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6 Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Dog

Karthik is a writer with a special interest in animals, especially the unique qualities of various cat and dog breeds.

Not all human food is safe for dogs. Before you give in and give your dog another bite, find out which foods are poisonous to your pup.

Not all human food is safe for dogs. Before you give in and give your dog another bite, find out which foods are poisonous to your pup.

Six Foods That Are Bad for Your Dog

When it comes to pets, especially dogs and cats, there are certain foods that they can digest and some foods that may be potentially poisonous. Most dog owners know what foods they may and may not feed their dogs. However, there may be many people who are new dog owners or may not yet know what they can feed their dogs. If you are one of them, here is a list of six foods to avoid as they may potentially kill your dear pet.

1. Caffeine

Caffeine in any form is a strict no for your dog. Caffeine can be found in coffee, tea, coffee beans, caffeine pills, and even chocolate. Caffeine can easily damage your dog’s kidney, heart, lungs, and central nervous system. Typical symptoms include hyperactivity, vomiting, and restlessness, followed by increased heart rate, panting, muscle tremors, drunken gait, and convulsions.

2. Chocolate and Cocoa

Chocolate in any form is as dangerous to a dog as caffeine. The darker the chocolate, the higher the danger to the dog. The main reason chocolate is poisonous is cocoa. Cocoa ingestion in any form can prove fatal to a dog. The chemical theobromine present in cocoa can cause damage to the kidneys, heart, lungs, and the central nervous system. It is not only dark chocolate that causes damage but also milk chocolate. Typical symptoms include seizures, tremors, over-excitement, diarrhea, vomiting, hyperthermia, abnormal heart rhythm, and coma.

Make sure to keep chocolate bars out of reach of your dog.

Make sure to keep chocolate bars out of reach of your dog.

3. Onions, Garlic, and Leeks

Some of the foods to avoid for dogs include vegetables such as garlic, leeks, onions, and chives. These vegetables can cause Heinz body anemia, a type of hemolytic anemia where red blood cells are destroyed. This may be followed by kidney damage. Some other symptoms may involve rapid heart rate, pale gums, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and bloody urine.

4. Bread Dough

Bread dough or any kind of bakery dough easily makes your dog’s stomach swell. This can cause your dog’s abdomen to stretch, which can cause severe pain. In addition, when the yeast ferments, it produces ethanol, which is very toxic for your dog. It may cause damage to the central nervous system as well as the respiratory system. Some symptoms include depression, sedation, weakness, hypothermia, and drunken gait.

5. Macadamia Nuts

These nuts may not be fatal, but they do cause illness in your dog. The mechanism of toxicity is yet unknown. A handful of these nuts can cause adverse effects in your pet dog. Some symptoms are weakness, depression, vomiting, muscle/joint pain, joint swelling, and a drunken gait.

6. Currants, Grapes, and Raisins

Fruits such as grapes, raisins, or black currants are good for humans but not dogs. In dogs, these fruits can cause irreparable damage to the kidneys, possibly causing death. Although the exact toxic dose is not yet established, even 4–5 raisins or grapes can prove poisonous for dogs. If ingested, your dog may show symptoms such as loss of appetite, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, weakness, drunken gait, and decreased urine production (leading to complete lack of urine production).

Some other foods to avoid for dogs include fatty foods, artificial sweeteners, ice cream, alcohol, and dairy products. You can, however, give your dog vegetables such as carrots, green beans, apples, bananas, oranges, and watermelons. You can also feed your dog lean meats and regular dog foods. Make sure that you feed your dog only those foods that give them their required nutrition and is safe for them.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

Question: Can you feed a dog bananas?

Answer: Yes. You can feed your pet buddy bananas in moderation. They are good in potassium, Vitamin B6 and C. Bananas are also high in fiber and magnesium. So, bananas are good for your dog. However, avoid feeding him/her banana peel. While it is not toxic, it is difficult to digest.


Linda Sarhan from Lexington KY USA on September 23, 2014:

We actually prepare our dogs food instead of buying dog food. For anyone who makes their own dog food, knowing what foods and seasonings dogs cannot have is just as essential as knowing what foods that are healthy for dogs to consume.

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Well done!

Karthik Kashyap (author) from India on June 11, 2013:

Thanks for sharing epbooks and Johnn65 :)

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on June 11, 2013:

Very informative hub. I was surprised at how many people still feed grapes to their dogs. One woman in the supermarket was buying grapes FOR her dog! I promptly told her how dangerous they were. My dogs love carrots- great alternative to a dog bone every once in a while and less calories for them. Voted up and useful!

Karthik Kashyap (author) from India on March 30, 2013:

Thanks a lot Ruth :)

Ruth Lanham on March 30, 2013:

Great hub...voted up and useful.

Karthik Kashyap (author) from India on February 17, 2013:

peachpurple: Thanks a lot and I agree with your comment.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on February 16, 2013:

When i was young, my mom fed our dog eggs with rice. Sometimes, if he is lucky, our dog might get sardine fish mix with rice. He never had dog biscuits or dog food. Just ate whatever we ate, not left-over food. That's unkind. Glad to know some food that dog shouldn't eat. Voted useful

Karthik Kashyap (author) from India on February 15, 2013:

nerdmama7 : True :) Good that you are already doing some research. Chocolates and onions (and the related family) are indeed extremely bad for dogs. All the best for you and your new family member :)

Nerd Mama from USA on February 14, 2013:

Wow. You only hear about dogs having a bad reaction to chocolate. I never knew about any of these! I don't have a dog currently, but want to have a puppy in the next year, so I'm doing my research. I know a lot of people who feed their dogs ANYTHING, and I will have to warn them, because there are some seriously dangerous effects.

Karthik Kashyap (author) from India on January 31, 2013:

blueeyes: Thanks for commenting. You can also feed him some dog food that is available in your local store :)

blueeyes on January 31, 2013:

Thank you all so very much!!! I just hope I haven't already made him sick with (ol roy Dogfood) Am changing his diet to vegtables and going to get him some natural good protien food..May cook him some stuff too!!

Karthik Kashyap (author) from India on December 30, 2012:

WiccanSage: Yup, I too didn't know many of these stuff. Heard from a couple of my friends and did some research :)

Mackenzie Sage Wright on December 29, 2012:

This is great to know. I knew not to give my dog anything in the onion family, chocolate or grapes/raisins but I did not know about the rest. Thanks so much, very informative.

Karthik Kashyap (author) from India on December 24, 2012:

thanks a lot for sharing klarawieck :)

klarawieck on December 24, 2012:

Thanks for the great advice! I make home-cooked meals for my 12 year old dog. She had a bladder stone which had to be surgically removed about five or six years ago. It turned out to be 100% magnesium. Since then I tried different brands of dog foods that didn't contain magnesium, and after a while I realized that she was better off eating fresh home-cooked meals. I supplement her meals with a few drops of cod-fish oil which is important for every dog's diet.

This is a great article, and I'm sure a lot of pet owners will find this information useful.

Karthik Kashyap (author) from India on August 23, 2012:

thanks a lot for sharing that :)

The Writers Dog on August 23, 2012:

A vet friend tells me that basically you can feed them any veggie provided it is seed free. Like Mum's, my dog gets peas, carrots, potato and the odd piece of broccoli.

Things like tomato (although a fruit) are also a definite no go for dogs because of the seeds.

Karthik Kashyap (author) from India on August 23, 2012:

I usually never fed my dog any veggies. But would love to know about what other veggies you could feed him :)

The Writers Dog on August 23, 2012:

My chocolate Lab loves his vegetables. His favourite is mashed potato, but is also partial to broccoli and carrot.

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