10 Dangerous Foods For Dogs

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10 Dangerous Foods For Dogs

Dogs are members of the family, treating them as such at meals can be dangerous to them.

It’s crucial for your dog’s health that you know what you can and can’t feed him.

There are lots of foods that can be bad for your dog, including some that are healthy for humans.

Here are 10 foods toxic to dogs that should be avoided.

dangerous foods for dogs

1. Chocolate

Chocolate intoxication can occur any time dogs eat products that contain chocolate, such as chocolate candy, cookies, brownies, cakes and cocoa powder.

The chocolate’s compounds that cause toxicity are caffeine and theobromine, which belong to a group of chemicals named methylxanthines.

The rule of thumb with chocolate is:

The darker it is, the more dangerous it is.

Depending on the kind and amount of chocolate ingested, the signs can range from:

  • vomiting
  • increased thirst
  • abdominal pain
  • anxiety to severe agitation
  • muscle tremors
  • arrhythmias
  • hyperthermia
  • seizures
  • death
If your dog ate chocolate and present any of these signs you should seek veterinary assistance right away.

Read also: can dogs eat chocolate?

2. Nachos

Nachos are snacks known as junk food.

They are tortillas covered in melted cheese which are served with other ingredients like jalapeno peepers.


Feeding your dog nachos is definitely not a good idea.

The ingredients included in nachos are harmful for your dog.

They can induce:

  • gastrointestinal discomfort
  • vomit
  • diarrhea
Additionally, nachos are full of chemicals, flavorings and additives which are not healthy.

3. Coffee

Like chocolate, coffee contains caffeine that is toxic for dogs.

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and within hours can induce:

  • vomiting
  • agitation
  • heart palpitations
  • death

4. Bacon

Bacon is a high fat food and can induce pancreatitis which is a severe and painful condition for your dog.

In addition, the salt content in bacon is also very high, this can cause serious stomach upset and ultimately a condition called bloat, particularly in large dog breeds.

Bloat occurs when the dog drinks too much water because of the salty bacon.

The stomach will load with a huge amount of gas and within hours can twist around on itself.

When this occurs your dog presents a surgical emergency named gastric volvulus.

5. Bones

The most common threat for dogs are bones.

Why not bones?

Cooked bones can easily fragment when chewed.

The splinter bones can get lodged or perforate the intestinal tract requiring abdominal surgery for removal.

They can also get caught in the throat causing your dog to choke.

All bones are considered bad choices, including chicken, pork, and beef.

If you feel the need to give your dog a bone choose a bone manufactured for dogs to chew.

6. Alcohol

Dogs are more susceptible to alcohol than humans are.

It can cause:

  • intoxication
  • lack of coordination
  • poor breathing
  • metabolic acidosis (abnormal low blood pH)
  • vomiting
  • disorientation
  • stupor
  • coma
  • death
Dogs may be exposed to alcohol through drinking alcoholic drinks (beer, wine, alcohol-containing elixirs or syrups).

Dogs showing mild signs of alcohol intoxication should be under veterinary observation until they recover.

7. Candies

Candies are full of sugar and your dog should not eat sugary foods.

Candies have some detrimental effects on your dog’s health such as rotting teeth and disrupting metabolism contributing for the onset of diabetes mellitus.

Candies also contain an artificial sweetener named xylitol that can cause liver damage and a life-threatening drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in dogs.

8. Mushrooms

Exotic types of mushrooms are a dangerous foods both to humans and dogs.


Many fungal species are poisonous.

The wrong type of mushroom can induce your dog long-lasting organ damage.

You should not allow your dog to eat a wild mushroom because it can cost both of you an emergency veterinary visit.

9. Tomato Leaves

The tomato plant (leaves and stems) contain ingredients called glycoalkaloids (tomatine and dehydrotomatine), which are toxic to dogs if ingested.

Green tomatoes also contain this chemical, ripe tomatoes don’t.

Tomatine acts as a cholinesterase inhibitor that inhibits the removal of acetylcholine from neuromuscular junctions.

