Human Foods Dogs Should Never Eat – Veterinarian Verified

When your dog looks up at you with longing in his eyes, clearly pining after the snack you’re holding or the dinner you’re preparing, it can be difficult to look away. But with over a third of dog owners claiming to feed their dog dinner table leftovers every so often, knowing what dogs should and shouldn’t eat is crucial.

This article spotlights some of the ingredients and foods that dogs should be kept away from, for the sake of their health, their weight, and to protect your food cupboards! 

But first, a little more about exactly why feeding our dogs leftovers are not always the best idea. 

Vet Tips

As caretakers of our furry friends, we are responsible for selecting their food ad this is something that should be done with great care. We sometimes think that if a certain food is good for us as humans, it must surely be good for our dog as well. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work this way. A lot of our human foods contain toxins that can cause serious toxicity problems in dogs. We really should avoid sharing our meals with dogs. We should also have hygienic and specific dog food for our dogs

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The Human Foods Dogs Should Never Eat

Table Of Contents

Here is the list of foods should never eat.

Click a food to learn more about it.

Why Feeding your Dog Scraps Could Be a Bad Idea 

Yes, when you toss scraps of leftover dinner to your dog it can feel like you are recycling your unwanted food in the best possible way. And let’s be honest, dogs tend to go mad for anything we give them outside of their food bowl and regimented feeding times – so it can be difficult for dog owners to know what’s right and what’s wrong at feeding time. 

But the fact is, dogs are not humans and do not digest food in the same way we do. With different digestive systems and dietary needs, not to mention different sensitivities, understanding the human foods that dogs should steer clear of is a good way to make sure you are always putting your dog’s health and wellbeing first. 

Feeding your dog improperly can lead to a number of different health issues including anal gland problems. Many digestive issues can be healed or avoided altogether by feeding your pup healthy food and treats. Learn more about what some of those foods are by reading the Best High Fiber Dog Food for Anal Gland Problems.

If you believe that your dog has ingested any of the foods in this article or notice that they seem unwell, look out for the following symptoms which can indicate your dog needs to visit a vet immediately: 

  • Excessive vomiting and/or diarrhea 
  • Seizures 
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Obvious pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Collapsing

If you suspect that your dog has eaten something and above mentioned signs are present, try to induce vomiting as soon as possible. Take the dog to the vet immediately. Atropine sulfate and activated charcoal are used as a universal antidote by veterinarians in case of severe toxicity.  Stomach flushing can also be done to excrete the toxins. In case of vomiting or diarrhea, a lot of body fluid is lost and the dog can undergo in state of dehydration. Fluid therapy is mandatory to fulfill the body’s fluid requirements

The foods that dogs shouldn’t eat 

Here are some of the main foods that dogs should not be given, alongside the reasons why they can be dangerous for your dog.


This one may seem obvious (with dogs so often over-excited anyway, it follows that getting them drunk can only lead to chaos) but it’s not just about alcoholic drinks. Alcohol is also present in other products such as mouth wash and even cleaning products and can make your dog very ill depending on how much they consume.  

Some of the symptoms of alcohol poisoning include vomiting, excessive thirst, lethargy, shivering,  and disorientation. 


Avocados contain persin, a fungicidal toxin that can be toxic for dogs if given in large quantities.  


Persin is present in the whole avocado including leaves and pits making all parts of the avocado poisonous for dogs. It can lead to gastrointestinal upset and myocardial damage. Because avocados contain a high number of calories, dogs can also become obese


We touched on caffeine as being a dangerous substance for dogs earlier in this article, and now it’s time to talk about why. A stimulant for humans, caffeine – when ingested by dogs – causes a  significant spike in their heart rate, which can lead to heart attacks in serious cases. 

Even a small amount of caffeine can be harmful to dogs if left untreated.  


This is one of the better-known foods that dogs shouldn’t eat, with endless information online about the dangers of chocolate for dogs. 

But did you know that the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is for your dog? This is because chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine which dogs cannot metabolize, as well as caffeine which causes sickness in dogs. 


Avoid giving cinnamon to your dogs. Cinnamon and its oil can be irritants for dogs’ mouths and can make them uncomfortable and sick.


