pits—All fruits with pits can cause an obstruction in the digestive tract.
  • Raisins—Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure. Even a few raisins can kill a dog.
  • Rhubarb leaves—These leaves contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.
  • Sugary foods—Sugar can cause the same problems in dogs that it does in humans. Too much sugar can lead to dental problems, obesity, and possible diabetes mellitus.
  • Tobacco—Because tobacco contains nicotine, it can affect the nervous and digestive systems, causing rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death. If your dog eats cigarettes, they will release toxins throughout his or her body.
  • Bones—Large bones that cannot splinter are usually ok. If your dog can chew them up , o not use them. If you have a dog with a larger set of jaws, it is possible he or she could bite off and swallow a piece of bone too large to pass through the digestive system; this is very dangerous and can be life-threatening. Be careful with bones since they can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system. Soft bones like chicken and fish bones should not be chewed by dogs of any size.
  • Nuts—All nuts contain fats, which can lead to gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea. Foods with high fat contents can also potentially produce an inflammatory condition of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. In addition, many commercially sold nuts are salted—and if a pet consumes a large volume of salt from the nuts, this could pose a risk for the development of a sodium ion toxicosis. Nuts known to be toxic are walnuts and macadamia nuts. The good news is that there is currently no data indicating that Brazil nuts (Bertholletia excelsa) or almonds (Prunus dulcis) are toxic to animals.

Debbie Holte is a frequent contributor of articles regarding pet health to the website Buddy Beds.

Comments 70 comments

audrey 15 months ago

our welsh Cardigan corgi was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease and is on hypo alergenic food all the time although he does love the crust off my toast is this okay?

Janet 20 months ago

My dog has health problems and is on quite a lot of medication. I always give him them in a little milky way. My vet knows that's how he takes them and isn't worried. That said,he's a big dog so maybe that's relevant

Martha 2 years ago

VERY important correction - chocolate is HIGHLY toxic to cats - your statement that "Cats are mostly unaffected since they do not like the taste of chocolate;" is very false. My cats will pilfer it and I had a very bad scare when they got into a bar one night. I have to lock it in airtights containers and store it in cabinets to keep it away from them. Theobromide is MORE toxic to cats, partially because of their much smaller body mass. Please correct this - you could cause a dangerous mistake. Thank you.

barbara 2 years ago

I've been giving my 2 dogs , pieces of oranges? can't find it in here so it must be o.k.

Petedog1 3 years ago

How about peanut butter? Some toys (kong) even instruct you to put peanut butter in there to keep the dogs busy?

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Amber0410 3 years ago

I great dane puppy ate trail mix, and I took her to the vet. They enduced vomiting and gave her charcoal. Also, lots of fluids $500 dollars later she is doing great! Her blood work was normal.

Shawna 4 years ago

I feed my yorkie everything, I have since she was old enough to eat, she is three now and when I cook I always make her her own plate, the vet says she's healthy and at a good weight! But I wasn't aware that so many thing could hurt her, I would be so sad if she died becuz of my stupidity!! However I did know about grape and chocolate!! I think her eating habits might have to change, I think its gonna be harder for me then her though:/ but I love my yorkie so imma have to!! Thanks for the info:)

Jer 4 years ago

So, I should stop feeding Raisinettes(chocolate covered raisins) to my girlfriend's dog...gotcha.

farmer barb 4 years ago

never feed your animals or birds avocados. they contain a cardiac glycosides that will kill them. I forgot this last year and dumped a bucket of spoiled avodados in the paddock and by next morning I had 21 dead Guinea Fowl in the paddock. I won't forget again!

dogowner 4 years ago

my yorkie ate half of a circle onion tht was about onion ring size. he weighs a little more than 10 pounds. will this hurt him?

Jesse 4 years ago

Thanks for the tip about the nuts. Those who are concerned about the quality of their dog food should go to

You will be horrified at a lot of the ingredients in the popular dog food brands. I feed my dog Blue Buffalo Grain Free now, after doing some heavy research. Not cheap, but he is worth every penny.

Beth 4 years ago

Don't feed them grapes or cat food, they both have things in that damage dogs livers and other vital organs. And p.s. no one should eat rhubarb leaves.

Alex 4 years ago

DO NOT let your dog eat xylitol!!! It is commonly found in gums (like Trident) and is used as a sweetener. It is fatal to dogs and cats!

james 4 years ago

Small amounts of cheese are OK but I mean small.Any nuts would be best finely grated and added to normal food.

james 4 years ago

No raw potato is not alright,cooked yes raw you've got to be kidding.

mydogsareamazing 4 years ago

Thanks for sharing this my dogs are amazing and i love them so much i'll do my very best to keep them healthy and one of them has fits its very upsetting but he's my baby and i stay calm and by his side the whole through.

Chris 4 years ago

Dry'd pigs ears,are they ok to give to my welsh terrier ?

Indrajeet 4 years ago

then what should we give a dog as reward???

Kazza14 4 years ago

I give my dog Jet almonds all the time! Are they good for her?

