What can dogs not eat? (50 foods tested)

What can your dog really eat? There are many foods that are very healthy and suitable for your dog. Nevertheless, there are dozens of foods that are not digestible and even toxic. In this article we show you what you can feed your dog and where you should be careful. In addition, for this article we have obtained advice from the veterinarian Mag.med.vet. Emin Jasarevic.

What dogs can not eat
Article Overview

Why do some foods harm our dog?

There are foods or drinks that are healthy for us humans, but can mean death for our loved one.

Why actually?

The cause depends on various factors. In general, dogs do not have the necessary enzymes to break down certain substances quickly. These substances can therefore accumulate in high quantities in the dog's body and lead to symptoms of poisoning.

A good example of this is the active ingredient theobromine. We humans have the enzyme to break down theobromine quickly, but our four-legged friends do not.

Therefore, I would like to draw your attention to the following right away:  You need to crack down on unknowingly feeding toxic or incompatible foods!

50 Toxic and incompatible foods

Toxic food

1. food containing cocoa

chocolate

All cocoa-containing Foods such as chocolate or pastries and some drinks are off limits for your protégé. He does not have the necessary enzyme to absorb the active ingredient Theobromine to dismantle quickly enough.

A single bar of dark chocolate could kill a 20 kg dog!

The symptoms of theobromine poisoning are: 

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness, stress
  • Increased urination
  • Trembling
  • Increased, irregular or abnormal heart rate
  • Collapse of the nervous system, seizures
  • Death

2. grapes and raisins

grapes
raisins

Grapes do not have a toxic effect on all quadrupeds. Why they are fatal in some and others remain symptom-free has not yet been clarified.

A few years ago, a study was conducted at the British Veterinary Poison Control Center in London. 

The researchers found that grapes are not toxic or lethal to all furry noses.

It is not yet clear why 101 of 169 dogs remained symptom-free. Nevertheless, 13 of them died and four had to be euthanized.

The study showed that there are different reactions within the dog population. In addition, it was found that 10 g of grapes or less than 2.8 g of raisins per kg of body weight is sufficient for poisoning.

Which active ingredient in the grape or raisin is responsible for the poisoning could not be found.

The symptoms of grape or raisin poisoning are:

  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Apathy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Altered blood values
  • Decrease in body fluid (dehydration)
  • reduced or no urination
  • Kidney failure until death

3. Bulbous plants of the genus Allium (onions, leeks, garlic)

garlic onion
chives
bear's garlic

Onion plants are the be-all and end-all when it comes to refining our dishes and are very healthy for us humans.

However, active substances such as N-propyl disulfide or allylpropyl sulfide in the onion plants are toxic to our charges. They attack the red blood cells and ultimately destroy them.

There are some breeds that are particularly sensitive. These include in particular the Japanese breeds (Shiba Inu, Akita and others).

Moreover, it is irrelevant whether the onions are cooked, dried, fried or taken as a powder.

There is no fixed threshold value of the poison. It is only known that the quadrupeds already show a blood picture change at 15 - 30 g onions per kg body weight.

Poisoning by onions usually occurs from an amount of 0.5 % of body weight. This would correspond to 50 g of onions for a 10 kg furry nose. The effect of garlic can be up to 5 times more severe than the onion.

Nevertheless, garlic in very small quantities is also healthy. The dose depends not only on the body weight, but also on the state of health of your pet. Therefore, I would recommend you to discuss the dosage with your veterinarian or expert veterinary practitioner beforehand.

Here are a few examples of foods that belong to the onion family and cause poisoning in dogs:

  • Leek/leeks
  • Chives
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Spring onions
  • Onions
  • Wild garlic
 The symptoms are:
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Coordination disorders
  • Bright mucous membranes
  • Red or brown urine
  • Strong salivation
  • Possibly vomiting and diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Increased heart rate and respiratory rate

Vomiting and diarrhea appear in the first days. A few days or even weeks later the anemia forms.

