What Human Foods are Toxic to Dogs? (Infographic)
Dogs are opportunistic eaters. If you leave tasty smelling food where they can get at it, chances are, they will get at it. But what we, as humans, may find appetizing and delicious can be deadly to dogs. This is due to dogs having a different metabolism to humans, plus, some small foods can be a choking hazard to a dog.
There are various reasons why certain foods are dangerous to dogs.
It can be because of their ingredients, their size or simply because they cause bad reactions to our beloved animals. Some human foods are good for dogs in limited amounts, and can even be healthy, but too much can cause serious problems.
While this is an extensive list of what human foods dogs can and can’t eat, there could be something we have missed. So, if you are unsure about any food, you might want to give your pet that is not on this list, do some research online or contact your vet for more information.
Foods Dogs Cannot Eat
You can first check this infographic.
This list is in alphabetical order and covers a wide range of products that, while they are safe for humans, can be deadly for dogs.
Alcohol causes the usual effects it has on humans, intoxication, loss of coordination and abnormal acidity. But it can also potentially cause comas and death. Never give your dog alcohol on purpose.
Avocados contain persin and this can cause diarrhea, vomiting and heart congestion. While a small accidental piece of avocado is not likely to cause your dog any harm, you should monitor them and call your vet for future care. The pit is the most dangerous part. It contains high levels of persin as well as being a choking hazard.
Cat food is made for cats. The protein and fat levels in cat food are unsafe for dogs. They can lead to obesity, an upset stomach and pancreatitis.
Chocolate is one we are sure everyone has heard of before. The delicious human treat contains caffeine and theobromine, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, increased heart rate, seizures and even death.
Depending on the size and weight of your dog and how much chocolate they ate will factor into how sick your dog will get. Here is a short list, in order of most dangerous to least dangerous, chocolates to dogs:
- Cocoa powder
- Unsweetened baker’s chocolate
- Semisweet chocolate
- Dark chocolate
- Milk chocolate
- White chocolate
Coffee, tea & other forms of caffeine can also be lethal to dogs. It takes only 1-2 hours before your dog can start feeling some level of hyperactivity, restlessness, elevated heart rate, vomiting, high blood pressure and worst cases, seizures and death.
Cooked bones are a major hazard to dogs. Bones are fine for dogs to eat, but only when they are UNCOOKED. Cooked bones become brittle, which means they can splinter and cause internal damage to your beloved pet.
Corn on the cob is another choking hazard for dogs. While corn off the cob and cooked is fine in small quantities, dogs have determined eaters and will try to eat the cob too, if the corn is on the cob. The cob can then become a choking hazard or cause blocks in their digestive system.
Fat trimmings regardless of being cooked or uncooked, can cause pancreatitis in dogs.
Garlic must be controlled. While a small amount can be okay, and even healthy, helping with flea treatments, large amounts can be dangerous.
Garlic (like onions, which will be covered later on in this list) cause the death of red blood cells and thus cause anemia. Signs can be vomiting, weakness and breathing troubles.
Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failures. Even the smallest amount is toxic to dogs and early symptoms can be vomiting followed by low energy and depression.
There are stories of dogs dying from just a handful of grapes, so make sure you keep them well away from your dog.
The liver is fine in small amounts. However, the liver contains Vitamin A, which in large quantities can cause adverse effects on your pooch’s muscles and bones.
Macadamia nuts can be extremely dangerous. With symptoms such as muscle shakes, vomiting, high temperatures and weak back legs. These nuts combined with chocolate can be even worse.
Milk & dairy products can be tolerated in small amounts, if you don’t mind the farts. But larger quantities can cause diarrhea and digestive problems. Also, your dog could be allergic.
Onions and chives, which were mentioned earlier alongside garlic, are the worst foods to give a dog. No matter what form: dried, cooked, raw, powder, and/or within other foods, these human foods are toxic to dogs. They cause severe damage to red blood cells and can cause anemia.
Peppers actually make a really tasty treat in small quantities and steamed or pureed, as the skin can be quite tough to chew. BUT ONLY BELL PEPPERS and green ones are the best options. Never give your dog any spicy peppers such as chilis or jalapenos and only feed them bell peppers in small quantities.
Raw meat & fish are no for dogs. While dogs can eat BOTH cooked meat and fish, serving them a dish of either human food raw can cause serious health problems. This is because they contain bacteria that causes poisoning.
Raw fish in particular, has a parasite that causes “fish disease” or “salmon poisoning disease” which will cause vomiting, fever and enlarged lymph nodes. These parasites are killed once the fish is cooked. Cooked fish is in fact very healthy for dogs to eat.
