Deadly and Harmful Foods for your Dog

There are several different kinds of food that is perfectly safe for humans but can cause serious issues for your dog, sometimes even death. If you have a question about a specific food, it's best to call your vet or the Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Common foods that can be fatal:

  • Alcoholic beverages can cause intoxication, coma, and death.
  • Chocolate, coffee, and anything with caffeine can be toxic to your dog's heart and nervous system.
  • Macadamia nuts affect the muscles, digestive system, and nervous system.
  • Raisins and grapes contain toxins that can damage kidneys, cause kidney failure, and lead to death.
  • Unbaked yeast dough can expand in their digestive system which causes bloat and can lead to death.
  • Hops, an ingredient in making beer, causes panting, increased heart rate, high temperature, seizures, and death.
  • Some mushrooms can cause liver, heart, and kidney damage leading to death.

Common foods that can cause serious problems (possibly fatal as well):

  • Onions, onion powder, and other plants related to onions can damage red blood cells resulting in anemia. 
  • Avocado has a high fat content, which can lead to pancreatitis.
  • Other fatty foods such as turkey skin can lead to pancreatitis
  • Moldy and spoiled foods may contain many different toxins.
  • Large quantities of salt can cause an electrolyte imbalance
  • Garlic is similar to onions, but less toxic. Some consider it safe if used sparingly, but it's best to avoid if possible.
  • Xylitol sweetener can cause depression, loss of coordination, and seizures.

Additional foods to be concerned with:

  • Baby food - may contain unsafe ingredients listed above.
  • Seeds and pits from cherries, peaches, plums, apricots, apples, and pears can cause cyanide poisoning.  Avoid pits and seeds unless you know them to be safe.
  • Chicken and fish bones can cause lacerations and is a choking hazard.
  • Green potato skins contains a toxin.  Cooked potatoes are safe and nutritious.
  • Milk and dairy can cause diarrhea if your dog is lactose intolerant.
  • Raw salmon can contain a parasite which has a 90% mortality rate.
  • Raw eggs can cause a depletion of biotin and may have salmonella.
  • Sugar is bad for teeth and can eventually lead to diabetes.
  • Tomatoes and tomato plants can cause dilated pupils, irregular heartbeat and tremors.
  • Walnuts are poisonous to dogs.
  • Nuts in general contains a lot of phosphorus, which may lead to bladder stones.

Sources include the ASPCA - American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.




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