Cinnamon can lead to hypoglycemia and result in vomiting, diarrhea, tachycardia, or bradycardia. In powder form, it can also cause coughing, choking, and other respiratory problems

Cooked Bones 

If anything on this list is going to surprise you, then cooked bones is probably the one to do it.  Contrary to popular belief, giving your dog cooked bones is not a safe way to recycle your roast dinner bones – with cooked bones often too soft to act as a dog chew. What this means is that the bones are more likely to splinter – causing intestinal blockages, choking, and even punctures in the intestine or stomach. 


Calling all those with dairy intolerances and allergies – your dog can 100% sympathize! 

Most dogs do not cope well with dairy as it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, stomach upset, skin issues,  and more severe allergic reactions. You may be able to get away with a small treat here or there but it’s really best to avoid it altogether.  


While you may not even consider feeding your dog a clove of garlic, food which contains garlic can also be harmful to dogs. This is because garlic can cause digestion issues in dogs, leading to vomiting and diarrhea to name just two of the main symptoms. In some of the worst cases, high consumption of garlic can lead to death in dogs. 

Grapes and Raisins 

A little-known fact (and one that more dog owners should be aware of) is that grapes and raisins are in fact toxic to dogs and that even one grape can be dangerous if consumed. With raisins being a  dehydrated form of grapes, ingesting either can lead to vomiting, weakness, and even renal and/or kidney failure.  

Macadamia Nuts 

Macadamia nuts are rich in fats and can upset a dog’s stomach leading to diarrhea and vomiting. 


A dose of about two nuts per pound of body weight can be enough to cause harm and can lead to toxicity. The high toxicity levels found in macadamia nuts can cause a temporary inability to walk, weakness in the hind legs, and can lead to pancreatitis as well

Plum and Peach Stones 

Did you know that the stones inside our favorite fruits actually contain cyanide – a toxic poison for both humans and dogs? While chewing on the stone inside a plum may be a fun game for your dog,  these stones should be avoided not only for their cyanide content but also due to being a choking hazard.  

Peach Pit


Despite being an ingredient that most of us can’t even pronounce, xylitol is present in most sugar-free sweets, drinks, and toothpaste – used as a common alternative to sugar. While this substance is safe for humans, it can cause a severe reduction in blood sugar levels for dogs – ultimately causing liver failure and even death in the worst cases. 

Yeast Dough

Yeast dough needs to rise before it is baked and that’s exactly what can happen if it ends up in your dog’s stomach. It can stretch the dog’s abdomen and cause a lot of pain.


Alcohol is also produced when the yeast ferments and the dough rises which can lead to alcohol poisoning. Bloating can be observed in such cases and its medical term is Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV)

Keep your dog safe inside and outside the kitchen 


Pet owners are fully responsible for their dog’s diet plan and health. Apart from feeding them good and nutritious food, owners should also be aware of toxic foods and how to respond in case of a toxicity emergency. Never change the diet plan of your dogs suddenly, but do it gradually. Always keep your dog’s health in mind when choosing supplements and treats. Don’t overfeed them. Too much sugar is also bad for dogs. Never give uncertified and unapproved food to your dogs. Take care of them as they care for you

If you’re looking for a way to treat or reward your dog during dinner time, reach for the approved dog treats and goodies instead of your own leftovers. With so many ingredients causing harm to dogs, knowing what dogs cannot eat is important – and we hope this article goes some way towards uncovering some of the lesser-known foodie hazards for dog owners. 

For more information on the treats and human goodies, your dog can safely enjoy, check out our other articles on dog nutrition.


All information in this article has been verified for accuracy by a veterinarian prior to publication

Chesca Douglas

About the Author

Chesca is a writer, born and bred in the New Forest, UK, where her family have an active and overexcited border collie x springer spaniel called Barney. Chesca now lives on a farm where her writing is often interrupted by sheep trying their best to escape at every opportunity.

Dr. Muaaz Ur Rahman

About the Veterinarian

Dr. Muaaz is a veterinary doctor and animal writer. He's passionate about wildlife and has been featured in both international veterinary journals and educational materials for pet owners. His areas of expertise include preventative medicine, nutrition, zoonotic disease, emergency medicine, and animal psychology.


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