What Can Dogs Not Eat?

What Can Dogs Not Eat? 15 Human Foods You Should Avoid Feeding Your Dog

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Carlotta Cooper

Researched & Written by

Carlotta Cooper

At EasyPet, we are committed to presenting the most accurate and up-to-date information to assist you in your pet care journey. When appropriate, we consult licensed and practicing veterinarians to fact-check our professionally written articles.

Dogs spend their days and nights with us so it’s not surprising if they want to share our food, too.

Sandwiches and pizza probably look – and smell – a lot better than a bowl of dry kibble. But that doesn’t mean everything you eat is good for your dog.

You’re probably already well aware of some of the more famous dangerous options like chocolate, macadamia nuts, and grapes; but here’s a look at the full list of foods dogs shouldn’t be eating, in our expert opinion.

Some foods are downright dangerous for dogs — and some of these common foods may surprise you. – petmd.com

What Can’t Dogs Eat?

1. Don’t give your dog things for, ahem, “recreation”

Alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco can all be harmful to your dog. You probably wouldn’t give these things to your dog intentionally but dogs do sometimes ingest them if they are left lying around. If your dog does drink alcohol or eat something harmful, see your vet immediately.

2. Pits and seeds

Lots of delicious fruits can become dangerous to dogs if they eat the seeds or pits. These foods include apples (the seeds contain cyanide which can harm your dog if he eats large amounts of them); avocado pits; and persimmons, peaches, and plums which all have large pits. Large pits can be serious choking hazards to any dog so don’t let your dog have these foods.

3. Chocolate and caffeine

Dog next to chocolate

Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine which can speed up your dog’s heart rate and affect his nervous system. It also contains caffeine.

Coffee, tea, and and energy drinks also contain large amounts of caffeine.

Caffeine can increase your dog’s heart rate, raise his blood pressure, and affect his nervous system. Any of these ingredients can be harmful to your dog. With chocolate, the darker the chocolate, the more it can affect your dog. It only takes a small amount of dark chocolate to affect a small dog. Keep chocolate and caffeinated drinks away from your dog.

4. Cooked bones

Dogs may love bones but cooked bones can be dangerous to your dog. Cooking makes them brittle so they can splinter when your dog eats them. This can lead to them puncturing your dog’s esophagus, stomach or intestine.

If you want to give your dog a bone, raw bones are softer and don’t splinter. They are safer for your dog to gnaw on.

5. Corn cobs

Corn cobs can become an obstruction in the gastrointestinal system if they are consumed. Even if your dog manages to eat the cob, he might have to regurgitate it. If he tries to pass it, he could develop a blockage. Just don’t let your dog eat a corn cob.

6. Fat

Your dog may love fat but too much, such as trimmings from a steak or pan drippings, can be dangerous. Too much fat in a dog’s diet can result in pancreatitis and other gastrointestinal problems.

7. Hops

Hops are an ingredient in beer. If your dog consumes hops it can lead to vomiting, panting, raised heart rate, and other serious health problems.

8. Onions and garlic

You have probably heard that onions can be dangerous for dogs to eat. They contain a substance called thiosulphate. Garlic can also be harmful.

In small amounts it probably won’t hurt your dog and it’s sometimes used in herbal remedies. However, if your dog eats a lot of it, it can have the same effect as onions. Garlic is a member of the onion family. Both onions and garlic can cause a kind of anemia in dogs.

Dog with Grapes

9. Grapes and raisins

Grapes and raisins can be toxic to dogs, though the exact cause is not known. Eating them can lead to kidney failure. Even eating small amounts of grapes or raisins can be fatal to dogs.

10. Macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts can also be toxic to dogs. Not all nuts are harmful to dogs but macadamia nuts can be fatal.

11. Raw fish

Use caution if you want to give your dog raw fish. Some raw fish such as salmon, particularly from the Pacific northwest, contains a parasite that can be problematic for your dog. Cooked fish is fine.

12. Rhubarb, tomato, and other plant leaves

These leaves can be a problem for your dog because they contain oxalates. They can cause your dog to drool, vomit, develop diarrhea, feel bad, become weak, have tremors, and have blood in his urine.

Spinach leaves also have oxalates. Spinach leaves can cause bladder stones if your dog eats enough spinach. Other foods that contain a lot of oxalates include beets and green beans.

13. Salt and sugar

Your dog doesn’t really need much salt or sugar in his diet. His dog food (kibble or canned) usually contains a little salt or sugar in some form. If your dog eats a lot of salty or sweet snacks, he runs the risk of developing an electrolyte imbalance, becoming dehydrated, or having some other health issues.

Dogs can even develop high blood pressure if they eat enough salt. Most dogs do enjoy salty foods. And, unlike cats, they have the taste buds to enjoy sweet foods. But, just because your dog likes these foods doesn’t mean they are good for him.

14. Xylitol

Xylitol is a sugar substitute that is widely used today in many products such as candy, chewing gum, mouthwash, (human) toothpaste, baked goods, and even in peanut butters. Unfortunately, xylitol can be toxic to dogs.

It’s important to check ingredients before you bake anything for your dog to make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol. Check food items to make sure they don’t contain xylitol. And don’t leave products lying around that your dog could consume.

15. Yeast

Don’t give your dog raw yeast dough or leave dough where he can reach it. Yeast dough rises, emitting gases. If your dog eats the dough it will expand in his stomach, releasing gas. Your dog will be in great discomfort.

If your dog does eat raw yeast dough, get him to a veterinarian as soon as possible for treatment.


Dogs seem willing to eat nearly anything – but there can be good reasons to be careful about what you let your dog eat. You never know what food item or ingredient might be dangerous for your dog.

If you have any questions or doubts about an item, check it out before you let your dog have it. That’s better than having to rush your dog to the vet.

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