Dogs Should NOT Eat Certain Foods

Who can resist those cute puppies with big brown eyes? Normal thought is to give your dog or puppy a little reward from the dinner table. Question that should be asked is whether the food could hurt your pet? Something simple like guacamole can cause your dog some real troubles. In fact, there are allot of different foods that your pet should never eat. These foods could be very dangerous and can long-term damage to your pet. The foods listed below may surprise you. Also listed below are thet plants that are considered poisonous by the ASPCA ® Animal Poison Control Center.

Foods to Avoid Giving Your Dog and Why

Alcoholic beverages - Can cause intoxication (vomiting and diarrhea), central nervous system depression, trouble breathing, coma, and death.

Avocado - Can cause your dog to vomit or have diarrhea or worse from the toxics.

Baby food - Can contain onion powder, which can be toxic to dogs. (Please see onion below.) Can also result in nutritional deficiencies, if fed in large amounts.

Bones from fish, poultry, or other meat sources - Can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system. Although it seems natural to give a dog a bone, a dog could choke on it. Bones can also splinter and cause an obstruction or lacerations of your dog's digestive system. It's best to forget about the doggie bag.

Candy and Gum - Candy, gum, toothpaste, baked goods, and some diet foods are sweetened with xylitol, which can cause an increase in the insulin circulating through your dog's body. That can cause your dog's blood sugar to drop and lead to liver failure. Eventually, the dog may have seizures.

Cat food -  Generally too high in protein and fats.

Chocolate - The toxic agent in chocolate is the bromine. Eating chocolate, even just licking out of the icing bowl, can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhea, and be excessively thirsty. It can cause abnormal heart rhythm, tumors, seizures, and death.

Citrus oil extracts - Can cause vomiting.

Coffee, Tea, and other Caffeine - Caffeine in large enough quantities can be fatal for a dog. Could cause muscle tremors, fits, and bleeding. Caffeine can be found in cocoa, chocolate, colas, and stimulant drinks like red bull. It's also in some cold medicines and pain killers.

Fat trimmings and bones - Table scraps often contain meat fat that a human didn't eat and bones. Both are dangerous for dogs. Fat trimmed from meat, both cooked and uncooked, can cause pancreatitis in dogs.

Grapes and raisins - Contain an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys. There have been no problems associated with grape seed extract.

Hops - Unknown compound causes panting, increased heart rate, elevated temperature, seizures, and death.

Human vitamin supplements containing iron - Can damage the lining of the digestive system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.

Large amounts of liver - Can cause Vitamin A toxicity, which affects muscles and bones.

Macadamia nuts - Contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems (kidney failure) and muscle and be fatal.

Marijuana - Can depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, and changes in the heart rate.

Milk and other dairy products - Some adult dogs and cats do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk. This can result in diarrhea. Lactose-free milk products are available for pets.

Moldy or spoiled food, garbage - Can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhea and can also affect other organs.

Mushrooms - Can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death.

Onions and garlic (raw, cooked, or powder) - Contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Cats are more susceptible than dogs. Garlic is less toxic than onions.

Persimmons, peaches, and plums - The problem with these fruits is the seeds or pits. The seeds from the persimmons can cause inflammation of the small intestine in dogs. They can also cause intestinal obstruction. The pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous.

Potato, rhubarb, and tomato leaves; potato and tomato stems - Contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems. This is more of a problem in livestock.

Raw eggs - Contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.

Raw meat and fish - Contain bacteria that could cause food poisoning. Certain kinds of fish (such as salmon, trout, shad, or sturgeon) can contain a parasite that causes "fish disease" and can be fatal within 2 weeks. Thoroughly cooking the fish will kill the parasite and protect your dog. Signs of illness re vomiting, fever, and big lymph nodes.

Salt - If eaten in large quantities it may lead to electrolyte imbalances. Symptoms of too much salt include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, and seizures. It may even cause death.

String - Can become trapped in the digestive system; called a "string foreign body."

Sugary foods - Can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.

Table scraps (in large amounts) - Table scraps are not nutritionally balanced. They should never be more than 10% of the diet. Fat should be trimmed from meat; bones should not be fed.

Tobacco - Contains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Can result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death.

Yeast dough - Can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.

Xylitol (artificial sweetener) - Can cause liver failure.

Plants Poisonous to Dogs

This alphabetic list may not represent a complete list of all poisonous plants.  Also, your pet may have a sensitivity or allergy to a plant that is not on the list, resulting in toxicity. Always contact your veterinarian immediately if you think your pet may have ingested a poisonous plant. For more information refer to ASPCA® Animal Poison Control Center's.

Aloe Vera
Apple (seeds)
Apricot (pit)
Asparagus Fern
Autumn Crocus
Bird of Paradise
Black Locust
Black Walnut
Bleeding Heart
Boston Ivy
California Poppy
Calla Lily
Castor Bean
Cherry (seeds, wilting leaves, and pit)
Chinese Evergreen
Christmas Rose
Corn Plant
Crown of Thorns
Crown Vetch
Devil’s Ivy
Donkey Tail
Dumb Cane
Dutchman’s Breeches
Easter Lily
Elephant Ears
English Ivy
Fiddle-leaf Fig
Florida Beauty
Four O’Clock
Fruit Salad Plant
German Ivy
Hurricane Plant
Jack in the Pulpit
Japanese Yew
Jerusalem Cherry
Jimson Weed
Lamb’s quarter
Lily of the Valley
Marigold (Marsh Marigold)
Mexican Breadfruit
Morning Glory
Mother-in-Law plant
Mother-in-Law’s Tongue
Mountain Laurel
Oak Tree (buds and acorns)
Peace Lily
Peach (wilting leaves and pits)
Pencil Tree
Poison Ivy
Poison Hemlock
Poison Oak
Poison Sumac
Potato (all green parts)
Precatory Bean
Ribbon Cactus
Rubber Tree
Sago Palm
Shamrock Plant
Snake Plant
Snow on the Mountain
Star of Bethlehem
Stinging Nettle
Swiss Cheese Plant
Taro Vine
Tomato Plant (entire plant except ripe fruit)
Umbrella Tree
Water Hemlock
Weeping Fig


Additional Sources of Information

Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine
Texas A&M List of Toxic Plants
Cornell university poisonous plants home page
Canadian Poisonous Plants Information system
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: List of Toxic Plants
Phone: 1-888-4ANI-HELP (1-888-426-4435)
Cost: $45.00 per case (Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express). The Center will do as many follow-up calls as necessary in critical cases, and at the owner’s request will contact their veterinarian. The Center also provides via fax specific treatment protocols and current literature citations when indicated.
Phone: 1-900-443-0000
Cost: $45.00 per case charged to the owner’s phone bill. The Center will do as many follow-up calls as necessary in critical cases, and at the owner’s request will contact their veterinarian. These follow-up calls can be made by calling (888) 299-2973.
Pet Emergency First Aid Videos
Phone/Email: 1-888-380-9966, order@apogeevideo.com
Cost: First Aid for Dogs ($19.95), First Aid for Cats ($19.95), Combo: Dogs and Cats ($34.95)
Links to Poisonous Plant Pages
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