What Not To Feed A Dog – Top 24 Foods

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They’re fun, they’re playful and they’ll even fetch the paper if there’s a biscuit in the deal, but can you truly trust your dog to make sensible decisions?

Dogs make dubious choices in life, and it’s a wonder sometimes that the species has lasted so long.

How many times has your fluffy best friend enjoyed a cool drink of water from the toilet, then selected lucky old you for an extra special face wash?

Maybe your faithful companion decided it would be an awesome idea to dig a record-breaking hole, slap bang in the middle of your newly mown lawn, and then go for a nice roll around on your bed to get that nasty mud off, genius idea!

Then there’s food! They know you’re out, and they know it’s wrong to go in the cupboard, but everything inside smells so yummy! So, when you get home, you find your groceries all over the kitchen floor, half-eaten and covered in slobber, and your dog is looking ill and feeling very sorry for themselves.

What not to feed a dog - dog searching for food in the kitchen cupboards

Would they do it again, YES! Consequences mean nothing to a dog! They’re incapable of making good healthy decisions, especially about food, but that’s where we come in…

What Not to Feed a Dog

Dogs are not always able to eat the things that we do, many of the types of foods we consume are bad for their health, and some foods are toxic and can even kill a dog.

We need to be extra vigilant about what goes in their mouths, because they won’t be.

With this in mind, we’ve compiled a quick list of 24 foods that you really should keep away from your dog:

1. Chocolates

what not to feed a dog

Chocolate can cause theobromine poisoning; also known as Chocolate poisoning. This is caused by an overdose reaction to Xanthine Alkaloid Theobromine found in tea and cola. Apart from Theobromine, caffeine, fat, and added sugar in chocolates are also harmful.

This can affect your pet’s central nervous system, heart, kidneys, and gut. Do not feed them even in small amounts.

2. Onions and Garlic

what not to feed your dog
what not to feed your dog

Onions and Garlic contain a toxic principle known as N-propyl disulfide. This compound causes a breakdown of red blood cells, leading to anemia in dogs. This includes leeks, shallots, chives, and all onion varieties. 2.5 grams per 1 kilogram of body weight can produce serious results. Call your vet if you suspect your dog ate onions or garlic even in small amounts.

3. Avocado

what not to feed your dog

Avocados contain too much fat which may cause gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, and diarrhea. The Avocado fruit, pit, leaves, and bark all contain Persin which are toxic to dogs especially in unripe avocados.

The pit, if swallowed can cause choking or blockage in the digestive tract.

4. Lemon and Lime

a lemon and lime

Lemons and Limes contain Psoralens. According to the ASPCA, these can cause diarrhea, vomiting and depression. 

5. Grapes and Raisins

what not to feed a dog

These fruits can cause vomiting, diarrhea and renal failure within 48 hours of ingestion.

The reason why grapes and raisins can cause renal failure is not known although a mycotoxin is suspected. Grapes are also one of the most heavily pesticide-laden fruits of all.

6. Apple Seeds

what not to feed a dog

The seeds of apples contain Amygdalin which is known to turn to cyanide when ingested so they are best removed. The best way to give apples to your pet is to cut them up, remove the stem and core to prevent choking.

7. Coffee

what not to feed a dog

Coffee is a big no-no for dogs. Not even decaf. Large enough amounts of caffeine can be fatal. This includes coffee beans and coffee grounds.

Signs of caffeine poisoning include: Diarrhea, vomiting, restlessness, tremors and even seizures.

8. Ice Cream

several scoops of ice cream on a bowl with a spoon

In as much as we want to give ice cream to our fluffy friends, it’s best not to. Ice cream contains a lot of sugar that can contribute to weight gain and diabetes. Not to mention Chocolate which is toxic to dogs.

Dairy is another troublesome ingredient. It may also contain Xylitol. A sweetener that is highly toxic to dogs.

9. Raw Fish And Meat

what not to feed a dog

These items are highly debatable. Some dog owners feed their dogs mainly a raw diet but raw food can contain harmful parasites.

