The Human Foods That You Can’t Let Your Dog Eat

Dogs don’t always realise when a food is bad for them. Given the chance, some dogs will steal food when you’re not looking. It’s usually OK, but some foods are terribly dangerous for dogs and should be avoided at all costs. Here are the foods you cannot let your dog eat.

Doggie enemy number one – Chocolate is lethal

The smallest amount of chocolate can give your pet epileptic seizures, and can even kill. Chocolate contains Theobromine, a natural stimulant from cocoa beans. We can digest it, dogs can’t. Cooking chocolate is the worst sinner of all, containing the most Theobromine. White chocolate has the least Theobromine. Milk chocolate, cakes, biscuits, even hot chocolate drinks contain it. So it’s best not to give your dog any chocolate at all.

It also makes sense to avoid choccy doggy treats since although they don’t contain any of the poisonous stuff, they teach your dog that chocolate is a tasty thing.

What human foods can your dog safely eat?

In an ideal world you should feed your dog exclusively on dog food, not human food. Dog food is specially formulated to give your pet the exact nutrition he or she needs, perfect for keeping them fit and well, happy and healthy.

If your dog eats any of the foods we’ve mentioned, contact your vet straight away, especially important since the reaction to some of the foods isn’t instant and can take some time to show.

More doggie no-nos – Human foods dogs shouldn’t eat

There are plenty more foods that dogs shouldn’t eat. Some of these are OK in small quantities but it’s probably safer not to let your dog eat any at all.

  • Shrimp and prawns are only OK if fully cooked with the shells and tails tails taken off
  • Eggs are safe for dogs when fully cooked, but eating raw egg whites can give dogs a biotin deficiency, a rare nutritional disorder which can become serious, even fatal if untreated
  • Coffee contains caffeine, which in turn degrades to lethal Theobromine in a dog’s body. Never give your dog anything coffee flavoured
  • Turkey is fine for dogs but not when it is covered in seriously toxic garlic and other seasonings. You also need to remove all the excess fat and skin, and check for small bones which can stick in the throat and tear the dog’s intestines. Having said that, as a rule, poultry bones are never a good thing for dogs since they splinter so easily
  • Dairy foods aren’t very dog friendly. Cheese is fine as long as your dog isn’t lactose intolerant, but even then only in very small quantities and only if it’s low fat cheese. Ice cream is a baddie, again not suitable for dogs because they just don’t digest dairy foods very well
  • Alcohol is a big no-no for dogs – keep them away from it
  • Cinnamon oil irritates doggie mouths, making them feel very uncomfortable and poorly. It can easily lower their blood sugar to dangerous levels and lead to diarrhoea, vomiting, increased and decreased heart rates and sometimes even liver disease
  • Avocado pips can easily choke dogs. Avocados are also poisonous due to a toxin called persin which damages doggie hearts as well as causing various problems with nursing
  • Corn on the cob might be a common ingredient in dog food it’s far too difficult for dogs to digest on its own, and can block their intestines
  • Never feed your dog uncooked or under-cooked fish, only fully cooked and never more than twice a week. Avoid tinned fish altogether because it often contains salt as well as small amounts of mercury. Avoid undercooked or raw salmon, which can contain parasites that make dogs very poorly with vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration and even death
  • Bread doesn’t have any nutritional value for dogs, it just packs on the calories with carbs
  • Garlic is a big no-no, as are onions, leeks, chives and any member of the Allium family. They can all cause anaemia, which can mean unnaturally pale gums, a higher heart rate, weakness and even death
  • Almonds are toxic to dogs. They can also block and damage your pet’s oesophagus or even tear their windpipe. Nuts are fatty, not a good idea for dogs, full stop. Salted nuts are the worst of all, since they can increase your pet’s water retention levels and over a long period can kill dogs with heart disease. Avoid salted peanuts.
  • Steer well clear of extremely poisonous macadamia nuts, one of the biggest poisoners of dogs causing vomiting, high temperature, an inability to walk and lethargy, badly affecting the nervous system in a worst case scenario.
  • Grapes and dried grapes – raisins and sultanas – are toxic to dogs and can be fatal
  • Don’t let your dog eat wild mushrooms and toadstools, some of which are lethally poisonous
  • Sweets and chewing gum are for people, not dogs. They often contain Xylitol, a sweetener found naturally in some food plants but a substance that’s very poisonous for dogs and can kill