25 Things Your Dog REALLY Can’t Eat!

25 Things Your Dog REALLY Can’t Eat!


As I was steamcleaning the cantaloupe juice out of the carpet the other morning (one of my dogs had snacked on the fruit that had been sitting on the kitchen counter top), I realized that I did not know whether cantaloupe was toxic for dogs. In fact, I wished I had an easily accessible catalog of toxic foods for cases such as this. I often have people calling me in a panic because their dog ate something and they don’t know what the potential consequences are.  I have put the following together based on experience and research–I was especially surprised to learn about the dangers of avocados!

First of all, there does exist a National Animal Poison Control. You can look them up on the web at Animal Poison Control or give them a call at 800-426-4435. The drawback is that the fee for the call is $60, however in times of need, this is no more than the typical co-pay for a human to go to the emergency room. My experience and that of my clients has all been very positive with this organization.

Please DO NOT post here that your dog has eaten something you are unsure of and ask if it is OK. We do not monitor this page on a daily basis. If you are questioning your dog’s behavior, CALL YOUR VET!

Foods That Are Toxic To or Just-Plain-Bad for Dogs

  • AlcoholCan cause intoxication, coma, and death 
  • AvocadoThe fruit, pit and plant are all toxic. The toxic ingredient in avocado is called persin. They can cause difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation in the chest, abdomen and heart, vomiting, diarrhea, death, inflammation of mammary glands, cardiac failure, respiratory distress, generalized congestion, abdominal enlargement. 
  • Apple, Almond, Apricot, Peach, Cherry, Plum, Pear, Prunes & similar fruitThe seeds of these fruits contain cyanide, which is poisonous to dogs as well as humans causing diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, (Stem, Seeds and Leaves).
  • Baby Food – Can contain onion power which can be toxic to dogs
  • Broccoli – Gastrointestinal irritant
  • Cat Food – Usually too high in protein and fats.
  • Chocolate – Chocolate can cause seizures, coma and death. Baker’s chocolate is the most dangerous. A dog can consume milk chocolate and appear to be fine because it is not as concentrated, but it is still dangerous.
  • Citrus Oil Extracts – Can cause vomiting
  • Coffee, Coffee grounds, tea and tea bags –Drinks/foods containing caffeine cause many of the same symptoms chocolate causes
  • Eggs (raw) Raw eggs can cause salmonella poisoning in dogs. Dogs have a shorter digestive tract than humans and are not as likely to suffer from food poisoning, but it is still possible. If your dog has a partial blockage in their intestines where food can be trapped, e coli or salmonella could breed more easily. 
  • Egg white contains the protein ‘avidin’ which forms a stable and biologically inactive complex with biotin. The avidin in egg whites will tie up the biotin so it cannot be used by the dog.”**
  • Fat Trimmings – Fat trimmings can cause pancreatitis
  • Iron – Human vitamin supplements containing iron can damage the lining of the digestive system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.
  • Macadamia nuts – Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, muscle tremor and paralysis.
  • Marijuana – Can depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, and changes in the heart rate.
  • Milk and other dairy products – Some adult dogs do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk. This can result in diarrhea. Lactose-free milk products are available for pets.
  • Mushrooms – Acute gastric effects, liver and kidney damage, abdominal pain, nausea, salivation, vomiting
  • Nutmeg – Tremors, seizures and death
  • Tobacco – Nausea, salivation, vomiting, tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
  • Onion – Gastrointestinal upset, anemia, destroys red blood cells
  • Grapes, Raisins, Prunes – Kidney failure, as little as a single serving of grapes or raisins can kill a dog.
  • Persimmons Seeds – Can cause intestinal obstruction and enteritis
  • Salt – Excessive intake can cause kidney problems
  • Tomatoes – Tomatoes can cause tremors and heart arrhythmias. Tomato plants and the most toxic, but tomatoes themselves are also unsafe.
  • Yeast Dough – Can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines


This in NOT an exhaustive list and it is certainly not meant to raise alarm – only to inform you about what to look out for. And notice… cantaloupe is not on the list! Hooray!

