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Foods Toxic to Dogs: A-Z Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat

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Whether you are making food and treats for your dog–or just giving your dog a sample of foods from your plate, you must know which foods to never feed your dog. These foods are toxic to dogs and must always be avoided!

foods toxic to dogs


It’s always important to keep all forms of alcohol away from your dog–and to talk to guests to let them know it is not safe to give your dog any amount of alcohol.

Apple seeds

Again, like apricot pits, apple seeds contain amygdalin which, when it degrades, leads to cyanide poisoning. The fruit of the apple itself is safe for your dog to eat and is included in many dog treat recipes–just throw away the seeds!

Apricot pits

While it is safe for your dog to eat the fruit of an apricot, the seed or pit (sometimes called a pip or kernel) of the apricot is NOT safe. Like several other fruit seeds, apricot pits contain amygdalin, which can cause cyanide poisoning. The large seeds also present a choking risks to your dog.


Avocados contain persin, a toxic compound to dogs; it’s found not only in the avocado flesh but in the seed, skin and leaves of the plant. Like apricots, the large avocado seed is also a choking risk to your dog.

Cherry pits

Yep, cherry pits are another fruit seed that contains amygdalin–and can lead to cyanide poisoning.


Chives fall in the same family as onions–a definite no for dogs. Consumption of chives can damage your dog’s red blood cells and lead to anemia.


Chocolate is toxic to dog in all forms–milk chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate chips, you name it. If your dog eats chocolate, be sure to note the type of chocolate he consumed, the amount, and his weight–all are factors your veterinarian will need to know to determine if you need to bring your dog in for emergency care.

Coffee (and other caffeinated drinks)

Pet Poison Hotline notes: “Pets are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than people are. While 1-2 laps of coffee, tea or soda will not contain enough caffeine to cause poisoning in most pets, the ingestion of moderate amounts of coffee grounds, tea bags or 1-2 diet pills can easily cause death in small dogs or cats.”


Like grapes and raisins, currants–whether alone or in cereal or a baked good–must be avoided by dogs.


Yes, some people feed small amounts of garlic (often garlic powder sprinkled on food or treats) — but it should be served only in moderation. Like onions, chives and leeks, each in the same family as garlic, garlic can damage red blood cells. Ask your vet for recommendations based on your dog’s health, age and size before serving.


because they are condensed, raisins are more dangerous than grapes; avoid cereals and cookies with raisins.


Like chives, onions and garlic, leeks belong to the Allium family and all are toxic at different levels to dogs. Some dog breeds–especially Japanese breeds–are especially susceptible.

Macadamia nuts

According to Vetwest Animal Hospitals, “Ingestion of macadamia nuts by dogs has been associated with a non-fatal syndrome, characterized by vomiting, ataxia or weakness, fever, muscle tremors and depression. Dogs are the only species in which signs have been reported.”


Nutmeg contains a compound called myristicin, which is toxic to dogs (and cats). Ingesting even a small amount can cause symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, dry mouth, increased heart rate, and hallucinations. In larger quantities, it can cause more severe symptoms like seizures, tremors, and central nervous system abnormalities.


According to Banfield Pet Hospital®, “red blood cells can be damaged, resulting in the cells not being able to carry oxygen. Ingestion can also cause anemia (low red blood cell count) and, in severe cases, the anemia may lead to internal organ damage, organ failure or even death.”

Peach pits

Like apricot, cherry, apple and other stone fruit pits, peach pits contain amygdalin–which means there’s a risk of cyanide poisoning as the amygdalin degrades. Peach pits also pose a choking risks for dogs.


Persimmons aren’t a stone fruit so you don’t have the risk of amygdalin–but persimmon seeds do present the risk of blockage in the intestines of dogs, especially small dogs.

Plum pits

Another stone fruit like peaches and apricots, plum pits contain amygdalin, creating a cyanide poisoning risk.

Potato peels with green portions or “eyes”

Clean potato peels can be included in a dish but you must discard any green portions of the potato. The green parts of sprouted potatoes contain Solanine, a glycoalkaloid poison. It’s toxic not only to dogs but also to people (although poisoning is rare because of the bitter taste.)


Like grapes, raisins are toxic to dogs–and perhaps even more so, since the raisin is more concentrated than the grape. VCA Animal Hospitals notes, “The most common early symptom of grape or raisin toxicity is vomiting, which is generally seen within 24 hours following ingestion.”

Scallions and Shallots

See Onions


Like coffee and other caffeinated drinks, tea can cause an increased heartrate, hyperactivity, increased blood pressure and cardiac arrhythmia.


Used in some diet foods and all diet gums (as well as everything from toothpaste to some vitamins), Xylitol is highly toxic to dogs. It is especially worrisome that a few peanut butters now contain Xylitol. Be sure to read the ingredients list for anything that you suspect MIGHT have Xylitol in it; if you think your dog might have consumed something with Xylitol, call your veterinarian immediately.

Yeast dough

Uncooked dough is very dangerous to your dog. It can cause bloat in your dog, a potentially life-threatening condition.


Cooks: Don’t miss our My Dog Says I’m a Great Cook™ cookbook with over 100 dog treat recipes from the publishers, readers and fans of DogTipper! This paperback book is available in our YUCKY PUPPY gift store!

Paris Permenter
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