Food Guidelines

7 Foods You Should Never Feed Your Dog

Like small children that will often pick up random objects and try to eat them, many dogs will eat whatever you put in front of their noses, whether it’s good for them or not. That’s why knowing which foods you should never feed your dog is so important to their health and vitality. As a dog owner myself, I’m guilty of treating my dog to a bite of my dinner now and then (shame on me!), but I’m always careful to make sure what I’m feeding my pal is ok for her to eat. We found a great article at RealSimple.com that lists 7 foods your dog should avoid.

7 Foods You Should Never Feed Your Dog

Avocados: This seemingly benign fruit contains persin, which is toxic to dogs in large quantities and can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Onions: Potent onions damage red blood cells in both dogs and cats, leading to anemia and causing weakness, shortness of breath, and vomiting.

Grapes: Juicy grapes can cause kidney damage in dogs and cats, which may result in lethargy, increased thirst, increased urination, and vomiting.

Nuts: Macadamia nuts can cause muscle and nervous-system problems, triggering tremors, vomiting, weakness, and paralysis in dogs.

Chocolate: Never give your dog or cat this sweet treat—it stimulates the nervous system and the heart. Reactions include agitation, irregular heartbeat, tremors, and seizures.

Peaches: Feed your dog a peach and he may eat the pit, which can cause intestinal obstruction and cyanide poisoning.

Plums:Like peaches, plums have pits that contain cyanide and are harmful if swallowed.

Did any of the foods on this list surprise you? Do you know of any other foods you should never feed your dog? Or, has your dog ever had a reaction from the foods on this list? Tell us about it!

43 Comments

43 Comments

  1. jeff

    Sep 25, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    When I was a kid I had a dog that would pick apricots off the tree and eat them, she would leave thi pit in her bowl

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  5. Anna

    May 15, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    I’ve also heard that mushrooms are bad for dogs. It all depends on the species and where they’re grown, but I would not risk mushroom poisoning.

  6. Erin OBrien

    Jan 27, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Only organic raw meat for my girl. She had two cancerous rumors removed. I switched her immediately. She’s been cancer free almost 2 years. For treats she gets organic dried venison lung and pigs hearts. 11 years old and never been healthier. Traditional dog food even the best kibble isn’t meant for dogs, it’s more suitable for humans.

  7. June

    Oct 27, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    I heard Macadamia nuts were bad (affects digestive and nervous system), as well as sugar, cafine, tomatoes (heart arrhythmias), walnuts (vomiting), raw eggs(?) mushroons (liver and kidney damage, potato peel, nutmeg (tremors)

    • Kathy Greer-Gregory

      Feb 16, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      And Sage too…….. along with turkey for Chihuahuas and maybe other breeds as well, I don’t know.

      Sounds like we need to be MUCH more educated about our dog’s diets !!! Probably cat’s diets too. I have never heard ANY of this before now! (And I’m kinda old!)

  8. sandy

    Oct 15, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    This is a fairly limited list. There are some great cookbooks about foods you can easily give dogs, if you want to do a homemade dog food for instance. My beagles love carrots, green beans, frozen broccoli, and cooked meat of course (granted we generally feed with dog food). It’s nice to be able to toss them a low calorie food. I am glad they can’t eat avocado, I LOVE THOSE and don’t want to share. The cheese and lactose type food can upset their stomach as someone else mentioned, too much corn can cause skin issues and gas. Once in awhile a little extra fat is good, a cooked egg yolk here or there for skin, fur. (keep in mind cats and dogs don’t have all the same food issues)

  9. Dori

    Oct 15, 2013 at 8:51 am

    AVOCADO is not poisonous to dogs OR Cars. Please Cite your source!!
    Avocado is dangerous to other pets.
    http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/avocado/ Pet Poison Helpline.

    http://www.petinsurance.com/healthzone/pet-articles/pet-health-toxins/Avocados-and-Pets.aspx Pet insurance company

    http://www.avodermnatural.com/About/why_avocados.htm A Natural Dog food made from Avocado

  10. Janie

    Oct 15, 2013 at 1:30 am

    I’m getting some wonderful info here. One ting I learned, after having 3 Yorkies with pancreatitis, is to watch how much fat my dog gets. I finally got my husband to STOP giving my dog stuff behind my back. I do give him boiled chicken but squeeze off as much fat as possible.

  11. Leslie w

    Oct 14, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    No potatoe peelings or the plant of corn.. I also heard corn was bad in high quantities..

  12. Linda E.

    Oct 14, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Why avocados? They have dog food that is made with them. I give my dog apples, oranges, carrots, green beans, peas. They’re all good except for the seeds. What about pork? My friend says pork is bad for dogs, but I’ve always given them bites of pork chops…not the bones though. And rawhide..it swells up, my dog almost choked to death on a piece of rawhide.

  13. Rob

    Oct 14, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    All pork bones are brittle, they splinter, avoid them. My little dog loves boiled chicken livers and peanuts. According to this list, only macadamias are bad.

  14. LAURA

    Oct 14, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Raisins are another no-no… (maybe they weren’t mentioned since they are dried grapes that are, but, I’ve told a couple folks that gave raisins to their dogs that didn’t know that they cause kidney failure in dogs…)

  15. LAURA

    Oct 14, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Surgar-Free gum/sweets are terribly toxic to dogs…

  16. Briget

    May 29, 2013 at 10:33 am

    After searching for a truly healthy commercially made dog food and reading Ann Martin’s book
    Food Pets Die Food, I began making my own human grade dog food.
    Naturally I avoid the foods on the bad list. In two months my two labs and my miniature schauser have
    become more alert, playful, and in much better health than before. Their coats shine like
    never before. Ann discusses what is found in commercial food and provides recipes for
    both dogs and cats. Cooking for my dogs is a joy when I see the results. Best of luck and
    health to both your furbabies and yourselves!

