Human foods that are dangerous for your dog

dog eating at a restaurant

Jessica Taylor Yates

Posted November 01, 2021


Do you know which ‘people foods’ are toxic for dogs?

For those with dogs at home, you’d be forgiven for sneaking your prized pet a treat here or there (even though we’re not supposed to!). But did you know there are everyday ‘human’ foods that seem healthy, but can actually make your dog quite sick?

Make sure you are looking after the cutest member of your family by ensuring you don’t feed your dog any of the foods below:


Foods that are bad for dogs

Nuts (especially macadamia)

While these may seem like a small treat, according to the RSPCA, macadamia nuts can lead to paralysis, vomiting, fever and elevated heart rate, and can even be fatal. The RSPCA suggest if you want to treat your pooch, to give peas or beans instead.

Avocado

Well, it seems your dog may be able to buy a house faster than you, as there will be no avo on toast at this doggie café! Though it's considered a healthy fat for humans, for dogs, they are affected by a toxin in avocado called persin, which can be poisonous.

Caffeine

While dogs don’t need a morning cuppa for energy like we do, make sure not to let your pooch have a sip. Caffeinated beverages (including tea) can turn your dog reckless, including muscle twitches, feeling heavy, fast breathing - and can be potentially fatal.

Onion, Garlic and Chives

Whilst the above can bring rich flavour to many human-based meals, think of your dog as a creature of simple tastes. Unfortunately, onion and garlic are just some of the ingredients we love that can affect your doggo’s red blood cells, leaving them anaemic and weak.

Grapes / Raisins

Grapes seem like one of those innocent fruits that are good for everyone, but unfortunately for dogs, these are poisonous and can lead to kidney failure. Stick to bite-sized dog treats instead.

Alcohol and yeast

Alcohol and yeast (such as bread) can be poisonous to dogs, so think of them as your children – no beverages from the top shelf!

Cooked bones (e.g. in chicken)

While your furry friend may be all about chicken or chops, steer clear of the cooked bones in their doggy bowl – these are a serious hazard that can cause choking or create puntures in their digestive tract.

Additionally, while we know dogs love a raw bone, the RSPCA advises when giving one to your dog, ensure it's at least ‘wider than the width of your three middle fingers’ as a general guide. 

a dog sitting down for brunch

It's important to make sure you are feeding your dog only the best! Image: Getty.


Citrus fruits, plums, cherries, apricots, and peaches

‘Stone’ fruits like peaches, or those with big pips like cherries, are a big no-no for dogs, as the seeds of these contain cyanide, and the large pips can be a choking hazard.

Citrus plants and fruits (including the leaves, stems and peels) also contain citric acid, which can cause an upset stomach at best, and big problems to the dog’s central nervous system at worst.

Dairy, including chocolate

Come dessert time, your dog may be looking up at with their big eyes ready for a lick of ice cream, a square of chocolate, or the remainder of the milk in your cereal bowl. Unfortunately like many humans, dogs are lactose intolerant which leads to diarrhoea and stomach problems, meaning dairy is off the table (and bowl).

Bacon and other fatty meats

While many dog owners may have been guilty of slipping their dog some bacon, ham or chops for being a 'very good dog', this is one habit that should be broken, fast. Fatty meats can lead to very sore stomachs and pancreatitis in dogs, which can be very painful.

Stick to the meats in the dog food section instead – and make sure they’re not served too hot for their sensitive tongues to enjoy!

Raw meat and eggs

While there may be those who subscribe to raw meat diets, on a general scale, vets for animal bodies such as the RSPCA or The Human Society discourage feeding dogs raw meat and eggs, which can lead to salmonella poisoning, e coli infections, parasites and skin conditions.

Sweeteners, gum, sugary foods, salty snacks, and lollies

Whilst treats are a ‘sometimes’ food even for humans, in dogs, they can be fatal because of a sweetener ingredient called ‘xylitol,’ which can lead to possible liver failure, while sugary content can lead to dental issues (just like us!)

Handing your dog one of your chips or salty snacks is no good either – the high sodium content can lead to thirst and dehydration. Stick to doggo treats instead – your pup will be none the wiser!

Mushroom

Toxic mushroom ingestion in dogs can lead to liver failure, and even death. Whilst not all mushrooms are toxic to dogs, the fact that some might be is caution enough to make sure you don’t feed these to your canine friend.

Corn on the cob

Many of those with dogs will know they can be extremely food-motivated, and therefore not know when to stop when it comes to dinnertime. A corn on the cob is not safe, as overly enthusiastic hounds may look to swallow it whole, which can get lodged in their intestines. Make sure to give them plain kernels like you would a small child instead.

What if my dog accidentally has these foods? 

If your dog does accidentally ingest any of the foods above, you should immediately contact your local vet or animal hospital for treatment. 

dog swimming

A healthy dog is a happy dog! 


What human foods can my dog eat?

Alternatively, if you’re looking save a few dollars and incorporate some human-based food into your dog’s bowl, there are some healthy alternatives that are safe for your doggo to eat alongside a healthy, balanced diet of dog food:

  • Apples
  • Peanut butter
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet potato
  • Parsley
  • Beans
  • Porridge
  • Berries
  • Banana

While you should be giving your dog a nutritious diet in consultation with your vet or animal professional, the RSPCA advises that your dog should be eating a ‘high quality’ diet that suits their life stage and health status. 


Related reading