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!

Want to schedule your own Animal Communication reading with Danielle? Learn more here.

  1. DenalisMum December 25, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    My 1 year old Alaskan Mal is about 100 pounds or so and just ate about a pound of cooked ham fat. I am just watching her now. I gave her bread to try and soak up some of the fat. Any ideas?

    • Lisa Doyle February 16, 2016 at 11:47 am

      You can’t give dogs any source of wheat. Like bread you gave her. Call your vet immediately. She is bound to get really sick.
      Meat is okay, as long as it is sliced up or they can choke, or don’t give them it If it is too hot. It burns their throat.
      I have a 13 week old bulldog. Trust me, I know what happens.

  2. Alexis January 8, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    My dog eats tissues unused but it that still bad he’s about 1 1/2 year

    • polla January 7, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      of course its bad! try eating them urself! i bet they are not even organic.

  3. Nick January 10, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    my dog just ate a small camera tape and somehow got to it. I dont know if he swallowed anything but if he did what could happen?

    • Lisa Doyle February 16, 2016 at 11:48 am

      Did your dog choke? That’s the worst thing that could happen.

  4. Lora January 18, 2015 at 9:49 am

    THANKS THIS IS SO HELPFUL!!! My mom almost gave my toy poodle avocados. However, you can feed your dog apples, just make sure to peel it, take the stem out, and take the seeds out! Also #firstcomment #of #2015!!!!!

  5. Lora January 18, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Just kidding lol

  6. nate January 22, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    My dog ate 3 6mg pills of Fanapt. And is lethargic – do i need to take to ER ?
    Is he going to be ok

    • Doxa July 17, 2015 at 11:52 pm

      Take him to the vet as soon as possible pills are poison to animals only if they are for humans

      • V March 3, 2016 at 7:25 pm

        FYI not all pills Bc a lot of pills given to animals are the exact same as humans just in the right amount for the animal

    • Gracemccdog April 26, 2016 at 4:14 pm

      My dog it’s everything wrappers pieces of plastic lots of things like cookies muffins I’ll sorts of things she never got sick and she’s only two she’s a Jack Russell beagle mix .

      • Rich May 19, 2016 at 2:43 pm

        Certain plastics and such can’t be passed by a dog and can lead to cancer. Stop letting your dog eat whatever it wants. Have some responsibility for your pet

  7. rebecca jones January 23, 2015 at 10:17 am

    It is bad for them need to take her to vet and ask them what to do or call them.

  8. rebecca jones January 23, 2015 at 10:17 am

    It is bad for them need to take her to vet and ask them what to do or call them.

  9. Gracie February 24, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    You can actually give tomatoes to dogs you just can’t give them the seedy part.

  10. Mae March 28, 2015 at 3:35 am

    The more I read the comments, the more my dog’s diet seems odd. I have a mini pinscher (born and raised in the Philippines) who’s fed mostly rice and ground pork, he used to have that sautéed with green beans, garlic and onions but the vet advised not to give him green beans anymore because it’s causing him some sort of arthritis. He can not tolerate poultry nor eggs, he once suffered from an edema eating pastry. Read here that eggs & turkey are good and that pork & onions are big no-nos but my dog is almost 11 years old and so far only has poor vision.

  11. r May 15, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    My saint bernards both like to eat sticks, wood, tree branches. Is this harmful?

    • Doxa July 17, 2015 at 11:54 pm


    • Lisa Doyle February 16, 2016 at 11:51 am

      It is very harmful to them. They could choke and the pointy part of the branches scrape down their throat and seriously hurt them. Don’t think I am a smarty pants. I actually have a bulldog who is 13 weeks old. I know myself. And I am a child. When I grow up I want to be a vet.

  12. kara Guilmette May 19, 2015 at 7:27 am

    My 8 no old ate chocolate
    Pie and has been sick and not actice what can I do?

    • Danielle MacKinnon May 19, 2015 at 10:06 am

      Please take your dog to the vet asap or call poison control – right away!

  13. Robin May 31, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    My 6 yr old mini schnauzer ate a couple of small pieces of pork chop on Friday night seasoned with onion and garlic powder. She has been sick since with vomiting and diarrhea. Can’t even hold down white rice. Any suggestions?

    • tara lawton October 27, 2015 at 10:09 am

      My dog ate a pack of cheese and onion chedders n has not be able to keep anythin down since sud i wait or take him to the vets for further tests xx

  14. Abigail June 3, 2015 at 11:49 am

    My puppy licked a tic tac is it harmful

    • dawn June 3, 2015 at 5:33 pm

      No, your critter will be just fine…

  15. Stephani June 7, 2015 at 9:52 am

    I am getting a new dog and I’m really scared because i had a dog name cookie and it died

  16. Monica June 10, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    My miniature dachshund dog (8) ate cherry shoes candy. She’s laying on the carpet which she never does. She’s been stretching and she’s been sleeping a lot. Should I take her to the vet?