Be absolutely sure to remove fish bones as they are a dangerous choking hazard.

10. Sugar

what not to feed a dog

 Sugar can cause dental problems in humans as well as dogs not to mention diabetes and excess weight. It may also feed cancer cells. Xylitol can be fatal to dogs. Make sure to read the label.

11. Cooked Bone

what not to feed a dog

Do not give cooked bones as they are likely to break. A dog given a cooked bone may suffer from broken teeth, blockage and/or cuts to the esophagus/windpipe, punctures in the intestines, rectal bleeding, and even death.

Raw bones are safer but still, come with risks such as broken teeth and choking. Give them bones that are big enough not to be swallowed whole. Or better yet, just don’t risk it. Remember, a $10,000 vet bill is not uncommon.

12. Alcohol

what not to feed a dog

Fortunately, dogs rarely ingest alcohol because they don’t find the taste appealing. In mild cases, dogs just get disoriented and ‘sleep it off. In severe cases, you may see muscle tremors, paralysis, shallow breathing, loss of consciousness.

If you see any of the following, take your pet to the vet immediately. In social gatherings, keep alcohol and other prohibited foods out of reach.

13. Cinnamon

Ground cinnamon and cinammon sticks

Dogs may experience irritation in the mouth when ingesting cinnamon powder and cinnamon sticks. While breathing in cinnamon powder may cause difficulty breathing and coughing.

14. Dairy

what not to feed a dog

Few dogs can tolerate dairy. Most are lactose intolerant. Signs of intolerance are flatulence, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, decreased appetite, skin itchiness, and a rumbling stomach. If you really must give your pet dairy, make it goat’s milk.

Goat’s milk contains significantly less lactose, more calcium, and are better tolerated compared to cow’s milk.

15. Almonds

approximately 2 dozen almonds in white background

Almonds are a choking hazard, especially for smaller dogs. If you really want to feed it to your dog, cut it into smaller pieces. Avoid the salted variety.

16. Macadamia Nuts

what not to feed a dog

Macadamia nuts are highly poisonous to dogs even in small amounts. Symptoms are vomiting, extreme lethargy, increased body temperature, tremors, joint stiffness, and inability to walk. Some dogs may also develop pancreatitis

17. Peach, Plum & Persimmon

what not to feed a dog

Basically, this goes for all fruits that have pits including cherries and nectarines. Fruit pitscan cause choking and bowel obstruction. These pits also contain poisonous cyanide. Symptoms include dilated pupils, rapid breathing, vomiting, and skin irritations.

Persimmon seeds can cause diarrhoea and intestinal inflammation. Death may occur within 2-4 days without proper treatment.

18. Salt

things that are toxic to dogs

The occasional salty treat is fine except when your pet has heart disease in which case salt is absolutely forbidden.

Large amounts of salt can cause tremors, seizures, high body temperature, and even death. In the winter, wipe their paws to prevent them from licking road salt.

19. Spinach and Kale

a cup of spinach

Spinach and Kale can be given to a dog, however, it is not the healthiest choice. The reason being, it contains Oxalic acid which blocks the body’s ability to absorb Calcium and may lead to kidney damage.

Though it may take a large amount to reach that point, it is best to choose other vegetables.

20. Unripe Tomatoes

what not to feed a dog

Solanine is a substance found in the stem and leaves of tomatoes that is harmful to dogs. Dogs that inadvertently eat them suffer from seizures, tremors, muscle weakness, loss of coordination and gastrointestinal upset. Ripe tomatoes can be given in as an occational snack.

Unripe tomatoes should be avoided completely. If you’re planning on planting tomatoes in your backyard, choose an area that is inaccessible to your pet. Consider buying an Upside Down tomato planter that you can hang on a fence or post.

21. Raw Potatoes

what not to feed a dog

Raw potatoes contain Solanine just like raw tomatoes. They must be cooked prior to feeding and must be given plain. Skip the salt and butter.

