DogsCatsFish & AquariumsReptiles & AmphibiansRodentsRabbitsExotic PetsBirdsFarm Animals as Pets

10 Things Not to Feed Your Dog

Updated on February 8, 2016
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.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image 6 weeks ago

      good info thanks

    • profile image

      Jason 7 months ago

      The darker the chocolate raw chocolate would kill your dog meaning 100% pure cocoa with out being cut kinda like powder cocain 100% pure cocaine with no cut would put your ass in cardiac arrest that's why we mix other ingredients we cut chocolate with milk and other stuff the lighter thechoclate the less pure it makes it I guess.its kinda chemistry white chocolate is perfectly safe your dog but that dark bakers chocolate would hurt dog sorry if I offended any one when I was making comparisons with the drug talk iam just trying to explain the best I could just keeping it real

    • profile image

      frenchie lover 1218 10 months ago

      My dog just had some boiled peanuts and some other websites said it was okay, but this website says no nuts of any kind. Will my dog be okay?

    • profile image

      audrey 2 years 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?

    • profile image

      Janet 2 years 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

    • profile image

      Martha 3 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.

    • profile image

      barbara 3 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Petedog1 4 years ago

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

    • Amber0410 profile image

      Amber0410 4 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.

    • profile image

      Shawna 5 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:)

    • profile image

      Jer 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      farmer barb 5 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!

    • profile image

      dogowner 5 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?

    • profile image

      Jesse 5 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.

    • profile image

      Beth 5 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.

    • profile image

      Alex 5 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!

    • profile image

      james 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      james 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      mydogsareamazing 5 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.

    • profile image

      Chris 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Indrajeet 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Kazza14 5 years ago

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

    • AbbyN455 profile image

      AbbyN455 5 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.

    • profile image

      Shuffler69 5 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

    • profile image

      olga 5 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?)

    • profile image

      Sabita 5 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.

    • profile image

      Laura 5 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

    • profile image

      Cassidy 5 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.

    • profile image

      james brown@toasted pecans 5 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.

    • profile image

      monica 5 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.

    • profile image

      Pony 5 years ago


    • profile image

      emma 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      linsey 5 years ago

      this is like so cool! omg

    • profile image

      james 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      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."

    • profile image

      Hayley p 5 years ago

      Wot about red wine?

    • profile image

      Ruthie Hoffman 5 years ago

      Stick with DOG FOOD ONLY......

    • profile image

      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,

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      chris 5 years ago

      did u mean kibbles an bits?

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      muddy crack 6 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.

    • RichardCMckeown profile image

      RichardCMckeown 6 years ago

      Cool hub. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      6 years ago

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

    • profile image

      nomark 6 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.

    • profile image

      taters 6 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!!

    • profile image

      HildaVonHosking(daschund) 6 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.

    • profile image

      Bobby 6 years ago

      Yeah so I guess we all love our dogs

    • profile image

      moni12 6 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Lola1 6 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!

    • profile image

      k9fan 6 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.

    • profile image

      Kathy 6 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.

    • profile image

      Gill 6 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

    • profile image

      js 6 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.

    • profile image

      JR 6 years ago

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

    • profile image

      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 7 years ago

      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.


    • profile image

      443 7 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

    • profile image

      jean c 7 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

    • profile image

      CJ 7 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!

    • profile image

      Andrea 7 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.

    • profile image

      Lorissa G 7 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.

    • profile image

      mrs giggles 7 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?

    • profile image

      pickles 7 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!!!

    • profile image

      JDN  7 years ago

      what about plain dry roasted peanuts?

    • profile image

      shihtzuluva 7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      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

    • profile image

      Craig Brown 8 years ago

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

    • profile image

      lynda 8 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?

    • allshookup profile image

      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

    • gss profile image

      gss 9 years ago from Florida

      Very nice hub. Thanks for sharing these tips.

    • MasonsMom profile image

      MasonsMom 9 years ago from U.S.A.

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