Food you shouldn't feed your dog

Author picture Jessica

What foods can dogs not eat?


There are many human foods that can be unhealthy or even toxic to dogs. It’s really important to know what’s what, as dogs can be prone to gulp down whatever they can find, even if it’s harmful.

Small dog eating food

Ten foods you shouldn’t feed your dog:


  1. Chocolate: as most of us know, chocolate is a no-no for dogs as it can be toxic in large quantities. The dog's size and the chocolate concentration impact the amount of risk. As such, read up on our guide to this topic here. 

  2. Garlic: this can be quite toxic to dogs. Garlic is a member of the Allium family and can impact your dog’s red blood cells. Depending on the amount your dog consumes, it can lead to anemia, with symptoms showing up after a few days.

  3. Onions, leeks and chives: These have the same effect as garlic, although garlic is more potent. Be aware of when these ingredients are mixed into meals, like sauces and stuffings. 

  4. Grapes: Grapes are toxic to dogs, and can lead to kidney failure. Keep an eye out for symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting and tremors.

  5. Coffee and tea: Caffeine is the ingredient that makes tea and coffee unhealthy for dogs. Be especially mindful of coffee ground and tea bags in the bin. Consumption can overwhelm your dog’s nervous system.

  6. Raisins, sultanas and currents: Much like grapes, these ingredients can lead to kidney failure in dogs. Be mindful of foods that contain these as ingredients, like pudding and fruit cake.

  7. Alcohol: Never allow a pet to lick up alcohol, especially during parties and gatherings. This can cause ethanol poisoning, leading to vomiting, diarrhea and seizures.

  8. Sourdough bread: This bread contains yeast, which can both bloat your dog’s stomach or, at worst, lead to alcohol poisoning. If your dog steals a tiny bite, don’t panic - but eating large amounts or eating raw bread dough can be particularly dangerous.

  9. Avocado: This food is bad for dogs for several reasons. For example, it contains a toxic called persin which can lead to breathing problems and, at worst, be fatal. Otherwise, it ca 

  10. Nuts: Some nuts are toxic to dogs (such as macadamias). Although other nuts might not be toxic, their small, hard shape can cause damage to your dog’s digestive system.

  11. Citrus fruits: This includes oranges, mandarins, lemons, limes and grapefruit. The peel can particularly upset your dog's digestive system.


How can you tell if a dog has eaten something poisonous?


The following symptoms might indicate a dog has consumed something toxic:


  • Lethargy

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Seizures

  • Excessive drooling

  • Discoloured gums

  • Stomach pain

Brown dog begging for food

What should you do if your dog eats something poisonous?


The first thing you should do if you suspect your dog has eaten something toxic is to call your vet. They will ask you to report your dog’s symptoms and the food you suspect they ate. Your vet might suggest monitoring your dog or may recommend bringing them in for treatment.

Collie dog with dog food in bowl

How to keep your dog safe from toxic foods


The best way to protect your dog from toxic foods is to plan ahead and assume that if you leave something lying around, your dog will want to try it! Here are some tips and tricks to keep your pooch safe:

  • Only feed your dog a canine-specific diet, which contains all the minerals and vitamins they need to stay healthy. Speak to your vet for recommendations.

  • Keep human foods well out of reach, and don’t make a habit of feeding your dog table scraps. 

  • Make sure visitors know not to feed your dog any scraps, especially during parties and gatherings.

  • Watch your dog when out and about: never let them eat food off the ground or garbage.

  • Keep your bins sealed and hidden away, and your compost in a dog-proof container. 

  • If you do feed your dog human foods, make sure they are safe. Here is a list of vegetables that your dog can eat, and fruit that your dog can have as the occasional snack.