Foods Dogs Can’t Eat

Image of a black dog that looks sick on a couch

There are some foods that people can eat that are also good for dogs, but what about foods dogs can’t eat?

There are many foods that we don’t give a second thought at eating and think it will be ok for dogs to eat also but that’s really just not the case with many foods.

Below you’ll find the foods that you should not feed to your dog.

Fruits Dogs Can’t Eat


Avocados are NOT safe for dogs to eat. The reason being is that avocados contain a substance that is toxic to dogs called persin.

Persin isn’t an issue in humans but in dogs it can cause vomiting and diarrhea.


The stems, leaves, and pits of cherries contain cyanide, which is toxic to dogs in small amounts so it’s best to avoid giving your dog cherries altogether. Some types of cherries come with these parts of the cherry removed, but they are usually manufactured with very large amounts of sugar, making them unsuitable as a dog food as well.

Cyanide causes the blood cells to not be able to take in enough oxygen. If your dog happens to eat cherries, monitor your dog for signs of cyanide poisoning, which include breathing trouble, dilated pupils, and abnormally red gums. If your dog shows these signs, you should take your dog to the veterinarian or an animal hospital.


Eating the fruit of citrus plants is can cause mild stomach irritation in dogs, so that part of the plant isn’t deadly serious. The other parts of the fruit (the peel, stems, and leaves), however, contain citric acid and oils that can cause irritation in the stomach and more seriously, central nervous system depression.


Grapes and raisins are highly poisonous to dogs, so you should NEVER feed your dog grapes or raisins under any circumstances. Surprisingly, the scientific community has still not been able to determine exactly what substance within grapes causes them to be so harmful to dogs but the important thing to know is that dogs should never eat them.

Some signs that a dog may show if they have eaten grapes include vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration/increased thirst, lethargy, and abdominal pain. Grapes/raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs.


While the red part of tomatoes isn’t a problem, the green parts of tomatoes are toxic to dogs. The green parts of tomatoes contain solanine, which is toxic in dogs. It would take a lot to result in severe poisoning but it’s best to avoid the risk altogether.

Vegetables Dogs Can’t Eat


Garlic may be good for humans, but it is highly toxic to dogs, so you should never feed your dog garlic.

Along with onions, garlic is part of the allium family, which contains thiosulfate, a substance that is harmless in humans but toxic in dogs. In dogs, thiosulfate can cause anemia by doing oxidative damage to red blood cells.

Symptoms of garlic toxicity in dogs include weakness/lethargy, rapid breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and more.


You should not allow your dog to eat wild mushrooms that your dog may across outside as many of them are highly toxic in dogs. Some of the less serious symptoms of mushroom poisoning in dogs may include diarrhea, vomiting, weakness/lethargy, and stumbling. However, far more serious things can happen if a dog ingests poisonous mushrooms, including jaundice, seizures, coma, and even death.

If your dog ingests a wild mushroom found outside, you should take your dog to the veterinarian and if you can, bring in a sample of the mushroom so your veterinarian knows what they’re dealing with and can take action accordingly.

Store-bought mushrooms are mostly fine for dogs but we usually cook mushrooms with garlic, butter, onions, and other ingredients that dogs should not eat.


Onions, just like garlic, are part of the allium family of plant foods, which are toxic in dogs, so you should never feed your dog onions. Every part of onions is toxic to dogs; the onion itself, the leaves, juice, and any products made from onions, such as onion powder, are toxic to dogs as well.

Onions are toxic in dogs partly because they contain N-propyl disulfide, which causes oxidative damage to red blood cells and anemia in dogs.

If you suspect your dog has gotten into some onions, some signs to look for include weakness/lethargy, fainting, dark urine, decreased appetite, and unnaturally pale gums. If your dog is showing these symptoms, you should get him or her to a veterinarian or animal hospital.

Other Foods Dogs Can’t Eat

There are plenty of foods other than fruits and vegetables that dogs shouldn’t eat, which you’ll find below.