22. Cured Meat

things that are toxic to dogs

All deli meat including processed meat like hotdogs, bacon, ham, salami, etc …

High amounts of fat are toxic to dogs and may cause Pancreatitis which is potentially fatal. Symptoms may include greasy stool, vomiting and loss of appetite.

23. Raw Dough

Common things that are toxic to dogs

Not that you would feed your dog raw dough but rather a heads-up to be careful whenever you’re baking. The raw dough expands in the warm environment of the stomach and puts pressure on surrounding organs and may make it difficult to breathe and may actually rupture the stomach lining.

If you suspect your dog ingested raw dough, take it to the vet right away. What’s more, the yeast in the dough produces alcohol which is highly toxic to dogs.

24. CBD Brownies

what not to feed a dog - a pile of CBD brownies

Brownies spiked with Cannabis can be particularly harmful because of the potentially high THC content plus all the dairy, chocolate, and sugar which are all toxic for dogs. Keep them well out of reach.


Our dogs may be weak-willed around food, but it’s actually not their fault. Thousands of years of evolution has genetically geared them to take advantage of any situation that might win them a meal. This is because in the wild, dogs never knew when the next meal would appear.

We can’t blame them for doing what comes naturally, but we can protect them from themselves by minimizing their opportunity to eat the harmful foods we’ve listed above.

Check out our useful article, What Foods are Good for Dogs, for a list of human foods that dogs can eat.

If your dog eats something harmful and gets ill, seek the advice of a vet as soon as possible.

Don’t forget to bookmark us for later, we’ve got a wide range of material on all sorts of dog-related subjects. We update and post regularly so don’t be a stranger.

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All information in the article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to replace your veterinarian’s advice.


All information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to replace your veterinarian's advice.

61 thoughts on “What Not To Feed A Dog – Top 24 Foods”

  1. Wow, totally didn’t see this one coming. I thought I’ll just find some plain list of what to not feed. But I was massively and pleasantly surprised. The comprehensiveness of this is truly remarkable.

    And I’m glad I came across it. I would have been guilty of some of them like cooked bones or cured meat, for sure. That aspect of making sure it doesn’t eat raw dough was also something I wouldn’t have known. Other than that, I had no idea that macadamia nuts are poisonous to dogs.

    Thank you! <3

  2. Great list. I had a 100lb dog when I was younger and I knew not to feed him chocolates and dairy. But he did love a big rib bone when I went out to eat. I always watched him chew away at it. My dog didn’t eat many fruits or vegetables, but he did love peeled grapes. I was eating peeled grapes one night and he took an interest in them. So I gave him one and he loved them. So whenever I brought out some grapes he would always sit next to me and we shared them. He was a great friend to me and he lived to be 15 years old, which is a long life for any dog. He waited until I finished college and we spent his final years together. Thanks for the list. I will bookmark this page if i ever get another dog.

  3. This is a long list of stuff you have listed and if the truth could be told we must do all that we can in keeping our pets from eating these foods. Not because some of them may be good for us that means it may be good for them. I believe this is the reason why so many dogs fall sick and have poor health. Let’s give our dogs what they need to promote good health because the healthier they are the longer they will be around. Thanks so much for sharing a well-deatiled post that is informative with tons of helpful information on caring for our dogs

  4. Hello Sonny Chua,

    Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to comment on your “What Not To Feed A Dog – Top 24 Foods” article.

    I had no clue that dogs could get theobromine poisoning from chocolate, and I never thought about most dogs being lactose intolerant., although it makes sense how this can happen, I just never thought about it.

    I was really surprised to learn that Macadamia nuts are highly poisonous to dogs.

    This article has really opened my understanding to all of the precautions that must be taken in order to keep dogs protected.

    Thank you very much for allowing me the opportunity to comment on your informational article. 