Dogs that are taken to the vet promptly for suspected onion plant poisoning have a great chance of being cured without consequences. In contrast, quadrupeds can die if they are not treated in time.

4. Nuts (macadamia nuts, bitter almonds, peanuts, unripe walnuts)

macadamia

Why the Macademia nuts and Fruit pits are toxic is not yet known exactly. Some sources assume that the active ingredient amygdalin is responsible for this and that this active ingredient blocks cell respiration.

For a dog weighing 15 kg, as few as 4 nuts can cause poisoning.

Also be careful with unripe walnuts. The green fruit shells of a walnut can be infected by a fungus that contains the toxin Roquefortin C. This is why you should keep your hands off them. Therefore, you should rather keep your hands off them.

In general Peanuts not harmful for healthy quadrupeds. Unless your protégé has heart or kidney problems or is histamine intolerant. Then peanuts are not for him.

Bitter almonds contain Hydrogen cyanide. That is why bitter almonds are an absolute no-no!

The symptoms are:

  • Stiffness, muscle weakness
  • Difficulty running
  • Partially swollen extremities
  • Liver damage

5. Caffeine

coffee beans
tea

Caffeine and teein are identical from a chemical point of view. Nevertheless, the caffeine contained in tea is often referred to as teein.

The active ingredient Methylxanthinecontained in caffeine cannot be broken down by quadrupeds, so it remains in the blood for too long. 

Caffeine stimulates the circulation. It increases blood pressure and can trigger life-threatening heart rhythm disorders.

Many dog owners think of caffeinated drinks or foods only as coffee, which is not the case: Coke, energy drinks, iced tea, black and green tea, even soda drinks can contain caffeine. 

Even chocolates decorated with coffee beans are dangerous, because they contain not only the active ingredient methylxanthine, but also theobromine.

The symptoms of caffeine or teaein poisoning are:

  • General unrest
  • Hyperactivity
  • Panting
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Tachycardia and cardiac arrhythmias
  • Increased water excretion
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea and abdominal pain
  • Trembling
  • Cramps
  • Coordination disorders

In case of severe poisoning, an increased body temperature may occur. If the poisoning is not treated in time by a veterinarian, your pet may fall into a coma and suffer cardiovascular arrest. The severity of the symptoms depends on the amount ingested. 

The lowest lethal dose is about 150 mg per kg body weight.

For quadrupeds brought to the vet with mild symptoms, the chances of recovery are very good. If symptoms such as coma or convulsions have set in, the chances are unfortunately very poor.

6. sweetener (xylitol/xylitol)

sweetener

The expression "sugar-free" on some food packages does not mean that it is also healthy for our furbearers. Because instead of conventional sugar, these foods contain the substance xylitol - also called xylitol.

Xylitol is used, among other things, in Dental care products, Medication and Food supplements used. Sugar free sweets such as candies, baked goods, puddings and chewing gums also contain xylitol.

A dose of 0.1g of xylitol per kg of body weight can cause hypoglycemia in your charge. 

Thus, for a 20 kg four-legged friend, 2 chewing gums are sufficient to trigger poisoning. From 0.5 g per kg body weight, acute liver failure can occur.

The symptoms are:

  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Uncoordinated walking or unsteady standing
  • Lack of responsiveness
  • Trembling
  • Cramps
  • Coma

As soon as the first signs appear, your veterinarian must take a stabilizing measure.

Dogs that are admitted to the veterinarian before the onset of symptoms have a good chance of surviving the poisoning without consequences. If your charge already has bleeding disorders and liver failure, the prognosis is very poor. If he is already in a comatose state, most treatment attempts are already too late.

7. mushrooms

fungus

Mushrooms basically do not belong in your furry companion's food bowl. You should make sure that he does not eat a mushroom outdoors or even in your garden. Should you have a garden, remove the mushrooms.

