While dogs can eat, enjoy and benefit from a surprising number of things typically associated with human food, there are just a few things you should never, ever give your best friend. So here’s a list of things dogs shouldn’t eat. Foodstuffs toxic to dogs:
Alcohol: Anything containing alcohol is bad for dogs. So no spirit-laden Christmas cake, no leftover shop-bought cooking sauces which frequently contain alcohol in the form of wine. No alcohol in any form!
Artificial Sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners can be potentially fatal to dogs. So if you have a half-eaten bowl of cereal sweetened with sweeteners, throw it away. Don’t give it to your dog whatever you do!
Avocados: Avocados contain a toxin called persin which can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and potentially much worse in some dogs. While small amounts of avocado flesh can be tolerated, it is best not to take the risk with your dog. I don’t give avocados to my dogs. Don’t give them to yours!
Caffeine: Caffeine is a chemical related to theobromine which is toxic and potentialy lethal to dogs. The smaller the dog, the less well they are able to tolerate caffeine. Don’t take the risk with your dog!
Chocolate: Chocolate contains both theobromine, a chemical which can potentially be fatal to dogs even in relatively small amounts, and, to a lesser extent, caffeine. If you want to make chocolate treats for your dog, use carob. Otherwise, no chocolate, not now, not ever!
Coffee: Coffee contains caffeine, a chemical related to theobromine which is potentially fatal to dogs. Coffee grounds can be particularly dangerous. The smaller the dog, the less ability they have to tolerate caffeine. Don’t take the risk with your dog!
Cooked Bones: Never feed your dog cooked bones of any kind. Cooked bones are more brittle and can splinter and cause an obstruction or internal injury. Never feed your dog rib bones, poultry or pork bones either. They too can splinter easily. Always use uncooked, raw meaty bones of a size suitable for your dog so that they cannot swallow them whole, and they’re best given to your dog after he or she has eaten when they’re less hungry. And never leave your dog unsupervised with a bone.
Corn on the Cob: While some dogs may enjoy eating corn on the cob, corn cobs can cause an internal obstruction if swallowed whole or in large chunks. Unlike the corn itself, dogs are not able to digest the cob which may require surgical removal. Best not risk it!
Junk Food: Junk food is a no-no for obvious reasons. Junk food or takeaways are rarely of good nutritional value relative to the calories they contain. They frequently contain salt or sugar or both, and all-too-often contain things like onions and other canine undesirables.
Macadamia Nuts: Toxic to dogs, macadamia nuts are considered one of the least appropriate and most dangerous human foods to give to a dog. So absolutely no macadamia nuts, not even little pieces!
Onions and Leeks: Onions, leeks and other members of the allium family can cause damage to red blood cells which can result in anemia in dogs. Small amount of garlic however can be beneficial. (Never exceed recommended doses, and if you’re at all concerned, don’t feed it at all!).
Tea: While we all know of dogs who enjoy tea, tea contains caffeine which is toxic and potentially fatal to dogs. Teabags, because of their high concentration of caffeine, are particularly dangerous!
Vine Fruits: Grapes, raisins and sultanas can cause kidney failure and even death in even small amounts. As with macadamia nuts, the exact ingredient which causes the toxicity in vine fruits is not known, but it is known that dogs of any size or any age can be negatively affected.
Xylitol: Xylitol is a sweetener which is highly toxic to dogs. Frequently found in peanut butter, make sure you choose a brand of peanut butter which does not contain xylitol as it can cause liver failure, seizures and even death in dogs!
So there’s a list of things dogs shouldn’t eat. Want to see a surprisingly long list of things dogs can eat? Visit my Food & Feeding section.