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  1. Patricia Rouse June 21, 2016 at 12:13 pm


  2. Irene Zarate July 2, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    You Didn’t Mention Watermelon Just The same I Don’t Give any of these things to my chihuahua and she is huge,

    • pplunk August 31, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      Watermelon is safe and good for dogs.

  3. Matt July 10, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    My dog loves tomatoes. Also you should be less cautious and inform people that the fruit from species containing cyanide in their seeds ar absolutely safe. My puppy LOVES cut-up apples and pitted cherries.

    • Mariela July 14, 2016 at 8:56 pm

      The pits are the problem.

    • jade christie August 8, 2016 at 8:56 pm

      My dog also loves tomato,pitted cherrys,apples and avocado.its the seeds,stones,pits and skin of these fruits that are toxic.i think this list is a very ill informed list.seems to me you have just pulled some bogus info from websites….i dont mean to offend but i have done my research..so i know what is ok for my dog to eat and i know there is a lot of contradiction out there.but tuis list is not full of facts…i wouldnt want anyone to read this list and stop feeding their pet some wonderful food.avocados are sometimes found in commercial dog foods.it is only the skin that is toxic and thr stone can cause obstruction,thr flesh is fine for dogs.same with cherries.the leaf,stem and pit are toxic but the flesh if properly prepared is ok in moderation.

  4. Mia July 31, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    My dog ate this nasty canned Italian meatball soup with carrots and little chunks of onion! But just a small spoonful is it safe she’s acting Normal and enjoyed it

    • jade christie August 8, 2016 at 8:58 pm

      I would say its fine.my dog eats a wee bit of onion and carrots all the time.everything in moderation i say 🙂

  5. Yuaniq August 6, 2016 at 10:02 am

    You have a few stars behind the egg white entry. Where is the footnote/endnote for this??

  6. Cynthia Turner August 10, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Yes I am astonished that they cannot have some fruits my puppy wants a bit of everything,cherries almonds peaches etc the only bit of upset was from some horrible expensive dog food I bought.I would not dream of giving him the seeds or stones from these fruits as I would not eat them myself.We have chives growing in abundance outside ,does that mean I have to get rid.?I know we have different digestive systems but honestly.I have also bought some puppy milk for a treat now and then which is goats milk which they can have but only as a little treat.

    • pplunk August 31, 2016 at 2:57 pm

      Dogs can eat apples, bananas, peaches without the skin and pit, watermelon, and blueberries…Definitely not grapes, prunes, raisins, and cherries are not really good for them but one or two occasionally as long as no skin, stem, or seed/pit…Everything is in moderation and not excessive…My vet says to mash or slice a few pieces of banana and mix with peanut butter as a treat occasionally…Blueberries and apples are the best as long as seeds/core is removed from apple. Hope this helps

  7. Gina August 25, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    The link to Animal Poison Control no longer works.

  8. Bonnie September 12, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    If tomatoes are bad for dogs why do vet nutritionists recommend them?

  9. Elaine September 28, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    My ten year old dalmatian has got open the freezer and eaten 8frozen pies. Will this make her ill?

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  11. dorothy shabronsky October 27, 2016 at 12:17 am

    my 12 year old maltese went into the closet and ate 1/2 bag of uncooked egg noodles. Is this dangerous and will this make her sick. she is now panting. i gave her 1/4 of a pepsid to calm her stomach. i dont know if i should take her to an emergency pet clinic. this happened 8 hours ago.

    • Heather December 2, 2016 at 10:24 am

      Dorothy she may have a blockage from she is panting call your vet right away

  12. Thomasena Baird October 30, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Can you feed cantaloupe seeds to shrews? We rescued a Yukon River Shrew!

  13. Angelwaitingq November 12, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    If a accident happens try giving dramamine (read label half of them) it’s just ginger which will ease gas, pressure etc and keep from getting sick until they use the bathroom to get the food out of their system.

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