    Blessings To You My Friend,


  5. I have bookmarked this Lost already so I can read it to the hearing of my daughter who is always eager to feed our dog with chocolates. The health of our pet should be a major concern and learning new things daily to make it better should be a priority. Some death case have been recorded as a result of ignorance and it shouldn’t be an excuse anymore. Personally, I had no clue some of these things can be harmful to them and getting to know here is a plus for me.

  6. This article is of great importance to me and I have learned a whole lot. I usually give my dogs Bones but I never knew this is so bad . This post has given me more understanding on what to feed my dog. Thanks on such an amazing article looking forward to more of this useful posted article.

  7. This is a good one. I must first commend the time and energy that you have put into making this website with nice templates and finding time to write an article on what not to feed a dog. i really do need to stop the habit of giving my dog some of these things. thank you for sharing this

  8. In my experience, dogs tend to be nature’s vacuum cleaners. They just gobble up anything that happens to fall to the floor within seconds. I heard somewhere before that chocolate is bad for dogs, but that was the extent of my knowledge. It turns out that there are so many things that are bad for dogs. There are a lot of stray dogs where I am, and we always give them cooked bones just because they are homeless. Now we might remove the bones before cooking.

  9. Thank you so much for this info! I cook my little dog “Chewey” home food! I was relieved to see that I have avoided everything on your list of what NOT to feed him.
    He is a healthy boy, but a little overweight! I am working on that!
    We walk every day, rain or shine…
    snow or sleet ( wearing our coats!).
    We adopted our boy ? Chewey dog, he has been a complete joy to my husband and I who are “Great Grandparents”. Proving you are never too old for a dog!

  10. I am 73 years young and remember when I was a kid, and had a dog. Back then, we didn’t buy dog food. My Mom fed our Dog table scraps. He had a plate full of everything my Mom had cooked for dinner. He lived a long and healthy life! There were so many “stray” dogs back in those days too, and neighbors would put out leftovers for them. Have food items changed so drastically in the last 50 years that what we are eating is so dangerous for our dogs? I cook my little dog’s food. He eats stew beef, chicken, (no pork) carrots, peas, (NO onions) potatoes and NO gravy. I also give him treats that I’ve purchased at the store…..Chicken strips and “Doggie Dollars”, which are all beef. He is a few pounds overweight, but we walk daily and I’m adding a few blocks to our walk each week. We love him so very MUCH ❤️!

  11. Hi! I’m so glad I found your post! I seem to be doing a couple of things wrong!

    I love chocolate and I like to give my puppy “treats”. I didn’t know I was causing him harm. I’m so sorry Spot.

    The other thing is that I usually cut half an apple for Bobby and half an apple for me. And I never removed the seeds away from his half.

  12. This article is so of great importance to me and I have learned a useful point on this. I usually give my dogs Bones but I never knew this is so bad . This post has given me more understanding on what to feed my dogs and I will also teach others about this. Thanks on such an amazing article looking forward to more of this useful posted article.

  13. My father used to give all our dogs chocolate because they loved it.  As an owner myself, I had heard that chocolate could be toxic so we avoid it.  I did not realize that processed meats were on the list.  Your list is exhaustive, but doesn’t seem to leave too much that a dog can eat.  Onions and tomatoes are things that we avoid.  Raw meat is something that does eat naturally, but I had not thought about the parasite issue.  It seems that a summary of your article would be that people food is not a good idea for our pets.  Thanks for the article.

    • Thank you, you gave me an idea on what to write next 😊😊 I’ll be writing human foods that dogs can eat and I hope you can leave a comment on it as well


  14. Your article is a life saver (literally)! At our house we like to give everything to our dog but sometimes we are not sure what could harm him. Thanks to you I can now teach my kids and tell them what not to feed our little furry friend. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  15. This came at a good time because I was just asking Alexa about this yesterday before dinner. I think this is hilarious! I had no idea that cured meats were off limits. I frequently will feed my dogs apples, but I know to not to let them get the seeds and definitely not grapes. Now, I have to say that I suspected giving them CBD brownies is not a goof idea… This was really, really informative, so thank you!

