10 Things Not to Feed Your Dog


WeLoveOurDogs is a pet enthusiast and is an expert on how to treat man’s best friend.

Ten foods you should never feed your dogs and the reasons why.
Ten foods you should never feed your dogs and the reasons why.Christine, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Flickr

We love our dogs—but just like kids, they can get into things they should not eat. This is the first of four lists of ‘10 Things You Should Not Feed your Dog’.

Here is the first list of 10 food items that you should never feed your dog:

  1. Chocolate
  2. Onions
  3. Tomato stems or leaves
  4. Pits from peaches or plums
  5. Raisins
  6. Rhubarb leaves
  7. Sugary foods
  8. Tobacco
  9. Bones
  10. Nuts

First and most importantly, everything you feed your dog should be in moderation. Even if it’s supposedly safe, do not give your dog large amounts of any people food.

As for the food items on this list, never give them to your dog. Yes, I am sure that there are dogs that have eaten some of the above items and lived to tell about it without harmful side effects. However, the purpose of this article is to help dog owners become aware of the items that should not be given to our beloved buddies and why! We believe it safest to err on the side of caution; that is why our lists are so stringent. Always, always, check with your vet first!

Why You Should Not Feed Your Dog These Foods

  • Chocolate—Chocolate, especially baker’s chocolate, is dangerous for dogs. Cats are mostly unaffected since they do not like the taste of chocolate; however, dogs love it. Chocolate contains various chemicals called methylxanthine alkaloids. Some types of chocolate have more of these chemicals than others. Relatively small amounts of chocolate can cause serious problems such as constriction of the arteries and increased heart rate. Large amounts may cause even more dire symptoms, and a pound of milk chocolate can possibly kill a 16-pound dog. Make sure your children understand how important it is not to feed your dog chocolate. Almond bark and other chocolate substitutes are also not good for dogs—the high fat content can cause gastrointestinal upset, and the sugars can lead to dental problems, obesity, and possible diabetes mellitus.
  • Onions—Onions and anything from the onion family, such as garlic, contain sulfoxides and disulfides known to damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Raw onions can cause liver damage. Cats are more susceptible than dogs. Avoid using onion (or garlic) powder in any food you are feeding your dog or cat—this includes dog and cat food.
  • Tomato leaves and stems—The green parts of the tomato plant are considered toxic because they contain solanine, which has the potential to produce significant gastrointestinal and central nervous system effects. However ripe tomatoes, the part of the plant typically used in food products, are not toxic.
  • Pits from peaches, plums, or other fruits with pits—All fruits with pits can cause an obstruction in the digestive tract.
  • Raisins—Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure. Even a few raisins can kill a dog.
  • Rhubarb leaves—These leaves contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.
  • Sugary foods—Sugar can cause the same problems in dogs that it does in humans. Too much sugar can lead to dental problems, obesity, and possible diabetes mellitus.
  • Tobacco—Because tobacco contains nicotine, it can affect the nervous and digestive systems, causing rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death. If your dog eats cigarettes, they will release toxins throughout his or her body.
  • Bones—Large bones that cannot splinter are usually ok. If your dog can chew them up , do not use them. If you have a dog with a larger set of jaws, it is possible he or she could bite off and swallow a piece of bone too large to pass through the digestive system; this is very dangerous and can be life-threatening. Be careful with bones since they can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system. Soft bones like chicken and fish bones should not be chewed by dogs of any size.
  • Nuts—All nuts contain fats, which can lead to gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea. Foods with high fat contents can also potentially produce an inflammatory condition of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. In addition, many commercially sold nuts are salted—and if a pet consumes a large volume of salt from the nuts, this could pose a risk for the development of a sodium ion toxicosis. Nuts known to be toxic are walnuts and macadamia nuts. The good news is that there is currently no data indicating that Brazil nuts (Bertholletia excelsa) or almonds (Prunus dulcis) are toxic to animals.

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