8 Foods Dogs Should Not Eat

foods dogs should not eat

​What can dogs not eat? This is a common question asked by dog owners. After all, dogs love table food, but many owners are not certain what human foods are safe for their pets and what foods are bad for dogs.

While dogs can eat many of the same foods as humans, there are a few human foods dogs should not eat. These include the 8 detailed below.

These foods have the potential to cause serious illness or death in dogs, so owners should be sure to keep these items away from their pets.

While some human foods may be dangerous for dogs, given the dangerous life-shortening preservatives and chemicals often found in commercial dog food, dog owners should always look for ways to feed their dogs with wholesome natural foods.

Grapes and Raisins​

grapes and raisins

Experts are not certain why some dogs develop potentially fatal renal failure after eating grapes or raisins, but this type of poisoning poses a serious threat to dogs.

Poisoning can occur after a dog eats only a small number of grapes or raisins, and it can occur in dogs that have previously eaten grapes or raisins and experienced no negative consequences.

Due to the extreme danger presented by these fruits, veterinarians recommend never feeding any grapes or raisins to dogs and seeking immediate veterinary assistance if a dog accidentally ingests them.​

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, symptoms of grape or raisin toxicity usually begin about six to 12 hours after ingestion and include the following:​

  • Vomiting.​
  • Diarrhea.
  • Appetite loss.
  • Increased thirst.
  • Weakness.
  • Increased urination.
  • Decreased energy.
  • Shivering.
  • Abdominal pain.



​This popular artificial sweetener is found in sugar-free gum, candy, baked goods and other products. It is safe for humans, but it can cause a life-threatening drop in blood sugar in dogs. It also has the potential to cause liver failure.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia due to xylitol ingestion usually begin within a half hour of ingestion, but they can take up to 18 hours to appear if the dog has eaten a product, like gum, containing ingredients that slow xylitol absorption.

Common early symptoms include the following:​

  • Vomiting.​
  • Weakness.
  • Depression.
  • Difficulty walking.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Seizures.



Large amounts of chocolate are toxic to dogs. The amount of chocolate required to cause symptoms in a particular dog depends on the amount of chocolate eaten and the size of the dog.

The smaller the dog and the darker the chocolate, the smaller the amount required to produce symptoms.

Signs of chocolate toxicity in dogs usually appear within six to 12 hours of ingestion and include the following:

  • Vomiting.​
  • Increased thirst.
  • Restlessness.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Distended belly.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Increased urination.
  • Shivering.
  • Tight muscles.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Rapid heart rate.
  • Collapse.



Dogs commonly ingest alcohol when given alcoholic products, like beer, by their owners or when they sneak drinks or foods, like cocktails or whiskey cakes, left unattended.

The toxic dose of alcohol varies by the size of the dog, so for very small dogs, even small amounts can cause serious problems.

Symptoms typically begin between 15 minutes and two hours after ingestion and include the following:

  • Excitement.​
  • Incoordination.
  • Staggering.
  • Drooling.
  • Increased urination.
  • Decreased respiratory rate.
  • Depression.

Bread Dough

bread dough

Ingesting dough is potentially fatal to dogs because the yeast it contains can release enough alcohol to produce alcohol poisoning.

In addition, a relatively small amount of dough can expand to the point that it obstructs the passage between the stomach and intestines and causes the stomach to twist into an unnatural position.

Commonly called bloat, this is a life-threatening surgical emergency.

For symptoms of alcohol poisoning, see above. Symptoms of bloat include the following:

  • Unproductive retching.​
  • Distended abdomen.
  • Weakness.
  • Drooling.
  • Pale gums.
  • Rapid heart rate.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Collapse.

Macadamia Nuts

macadamia nuts

Eating macadamia nuts can cause moderate to severe symptoms in dogs. This type of poisoning is nonfatal and usually resolves within 12 to 48 hours, but the symptoms are extremely unpleasant.

Symptoms usually begin 12 hours after ingestion of the nuts and often include the following:

  • Vomiting.​
  • Weakness.
  • Tremors.
  • Depression.
  • Increased body temperature.
  • Difficulty walking.



While small bones and cooked bones are more likely to cause problems than large, uncooked bones, all bones are potentially dangerous. This is why the Food and Drug Administration recommends against giving them to dogs.

Potential problems caused by eating or chewing bones include the following:​

  • Broken teeth.​
  • Mouth injuries.
  • Obstruction of or damage to the mouth or throat.
  • Choking.
  • Obstruction of the stomach or intestines.
  • Constipation.
  • Rectal bleeding.
  • Peritonitis.

Get The Essential Checklist Of Foods Dogs Cannot Eat

Do you truly know what foods are dangerous for dogs?