  16. I found this article to be really helpful. I didn’t know Cured meat is that bad for dogs. There should be more like this. Because I see a lot of new dog owners struggling to know what to feed and not feed their dogs.

    They should read to blogs like this before getting a pet, will definitely share this informative article, Thanks!

  17. great list. I have never thought about bones or cured meat as being bad for dogs. Wow! I’m stoked you shared. We use to always give bones, never chicken bones or pork was all that I knew. I guess we’ll go get the chew toys instead.

    But it does seem weird people would give dogs dough, but everyone is different I guess.

  18. As dog owners, it involves a big responsability. It is not enough just to love them, but especially we need to pay attention to their nutrition. 

    Fortunatelly my dogs have a proper diet, the only problem I have with them is the chocolate. They just love it!

    Thank you for your great work. I will look forward more articles.

    • Hello Diana, thanks for taking the time to comment. You’re right, we should actually make an effort to pay attention to the food we feed our dogs. 


  19. I am really glad I saw this post at this time. Perfect timing for a perfect post!
    My neighbour owns two dogs, a female German Shepherd and a male bull dog that he was probably hoping to breed. But not too long ago, the male dog died, and it was obvious his choices of meal for his dogs was one factor that led to the dog’s death. He was always feeding the dog raw meat, bone and other sugary meals, believing it was a tough male dog that could tackle any kind of meal. The dog probably couldn’t, and being a growing puppy, it just could not survive it.
    I seriously believe dog owners, or even pet owners, should mind what they feed their pets. One should know what is harmful and what isn’t before feeding pets.
    I’m sharing this post. It’s just so amazing how much information is contained in it.
    Thanks, Sonny, for this wonderful article.

    • Hi Chris, thanks for commenting. Poor Bulldog! The mix of toxic food was probably too much for him to handle. It was ignorant of your friend to do that. Thanks for sharing this post!


  20. What a wonderful post. I did not know Avocados, Unripe tomatoes and cooked bone can affect my dog. I appreciate these details and I think your review, what not to feed a dog is a better information to me. I like this will help me to improve my dog’s health. But What foods can dogs eat?, Is it bad to feed a dog late at night?, How many times a day should you feed your dog?

  21. I’m still amazed as how my dog has survived up to this point because she eats most of most I’m seeing on your article and really going to stop her from now. You have helped me to realize that they need as much care and attention as we do. My dog actually eats a lot by the way. Great post I would be needing more of this. 

  22. There are some things you mentioned that I’m really unaware of like in the case of giving raw fish and meat to my dog and some things you listed. Too much salt and sugar is not very good for humans, as it can contribute to health issues to ourselves. With dogs that are generally smaller than humans you can understand when larger quantities of these can cause health issues. Thanks a lot for this and i hope to see more article from you. Good luck!

  23. hi, i never imagined that the size of bone that i give to my dog mattered until now. i initially will just get any bone either cooked or raw and then give it to my dog. the tips i have learnt today can help me watch what i give to my dog and save my vet money. thanks a lot for this post

  24. Caring for a dog is not enough because we really need to be minded of what we give to them for food. Some dog owners may be ignorant of this if not all. Like yesterday in my friend’s house, I saw him feeding his dog with a cooked bone. I myself never knew that this is not good for a dog. I think he will need to read this article. We should be care of what we feed our pet if we don’t want to spend money on vets.

    • Hi James, you’re right. Your friend has to read this article. His dog may get sent to the vet if he’s not careful


  25. There are some things you mentioned that I’m really unaware of like in the case of giving raw fish and meat to my dog and some things you listed. I’m surprised that I may be feeding my dog to some things that may cause harm to him. This article has really educated me on this. Thank you.

