6 Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat

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6 Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat

All animals have very particular rates of metabolism, which is the process of breaking down food in order to produce energy.

Thus, some foods which are not poisonous for humans and other species of animals can be dangerous for dogs.

There are specific foods that you should never feed your dog. If you are worried about something your dog consumed, please call your veterinarian without delay.

The following six examples of food should not be fed to dogs.

dog foods to avoid

1. Macadamia Nuts

  • The precise toxin contained in macadamia nuts and mechanisms of action responsible for signs of poisoning in some dogs are not known.
  • The ingestion of the toxin is associated with a nonfatal syndrome characterized by vomiting, ataxia, depression, hyperemia, weakness, panting, swollen limbs, and tremors.
  • Read this: Can dogs eat nuts?

2. Onions

  • Onions can injure red blood cells in dogs causing them to become weaker and move around less.
  • The toxic substances (organosulfoxides) are found in cooked, raw or dehydrated onions.
  • These toxic compounds react with dog’s metabolism after consumption, interfering with the ability of red blood cells carrying oxygen to the body.
  • Clinical signs linked to onion’s toxicity are lethargy, anemia, trouble breathing, vomiting, dark-colored urine, yellow gums and whites of eyes.

3. Garlic

  • Garlic contains thiosulphate, which can cause hemolytic anemia (red blood cells “explode”), liver damage and death.
  • In fact, it is not common for dogs to eat sufficient raw garlic to cause severe problems.
  • However, exposure to concentrated forms of garlic (e.g. garlic powder) can put dogs at risk of poisoning.
  • Affected dogs may appear weak and they may appear to tire after mild exercise.
  • Their urine may present an orange-tinged to dark red color.

4. Rhubarb Leaves

  • Rhubarb can be toxic for your dog.
  • The leaves of the rhubarb are the most toxic pieces of this plant.
  • They contain oxalate crystals, which diminish the calcium concentration in the dog’s body.
  • Clinical signs of rhubarb poisoning include drooling, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, tremors and bloody urine.
  • In some severe cases, rhubarb toxicity can cause sudden renal failure.

5. Grapes and Raisins

  • The precise substance that causes the toxicity is not yet identified; it has been shown that small amounts of grapes or raisins can be fatal for a dog.
  • The most frequent symptom of grape or raisin toxicity is vomits and diarrhea, usually within a pair of hours after ingestion.
  • After 24 hours of ingestion vomit and fecal contents may contain pieces of grapes or raisins.
  • The dog may also present anorexia, lethargy, abdominal pain, dehydration, passing only a small amount of urine.
  • If renal failure progresses dog will usually fall into a coma.

6. Avocado

  • Avocado contains a toxin named persin.
  • Specifically, the fruit’s seed, bark and leaves are composed of this toxic.
  • However, only certain animal species are poisoned by persin. Avocado is not poisonous to dogs.
  • The bigger risk of avocado to dogs is a foreign body obstruction, which can happen if the dog swallowed the whole large, round avocado seed; it can get trapped in the esophagus, stomach or intestinal tract of dogs.

Most dogs are especially attracted to what they see their owner eating. It is important to be conscious that some foods can be very risky to dogs. Take caution to make sure your dog never gets access to the foods enumerated above.

See also:

  1. 7 Dangerous Christmas Foods For Your Dog
  2. Can dogs eat popcorn?

About the Author:

Hi! I'm Dora Mancha, DVM. I am graduated for the Veterinary Medicine Faculty of Lisbon (2009). My degree is recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). I completed my degree in Veterinary Medicine in July, 2009. Over the first years as a veterinarian my work was closely related to the animal health field. I have gained some average experience having worked in Barcelona University (UAB) Equine Hospital and by working with veterinarians in Portugal. In addition, in 2009 - 2010 I was in Madrid at the University Alfonso X el Sábio doing an internship in the equine service. I am also very interested in small animal medicine and surgery. In fact I worked in several small animals clinics in Portugal improving my knowledge about small animal behavior and health. Dogs always have been present in my life, since I was a child. At the present moment I have four dogs a Labrador, a Epagnheul Breton, a Whippet and a mixed breed dog.


  1. seriously? June 13, 2015 at 12:09 am - Reply

    Why is avocado on this list? You say they’re not poisonous or toxic to dogs.

    • Dora Mancha June 25, 2015 at 10:28 am - Reply

      The problems with avocado are twofold. Firstly, avocado contains a compound called persin, which is toxic to many animals. Avocado rarely causes
      serious illness in animals like dogs, but can cause mild stomach upset. More dangerous is the pit; if your dog eats the pit of the avocado, it may obstruct the digestive tract. This situation can require urgent care from a vet. It is not very toxic but it can be dangerous.

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