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Updated: May 22

As loving pet parents, we often enjoy sharing our meals with our furry friends, but it’s vital to know that some foods that are harmless to humans can be harmful or even deadly to dogs. This post explores a list of common household foods that should never find their way into your dog's bowl. From the hidden dangers lurking in sweet treats to common nuts that can wreak havoc on your dog’s system, we’ll delve into why these foods are unsafe and the potential health risks they pose. Whether you’re a new dog owner or looking to refresh your knowledge, this guide will help ensure you’re keeping your beloved pet safe and healthy.


Chocolate is toxic to dogs and can cause serious health problems and even death

Chocolate: Contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which can be toxic to dogs. Even a small amount of chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can cause serious health problems like seizures, heart problems, and even death. So it might be a good idea to store your secret stash up high and away from the reach of your dog. The severity of the symptoms can vary depending on the type and amount of chocolate consumed and the size of the dog. The most common symptoms are vomiting & diarrhoea, restlessness and hyperactivity, rapid breathing and increased heart rate, seizures and in worse case cardiac arrest. If your dog accidentally ingested some, it’s critical to immediately make your way to the vet emergency room

Xylitol causes insulin release in dogs, leading to liver failure

Xylitol and sugar: Xylitol is a sugar substitute found in many sugar-free candies, gums, and baked goods. Xylitol can cause insulin release in dogs, which can lead to liver failure and low blood sugar levels. Dogs can consume foods with naturally occurring sugars, like fruits and vegetables, but you should avoid feeding your pet food products containing added sugar as it may cause upset stomach and an imbalance of the bacteria that live in the gut. Be extra careful when using yoghurt and peanut butter – they can be a yummy treat if they don’t have artificial flavors and sweeteners but some may contain Xylitol.  Symptoms after ingesting Xylitol may include vomiting, weakness, loss of coordination, seizures and in worse cases coma and liver failure. So getting your dog to the nearest vet right away is crucial.

They can cause gastrointestinal irritation in dogs
Onions & Garlic

Onions and Garlic: Both onions and garlic (and related foods like leeks and chives) can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage and anemia. The toxicity is the same whether the products are raw, cooked, or in powder form. While garlic in very small portions may be beneficial for dogs, generally it is safer to steer clear serving these to your dog. If your dog ate some, symptoms may include weakness, vomiting/diarrhoea, reduced appetite, pale gums, dark coloured urine and abdominal pain. If you suspect your dog ate some onions, it is time for a vet visit. The sooner you spot the symptoms and get help the easier it is to treat.  

Raisins are highly toxic to dogs and can cause kidney failure
Grapes & Raisins

Grapes and Raisins: While the exact compound in raisins (and grapes) that causes toxicity in dogs is not known, but the effects can be very severe and potentially fatal. It can cause kidney failure in dogs and even a small amount can make a dog very ill.  Symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and depression, increased thirst, abdominal pain and potentially kidney failure. So be sure to keep them away from your pup and of course, immediately contact your vet if you think your dog managed to accidentally eat some

They can cause serious health problems due to their toxicity for dogs
Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia Nuts: Just like with raisins, the exact mechanism of toxicity is not well understood but macadamia Nuts are also toxic to dogs and can cause symptoms such as weakness, vomiting, hypothermia, and tremors. So make sure you store them safely to avoid any chance of your pup accidentally swallow some. But as usual, see your vet right away to start the appropriate treatment if you suspect your dog ate some.

Not only causes intoxication but can lead to serious damage to your dog's nervous system

Alcohol: Even small amounts of alcohol, whether in drinks or foods, can be dangerous. Alcohol can cause not only intoxication, vomiting, and diarrhea but also serious central nervous system damage, coma, and death. So be sure to avoid sharing your pint with your furry friend no matter how tempted you are. Your dog will be unlikely to be attracted to alcoholic drinks as they typically don’t like the smell of it but – and I’m sure you know it by now – see your vet immediately if your naughty dog got drunk somehow.

Contains persin, a chemical that is toxic to dogs

Avocado: Contains persin, a fungicidal toxin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs. The pit is also a serious choking hazard and can block the gastrointestinal tract.The skin of the avocado contains more persin than the flesh therefore it is more likely to cause an issue. If you think your dog had some avocado, monitor them for 24 hours and contact your vet to follow their advice.

They contain stimulants that are toxic to dogs
Coffee & Cafein

Coffee and Caffeine: All forms of coffee and caffeine can be toxic to dogs. They contain stimulants that can cause rapid heartbeat, diarrhoea, muscle tremors, and toxicity. So be sure to keep your morning coffee away from the reach of your dog and call your vet immediately and follow their advice. Treatment may include vomiting and active charcoal to absorb toxins

The pit cotains cyanide that is toxic and may cause intestinal blockage if swallowed

Cherries: The pits contain cyanide, which is toxic to dogs and humans. Eating cherry pits can also lead to intestinal blockages. While the flesh of the cherries is okay to give your dog in small amounts occasionally, make sure to keep them away from ingesting the pit. If your dog still managed to swallow, monitor them for 24 hours and contact your vet for advice

Cooked bones can splinter causing serious damage to your dog's mouth or intestines
Cooked Bones

Cooked Bones – While raw or frozen bones are beneficial for your dogs, avoid giving them cooked bones as these can splinter and cause choking or serious damage to the dog's mouth, throat, or intestines. Chicken bones are particularly brittle once cooked. If your dog still managed to get hold of some, keep a close eye on them and – as you may have guessed – contact your vet for further advice.


Keeping these foods out of your dog's reach and educating your family about the dangers these foods pose to your dog is important to avoid any accidents. It is also a good idea to save the phone number and add the address of your nearest 24 hours emergency vet to your navigation system so you won’t need to waste time searching for this information if an accident happens.


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