    • Barbara Stapleton

      May 29, 2013 at 1:22 pm

      Hello Briget,

      I just started putting Fluffy on a raw diet (she’s a 4 year old American Eskimo). Would you Please share some recipes?

  17. Rita

    May 28, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    I had been giving my dogs one of the “natural” dog foods until I really read the ingredient list and found “onion powder” as one of the ingredients!!! If dogs are not supposed to eat onions, how can onion powder be in their dog food?! I stopped feeding them that food because I felt that I would slowly be poisoning my dogs with something that was supposed to be healthier for them!

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    Feb 5, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Soups are a healthy alternate to heavy meals. Eating soup for lunch or dinner is a great choice. Soups made from vegetables like tomatoes, beans, onions, and mushrooms are very healthy and low in calories. A big bowl of mixed vegetable soup or a chicken soup for breakfast quickly fills your stomach. It is also easy to digest and helps you start the day with good amount of energy.

    • MD

      Oct 14, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      No onions!

    • Andrea

      Apr 29, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      Soups like you are talking about are not healthy for dogs. We’re talking dogs not kids. No onions & very, very limited mushrooms.

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  20. AmandaGuurl

    Jun 29, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Good info but I don’t take any chances. My dogs get nothing – nada – except their natural balance dog food and treats. Why take a chance and give them people food or leftovers when something in it can maybe make them sick? I don’t want huge vet bills.

    • Rachel

      Oct 14, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      It’s actually not “natural” to feed dogs “dog food”. Dogs were around long before any ‘dog food’ was made.
      If you do a little research you can incorporate “people food” into your dog’s diet in a healthy and safe manner.

      Apples, pumpkin, melon, etc is a good change for your dog and healthy too.
      http://animal.discovery.com/pets/10-fruits-veggies-aid-dog-nutrition.htm

      check out the site from discovery.com on how some fruits are good for dogs, as in humans- antioxidants, etc.

      just do your research!

  21. Carrie

    Jun 26, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Here is a pretty good list for those who want to know more! 🙂

    http://www.missouriscenicrivers.com/baddogfoods.html

    • Barbara Stapleton

      May 29, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      Thanks Carrie
      for this list; it’s just what I have been looking for. Will share it on FaceBook. How much suffering will this prevent because you took the time to post it for us.
      I am switching my “furkid” to a raw diet and wouldn’t proceed without this info.
      God bless you…

      • Janel H

        Oct 14, 2013 at 8:47 pm

        good for you Barbara! As queasy as it makes me when I have to serve it, I have learned the hard way that raw is about the only way to go with my 3 bichons! no more itching, hacking, upset tummies or tear-stained eyes!

  22. catherine barnhouse

    Jun 24, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    I have heard pork chop bones make dogs sick.

    • Tony

      Jan 10, 2014 at 7:58 pm

      Yes pork chops bones can lodge and create a problem. I found that out along with a large vet bill.

  23. brenda turchi

    Jun 23, 2012 at 11:01 am

    cheese is bad as well!! I just learned that.

    • Barbara Stapleton

      May 29, 2013 at 1:28 pm

      Hello Brenda,
      The only thing I found on cheese in a negative way is because dogs have no enzyme to digest the lactose so bloating/flatulence results.

      Most experts I have found recommend small amounts – mine gets a cube or 2 as a treat, not daily.

      Check this out: http://www.missouriscenicrivers.com/baddogfoods.html

    • J. F.

      Oct 14, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      Both of my dogs eat cheese just fine. Cheese is one of those foods it depends on the dog.

  24. Renee

    Jun 23, 2012 at 4:57 am

    rawhide is another one! they don’t chew them well or digest well in their system. they can swallow pieces which can become trapped in their intestines and cause bloating, the stomach to “twist” and death.

  25. Reney

    Jun 22, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    i am like some i thought there were 9 and i only saw 7, i know that they should never be given any chicken bones, because they brittle to easy.

    • lois

      Oct 23, 2013 at 10:48 am

      a great many breeders are feeding their dogs the BARF diet…. Bones and Raw Foods. RAW chicken bones are safe to feed your dog. it’s the cooked ones that shatter and cause the problem. i’ve been a breeder for over 40 years, i fed my dogs a raw chicken hindquarter several times a week, bone and all, and never had a problem. i even weaned my puppies on raw chicken necks.

  26. Barb Walker

    Jun 22, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    so as long as you pit peaches and plums then they are ok for Dog to eat?
    it’s the pit that is poisonous ?

    • Andrea

      Apr 29, 2014 at 1:41 pm

      Yes. Apple seeds are also poisonous so if feeding them apple remove the core & seeds.

  27. Erin Facet

    Jun 22, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Why are there only 7 foods listed when the header says 9? Very odd!!!

    • Bobbie

      Jun 22, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      where are the other 2 foods?

    • Trish

      Oct 14, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      I thought raisins were off limits

      • Sharon

        Oct 14, 2013 at 3:01 pm

        They are, Trish … raisins are dried grapes. 🙂

    • Debra

      Oct 14, 2013 at 8:33 pm

      its say’s seven from what I’m looking at.

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