10 Bad Human Food You Should Never Feed Your Dog

Before throwing your dog a scrap of food, be sure it won’t harm them.

Sometimes it’s really difficult to say no to your dog – especially when they pin their bottomless brown eyes on you as you eat dinner. How can you deny that face? Well, in some cases you absolutely must turn your dog down. There are some bad food that you should never feed your dog.

Keep this list in mind the next time your pup points their puppy dog eyes at you. Now, you’ll know what is most dangerous to him. Keep in mind – these are only some of the foods your dog should never eat.

The Bad Food You Should Never Feed Your Dog


“Which team did you bet against?”

You probably know not to give your pup alcoholic beverages, but I want to reiterate how harmful it can be for your dog. Alcohol has the same impact on a dog’s liver and brain that it does a human. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma, and even death.


“I don’t know if you should be feeding me avocados.”

Some fruits and vegetables are completely okay for your dog to consume. Others are not so safe. Some say avocados are safe. Others say avocados are not. Some say just a little is fine. Bottom line, keep your pup away from avocados. This fruit has persin, a fungicidal toxin, which can cause serious health problems in many animals. The Merck Veterinary Manual says dogs are more resistant to persin than other animals, but it could still cause harm. Keep your pup away from avocados.

Candy, Chewing Gum, Toothpaste, and Mouthwash

Many of these foods contain xylitol, a sweetener that can cause insulin release in many species. An increase in insulin leads to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels). What this means practically for your pup: vomiting, lethargy, loss of coordination, and even seizures. These items are a no go for dog consumption. Some sweet treats also contain Xylitol, which can be deadly to dogs.

Chocolate, Coffee, and Caffeine

“Could I just have one cookie and a sip of your coffee?”

These three things speed your dog’s heart rate and stimulate the nervous system.  They contain methylxanthines which can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, seizures, and even death. Note: Dark chocolate is more harmful than milk chocolate. The amount your dog ingested and your dog’s weight and other factors determine how sick your dog may become.

Cooked Bones

Don’t let this be your dog.

Bones are not as easily digestible. It’s not difficult to snap or splinter the bone into smaller pieces and/or jagged edges. This makes for a choking hazard for your dog. The bone could get stuck in your dog’s throat or even damage the gastrointestinal tract.

Onions and Leeks

“By the way these smell, I’m not getting close to them!”

These foods are particularly harmful to your pup. It doesn’t matter if they are cooked, raw, powdered or within other foods. They can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. If a dog consumes enough of any of these foods, it can lead to negative consequences. As these are often an ingredient in a recipe, it’s important to keep an eye out for them.

Grapes and Raisins

“Please don’t feed these to me. It can really hurt me.”

These foods can be highly toxic to dogs. And for some reason, dogs are extremely attracted to the sweet fruit. In 2016, the Animal Poison Control Center received more than 3,700 calls involving grapes and raisins. Unfortunately, grape/raisin toxicity can even be fatal. Ingesting the fruit could potentially lead to acute (sudden) kidney failure in dogs. 

Here are the signs and symptoms that may occur after a toxic ingestion of grapes/raisins:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy, weakness, unusual stillness
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea, often within a few hours
  • Abdominal pain (tender when touched)
  • Dehydration (signs include panting; dry nose and mouth; pale gums). A quick way to test for dehydration is to gently pull up on the skin at the back of your dog’s neck. It should spring back immediately.
  • Increased thirst and/or urine production or diminished amount of urine or complete cessation altogether
  • Kidney failure (which can be fatal)

Macadamia Nuts

“I’m not feeling so well.”

You must be vigilant if you have macadamia nuts near your pooch. They can be extremely toxic to your pup, causing weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia. These symptoms typically appear within 12 hours of ingestion and can last between 12 and 48 hours.

Raw/Uncooked Meat and Eggs

While raw diets are very popular and can be very healthy for your dogs, extreme care should be exercised, as these uncooked foods can have bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli which causes food poisoning. Have you ever had food poisoning? It’s not pleasant, and your dog can have similar uncomfortable symptoms like vomiting, fever and enlarged lymph nodes.

Salt and Salty Snack Foods

Large amounts of salt aren’t good for a human or dog diet. However, loads of salt is even more concerning for dogs. Eating lots of this mineral can lead to sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms of the disease include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, increased temperature, seizures, and even death. That means don’t share your potato chips or salted popcorn with your pup.

What To Do In Case Of An Emergency

If your dog consumes some of these unhealthy-for-dogs human foods, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center right away. There are risks with eating food that doesn’t mesh well with a dog’s biology, and you can’t treat the harmful effects at home.

Treatment varies depending on what your pup consumed, but oftentimes your vet will induce vomiting. 1800PetMeds explains some forms of treatment, “For pets that shouldn’t or can’t vomit, your veterinarian may give your pet an anesthetic to flush the stomach. Gastric flushing removes a large amount of material and removes materials that are slow to exit the stomach. Veterinarians will not use this technique with convulsing pets, or with pets that swallowed caustic materials such as bleach or petroleum products.”

“I can’t believe I ate something bad for me!”

You can’t be around your pup at all times, so you may not catch your dog in the act of eating something they shouldn’t. Your job is to notice any changes in your dog’s behavior. If they begin to show signs of lethargy, start vomiting, have loss of coordination, or the other symptoms we mentioned, take your dog to visit her doctor.

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