Food That Is Dangerous To Dogs

Just because it’s nice for us, doesn’t mean it’s dog friendly. The following are NOT safe for dogs to enjoy!


All alcohol is unsafe for dogs and should not be given to them under any circumstances. It can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, depression of the central nervous system and can lead to death.



Avocado can cause stomach upset in dogs. Of course, the biggest worry would be if they were to ingest the pips as this could cause an obstruction.


All of these contain methylxanthines, found in cacao seeds which are used to make them. The methylxanthines cause diarrhoea, vomiting, increased thirst and urination, seizures and death. Chocolate is very toxic to dogs, and the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is as it has a higher level of methylxanthines.


All parts of the citrus plant, including the stem, leaves and fruit contain a varying amount of citric acid. This can cause depression of the central nervous system if large quantities are ingested.

Cooked bones

Although not poisonous,  cooked bones can cause damage to a dog. This is because they can splinter, causing lacerations of anywhere in the digestive system – from the mouth, stomach and intestines, any part can be affected. Bones can also cause blockages in the digestive system and can crack teeth, which is why they are best avoided.


As dogs do not have significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme used to break down lactose), dairy products can give them diarrhoea.


Yeast dough can rise, causing gas in the digestive tract. It can be very painful and can cause the stomach to bloat and twist and this is a medical emergency as it can lead to death.

Macadamia nuts

It is unknown why macadamia nuts are poisonous dogs and they are the only reported species who are affected. Symptoms are weakness, vomiting, muscle tremors, fever and depression. Whilst there are no antidotes for this particular poisoning, many dogs recover will with supportive treatment e.g. pain relief, intravenous fluids and medication to bring down their fever.


Raw, cooked and things that are cooked in onion are all dangerous to dogs. Onions belong to the Allium family, and along with shallots, leeks, chives and garlic, can harm dogs as they contain a harmful substance called thiosulfate, which dogs are unable to digest. If your dog consumes a small amount, they may get gastro upset, such as vomiting or diarrhoea. Eating larger amounts can cause their red blood cells to break down, leading to anaemia which may show after a few days, however, eating a small quantity of onion every day may cause anaemia to gradually develop over a few weeks or months. Symptoms of anaemia are lethargy, weakness, discoloured urine and pale gums.  Anaemia can cause death, so if you suspect your dog has eaten onion, you need to take them to the vet asap.


Raisins, grapes, sultanas and grapes are all toxic to dogs. They can cause kidney failure that may not show symptoms for up to three days after ingestion. Don’t forget to avoid food that may contain these ingredients, such as hot cross buns, mince pies and Christmas cake. 


Xylitol is a sweetener that is more common in America, however, it can be found in the UK too. It is used as a sugar replacement, and therefore can be found in many sugar-free products, such as gum, sweet and even medication. The xylitol can cause the dog’s blood sugar to fall to a dangerous level and if the dog ingests large quantities, it can cause liver failure. Symptoms of poisoning are lethargy, weakness, collapsing and fits.

If you think your vet has eaten something they shouldn’t have, you need to call your vet right away.



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