Foods Dogs Can't Eat

As you know there are a wide array of foods that dogs must avoid at all costs.  Because their biological makeup is different than humans, a lot of the food that we eat is NOT safe for dogs.  Some are even toxic and deadly, so prior to giving your dog something you should always Google and check to see if this is something your dog can eat. 

A list of foods to AVOID:

1.  CHOCOLATE - This is the number 1 item that you need to keep away from your dogs.  We have heard horror stories from people we know about dogs getting into their owners' bags and digging out and eating chocolate without them knowing, and because they didn't get their dog to a vet in time, they passed away.  It's just awful to hear these types of stories.  Chocolate contains toxic substances which messes up a dog's metabolic process. 

If you have a family with small children, this is extremely important to teach your kids and keep an eye on them at all times.  Children can eat chocolate chip cookies, ice cream, all sorts of chocolate delights, and are prone to dropping bits on the floor or somewhere within reach of our four legged friends.  This is extremely dangerous, so heed caution and make sure not only is the chocolate out of dog's reach, but also away from kids in the house, unless closely supervised. 

2.  GRAPES - This is another big no no.  Grapes also contain toxic substances that can lead to kidney failure and death in dogs.  This includes raisins.   Both grapes and raisins should be kept and away from dogs.  We notice people drop grapes when they're washing them in the kitchen or transporting them from the kitchen to the rest of the house.  This is dangerous for dogs who like to scavenge for food along the floor - so please be cautious when handling grapes for the humans.  And no matter how much dogs will beg, there is NO WAY they are getting near any grapes.

3. MACADAMIA NUTS and MOST NUTS in general - We just stick to the basic rule of NO NUTS for dogs.  Why take any chances?  Macadamia nuts are extremely poisonous for dogs.  The same goes for almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc.  These nuts not only are toxic, but they can also block the esophogus.  So just say no to nuts, period.

4. XYLITOL and foods that contain XYLITOL - this is another evil for dogs.  It is touted with so many positives for humans but for dogs this is simply another item that must be avoided at all costs.  Xylitol can cause seizures and liver failure in dogs.  This ingredient is sometimes used in common items such as toothpaste, candy, gum, and even things you think are safe like some types of peanut butter.  So please be sure to read ingredients and avoid anything that has any amount of xylitol in it.

5.  GARLIC, ONIONS, and anything similar - Humans love garlic because of its added health benefits for us.  However, for dogs, garlic is another dangerous item to keep them away from.  It's tempting to want to give your dog a piece of marinated meat right off the BBQ, but please DON'T.  A lot of times the food we eat is laced with garlic and is extremely harmful for our canine companions.  Garlic can cause anemia, vomiting, and breathing problems at the very least, so this is something to steer clear of.

6.  AVOCADOS - another item that starkly contrasts from human to dog consumption.  While avocados are touted for its healthy fats for human beings, for dogs avocados are a NO GO. Avocados contain persin which is a toxin that can cause gastrointestinal problems, vomiting, and not to mention the seed itself is so large it can get stuck in the esophagus, stomach, or intestinal tract.  Sorry bud, no avocado toast for you.

7.  FATTY FOODS and FAT TRIMMINGS - oh silly humans.  If you try to give your dog fast food and fat trimmings off of steaks over time this will cause major damage and health issues for your dog.  It's tempting I know.  We eat a hunk of steak, and our dog looks up at us with those puppy dog eyes, but please refrain from giving him those fatty pieces.  A lot of dogs who have been fed unhealthy unnaturally fatty foods in the long term have been known to develop pancreatitis which not only can lead to eventual death, but also hefty vet bills in an attempt to save your dog.

8.  BONES, ESPECIALLY CHICKEN BONES - From cartoons we've watched, and books we've read, we are naturally inclined to believe bones are dog's best food.  WRONG.  Bones, while sometimes like the kind from the pet store can be OK under supervision, can also be dangerous.  We know of a neighbor who mistakenly gave their dog chicken bones and their dog choked to death on them.  Please do NOT give your dog bones thinking they are OK to chew on.  Most times, bones, big or little, are hard for dogs to chew or digest and easily get stuck in their throats or cut them on the way down.  We absolutely LOATHE bones. 

