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14 Toxic Foods for Dogs

Updated: Jun 23, 2023


Remi & I in San Deigo - May 2021



You need to be very careful with the foods your dog ingests around the house. There are certain foods, even plants that can be harmful and even cause death to your pet, so discard any of these from their diet, even in small quantities.




There are several types of dog foods that are generally considered to be of lower quality or potentially harmful to dogs. Here are some examples of dog foods that are often considered to be of lower quality or should be avoided:

  1. Foods with excessive fillers: Some low-quality dog foods contain a high amount of fillers such as corn, wheat, and soy. These ingredients offer limited nutritional value and can be difficult for dogs to digest.

  2. Artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors: Dog foods that contain artificial preservatives (such as BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin), colors, and flavors are generally considered of lower quality. These additives can potentially cause health issues in dogs.

  3. By-products and unnamed meat sources: Look for dog foods that specify named meat sources (such as chicken, beef, or lamb) rather than vague terms like "meat by-products" or "animal meal." High-quality dog foods clearly indicate the source of their protein.

  4. Generic fats and oils: Dog foods that list generic fats and oils, such as "animal fat" or "vegetable oil," without specifying the source can be of lower quality. It's better to choose dog foods that specify quality fats like chicken fat or salmon oil.

  5. High levels of carbohydrates: Dogs are primarily carnivores, and their diet should be rich in protein. Foods that have high levels of carbohydrates and low levels of protein may not provide the optimal nutrition dogs need.

  6. Poorly regulated or recalled brands: Stay informed about dog food brands that have faced recalls or have a history of poor quality control. Keeping up with trusted sources for recall alerts can help you make informed decisions.


Remember that every dog's nutritional needs can vary based on factors such as age, breed, and health conditions. It's generally recommended to consult with a veterinarian to determine the most appropriate diet for your dog's specific needs.


Keep your Dogs away from:


Alcohol - Ethanol can cause central nervous system and respiratory depression even in small doses. The symptoms may include; trouble breathing, cardiac arrest, and drunk behavior.

Avocados - The toxin in Avacaods is called Persin. The symptoms may include; diarrhea, vomiting, or constipation.

Caffeine - can cause damage to the heart, lungs, kidneys, and central nervous system. The symptoms may include restlessness, vomiting, tremors, arrhythmia, & seizures.

Cherries - the seeds contain cyanide, which can cause cyanide poisoning in large quantities.

Chocolate - causes increased heart rate, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and restlessness. The symptoms may include; vomiting, seizures, trouble breathing, and arrhythmia.

Garlic & Onions - can cause anemia and lead to kidney damage.

Grapes & Raisins - can cause irreversible kidney damage or death. The symptoms may include; vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and kidney failure.

Gum - Gum contains Xylitol. The symptoms may include vomiting, lethargy, tremors, seizures, and liver failure.

Macadamia Nuts - as little as 6 nuts. The symptoms may include tremors, paralysis, vomiting, and weakness.

Mushrooms - many varieties can cause shock or death in dogs.

Nicotine - Even the smallest dose of either nicotine or xylitol can potentially be fatal to our favorite fur friends.0.5 to 1 mg of nicotine per pound of body weight can be toxic to your pet. The nearly always fatal dose is only about 4 mg per pound of body weight. There are severe consequences of nicotine ingestion, in any form – most of which could lead to death without medical intervention.

Salty Foods (in large amounts) - too much of it can cause neurological symptoms and seizures, even if it's not ingested all at once, and can lead to too much water consumption, which can be dangerous.

Yeast Dough - may rise in the stomach, stretching the abdomen and causing nerve pain. It also procedures toxic alcohol (ethanol). The symptoms may include; gassiness, distended abdomen, vomiting, and loss of coordination.

Xylitol - A sugar-free sweeter, can cause dogs to develop hypoglycemia and lead to severe liver damage.

(I always check the backs of labels for this).







Owner Tips:

If you don't know what ingredients are in a food, don't let your dog have it.


Make sure you keep all human food (and even toiletries like mouthwash and toothpaste) well out of your dog's reach. Remi loves to eat my toothbrushes so I have to hide them sometimes.


Don't ever give your dog human medication unless instructed to do so by a vet.


If you ever suspect your dog ingested something dangerous, call your vet, or local veterinary emergency services immediately. Or call pet poison control (24/7)







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