    • Doxa July 17, 2015 at 11:56 pm


  17. Danielle MacKinnon June 18, 2015 at 10:20 am

    If you’re ever concerned about your dog, you should contact your vet.

  18. gayle June 28, 2015 at 6:37 am

    My dog has been throwing up for a day. Water is thrown up also. Went vet and exray showed nothing, blood work showed low white cells and low platelets. Stopped throwing up & brought her home. 3 hours later she is throwing up again

    • 72829 April 5, 2016 at 8:05 pm

      She may have a flu dog can get the flu

  19. Libby July 13, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    Just came home and found my Border Collie had eaten all but the one piece of pineapple pie I ate earlier. Her stomach is really full Will she be okay. I even had chairs in and up the door frame. Didn’t look like they had been moved.

  20. Janet Hoover July 17, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    My 11 pound mini schnauzer just ate a peach seed what do I need to do ?

  21. Doxa July 17, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    My dog had a few grapes like 2 or 3 will he be ok

  22. Elizabeth Alfonso July 23, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    My dog ate couple of mushrooms that they fell in the floor that I bought in the supermarket that comes in a foam box and sliced they are to use for salads. Can you tell me if they are not good for him? Thanks.

  23. Sarah August 4, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    My 75lb lab ate an entire box of packages of instant oatmeal (8 packs?) What can I do or expect?

  24. Catherine August 11, 2015 at 12:10 am

    I’ve read all the dire needs of many dog owners and wonder if they realize that your dog has a mental capability of a 2 year old child. Just as a 2 year old unable to eat seeds, they might choke themselves and always finding things around your home, picking everything they see and putting them in their mouths, just as you are being careful that your 2 year old should be safe from any harm you should do the same with your dog. A young child should not own and be responsible with a dog. That’s like telling a young child to care for a 2 year old toddler.

  25. maggie August 17, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    I give my 1 year old cross chow/jackrussell pork scracthings he loves them will it do him any harm.plus he loves raw carrot are they ok for him. but sometimes he is sick and brings up yellowy foamy stuff what could cause this. He only eats fresh chicken which i cook for him. he wont eat tin food.Is it ok to give him chicken all the time. Sorry iv never had a dog befor. first time.

    • Danielle MacKinnon August 17, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      Hi Maggie,

      Having a dog is such a big responsibility! A lot of people don’t realize this – I’m sure your dog is very happy that you have adopted him into your life! With the throwing up, your best bet is to talk to your vet about his diet. You don’t want to take any chances! ~Danielle

  26. aallegre August 20, 2015 at 9:58 am

    I’ve seen so many different angles on avocado being bad for dogs…In particular, Avoderm, one of the kibble diets (even though kibble is less than ideal to start with) promotes avocado as one of their main ingredients in the form of oil and meal produced by processing the fruit. Any thoughts on why this seems to be okay as a main staple in a commercial food and yet seems to be unacceptable in general recommendations?

  27. aaron August 20, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Do you have a list of things a dog can eat?????? I don’t just want to feed him the same food over and over and over etc. again. He might die of depression or insanity!!

  28. Wayne August 20, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Hi Danielle, I have been making chicken bone broth and feed this to my 3 dogs every night with meals that I cook for them. I use onion and garlic in the broth and filter these out when straining the broth. Will the liquid broth hurt my dogs? I can tell you they absolutely love it but maybe I need to stop using garlic n onions!

  29. Cathy August 23, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    My dog loves to eat cabana. Is it safe for her?

  30. Ria August 25, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    My staffie, Bruce loves Prunes. He’ll sit and watch me and sometimes even pat me to remind me to give him one too. Is it okay if I take the stones out?

    • Dr. M August 31, 2015 at 7:48 pm

      Prunes are shriveled plums and are NOT okay for dogs. Toxic. No prunes, raisins, grapes, plums.

  31. Marc August 27, 2015 at 1:35 am

    My dog ate half a taki (it a mexi chip) and its relly spicy is he going to be ok????? 🙁

  32. Marc August 27, 2015 at 1:38 am

    It a 4-mo old begal

  33. Dr. M August 31, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Many dogs (esp small breeds) do very well on a fruit & veg diet. Apple slices (with NO Seeds & pref skinless) are very good for dogs! Core the apple and cut away portion nearest the seeds and dispose all seeds. I shave small pieces with a cheese shaver to make them more digestible. Pieces should be small, no chunks that could cause choking, etc.