There are discussions about whether possibly Mushrooms can be fed cooked. Some quadrupeds do not tolerate non-toxic mushrooms even when cooked and usually get digestive problems from them. Therefore, I advise you to simply omit the mushrooms.

Here are some more species that can be poisonous to your pet:

  • Red toadstool
  • Spring Lorikeet
  • Coniferous hemlock
  • Orange fox skin head
  • Green amanita
  • Panther mushroom
  • Giant Reddish
  • Satan's Mushroom
  • Brick red crack fungus
  • And more...
Mushroom poisoning can have different symptoms depending on the type of mushroom. The most common symptoms are:
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Breathing problems or shortness of breath
  • Bleeding
  • Increased salivation or foaming
  • Palpitations
  • Inertia
  • Fainting spells
  • Constricted or dilated pupils
  • Motor disorders
  • Tremors, seizures, or abnormal behavior.
If your foster has eaten a fungus, it is better to call your veterinarian immediately and not wait for symptoms.

8. avocado

avocado

With its high content of unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, the avocado is an extremely healthy fruit for us humans. 

However, avocado also contains the substance persin. It is responsible for the toxic effect on our furry noses. This substance is found in particular in the pit and skin of the avocado. 

If the fruit is not yet ripe, the concentration of active ingredient is very high. The leaves also contain persin. The ripened fruit flesh itself has low levels of it.

Although some sources state that small amounts of the ripened pulp are okay, you're better off leaving it alone. Especially if your protégé suffers from chronic diseases or is no longer so fit due to age.

Symptoms of poisoning usually appear after 24 hours. The symptoms are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Water retention
  • Cough
  • increased pulse rate
  • Diarrhea / vomiting
  • Cramps
If the poisoning is not treated in time, it can cause heart muscle disorders in your pet and he can die as a result.

9. alcohol

alcohol

Even if we socially accept alcohol as a stimulant and see it more as a means of enjoyment, relaxation or cheering up, it is a poison.

Some careless people think it is exceedingly funny to "offer" alcohol to their four-legged friend as well and "cheer them up".

Beer, wine, liquor, cocktails containing alcohol, or other Alcoholic beverages and food are absolutely taboo for dogs!

The lethal dose for your hairy companion is 5.5 g per kg body weight. Pre-existing conditions, chronic disorders or foods containing alcohol, such as a rum praline, can greatly increase the toxic effect.

Symptoms of alcohol poisoning vary depending on the dose taken:

  • Salivation
  • Vomiting
  • Coordination disorders
  • Shortness of breath
  • Increased heart rate
  • Liver Damage
  • Coma
  • Death

10. raw pork

Pork

Raw pork can be cooked with the Aujeszky virus be infected. This virus has deadly consequences for your pet.

Uncooked salami, sausage or smoked meat products made from pork also pose a risk.

The virus can only be killed with a cooking temperature of 60° C or higher.

The symptoms are:

  • Itching
  • Vomiting
  • Unrest
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever

After the virus is absorbed through the mucous membrane of the mouth and nose, the pathogen enters the gastrointestinal tract. From there it goes to the nervous system and to the brain, to the brain stem. The brain tissue is destroyed and failure of the nervous system occurs.

The incubation period is 2-9 days. In many cases it can be 3-5 days. Unfortunately, this disease is not treatable.

In addition, the treatment of this disease is prohibited by law. Because this disease is a notifiable animal disease.

11. salt

salt

Salt in the context of a healthy diet is not dangerous. 

But already from 0.5 g per kg body weight it becomes toxic.

Salt causes the body to accumulate more fluid. Therefore, your pet needs to drink more water than usual. If he suffers from heart disease, the fluid cannot be excreted because of the reduced cardiac output. Too much salt leads to high blood pressure and kidney damage.

Particularly affected are quadrupeds that already suffer from kidney or heart failure.

Do not feed your foster with leftovers, salami, salty cookies or similar.