It should go without saying, but dogs should never have alcohol and if you have alcoholic beverages sitting out, you should be careful to make sure that your dog doesn’t get into them. Luckily, many dogs do not find the smell and taste of alcohol appealing.

The severity of alcohol and its effects on dogs varies on the size and weight of the dog, what type of alcohol was ingested (liquor has higher alcohol content than beer, for example), and how much.

If you suspect your dog has ingested alcohol, look for these warning signs and consider seeking veterinary assistance: vomiting, drooling, lack of coordination, slowed breathing, and hypothermia.


Dogs should not eat almonds. Almonds aren’t digested well by dogs and can cause obstructions in the esophagus, windpipe, and intestines, particularly in small dogs. Almonds also contain high amounts of fat, which can cause pancreatitis in dogs.

The flavorings that almonds often come in are bad for dogs as well, like if they’re salted. This can result in salt toxicity in dogs.

If a dog eats almonds, it may lead to these symptoms: gas, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and loss of appetite. If your dog is showing these signs, there’s no need to panic but it’s a good idea to call your veterinarian.


Chocolate is toxic to dogs. The reason being is that it contains caffeine and theobromine, which cause issues with the nervous system and raise heart rate.

If your dog happens to eat a small piece of chocolate, it likely won’t be a serious issue, especially for larger dogs. If your dog eats an entire chocolate cake or some other large amount of chocolate, however, you should get in touch with your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline.

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs include diarrhea, vomiting, more frequent urination, abnormally high heart rate, restlessness, tremors, seizures, and even death.


Cinnamon is not toxic to dogs but it can cause digestive and skin irritation, so you shouldn’t allow your dog to eat it. Also, if your dog inhales cinnamon powder, it can cause difficulty breathing, coughing, and is a choking hazard.


Coconut isn’t toxic to dogs but should probably be avoided because its oils can cause upset stomach and diarrhea in dogs. Coconut water should also be avoided because of its high levels of potassium.

Ice Cream

You should avoid letting your dog eat ice cream.

Dogs’ digestive system are not developed to digest milk and dairy. As a result, when dogs eat dairy it often leads to symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting.

Ice cream is also loaded with tons of sugar, which is bad for dogs and leads to weight gain, just as it does in humans.


Nuts make for great snacks for people but nuts, in general, are unhealthy for dogs and some are even downright toxic if dogs ingest them.

One issue is that nuts of all shapes and sizes pose a choking hazard for dogs. Nuts are also high in fat, which is bad for dogs’ weight and can cause pancreatic problems in dogs.

Other nuts, like macademia nuts in particular, are very toxic for dogs.


It would take a lot of nutmeg to cause serious toxicity in a dog, but dogs should not eat it. It can cause stomach discomfort and pain. The myristicin in nutmeg is what makes it toxic and can lead to disorientation, hallucinations, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and seizures.


Dogs don’t process salt the same way humans do. Dogs should not have salt or salty foods, as it can lead to extreme dehydration, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, tremors, seizures, and even death in extreme cases.


Xylitol is a sugar substitute that is dangerous to dogs. Xylitol causes dangerous increases in insulin and blood sugar in dogs that can be life-threatening.

Baking Dough

Any kind of baking dough is bad for dogs.

If dough is ingested by dogs, it can lead to the dough expanding and distending the dog’s stomach.

Also, the uncooked sugars and yeast in dough can ferment in a dog’s stomach, leading the alcohol poisoning. It can lead to dangerous drops in blood pressure, blood sugar, seizures, and respiratory failure.


It’s important not to be under the impression that dogs can just eat everything that humans do safely. As you can see, there are many foods that we eat that aren’t safe for dogs to consume.

If a situation comes up in which you feel like you want to feed your dog something that isn’t traditional dog food or treats, refer to this list.

Do you want to know what foods your dog CAN eat? You might be interested in these articles: