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  • Writer's pictureCaryl Wolff

Dangerous People Food for Dogs

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

dog with box of chocolates
Chocolate can kill me.

Dangerous People Food for Dogs

This post is an excerpt from my book Doggie Dangers & Safety Tips In and around your home and yard. Please check it out! Kindle Paperback

The ASPCA has an enormous list of poisons and symptoms. If you think your dog has ingested any poison or dangerous food, you may call them at Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435, which is staffed by veterinarians and toxicologists. The current fee for the call is $65. When I called to find out more information, I finally hung up after a five-minute wait.

So my advice is if you see your dog eat something harmful or you think he has, get your dog to a veterinarian immediately.

Here’s your dangerous list.

  • Alcohol, Recreational Drugs, and some food products can cause vomiting and even lead to death. Do not give your dog any alcohol. Period. That goes for marijuana and other recreational drugs. They can get a high from secondhand smoke, which impact varies according to the weight of your dog. Don’t “see what happens if I blow smoke in his face” or give it to him as a joke. Tell your guests as well. And don’t give him or let him have access to food containing marijuana or THC.

  • Avocados and mangos – The flesh is okay, but pits, skin, branches, leaves, and bark are not. Only Haas avocados are okay. Others may have toxic compounds that cause gastrointestinal upset, especially true of those from Central America (which are okay for people but not for dogs).

  • Chocolate and caffeine products including coffee grounds and espresso beans can come from “unusual” sources such as multi-flavored vitamins, soda, and energy drinks. Generally speaking, the darker the chocolate and the smaller your dog is, the greater the danger is.

  • Coconut water is high in potassium. While it may be good for us, don’t give it to your dog. That's my opinion, and opinions differ, so do your own research.

  • Dairy Products – This depends on the dog because dogs don’t produce lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk) which can cause diarrhea or upset stomach. On the other hand, some dogs tolerate cheese and yogurt with no issues. If you do feed cheese, be sure it is low in both sodium and fat; with yogurt, plain with no sugar.

  • Grapes and Raisins can cause kidney failure. Never give them to dogs, and call your vet a.s.a.p. if your dog ingests them.

  • Nuts, especially macadamia nuts. Nuts contain high amounts of oils and fats which can lead to pancreatitis. Macadamia nuts additionally can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia.

  • Garlic, Onions, Leeks, Scallions, Chives, and Shallots – Symptoms begin with excessive drooling and end with the rupture of red blood cells. A little garlic is okay; it takes more than a clove to cause issues, but be moderate. Akitas and Shiba Inus are especially sensitive.

  • Peanuts are actually not nuts but legumes. If you give your dog peanut butter, make sure the ingredients are all peanuts and it doesn’t contain salt or artificial sweeteners, especially Xylitol.

  • Raw or Undercooked Meat, Eggs, and Bones – There is a lot of controversy over raw meat and bones as well as using grapefruit extract or food grade hydrogen peroxide to disinfect it. Raw eggs can contain Salmonella and E. coli and also have an enzyme that can decrease the absorption of biotin leading to skin and coat issues. Again, do your own research.

  • Salt and salty foods can cause sodium poisoning, increased thirst, and urination.

  • Xylitol and other artificial sweeteners – Read the ingredients to see if the product contains Xylitol. If your dog swallows it, get thee to a veterinarian FAST – my vet emphasizes that this is “deadly stuff.” If you see symptoms, it may be too late. Xylitol may be an ingredient in

    • Baked foods

    • Diabetic foods

    • Gums, mints, and candies

    • Peanut butter artificially sweetened

    • Mouthwashes and Toothpastes (in large amounts)

    • Nasal sprays

    • Sugar-free multivitamins and medications

  • Yeast and Raw Dough – The yeast expands in your dog’s stomach just the same as it causes dough to rise – only it is trapped, so his stomach blows up like a balloon. The warmth of the intestinal tract also causes fermentation, so your dog acts like he is drunk. If you get your dog to a vet quickly, he can recover, especially if he eats only a small amount and is able to vomit it before the yeast ferments and the dough expands.

Thanks for visiting Dangerous People Food for Dogs. I make a small commission on any products or books I recommend.

Disclaimer: This article is for information only. It does not replace a consultation with a dog trainer, dog behavior consultant, or veterinarian and may not be used to diagnose or treat any conditions in your dog.

If you need help with puppy or dog training, we do both private in-person and virtual lessons via Zoom. Please contact us by calling or texting (310) 804-2392 or sending an email to . We look forward to working with you.


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