We used to give Eggy bones they sell at the pet store but because he doesn't breathe in between bites and he's so eager to chew it until he can swallow it, we've had numerous scares trying to open his jaws to retrieve the bone from the abyss of his throat.  We cannot stress enough, how giving dogs bones can be a hazard.

9.  COFFEE OR CAFFEINE - Coffee and caffeine also contain toxic substances similar to chocolate - do NOT give your dog any coffee.  Don't leave your Starbucks cups around for your dog to get a taste.  Keep everything away from your dog's reach.

10.  ALCOHOL - some twisted, uneducated, and ignorant people think it's funny to give alcohol to animals or even children which is absolutely absurd and downright stupid.  Alcohol can cause difficulty breathing, vomiting, seizures, coma, and even death in dogs.  Keep your beer, wine, and spirits above counter top height and behind closed doors.  Never let your dog near the stuff.

11.  FRUITS - especially those that contain pits or cyanide like peaches, apricots, plums, cherries, etc.  The pits are likely to get stuck in their system, and the cyanide can cause upset stomach, diarrhea, and more awful symptoms.  Just because fruits are good for you, does not mean it's necessarily safe for them.

12.  CORN ON THE COB - How many of you have seen your fellow dog owners throw a dog corn on the cob at a backyard barbecue?  TOO MANY.  PLEASE DON'T.  While corn itself isn't toxic, the cob part is extremely dangerous.  It is a choking hazard and can also cause intestinal blockage, which can lead to fatality.  Don't throw anything humans eat your dog's way.  They may look cute and all sitting there begging while you nosh on your corn, and you may think you're doing them a favor, but you're not - you're only going to wreck their system.

13.  TOBACCO, MARIJUANA, HUMAN MEDICINE - While these are not foods per se, these are readily available items in many human households.  Dogs can easily get into cigarettes or marijuana - both of which are extremely dangerous and can be deadly. 

Also, human medicine, is tested for humans only - we don't know how dogs will react to those same medicines which are oftentimes dosed way over a dog's capacity.  We use the general rule to stay away from human meds if at all possible.  But if you want to know if a certain drug is safe, consult with your vet.  At least they'll be able to tell you for sure if they can have any and give you the right amount.

14.  BACON - this isn't as toxic as the others, however it is highly fatty and in large amounts can also lead to pancreatitis.  A microscopic piece that's low in sodium once in a blue moon might not lead to issues, but sadly, this is a risk we advise NOT taking.  Why put your dog in harm's way when it can be avoided? 

This is just a basic list of human foods that are toxic for dogs.  There are plenty more that should be avoided, from tomato vines, to rhubarb.. but like I mentioned before, do a thorough Google check, simply type in, "Can my dog eat _______" and get a thorough breakdown from multiple sites.  Our general rule of thumb is that if it poses any type of risk, we just steer clear of it period.  The easiest way to avoid falling for your dog's begging eyes, is to learn to ignore it, OR set aside some safe dog treats by you as you eat.  They may be begging you while you eat, and if you must cave, at least cave with something they can actually eat without worry. 

Eggy's grandparents love to spoil Eggy whenever he comes over to their house.  They feel so guilty as they're eating dinner because Eggy will sit by their feet looking up at them with his big doughy eyes.  Instead of giving in with any human food, his grandparents have learned to place a little of Eggy's dog-safe treats near them so they can take little breaks in between dinner time to give Eggy his own treats here and there.  It also helps if you can feed your dog dinner at the same time that you eat if it makes sense.  That way, your dog will enjoy his dinner and pay less attention to the human meal on the dinner table.

We hope this offered some basic insight into toxic foods dogs cannot eat.  It's up to you the owner to ensure that your dog is eating all the right things and staying away from harm.  Some dogs are more aggressive than others and won't know any better to jump onto the table and try to lap up your plates.  It's truly the owner who needs to step up and train the dogs, keep things out of their reach, and supervise them closely.  Being a dog parent is a full time job in itself, and we must do everything in our power to ensure our dogs don't get into the wrong foods by accident. 

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