Salt is unhealthy for humans in large quantities, and it is no different for dogs. Salt can lead to sodium ion poisoning, which at its worst can cause death.
Sugar is another unhealthy food for humans in large quantities, and again, it is no different in dogs. Check food for ingredients such as corn syrup, sugar and glucose because these ingredients can cause dental issues, obesity and even diabetes in dogs.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in gum and many types of sweets or candy. This ingredient causes no harm to humans but is one of the most toxic foods for dogs. It can easily cause seizures and death in worst case scenarios. Other symptoms caused by even small amounts are liver failure and low blood sugar levels.
Yeast reacts in a dog’s stomach the same way it does in baked goods, it raises. A small amount can cause gas, farting and discomfort, large amounts can cause stomach and intestinal ruptures. As it rises, it also creates alcohol, which can then lead to alcohol poisoning. In other words, make sure your pet never eats any yeast.
Other note-worthy mentions are old food (if it is not good enough for you, it is not good enough for your dog) left overs (once in a while it is fine, but leftovers are not part of a balanced and healthy diet, plus they may contain ingredients toxic to dogs) human snacks and treats (there is a reason dog treats and snacks are manufactured).
As previously mentioned, this list is not a full or complete list, as there can be more potentially dangerous human foods dogs can’t eat. So, if you are unsure it is always best to double-check what foods are toxic for dogs.
Human Foods Dogs Can Eat
This is a list of human foods dogs can eat. The ones that are safe, and in most cases, healthy for a dog to have as part of a balanced diet. However, the list of toxic foods is longer than the list of good ones, so it is always best to be safe rather than sorry. Try to avoid giving your human pet food unless recommended by a vet or you are 100% certain it is safe. And even then, moderation is key.
Lean meat is the ideal human food for dogs. This means meat with no fat or bones, and if it is white meat, like chicken or turkey, the skin should also be removed. Meat is a good source of protein and a tasty treat. But remember, meat should ALWAYS be cooked.
Eggs are good protein and provide good vitamins for dogs. Vets recommend giving your pet a cooked egg over a raw egg because of salmonella and biotin deficiency risks. To cook the egg simply boil it or fry it, without worrying about cooking it in butter or oil, or adding condiments, those are things your dog does not need or want.
Fruit can be a tasty treat for dogs. Remember to always take the pips or seeds out of any fruit and skin them too. Buy seedless melon if you want to give it to your dog too. Seeds contain a small trace or arsenic, which is highly dangerous to dogs, so why risk it? Here is a list of tasty fruits dogs can enjoy:
- apple slices
Mangoes and pineapples make very tasty treats in small quantities and also provide your pet with essential vitamins.
Vegetables are great low-calorie snacks and make awesome substitutions for training treats. But stay away from canned or pickled veg, as they contain too much salt. Here is a list of dog-friendly veggies, which your dog can have cooked (preferably) or raw:
- brussels sprouts
- green beans
- potatoes (only if cooked)
- sweet potatoes
Rice is said to help dogs with an upset stomach but can also be part of a well-balanced doggy diet. Boiled white rice with boiled chicken can help make stools be firmer and help sick dogs get necessary nutrition, which they are having trouble getting from other foods.
What to do if your dog has consumed toxic food?
If you are sure of what your dog has eaten, call a vet immediately and take your pet to see them. Inform your vet of what they have eaten, either accidentally or mistakenly, this way the vet knows what procedures to follow.
However, if your dog is showing symptoms such as vomiting, weakness, diarrhea or any of the symptoms mentioned in this article, do not hesitate to get veterinary help. The longer you wait, the worse it can become for your treasured companion.
If you have not got pet insurance, it is something to consider. Insurance will help you save a fortune on vet bills for your animals. While it is a small monthly payment (depending on your pet), it can save you fortunes in the long run, so a worthwhile investment.
There are many different human foods dogs can and can’t eat, and while this list covers many foods toxic to your pet, it might not cover them all. There are tons of human foods that we consume without thinking that could be harmful to animals. It is always best to check with a professional before giving your dog any type of human food.
Once you know what foods are toxic for dogs, you can gradually incorporate non-toxic foods into their diets, either as treats or part of a healthy and balanced diet. This means that although lean meat is good for a dog, it should never be the ONLY food they eat. Moreover, remember that moderation is the key to a healthy dog.
The best rule of thumb is to avoid giving your human dog foods, unless recommended or approved by your vet. And any food that is unhealthy or bad for humans in excess, is always going to be ten times worse for dogs (sea salt and sugar for example).
Finally, do not hesitate to contact your vet if your dog shows any of the symptoms mentioned in this article or you know they have consumed any food mentioned on this list. Also, if you do not have pet insurance, consider getting it for your dog to save you money on veterinary bills.