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AbbyN455 4 years ago from Orlando

My Mom used to give her dog all this bad stuff – cheese, milk, table scraps, etc. The poor dog didn’t have very good health and I swore when I got a dog I wouldn’t ever give her anything but the best. Bella is now seven years old and has eaten nothing in her life except Natural Balance Ultra, including when she was a puppy, and I occasionally give her some canned food and treats by Natural Balance. She has never had one health problem cuz this food is amazing AND I make sure she never, ever gets people food.

Shuffler69 4 years ago

Lol my dog luvs chocolate and basically everything that comes near or lands on the floor in front of her. and the cheese we only give to her when she needs to take pills LOL

olga 4 years ago

hi all. i have a husky and everybody knows just how sensitive they are... we had loads of issues in the beginning with her tummy. some people we met (also dog owners) told me that "nuts" will help a lot. didn't try it then, but now, when her tummy is upset i'm giving her some peanuts (unsalted!) and i can actually see the difference, usually the next day. she gets almonds( unsalted too) every once in a while and i didn't notice anything different... and i started freezing her food too, that also helped. but... every dog is different, just like us. this doesn't mean that peanuts for all of them. is just that most dog sites would recommend to fill the kong toy with frozen peanut butter, an that's why i got the idea that peanuts are not that bad...(maybe?)

Sabita 4 years ago

I have a lab & I have been giving him one raw potatoe daily. I also give him pasta as a treat once in a blue moon , almonds and carrots. Is it alright? I'll wait for you answer.

Laura 4 years ago

I was giving my dog raisins as a healthy treat for weeks...... He had serious diohreah and I didn't have a clue it was because of that until a friend told me...... I thought I was being a good owner giving him healthy food felt so bad he was only a puppy at the time too really could have killed him x

Cassidy 4 years ago

I had some walnuts for slightly too long ..... was going to use them as a treat for my dog, but now they are going in the garbage. Thanks for being there with info when needed.

james brown@toasted pecans 4 years ago

[url=]Pecan[/url]may also harm our pets. so lets be very careful to our food not to place anywhere in our house.

monica 4 years ago

I do agree strongly about chocolate.My dog stole some this Christmas and that night he vomited blood. I was panic stricken about it and later found out about the chocolate. I will NEVER risk him having it again.

Pony 4 years ago


emma 4 years ago

Thanks for the information! I will make sure not to feed this food to my dog!

linsey 4 years ago

this is like so cool! omg

james 5 years ago

Thanks Jake and Hayley for the tips,I wonder if it will get added to the next list?

james 5 years ago

hey muddy crack you might have a point I found this:

"The North American veterinary teaching hospitals study mentioned above found that the prevalence of cataracts in dogs increased by 255% (i. E. more than tripled!!! ) from 1964 to 2003.

Could this be linked to increased feeding of processed dog foods?

I think it is highly likely! Even the "elite" (i. e. very expensive) dog biscuits are still processed food! For life-long good health I recommend feeding your dog a natural diet."

Hayley p 5 years ago

Wot about red wine?

Ruthie Hoffman 5 years ago

Stick with DOG FOOD ONLY......

turd bucket 5 years ago

I mean any kibble.I know it's called dog food but it couldn't be further from the truth.Dog food is fresh food why do humans think we are the only living creature that should get fresh foods,

Dee E17 5 years ago

OMG! I love my dog to bits. She seems to want to eat everything her human parents eat. But after reading all this I guess it's no more chocolate and will just have to say no to her more often. She asists me in the kitchen by always getting in my way, like "remember me mum!" And she begs a lot to the extent of dribbling on my knee!! She's a yello lab. New life starts today then. Will be tough, but I want her to live long! Thank you so much for sharing this.

chris 5 years ago

did u mean kibbles an bits?

turd bucket 5 years ago

Sorry to be so negative lots of things on that list are spot on.But honestly put kibble on the list and I'll be happy.

turd bucket 5 years ago

You can't just put nuts,brazil nuts grated twice a week in your dogs food is as good as it gets.Probably only two types of nuts that are bad for dogs.But seriously dogs have been eating raw bones since they stepped foot on the planet it has everything they need. Raw skinned chicken wing has the the perfect balance of meat to bone ratio and full of calcium.

muddy crack 5 years ago

How come kibble isn't on the list,single handedly knocked 6 years off dogs life.cataracts up by 255% in the last 35 years as are most other diseases.Even the expensive stuff is processed crap ha they are following are lead.

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RichardCMckeown 5 years ago

Cool hub. Thanks for sharing.

5 years ago

even like an oz. of chocolate(ESPICALLY bakers chocolate) is bad don't do it!

nomark 5 years ago

Don't give a dog a bone,good one.Should be don't give a dog a cooked bone and it would take about 4 1/2 bars of chocolate to cause problems in an average size dog.That's milk chocolate less for dark and more for white.

taters 5 years ago

I did not know that dogs could NOT have onions thanks for letting evry one who opens this page know the 10 things a dog cant eat!!

HildaVonHosking(daschund) 5 years ago

My human Dad tells me that all animals & humans should not eat tomato stems and leaves,rhubarb leaves and tobacco as they are poisons!