    • Kirstin September 28, 2015 at 4:54 pm

      Hi I give my dog (4lbs multease chuaua) chips all the time and they all have onion powder in them but she doesnt seem sick or anything. will my baby dog be ok?

      • Danielle MacKinnon September 30, 2015 at 9:00 am

        If you’re worried about ANYTHING that your dog has eaten, you should be taking him to the vet (or at least call and check in with your vet) immediately! Do not search the web – go straight to a qualified veterinarian who can give you advice! Please contact your vet for more information about those chips OK?

  34. Dr. M August 31, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    There is no evidence that tomatoes are unsafe for dogs. Tomato PLANT leaves and stems are unsafe. The tomato fruit itself is fine.. (Even the pet poison hotline confirms this). When in doubt, contact the hotline or your vet.

  35. Penny September 23, 2015 at 12:06 pm


    • Danielle MacKinnon September 24, 2015 at 7:14 am

      If you have any questions about your dog’s health – especially emergency questions, call your vet immediately! Do not rely on the web to help, your vet will give you the best information.

  36. Goldendoodle owner September 30, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    Don’t mean to sound like a jerk, but it’s almost always too late to ask if what your dog ate is safe or not after the fact… If you’re a dog owner you should have done all this research before becoming a dog owner. Dogs aren’t meant for owners in question, dogs need good confident owners… Their life really is in our own hands…

    Couldn’t find a nicer way to say this.

  37. Stephanie October 8, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    I follow guidelines from my vet. If they say he can’t have it , I don’t give it. Grade A dog food… Sweet potato if he’s acting funny or pooping strange . Period!! Why chance it!!!!

  38. Kristen Perigo December 3, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    My 9 year old dachshund ate part of a dozen glazed donuts and also some expired bread. He has pooped but, I am not sure what it looked like because I wasn’t here to see it. He seemed fine when I got home and now he is sleeping, which is normal behavior for him. Should I be concerned about either of these for my dog?

  39. sarah December 11, 2015 at 10:31 am

    My dog ate 2, possibly 4, raw eggs yesterday. Although they are from our own chickens, I am still afraid they may harm him. He doesn’t seem to be eating today 🙁

  40. Milena Petit December 20, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    My 2year old English bulldog just ate tangerines for the first time and she really loves it. Is it bad for her?

  41. Gaby December 28, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Can dogs it rice? Is it good for them?

    • Gaby December 28, 2015 at 12:09 pm

      Can my yorkie terroir eat turkey or ham?

  42. cherryhill February 7, 2016 at 3:50 am

    I didn’t know avocado is poisonous for dogs!!! I have an avocado tree in my backyard and my dogs have always been gouging themselves on the fallen avo’s without getting ill, how is that possible???

    • Gracemccdog April 26, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      It should be fine some dogs are prone to some foods but other dogs are really sensitive stomachs.

  43. Nic March 14, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    According to other dog experts eggs, cooked with or without shell, broccoli and apples are great for dogs as part of a balanced diet.

  44. Jenni March 23, 2016 at 3:13 am

    Gosh….This is not a vet line…I am surprised at how many people ask for help, when it could be too late. We have a greedy 5 year old Dachshund who will eat anything that is not tied down..we have fenced off our veg’ and fruit tree block and we are extremely careful inside…we learned the hard way..did not lose him..but almost!..

  45. Rita Bratcher April 5, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    I watch my English Bulldog diet closely… She has homemade foods an snacks… We even have a big list of No an Yes Foods… The kids have been informed of all… I check everything that goes in her mouth..My youngest son an myself have food allergies… So I’m use to it…

  46. Jackee April 25, 2016 at 4:42 am

    What about lettuce and carrots? I really want to know if it’s okay for him to eat cooked tilapia?

    • Maribel May 6, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      If the tilapia is boneless then it’s OK. Lettuce and carrots are OK too.

  47. Jackee April 25, 2016 at 5:20 am

    What about eating tuna?

  48. Dana April 26, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    The amount of people here asking if their dog is at risk is ridiculous! Ask a vet! You should know what a dog can and cannot eat before even getting one. Dogs can have unusual allergies as well, so you need to be very observant of any illness or strange behaviors. If you have any doubt at all, ask. A. Vet. Close this tab, look up your veterinary clinic, call them, and ASK. The internet is not a reliable source of information.

  49. FAAQ2 May 22, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    We feed our dogs carrots – but not lettuce !

  50. FghFghj hjnn May 24, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    I gave my dogs popcorn is that bad?

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