Avoid These Foods and Ingredients That Are Toxic for Dogs

While there is a list of foods that people know are poisonous to dogs, there are some foods and ingredients that still fly under the radar as toxic. For example, it is common knowledge that chocolate is a banned food for dogs. 

This is because “chocolate contains cocoa, and cocoa contains the compound theobromine. Theobromine is toxic to dogs and other animals at certain doses” (RSPCA Knowledgebase). While small doses of chocolate can do unseen internal damage to a dog’s body, portions high in theobromine can be deadly.

We understand. You just cooked a homemade meal or brought food home, and your dog is staring at you with those big eyes begging for a bite. Although it is tempting to slip them a nibble, you should know that there are quite a few “human food” ingredients that are quite toxic to dogs. 

From the meals they receive to the treats they are given, dog owners around the world simply want what is best for their dogs. Despite our good intentions, there is a long list of unexpected ingredients and human foods that can wreak havoc on our dog’s bodies. 

Check out these common foods and ingredients that all owners should avoid for their dogs! 


From hallucinations and dehydration to high blood pressure and seizures, nutmeg is a very dangerous ingredient for your dog. Commonly found in desserts and foods made around Thanksgiving, nutmeg can create a traumatizing experience for your pet. 


You may have seen this ingredient included on warning signs in your veterinarian’s office. This is because it has quickly grown to be one of the most known ingredients to be deadly for dogs. 

According to WebMD, “Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol found in plants, including many fruits and vegetables. It has a sweet taste and is often used as a sugar substitute.” Shockingly, it’s often found in peanut butter. 


Grapes are a known poisonous food for dogs, causing vomiting and diarrhea. These side effects often lead to extreme dehydration. Since raisins are made from grapes, they’re just as dangerous! 


Most people would consider it obvious that he shouldn’t give our dog alcoholic beverages. However, a less obvious producer of alcohol is foods that may ferment in your pet’s stomach. Keep your dog away from that yeasty bread dough rising on the counter or your unattended glass of beer! 

Macadamia Nuts

When consumed regularly, fatty foods like nuts can quickly lead to pancreatitis in your dog. As you may know, pancreatitis involves severe symptoms such as stomach pains, loss of appetite, and even death when untreated. 


Many of us use onion and garlic as a tasty addition to any savory dish. These delicious vegetables both contain thiosulfate, which happens to be highly toxic to dogs. In fact, dogs who have been given onions and garlic often suffer from anemia and damaged red blog cells.


When allowed to drink caffeinated beverages, dogs can experience seizures, muscle spasms, and even a heart attack. Like many toxic ingredients for dogs, caffeine can cause vomiting and diarrhea. You guessed it. This can lead to dehydration and death. 

Raw Eggs

It may come as a surprise to many, but it is advised that owners refrain from giving their dogs raw eggs. Sure, it may make their coats shinier. However, dogs are susceptible to the horrific side effects of contracting salmonella, just like humans. Raw eggs happen to be one of the top foods to carry salmonella. 

Human Medicine

While Benadryl can be prescribed by the vet, many people think that this means all medicines are a go for their dog. However, there are over-the-counter medications such as Advil, Aleve, and ibuprofen, amongst many others, that can be fatal for your dog to consume.

Dairy Products

While firm dairy products such as hard cheeses are less likely to trigger allergies, softer diaries such as milk and cottage cheese can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, or even itchy skin. Once a dairy allergy is sparked, it can be difficult to find foods that don’t upset your dog’s skin or stomach. So, it’s best to steer clear of dairy treats! 

General “Spice”

Watch out for the mysterious “spice” listing in the ingredients section on food labels. Oftentimes, food items listed to include “spice” may contain a component that is dangerous for dogs, such as onion, garlic, or even nutmeg, amongst other toxic ingredients.   

Words of Encouragement

It’s natural to want to share tasty treats with your furry friend! Most loving pet owners only have their dog’s best interests in mind and would never knowingly feed their dog something toxic or poisonous. Luckily, there is a way to keep the enjoyment of sharing food with your dog. 

If you ever do happen to find that your pup has ingested something toxic, contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control immediately. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) is your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435. A consultation fee may apply.

Be diligent about doing a quick search to make sure the snack you’re about to feed your dog won’t cause them discomfort or lead to more serious consequences. Here at Pawsitive K9 Solutions, we are invested in your dog’s health and happiness. 

For more dog food advice or even tips to effectively train your dog, please feel free to Contact Us at any time! 




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