Common Foods That Are Harmful Or Even Fatal to Dogs

There are many common foods that you eat every day that can harm or even kill your dog. There are some that you would never give your dog on purpose -- but others on this list might surprise you. It's important to keep these food items away from your dog -- because your dog is likely to find them tasty. Dogs can have a few of these items in SMALL amounts... but we suggest that you play it safe and just keep all items on this list out of your dog's reach.

According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center and the American Veterinary Medicine Association, avacados can damage your dog's heart, lungs and other tissue. They can also trigger stomach upset, vomiting and pancreatitis. Avacados can cause difficulty in breathing, abdominal enlargement, abnormal fluid accumulations in the chest, abdomen and the sac around the heart. There is no defined amount that can cause these effects to appear in your pet. According to the ASPCA, "Some dogs can eat [avocadoes] without having any adverse reactions. .... The Guatemalan variety, a common one found in stores, appears to be the most problematic. Other strains of avocado can have different degrees of toxic potential."

Onions / chives / onion powder / dehydrated onions / cooked onions -- all of these can kill a dog. They can cause anemia, weakness and breathing difficulty. Even small amounts can cause cumulative damage over time. 

Garlic contains the same dangerous substance as onions, just in smaller amounts. While a dog can tolerate a bit more garlic, it's important to limit the quantity of garlic the dog ingests. It's easier and safer to say NO GARLIC, but again, moderation is the key for garlic.

Grapes and raisins can be fatal to dogs They can cause kidney failure in dogs. Just ONE single serving of raisins can kill him. If your dog doesn't eat enough at one time to be fatal, but regularly eats just a couple of grapes or raisins regularly, he can be severely damaged.  Don't give him even one.

Tomatoes can be fatal to dogs They contain an alkaloid called tomatine, which can be fatal to dogs.  This substance is metabolized as the fruit ripens, so ripe tomatoes are less likely to cause problems for your dog.  Signs of tomato poisoning include lethargy, drooling, difficulty breathing, colic, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, widely-dilated pupils, paralysis, cardiac effects, central nervous system signs (e.g., ataxia, muscle weakness, tremors, seizures), resulting from cholinesterase inhibition, coma and death. (This information comes from veterinarians, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.)   Incidently, all parts of the plant except the tomato itself are poisonous to humans, although some people are sensitive to the ripe fruit also.  Tomatoes also contain atropine, which can cause dilated pupils, tremors, and heart arrhythmias. The highest concentration of atropine is found in the leaves and stems of tomato plants, with less in unripe (green) tomatoes, and even less in ripe (red) tomatoes.

The spice nutmeg ican be fatal to dogs Nutmeg can cause tremors, seizures and death.

Caffeine is harmful to dogs Caffeine (from coffee, coffee grounds, tea, or tea bags) stimulates the central nervous and cardiac systems, and can cause vomiting, restlessness, heart palpitations, and even death within hours.

Xylitol sweetener can hurt or kill dogs Diet products containing the sweetener Xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, resulting in depression, loss of coordination and seizures. Unless treatment is given quickly, the dog could die.

Macadamia nuts can harm dogs Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, muscle tremor and paralysis. These symptoms are usually temporary.

Walnuts are poisonous to dogs Walnuts. When dogs eat the seed hulls, they can get an upset stomach and diarrhea. The real problem is the fungus or mold that attacks walnuts after they get wet (from rain or sprinklers), which produces toxins. If the fungus or mold is ingested by your dogs, they can become very ill and possibly die. Signs that should alert you to walnut poisoning are vomiting, trembling, drooling, lack of coordination, lethargy, loss of appetite, and jaundice indications such as yellowing eyes and gums. Severely affected dogs can produce blood-tinged vomit or stools. Dogs can take several days to exhibit serious signs of illness.

Chocolate can be fatal to dogs Chocolate can cause seizures, coma and death. Baker’s chocolate is the most dangerous form of chocolate for dogs. As a general rule, the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. But any chocolate, in large enough amounts, can kill a dog. An single ounce of chocolate can kill a 30-pound dog, and most dogs will happily consume far more than an ounce of chocolate. The symptoms may not show up for several hours (and so might make you think all is well), with death following within twenty-four hours. A dog can consume milk chocolate and appear to be fine because it is not as concentrated, but it is still dangerous.

Fruit pits are toxic to dogs Apple seeds, cherry pits, peach pits, pear pips, plums pits, and apricot pits all contain cyanide, which is poisonous to humans and dogs. While a few apple seeds may not cause a problem, the effects can accumulate over time if they are given to dogs regularly. DO NOT let your dog chew on a peach pit, cherry pit, apricot pit, or plum pit. Keep these tempting chew treats out of reach.  Chewing fruit pits can allow ingestion of cyanide. Chewing could also result in the pit being swallowed, causing continuous exposure to cyanide, or could cause the dog to choke.

Too much salt is harmful to dogs Too much salt can cause kidney problems. There is also a secondary danger from salt that affects large breeds of dogs.  A dog that eats salty food may then drink too much water and develop bloat, which is fatal unless emergency treatment is given very quickly.

Giving your dog table scraps? Remember, too much fat is harmful to dogs Too much fat or fried foods can cause pancreatitis, which is VERY painful and sometimes fatal.

Ham and bacon are bad for dogs Ham and bacon contain too much fat and too much salt, and can cause pancreatitis, an extremely painful and possibly fatal condition. Also, large breeds of dogs that eat salty food may drink too much water and develop a life-threatening condition called bloat. This is where the stomach fills up with gas and within several hours may twist, causing death.

Too much liver is harmful to dogs Raw liver or too much cooked liver (three servings a week) can lead to vitamin A toxicity. This can cause deformed bones, excessive bone growth on the elbows and spine, weight loss, and anorexia. Check the label of your canned dog food to be sure that it does not contain liver if you are giving your dog liver or liver treats also.

Wild mushrooms can be fatal to dogs Wild mushrooms can cause abdominal pain, drooling, liver damage, kidney damage, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, coma, or death. Do not let your dog eat mushrooms growing in your yard (pick them up / throw them out), or feed them store bought.

Raw egg whites alone are bad for dogs They contain a protein called avidin, which can deplete your dog of biotin, one of the B vitamins. Biotin is essential to your dog’s growth and coat health. The lack of it can cause hair loss, weakness, growth retardation, or skeleton deformity. Raw egg yolks contain enough biotin to prevent the deficiency, so this is not a problem with raw whole eggs. Raw egg yolks could contain salmonella, so you should get your eggs from a reliable source or cook the eggs.

Large amounts of grains are bad for dogs Grains should not be given in large amounts or make up a large part of a dog’s diet, but rice is generally safe in small amounts.

Table scraps again? Giving your dog the left over steak / pork chop bones?  Cooked bones can kill dogs Cooked bones can splinter and tear a dog’s internal organs.

Dogs need their vegetables chopped up Dogs can't digest most vegetables (carrots, green beans, lettuce, potatoes or yams) whole or in large pieces. Potato peels and green potatoes are dangerous.

Dairy products can be harmful to dogs Dairy products are high in fat, which can cause pancreatitis, gas and diarrhea. A small amount of non-fat, plain yogurt is usually safe.

Pennies can be fatal to dogs Pennies made from the 1980s to today contain zinc, which can cause kidney failure and damage to red blood cells. A dog that consumes even one penny can become quite sick, or even die, if the penny is not removed.

"My dog ate ______ lots of times and didn't die, so ______ don't kill dogs." That logic is no better than "My dog runs in the street all the time and has never been hit by a car, so dogs never get hit by cars."