Poisonous Foods For Dogs

October 17, 2010  
Filed under Dog Health Tips, featured

Aside from being affectionate, loyal pets, all dogs are famous for their love of treats. Given their nature, it’s always tempting to feed your dog scraps from the table (especially when they give you “puppy eyes”!). However, just because certain types of food are edible for humans, they are not necessarily able to be processed by your dog’s digestive system. There are many human foods that can be toxic for your dog, and may cause serious health problems.


Chocolate is commonly known by many dog owners as being a toxic substance for pets. The reason chocolate is dangerous, is because it contains theobromine, which is a cardiac stimulant. Consuming large amounts of chocolate will cause a dog to become extremely sick, as the overdose of theobromine will cause the heart to beat irregularly. Chocolate can also cause extreme excitement in your dog, as well as hyperactivity (due to the high caffeine content). Death by heart failure is very common in dogs that have eaten a significant amount of chocolate.

Onions & Garlic

Onions and garlic both contain thiosulphate, which is extremely toxic to animals. Thiosulphate can cause haemolytic anaemia, which is an extremely serious condition. Dogs that are affected by haemolytic anaemia will have their red blood cells burst during circulation, which will show up in your dog’s vomit or urine. Symptoms include weakness, listlessness, vomiting and irregular urine. This is a very serious condition, and if your dog has eaten any products containing onions, it is strongly recommended to take your dog to a veterinarian immediately.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts have only been recently discovered as a toxic substance that can negatively affect pet health. The specific element in macadamia nuts that is toxic for animals is unknown, however, several studies have proven that this is a very dangerous food for dogs. Ingestion of macadamia nuts can cause  swollen joints, labored breathing, and muscle tremors. Most dogs only need ingest a few macadamia nuts to have a negative reaction.

Large Amounts of Liver

Feeding your dog large amounts of “organ meats” (such as liver and kidney meat) can be extremely toxic. These meats are very high in Vitamin A, which should only be given in moderated amounts. Too much organ meat can cause Hypervitaminosis A (Vitamin A poisoning), which results in vomiting, nausea, and loss of muscle coordination.

Fat Trimmings

Though small amounts of fat are needed to sustain your dog’s overall health, large amounts of fat, especially in a single meal, can be extremely dangerous for your dog. Ingestion of a single high-fat meal can cause pancreatitis, a condition that is extremely dangerous if not treated. The pancreas is responsible for secreting digestive enzymes to help break down fats. However, with the constant ingestion of high-fat foods, the pancreas overworks itself, secreting an excess of digestive fluids. These fluids eventually begin to “digest” the pancreas and surrounding organs, sometimes causing complete failure of the pancreas.

These are just a handful of the many foods that can potentially poison your dog.  Always make sure that you do your research before feeding your dog a new food or even plant new shrub in your garden.  Also be sure that any poisonous foods are never left in places accessible by your dog.

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18 Responses to “Poisonous Foods For Dogs”
  1. Kim says:

    Raisins are very toxic to dogs

  2. Kate says:

    My Ridgeback ate a 3 pound bag of chocolate chips! I was extremely worried that it would harm him but fortunately he was fine. I guess the fact that he is over 100lbs really helps.

  3. Jess says:

    LOL, I almost died laffing when I read this. I sure am glad he is OK. Heck, I couldn’t eat that many cookies and I am over 200lbs.

  4. I’d be curious to see a list of poisonous plants for dogs. Also, grapes are poisonous for dogs too! The list is so long and too many owners don’t truly their research before owning a dog.

  5. Sandy says:

    If onions were as toxic as you say they are, there would be many canine deaths from stolen bits of the MANY foods eaten that contain onions, from McDonald’s burgers to meatloaf to holiday stuffing. Lots of raw onion is undoubtedly a bad idea, but what dog would eat this even if offered? Likewise the current horror at grapes or raisins and dogs. I’ve grown grapes and had dogs and never had a problem. My two dogs used to eat them right off the plant from time to time, and they lived to be 14 and 15 respectively. As for fat, generations of dogs have been given fat trimmings without falling ill.

    There are enough genuine risks for poisoning without freaking out about foods that dogs have eaten for generations with no demonstrable problem. Don’t leave baking chocolate or chicken bones lying around, know what plants you have in your yard, and keep the dogs out of the garage away from antifreeze and pesticides and just relax and have some canine fun.

  6. Rust Pile says:

    My dog ate raw onions regularly and lived to be 17. I just now see that they are supposed to almost kill your dog instantly according to this blog. Guess no one ever told him that. lol

  7. Eric says:

    Soybeans (soybean oil) and beet pulp, commenly found in commercial dog food that you’d buy at the grocery store and some so called “premium” brands contain saponins which are toxic. Saponins are what really causes bloat in your dog…not from your dog eating to fast or chicken fat as some would suggest.

  8. Jess says:

    Lard should be high on your list.


    AAFCO: The rendered fat of swine.

    Very low in linoleic acid but very attractive to pets, used to make poor quality food more appealing. Few nutritional benefits.


  9. Jess says:

    Beef Meat & Bone Meal, is very dangerous for dogs. It actual contains manure!!!!

    Beef & Bone Meal

    AAFCO: The rendered product from beef tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents, except in “such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices”.

    A byproduct made from beef parts which are not suitable for human consumption. It can incorporate the entire cow, including the bones, but the quality cuts of meat are always removed. This is an inexpensive, low quality ingredient used to boost the protein percentage.


  10. Jess says:

    Look at how many recalls this company has had. These guys make Menu and Diamond look like angels..


  11. Michelle says:

    Jess,HOLY CRAP! And that is all food/products for people!! We don’t have Kroger where I’m at.THANK GOD.Listeria,Salmonella,NO THANKS!!

  12. Jess says:

    LOL, it kinda wakes a person up doesn’t it? I just can’t believe that they are still doing business. Doesn’t it make you feel all warm and cozy knowing these guys could be making “”baby food””. I have seen these foods in stores where I live but they say they don’t do business in Washington state. Maybe they banned them, WA is pretty strict about these kinds of companies. They have had many dog food recalls, that is where I found it.

  13. Bob says:

    I feed my dog chicken, brown rice, and veggies all cooked. He loves it.
    Also, use a little garlic with no problems.

  14. undrgrndgirl says:

    you know, commercial packaged pet food is, for the most part, a post ww2 phenomenon…

  15. Bri says:

    …My dog ate my cookies.

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Should you have a concern regarding the diet of your dog, you should contact your veterinarian. All information on this site is the opinion of the author, and is presented solely for informational purposes and should not, at any time, be considered a substitute for seeking or receiving professional veterinary care for your dog(s).
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