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15 human foods toxic to dogs

by Jenya Rubanova |

Who can resist those puppy-dog eyes begging for a bite of your meal? Hold on! Before you go spoiling your fur baby, read our list of 9 human foods toxic to dogs. And remember, they are sometimes hiding in chips, crackers, bread, cookies and other foods sold at your local market. Read labels, check ingredients, and most importantly – keep your dog safe!

onions & garlic

Onions, garlic, chives, and leeks are all part of the Allium family, which is poisonous to dogs. The toxic ingredient in onions causes oxidant damage to red blood cells. Many pre-packaged foods contain onion and garlic, such as chicken stock and hot bar foods.


Dogs’ metabolism cannot process a chocolate component called theobromine, allowing it to build up to toxic levels in their system. This can produce seizures, muscle tremors, heart attack and more.

grapes and raisins

Did you know that while grapes and raisins are highly toxic to dogs, research has not been able to pinpoint exactly what causes the toxic reaction? Unfortunately, ingesting the fruit could lead to sudden kidney failure in dogs so its best to avoid them.


Far more dangerous than chocolate, xylitol is a sugar substitute with anti-cavity properties for humans. It is added to sugar-free baked goods (commonly found in sweets for diabetics), gum, mints, toothpaste, and mouthwash.


Can my dog drink alcohol? No! Dogs’ livers can’t break down alcohol and even a small amount can cause seizures, respiratory difficulty or failure, and even death.

spicy hot foods

Even if your dog is begging for that spicy curry, think twice before giving in. Some dogs are more tolerant to heat than others, but spicy foods can cause stomach pain, thirst, gas, and diarrhea.

avocados peel

Avocados contain a chemical called persin, which in large quantities can be toxic to dogs. While many dogs can eat some avocado, and pet foods even add them in, it shouldn’t be a regular treat.

macadamia nuts

The exact toxin found in macadamia nuts is unfortunately not known. However, similar to grapes, the dog’s sensitivity level to nuts appears to vary as does the exact number of nuts needed to cause a reaction.

seeds and pits

Seeds and pits can be found in many fruits, such as cherries, peaches, apples, and even persimmons! These can be a choking hazard and cause bowel and intestinal obstruction. They also contain the poison cyanide. Carefully remove all pits and seeds before giving your pet fruit.

green tomatoes, tomato vines, and leaves 

Green tomatoes should be avoided, and care should be taken when planting tomatoes in your garden. Supervise your dog's play to ensure they do not eat any leaves of vines. They can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. 

raw and green potatoes

Potatoes are highly nutritious and delicious foods. But avoid serving them raw to dogs, as this might cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and heart arrhythmias.


Although delicious in a strawberry pie, avoid serving this vegetable to your dog. It can cause tremors, seizures, heart arrhythmias, kidneys disease and is a high oxalate food that causes the formation of kidney stones. 


While nutmeg is a popular spice for baking seasonal cookies, it is toxic to pets due to a compound called Myristicin. It can cause tremors, muscle spasm, seizures, and death. 

raw dough or yeast

While our mothers warned us not to eat raw dough, a finger or two always ended up scrapping the sides of the bowl. However, with our dogs being much smaller in size, raw dough and yeast can produce a significant amount of ethanol, which causes liver failure, seizures, drunken gait, coma, and death. 

raw salmon or trout

While salmon is known for its wide array of nutritional benefits, avoid giving it (and trout) raw or undercooked to your dog.  It can contain the Neorickettsia helminthoeca parasite, which causes salmon poisoning disease. This disease can be fatal. 


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