what food is bad for dogs

what food is bad for dogs


What Food is Bad for Dogs?

As a caregiver, your dog’s health and wellbeing are your top priorities. With a vast array of information available, it’s crucial to understand which foods can harm your four-legged friend. This article will delve into five categories of food that are harmful to dogs, explaining why they’re dangerous and what to do if your pet ingests them.

1. Chocolate and Caffeine

Chocolate and caffeine both contain substances called methylxanthines, which are very harmful to dogs.

  • Chocolate: Theobromine, a type of methylxanthine found in chocolate, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, seizures, and even death in dogs.
  • Caffeine: Caffeine is even more potent and can lead to similar symptoms, along with restlessness and rapid breathing.
Food Methylxanthine Symptoms
Chocolate Theobromine Vomiting, Diarrhea, Irregular heartbeat, Seizures, Death
Caffeine Caffeine Vomiting, Diarrhea, Irregular heartbeat, Restlessness, Rapid breathing

If your dog ingests either, seek veterinary help immediately.

2. Grapes and Raisins

Though small and seemingly harmless, grapes and raisins can cause acute kidney failure in dogs.

  • Grapes: Fresh or dried, any type of grape can be toxic.
  • Raisins: Even a small amount can prove fatal.

3. Alcohol and Yeast Dough

Alcohol and yeast dough can have severe effects on a dog’s central nervous system.

  • Alcohol: Even small amounts can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, and even death.
  • Yeast Dough: It can expand in the dog’s stomach, causing pain and possible rupture.

4. Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic can cause damage to a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia.

  • Onions: Both raw and cooked onions are harmful.
  • Garlic: It is even more potent than onions and is dangerous in all forms – raw, cooked, powder, or mixed in foods.

5. Xylitol

Xylitol, a sugar substitute found in many sugar-free products, can lead to liver failure and hypoglycemia in dogs.

  • Xylitol: Even small amounts can cause rapid insulin release, leading to lower blood sugar levels.


Q1: What should I do if my dog eats something harmful?

A1: Contact your vet immediately. They can guide you on the appropriate steps.

Q2: Are all types of chocolate harmful to dogs?

A2: Yes, all types of chocolate, including white chocolate, are harmful to dogs.

Q3: Can dogs eat any fruits?

A3: Yes, many fruits are safe for dogs. However, always remove seeds or pits.

Q4: What common household foods contain xylitol?

A4: Xylitol is often found in sugar-free gum, candies, baked goods, and toothpaste.

Q5: Can dogs eat cooked onions or garlic?

A5: No, both raw and cooked onions and garlic are harmful to dogs.