12. nicotine

tobacco

Of course, tobacco is not a food. Nevertheless, tobacco can be found in many households, either in loose form or as a cigarette.

The in tobacco contained Nicotine acts on your furry nose as Nerve agent. Especially in puppies, tobacco can be up to a Circulatory collapse lead.

Keep cigarette packs, tobacco and full ashtrays out of your four-legged friend's reach. Cigarette butts also contain a fair amount of nicotine.

For a 15 kg dog, 10 cigarette butts or 3 cigarettes would be sufficient for poisoning.

The symptoms are:

  • Increase in nerve activity
  • Muscle tremor
  • Vomiting
  • Salivating
  • Temperature rise
  • Running difficulties
  • Cardiac rhythm disorders
  • Cardiovascular failure
  • Death

13. medicines

medications

Of course, drugs are not food. But our dear companions see things differently than we do. So the colorful, tempting tablets can quickly end up in the stomach.

That's why I advise you, not to take medication in the presence of your fur bearer. If something should ever fall on the floor, there is a risk that it will be "cleaned off". Also, keep all medications out of your little one's reach.

Active ingredient / drug Symptoms, effects
Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid, ASS) Organ damage, fatal at high doses
Paracetamol Stomach bleeding, liver damage
Ibuprofen Orientation disorders, vomiting
Diclofenac Bleeding, vomiting, diarrhea

Please note that this list includes only some of the medications that we usually have at home. In general, the rule of thumb is that all medications (including homeopathic or herbal) are toxic to your charge and do not belong within his reach!

14. fruit pits & stone fruit

apricot

Stone fruit include apricots, plums, peaches, bitter almonds, cherries.

These are widespread in our gardens or meadows. Here it is not the fruit that causes problems, but the core.

In the seeds of these fruits are Cyan compounds like Hydrogen cyanide or Cyanide contain Hydrogen cyanide can cause severe neurological disorders.

Should your little one eat or swallow these seeds, the active ingredients will be released in the body. A dose of 2 mg per kg body weight can already lead to respiratory arrest.

Apart from this, the cores can have a Intestinal obstruction cause or the Injure gastric mucosa.

The symptoms of fruit pit poisoning are:

  • Salivating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting (also smells strongly of bitter almond)
  • Scratchy throat
  • Mucous membranes (rosy)
  • Respiratory problems
  • Increased heart rate
  • Respiratory arrest

15. nightshade family (raw potatoes, eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, hot peppers)

nightshade

The solanaceous plants most commonly used as food in our country are. Potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers or hot peppers.

They contain the active ingredient Solanine. This substance is developed during exposure to sunlight. Particularly high levels of solanine are contained in the green parts or in the stalk.

The symptoms of solanine poisoning are:

  • Irritation of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Destruction of red blood cells
  • Inhibition of the nervous system
  • Suppression of respiration and motor centers
  • Cardiac arrest

Boiled potatoes will not harm your darling. However, you should be careful to cut away the green parts of the potato. It is best not to use potatoes that are too green.

Overripe tomatoes in small quantities (pureed and cooked) hardly contain the active ingredient solanine. However, in some cases it is very difficult to distinguish overripe from ripe tomatoes. Therefore, it is better not to feed them to your pet at all.

The same applies to the Eggplant. Some sources say that a small amount of cooked eggplant is harmless. Nevertheless, this "small amount" may vary from dog to dog. In addition, the general state of health is very important. A small portion for a four-legged friend with a stronger immune system will have a different effect than on a dog that already has health problems.
 
Also with Peppers or hot peppers it is no different. Some sources completely advise against green and yellow, whereas red peppers or bell peppers are not banned. According to them, the solanine in red peppers should be degraded during the ripening process. Personally, I do not take this risk and also refrain from feeding red peppers.

16. raw eggs

ei

The egg white contains the active ingredient avidin and binds biotin - also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H. 

However, biotin plays an important role in carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism. That's why your pet should never be fed raw egg whites.

Some sources have no objection to feeding raw yolk.