Accumulation of acetylcholine in the tissues induces neurological symptoms.

If your dog eats tomato leaves, he might present:

  • lethargy
  • drooling
  • stomach upset
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • changes in his behavior
Tremors or seizures could also occur.

10. Yeast Dough

Yeast dough is used to rise in bread, but it will also expand and rise within your dog’s stomach.

When yeast dough is ingested the warm, moist environment of the stomach offers an ideal environment for the yeast to reproduce, resulting in a growing mass of dough in your dog’s stomach.

Expansion of the stomach compromise blood flow to the stomach wall and may press the diaphragm, causing breathing difficulty.

Additionally, yeast dough ferments in the stomach, producing alcohol which is very toxic to your dog.

Mild cases will cause only:

  • gastrointestinal dilatation
  • farts
  • abdominal discomfort
In severe cases, the gastric and intestinal enlargement can induce visceral rupture.

The major symptoms are:

  • vomiting (or attempts to vomit)
  • abdominal distention
  • discomfort
  • lethargy

Final Remarks

The toxic dosages and the amount of damage induced by the foods above depends on the specific breed and size of your dog.

All dogs are different and can respond in a different way to foods.

However, it’s better to know potentially toxic foods and keep your best friend away from them.

See also:


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. Kathy July 8, 2015 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    Grapes were not mentioned……they are toxic to dogs!

  2. João Costa July 9, 2015 at 1:01 am - Reply

    I believe that onions are also harmful.

  3. Ann July 9, 2015 at 1:17 am - Reply

    Please. Beef and pork bones that are not cooked are good for dogs. It keeps their teeth clean and are better than the chemical laded ones you buy at the store. Dogs are ment to eat bones and bone marrow just like wolves.

    • Dora Mancha July 9, 2015 at 9:58 am - Reply

      I understand your point of view. However, in my opinion, there’s not a bone that is completely safe in any given circumstance. I advise you to talk with your veterinarian about finding a safer way to feed your dog a balanced diet, protect his teeth and keep him happy and healthy. Natural bones, raw or cooked, can present potential health risks. For example, raw meat and bones can harbor bacteria such as salmonella and e coli. These bacteria are responsible for gastroenteritis both in humans and dogs. Dogs descended from wolves but the DNA patterns of modern dogs and wolves are very different. There is no scientific evidence that indicates dogs should be fed uncooked food and bones as wild canids.

  4. Linda Warnock September 23, 2015 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    Well my boxer loves nachos from Taco Bell

  5. Joanna September 24, 2015 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    My dogs have raw bones a couple of times a week and there is more chance of them catching salmonella or ecoli of store bought dog food, and to say that you should talk to a vet about it when most arnt trained in nutrition is a laugh, most are only told what the dog food companies who’s food they sell want them to know. Raw fed dogs that have bones have a different acid type than commercial dog food fed dogs have so the risk of them getting ill is very minimal! And yes there is a risk of choking but if you keep a eye on them and feed the correct sized bone for the dog most manage just fine. The rest I agree with

  6. jeff schubert September 24, 2015 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    Grapes!! 2 weeks ago my blue heeler and my younger female boxer got into a couple grapes.. I freaked out and rushed them to the ER at 11PM and they spent 3 straight days being observed and on IV’s to flush there systems… I will never keep grapes in my home ever again.. My pups ended up being fine but its very scary

  7. Chris September 25, 2015 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    Oh people, please. Dora is simply offering an opinion only. From any piece of information provided we as adults take in that information and do a little research of our own. I also don’t agree about the raw bone thing and raw meat thing fully however my own research has helped me to find a comfortable balance. To Linda who petulantly declares she feeds her dog Nachos and knowing how toxic it can be well all I can say is enjoy the time you have with your poor dog. We need to issue a license to be able to have an animal in our care.

  8. Randi February 23, 2016 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    I agree that large raw bones are safer than any “manufactured bones.” Even my German shepherd isn’t able to break them. Rawhide “bones” and many other types of chew toys are more dangerous. Some have ingredients that cause upset stomach. Even dog foods are recalled all the time for salmonella.

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