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Foods that are Toxic for Dogs

Foods that are Toxic for Dogs

Sometimes it can be tempting to share your food with your dog. Our Animal Emergency Clinic vets share some foods that are toxic to dogs so you can help keep your pup safe. 

Why shouldn't I give my dog people food?

Whether you are sharing your food as a treat or your dog has found its way into some food it shouldn't have, it's important to know which foods could be toxic to our dogs. These foods could cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomach, kidney problems, seizures, and even be fatal for your dog. 

This happens because your dog’s metabolism is different from ours. Metabolism is the process of breaking down food and turning it into energy. Since your dog’s body isn't able to process human food the way we can, foods that are completely harmless to us can be potentially fatal for dogs. 

10 Foods You Should Never Give Your Dog

Be aware that this list is not comprehensive and is just a summary of some of the most common foods that are toxic to dogs. If you would like more information on which foods are toxic or poisonous to dogs, speak with your Animal Emergency Clinic vet.

Garlic, Onions & Chives

The onion family contains things like garlic, onions, shallots, and chives. The substances these contain can cause anemia and damage to red blood cells regardless of being cooked or raw, and the signs and symptoms may not develop immediately. 


In dogs, even the smallest amount of alcohol can cause intoxication. When a dog ingests alcohol it could lead to vomiting, diarrhea and possibly could cause damage to the central nervous system. 

Grapes & Raisins

Any cookies, cakes or other treats containing grapes or raisins should be kept well away from dogs. Grapes and raisins may cause severe liver damage or even kidney failure in dogs.

Grapes and raisins are both incredibly toxic to your dog and could cause severe liver damage or possible liver failure. You should always be sure to keep these along with any food containing them out of reach from your dog. 


Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine which has its highest concentration in dark chocolate. Theobromine is known to cause kidney failure in dogs. 

Corn On The Cob

Corn kernels on their own and cut off the cob are not toxic to dogs, the danger is with the cob itself. If swallowed by your dog the cob could possibly cause a serious blockage in your dog’s intestine.

Macadamia Nuts

Although there are other nuts that are safe for dogs, there are some that are not. One of those is the macadamia nut. Macadamia nuts contain a toxin that unfortunately can affect your dog’s muscles and nervous system causing possible weakness, swollen limbs, and panting.


Avocado leaves, fruit, and seeds contain persin which has been known to cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other severe conditions in dogs. The most dangerous part of an avocado is the pit or seed as it can not only be a choking hazard but also has a concentrated amount of persin.

Cooked Bones

Sometimes we may consider giving our dog the cooked bones from meals we have made for ourselves. This is not a good idea since cooked bones splinter easily and could perforate the gut, which can be fatal. 


Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is severely toxic to dogs. It may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, liver failure, and possibly hypoglycemia which can lead to loss of consciousness or could even be fatal.


While tobacco is not technically a food, nicotine is extremely toxic to dogs so it is important to be cautious. Signs of tobacco poisoning in dogs might include vomiting, abnormal heart rate, tremors, and weakness. 

If you become aware that your dog has ingested any of these foods please call your Animal Emergency Clinic vet immediately! Our veterinary teams are dedicated to providing the best emergency treatment possible.

Compassionate Emergency Care for Pets

Animal Emergency Clinic is an after-hours emergency animal hospital providing urgent care to cats and dogs from St. Louis and surrounding areas. Contact us right away if you are experiencing a veterinary emergency.

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