However, you need to be sure that your raw egg fresh command For spoiled eggs can be in the yolk Salmonella contain

If you do not want to give up eggs completely, you can give your furry nose without hesitation give hard-boiled eggs. Thus, you also reduce the risk of salmonella.

17. Raw legumes

beans

In the uncooked state, raw legumes contain Phasin, Tannins and Alkaloids Regardless, it could also mean that your dog Trypsin inhibitors, which Inhibit protein digestion.

These substances decompose only when they are cooked.

Legumes include, among others. Lentils, beans, chickpeas, soy products.

The symptoms are:

  • Unwillingness to eat to refusal of food
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramps
  • Hypertrophy of the pancreas
  • Death

These foods are difficult to tolerate

1. milk & dairy products

Milk

Whether milk or dairy products are tolerable for our dear friends is determined by the milk sugar content (lactose content). 

Quadrupeds lack the necessary enzyme in the small intestine to fully digest lactose after puppyhood. Depending on the amount of milk ingested, this leads to Diarrhea, faulty fermentation in the large intestine and Abdominal pain.

Therefore, ask your veterinarian if you can feed your foster with milk and/or dairy products.

If your fur carrier suffers from lactose intolerance, it is more advisable to avoid milk and dairy products containing lactose.

2. cooked bones

Dog bone

Basically, you should not feed your pet with cooked bones or leftover bones from the grill. This is because cooked or grilled bones are brittle and porous. They can splinter in the digestive tract and cause life-threatening injuries.

Therefore, if at all, you should always feed your pet with raw bones. Bones are an important ingredient, especially when barfeeding.

Nevertheless, there are quadrupeds that do not tolerate even raw bones. In this case, you can feed your dog with minced bones.

3. cabbage vegetables

kohl

Cabbage vegetables are not poisonous. Nevertheless, due to its composition it can Flatulence cause in your protégé, which can be unpleasant both for him and for you. 

However, you can give him these vegetables in small quantities and cooked.

4. cold food

fish ice

It is not recommended to give food directly from the refrigerator. It is better to leave it outside until it reaches a comfortable room temperature. 

Dog ice cream in the summer will certainly not harm your darling. But please keep it in moderation and still observe well whether he tolerates it.

5. cereals at Gluten intolerance

cereals in food

Many sources completely discourage the feeding of cereals. Because of the reasoning that the dog descended from the wolf and is therefore a carnivore. This statement is not quite true. Because also the wolf gets grain or plants through the stomach and intestinal contents of its prey.

Therefore, it is not possible to completely assume that grain in any dog food is used only as a filler. Of course, the proportion of cereals should meet the needs of a dog. 

However, some cereals contain Gluten. Some four-legged friends cannot tolerate gluten. If this is the case with your protégé, you should make sure that he gets gluten-free food.

The following cereals contain gluten:

  • Wheat
  • Spelt
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Triticale
 The following cereals contain No gluten:
  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Millet
  • Bamboo Seeds
It is also not a disadvantage to buy grain-free food. There is also nothing wrong with feeding your pet a dog food that contains easily digestible grains.
 
When buying dog food, make sure it is a gently produced and high quality food -. preferably in BIO quality.

BONUS: These house & garden plants are poisonous

cyclamen

Plants: They beautify our home or garden with their flowers and stately leaves and provide a soothing indoor environment.

Nevertheless, there are some among them that can be toxic for our furry noses. In particular, puppies and young dogs are affected, as they are still exploring the world that is new to them. Their biggest supporters are nose and mouth. So here and there for minutes sniffed around, licked or even nibbled.