  26. Hi there, I wish to say that I have read you site and its given me heaps of information about what to and what not to feed my dog. Sadly, I have slipped up sometimes. Your web page is very organised and easy to follow. I think the logo is very unique and creative. Your use of white space offers the reader time to follow their reading without any clutter. The imagery adds to the quality of your information. If I was to make a suggestion it would be related to the placement of the photos in a consistently organised way and giving them a slight border. I have the same trouble with my site. I place a photo one after the other, but they still end up misaligned. I’m sure it has to do with the actual size of the image file even though they are all in thumb sizes. If I knew a specific plugin for this I would suggest it. All the best with your awesome business! Cheers Jen

    • Hello,
      I’m sorry it took me a while to get back to you. For some reason, your comment and a few others weren’t showing up. Thanks for the feedback. The images are a little tricky to configure and I keep struggling with it. I’ve recently replaced almost all my images, when I started I wasn’t paying attention and I uploaded images up to 3mb! It’s crazy! Now it’s all below 50kb and the quality is negligible. Thanks for the positive feedback on my site:)


  27. Hi

    You have come up with a very comprehensive list of foods that dogs should avoid and I must say it is a real eye opener. When you have a dog, you really do not think about the foods that they should avoid, as you assume what is good for us, is good for the dog. Too much salt and sugar is not very good for humans, as it can contribute to health issues to ourselves. With dogs that are generally smaller than humans you can understand when larger quantities of these can cause health issues. The biggest problem I can see is trying to stop your dog from consuming these food, as they can eat anything that is put in front of them. Training dogs can be hard.



  28. Holy moly am I ever glad I don’t have a dog! I had no clue about most of these foods being so bad for dogs! Especially wienners since a lot of people give their dogs their meds inside a wienner to conceal it. 

    The cooked bone, alcohol and chocolate was just about the only ones I knew about. It’s scary to think of how much of these foods that people give to their dogs. 

    I’m glad you’ve got this great info out so people can share and save the pups!

    All the best,


  29. Wao! I’ve gotten surprised; the list is longer than what I would expect. 

    Mea culpa! I’ve got Tobby cured meat and some dairy products. Thank God I’ve not perceived any bad consequences of this bad practice of ours. It’s really hard not to please him when begging for a sausage during a barbeque Sunday; but, better holding some emotional pain rather than a Pancreatitis.

    Thanks a lot for this useful list. I knew about some of these prohibited foods to our beloved friends (Like chocolate as one of the most popular ones), but I just realized I’ve been doing very wrong in regards to Cured Meats.

  30. Hi sonny, this article is an eye opener for me. Thank you for sharing this list of food we should not give to our dogs. Most of these are food items I ordinarily would not consider harmful to my dog but now I know their harmful potential. I thought bones are good for dogs including cooked bones and cured meat. Indeed, we should be very careful what we feed our dogs with in order to avoid complications.

  31. This is such an useful article. I have a labrador for about 3 years. I didn’t know that there is so much food that is not recommended for dogs.I read all these foods and I realize that many of them are not good for people either. 

    Until now, I still gave my dog avocado because I knew that this vegetable fat is better than the animal fat. On some days I noticed that my dog has stomach problems but I didn’t think it was because of this avocado fruit. Thanks to you I found out this and I will definitely not give it to my dog. I agree that we must take care of our animals as if we were taking care of ourselves. Thanks a lot for this and i hope to see more article from you. Good luck! 

    • Hello, avocados are too rich for their digestive system. That’s probably what caused his stomach upset

      Im glad you found this article helpful!


  32. Thanks for sharing this very vital info as most times we just feed our pets anything that just comes to the mind or that are in our hand at that specific moment and its not very good at all as some of this things especially chocolate are not very good for the body system of our dogs…..for me what I am mostly against is raw meat or fish as apart from parasites it most time insights the carnivorous part of them.thanks once more for sharing this.

  33. Some of these are somewhat obvious but the truth is, most of the foods on this list I never would’ve guessed. It is particularly surprising to find that foods that we humans eat to great delight can be very poisonous and harmful to our four-legged friends. This is definitely informative. I’ll have to keep this list close by for reference purposes. Thanks 

  34. This a very informative site. i have learned new things about what not to feed my dog. Most of these we would overlook thinking they perfectly fine, but we actually harming our furry friends

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