You only mentioned raisins but us doggies should never have grapes of any sort.

Also you should never give us alcohol.

I love peanut butter in my Kong Toy, Peanuts are good for me in moderation my dad says.

Bobby 5 years ago

Yeah so I guess we all love our dogs

moni12 5 years ago

have 4 dogs...all love bones and i give them bones atlest twice a week!!! but this news is disturbing...

Lola1 5 years ago

You can give a dog cheese but not every day.My dog loves cheese,every time i have grilled cheese she tries to jump on the couch but she's to small!

k9fan 5 years ago

Apparently Xylitol, an artificial sweetener used in many diet and diabetic foods and also sold in health food stores, is incredibly toxic to dogs, as in a pack of gum could kill a medium sized dog. Don't take my word for it; look it up. This should probably go to the top of the list of things to keep away from your dog.

Kathy 5 years ago

For anyone who has or is considering feeding their dog chocolate, please don't! I had a beautiful 10 pound dog that got into my sons Christmas stocking and ate a "small" chocolate Santa. She was so sick and after spending well over a $1,000 she passed away. My children and I were heartbroken. Chocolate is not for dogs. I would hate to see or hear about another dog who died such a tragic death.

Gill 5 years ago

I watched a program about problem dogs, where an expert comes to their home and trains the dog and solves any issues One programm i watched had a dog that wuld not eat, and the expert put crushed garlic in the food as dogs like smelly food. There was no mention that this could cause harm t the dog, ans has she is a dog expert, she should know what she is talking about. I sometimes do it with my dog when he's being a fussy eater and theres nothing wroing with him

js 5 years ago

Peanuts are fine for dogs. They are legumes, not technically a nut! I would recommend the ones that aren't dry roasted though.

JR 5 years ago

UNCOOKED bones are fine for dogs according to almost every other source I can find.

germanshephardminty 6 years ago

lol i give my dog heaps of bones, i feel kinda of bad after reading the description of bones my bad

WeLoveOurDogs profile image

WeLoveOurDogs 6 years ago Author

Dear JDN

You ask about plain dry roasted peanuts -- that is a good question.

I could not find anything on peanuts. . what I would recommend is asking your vet, I am sure they will know.

Thanks for reading our Hubs! And we LOVE getting comments.


443 6 years ago

some dogs like cheese, though....on a youtube video, they were training a yorkie and actually used cheese as a food lure...strange....but, some websites say that you shouldn't feed dogs dairy products

jean c 6 years ago

My vet says not to give our dog cheese and dairy products, yet they are not on any list of what not...I can find

CJ 6 years ago

I Love my dog Louie. So from now on none of the above. That's if I can remember, lets see Chocolate, tom. leaves and stems, tobacco, nuts, onions, raisins, I knew this was going to happen. I think you only retain 20% of what you read. Oh well back to the list!

Andrea 6 years ago

I was at Petco the other day and they sell diabetic cookies and carob chip cookies as dog treats. Is this ok for dogs to eat? They also had ginger snap cookies, diabetic sandwich cookies, the carob chip cookies and some other kinds.

Lorissa G 6 years ago

If you feel that you must feed your dog chocolate than at least feed them white cholocate since it is not toxic to dogs. Also almond bark ( only the vanilla) is a goo treat if you melt the almond bark and dip the cheap dog biscuts in it.

mrs giggles 6 years ago

thanks for the tips i love dogs so much!!!!!!!!muah lol but i hate that people jus don't care about the dogs i really feel bad for the dogs that don't have good owners i would jus lyk for all dogs to go to a place were they cant get hurt or starve to death just a place for them were just people can surve them or at least a day for that to happened yew no w2at i mean...I LOVE MI DOG CHIKITA VERY MUCH I DON'T NO WAT I WOULD DO WITH OUT HER?

pickles 6 years ago

wow that's great info i love dogs and it makes me feel so bad that people do this stuff to there dogs!!!

JDN  6 years ago

what about plain dry roasted peanuts?

shihtzuluva 6 years ago

you cam feed your dog some chocolate but not a lot that could hurt them

pepper16 7 years ago

wow i had no clue there was that much a dog can't eat.I was just wondering because i was drinking some hot-chocolate and I was thinking my dogs were missing out and i make it with milk so I thought it would be O.K but I thought wrong

Craig Brown 7 years ago

Hey my dog, Pepper, is a fatass and he loves chocolate

lynda 7 years ago

my friend has a mimi dach she gives it everything.. he is 1 year old nuts chocolate garlic onions etc.. macademein coverd in chocolate i try to tell her its really bad but her vet said its ok in moderation.. is this vet a a nut job?? i feel for the dog.. one more thing the dog drinks a lot of water.. she claims because of all the salt?

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allshookup 8 years ago from The South, United States

I didn't know about chocolate until earlier this year. Fortunately, I always finish it off, so there's none left for anyone else! LOL

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gss 8 years ago from Florida

Very nice hub. Thanks for sharing these tips.

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MasonsMom 8 years ago from U.S.A.

I don't own a dog, but this is valuable info that you've provided!

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