I have listed some plants that are poisonous to our pets below. Either don't have them in your home or yard in the first place, or keep them out of reach of your furry friend:

  • Agave
  • Cyclamen
  • Amaryllis (Delphinium)
  • Azalea
  • Blue monkshood
  • Bow hemp (bayonet plant)
  • Brunfelsie
  • Boxwood
  • Wood anemone
  • Christ thorn, Christ star
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Clivie
  • Datura
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Dragon tree, dragon lily
  • Ivy
  • Yew
  • Monocle
  • Angel Trumpet
  • Window leaf
  • Ficus (rubber tree) and other species of ficus
  • Foxglove
  • Flamingo flower
  • Honeysuckle
  • Geranium
  • Golden Rain
  • Autumn crocus
  • Sweetheart
  • Hydrangea
  • Cherry Laurel
  • Piston thread
  • Lilies, all types
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Mistletoe
  • Oleander
  • Orchids, all species
  • Passionflower
  • Philodendron
  • Rhododendron
  • Delphinium
  • Hemlock
  • Fir needles
  • Thuja
  • Belladonna
  • Juniper
  • Poinsettia
  • Cedar
You can find more in our big List of over 70 poisonous plants.

What are the symptoms of poisoning?

In almost all poisonings, vomiting is one of the symptoms. Depending on the active ingredient that leads to poisoning, the other symptoms may vary. If the symptoms listed below occur in your protégé, then you can assume poisoning:

  • Unrest
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Salivating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive salivation
  • Bloated belly
  • Cramps
  • Fever or low temperature
  • Apathy
  • Pale gums
  • Shortness of breath
It is important that you consult your veterinarian immediately if you suspect poisoning. Unless you have received specific instructions from your veterinarian, you should not attempt to make your dog vomit. Also keep in mind that some symptoms may not appear until days later.
 
You can find more about first aid in the next section

 

What should I do in case of an emergency?

  • You should always keep an adequate supply of Activated carbon have at home in your first aid cabinet. Because activated charcoal is the only preparation that you can use yourself against an incipient poisoning.
  • The Phone number of the veterinarian you should from day one, on your phone. have saved.
  • If you suspect that your dog has poisoned himself or you have caught him eating a poisonous substance? Then you must contact your veterinarian immediately!
  • Subtitle while your dog continues to nibble or eat the remedy.
  • Take, if still available a Sample or the Remainder left of the toxic substance (chocolate wrapper, coffee wrapper, cigarette pack, etc.) to the vet. This will allow your vet to better and more quickly assess what measures to take for detoxification.
  • Keep calm and also try to reassure your darling as much as possible, so that he knows that he is being helped. Feel free to talk him through it.

How can I prevent poisoning?

The most important point to avoid poisoning is to make sure that you have all toxins out of reach of your favorite lets.

Inform your roommates and also guests about the foods that are toxic for a dog. Also, you should avoid feeding him from the table or giving him food scraps when he looks up at you cute and begging.

You can post a list of foods to avoid on your refrigerator.

Train with your furry nose the "leave" or "off" command. If you have difficulties with this, you can get help from a dog trainer.

Outside you should always keep your darling lead with leash. So you can control him better and react immediately if he wants to eat something poisonous.

By the way, here are charcoal tablets that I always have at home for emergencies:

Charcoal tablets
You should always have an adequate supply of activated charcoal at home in your first aid cabinet. Because activated carbon is the only preparation that you can use yourself against an incipient poisoning.

Recommendation from the vet

Maybe you have unknowingly given one or the other food to your protégé and did not notice any complaints. I can only say that you were lucky. Food leftovers do not belong in the stomach of a dog.

Practice with him to listen to your command if he eats something he is not allowed to. This way you still have the opportunity to take it out of his mouth.

If you still want to please him once in a while, feel free to give him healthy treats or bake them yourself.

For some tips and recipes you can read in our article Bake your own dog cookies and treats poke around. Have fun baking 😊

Examined by the veterinarian Mag.med.vet. Emin Jasarevic
Examined by the veterinarian Mag.med.vet. Emin Jasarevic

I am a veterinarian and writer on animal health topics. Animals are my passion and it is my personal concern to create medically accurate articles and videos to inform pet owners as much as possible.

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