7 Foods Your Dog Shouldn't Eat

hand feeding a dog a treat

It may be tempting to share food with your dog. But, dogs have nutritional needs that are different from humans, and certain foods can lead to health problems. Certain foods can cause digestive issues while others may lead to death.

From foods as benign as sugar-free hard candies to those as harmful as chocolate, these are the foods you should never feed your dog.


Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine. Chocolate ingestion can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, heart problems, seizures, and death. 

The darker the chocolate the higher the theobromine content. So, that dark chocolate bar with 80% cacao content is highly toxic to your dog. The candy also contains caffeine, another component in food that’s dangerous to dogs.

Bittersweet, semi-sweet, chocolate chips, baking chocolate and any food items that contain chocolate or cacao should be kept away from your pooch.

Caffeinated Foods and Beverages

You might drink coffee or tea for an energy boost. But, caffeine can cause multiple problems for your dog. And concentrated caffeine drinks can be fatal.

While a couple of laps of your morning coffee won’t likely have a negative impact on your dog, a human-sized cup might be cause for concern. And energy drinks are a no-no.

Caffeine poisoning can have severe consequences. Your dog may become hyperactive, restless, have an increased heart rate, high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, tremors, increased body temperature (fever), and seizures or collapse.


It may be tempting to share frozen grapes with your dog on a hot summer day. Or, allow your dog to snack on raisins.

Unfortunately, these types of treats can lead to kidney failure. Just a few grapes and raisins can make your dog sick. An early symptom is repeated vomiting. Soon after you’ll notice your dog exhibiting sluggishness and depression.

Research hasn’t discovered the exact cause of grape toxicity in dogs. So, no amount of any type of grape is safe for your dog to eat. 

Onions and Garlic

These aromatic herbs and vegetables can make your food taste delicious, but they can be detrimental to your dog.

Onions and garlic can cause a condition called hemolytic anemia in your dog. It destroys their red blood cells. The condition can be debilitating, causing weakness, vomiting, and respiratory distress. 

Fresh, dried, minced, or broth, these foods should be kept away from your god in all forms.


Like humans, dogs can be lactose intolerant. Dairy products are made from cow’s milk, which dogs aren’t naturally meant to ingest. This milk contains lactose.

Many dogs can’t process lactose, which leads to digestive issues such as gas and diarrhea. 

The occasional pieced of cheese probably won’t bother your dog, but in larger doses, you might notice your dog passing gas or experiencing diarrhea.


This artificial sweetener is can be deadly to your dog. It can cause dangerously low blood pressure and liver failure. Candy, gum, and other artificially sweetened foods like baked goods and diet food items can contain this compound.

To be safe keep these products out of your dog's reach. Halloween is a time to keep an eye for your dog and these treats. If the kids are keen to share with the dog, it’s best to remind them that he can’t have their goodies.

Symptoms of xylitol ingestion include coordination problems, lethargy, and even vomiting. Seizures are also a possibility.


Think your dog can handle a little beer or wine? Think again.

Alcohol affects your dog’s liver the same way it affects yours. However, it works a lot faster on him. Just like in humans, alcohol can cause your dog to vomit, have diarrhea, coordination problems, respiratory distress, and alcohol poisoning.

What’s more, the smaller the dog, the worse the complications. 

Stick to water for your dog to keep him healthy and happy.

Choose What’s Best For Your Dog

To stay on the safe side, only feed your dog food and treats that are formulated for him. 

Additionally, you might want to look into training your dog to refuse food from anyone other than family. People with the best intentions may not know the dangers of certain foods. Conversely, bad actors have been known to offer tainted food to dogs.