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7 Human Foods That Are Poisonous To Your Dog

A dog eating a treat from a person

Are you one of those dog owners that can’t resist giving your dog a nibble of your dinner? If so, you’re not alone. So many of us dog pawrents show our love for our dogs through food. However, this isn’t always the best for our dogs’ health. While the extra calories can really take a toll, many foods we enjoy are unhealthy and even toxic for our dogs. Some foods are even so bad for our best friends, that a bite or two can send you rushing to the vet. To keep your canine companion safe, happy, and healthy, always check that what you plan to share is not on this list.

1. Xylitol (a Sugar Replacement)

Xylitol, a poison for dogs

Most dog owners have never heard of xylitol. However, this sugar substitute is actually quite common. In fact, it’s found in most sugar-free gums, gummy vitamins, and candies. This sweet substance is often marketed as a healthy, all-natural, low-calorie sugar alternative that is better for your dental health. Unfortunately, the effects of this sugar alcohol, are not-too-sweet for dogs.

Even a small amount of xylitol can send your dog into hypoglycemic shock. For small dogs, one piece of gum could result in seizures and even death. While a few pieces of gum for larger dogs can result in permanent liver damage and fatality. 

What to Watch Out For

Never let your dog eat sweetened peanut butter or other food without first checking the ingredient list. Sometimes xylitol is listed as “sugar alcohol,” “wood sugar,” “birch bark extract,” or “birch sugar.”

Always keep dental products out of reach of your dog.

2. Cooked Bones

Cooked bone in soup

While raw bones are generally beneficial to dogs, cooked bones can be extremely dangerous. This is because bones become brittle when boiled or baked. This can lease to splintering and perforating in the digestive tract or a choking hazard.

So, cooked bones should always be off-limits to your dog.

3. Grapes & Raisins

raisins and grapes

Grapes, and their shrivelled cousins, raisins, may be a healthy snack for people, but they’re highly toxic to some dogs. One of the most frightening things about grape toxicity in dogs is that some dogs can seem relatively unaffected by a handful of grapes, but become sick from a couple more. Some dogs can become extremely ill from just a few grapes.

Grape toxicity causes severe diarrhea, lethargy, and even renal failure.

When it comes to grapes, never let your dog eat fresh grapes, raisins, or any baked goods or trail mix with raisins in it. Many dogs are also highly sensitive to currants, as well.

4. Chocolate

chocolate bar on wood

You’ve likely heard that chocolate is poisonous for dogs. However, many dogs still get extremely sick and even pass away from chocolate toxicity every year. This is often due to dogs breaking into pantries or pulling chocolate down from counters while their owners are away.

What makes chocolate so dangerous? It contains a substance called “theobromine.” Theoborimne is extremely difficult for a dog’s body to metabolise, and the high concentrations cause a dog’s body to go into shock. This reaction often includes tremors, seizures, vomiting, and an elevated heart rate. Too much chocolate can result in heart failure

5. Alcohol


Have you ever wondered if it’s alright for your dog to try a sip or two of beer? The answer is simply “No, it’s not safe.” Dogs are extremely sensitive to alcohol, and even a few laps of a spilled drink can lead to GI issues, respiratory problems, liver and kidney damage (and even failure), along with heart and central nervous system effects. For some dogs, alcohol can even be fatal.

6. Macadamia Nuts

macadamia nuts

Dogs may love peanuts, but macadamia nuts are a no-go for our four-legged friends. Macadamia nuts are highly toxic to dogs and puppies, even in small amounts. While some dogs only experience vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness in the hind legs, others can lose their ability to walk and experience pancreatitis. 

This means that you should never let your dog snack on any nut mixes that contain macadamia nuts, baked goods that may have macadamia nuts in them, or plain macadamia nuts.

7. Onions, Garlic, & Chives

garlic and an onion

Garlic and onions are found in a wide array of human foods. These flavourful ingredients may add depth to your favourite recipe, but they could send your dog to the vet for emergency care. 

Both raw and cooked onions, garlic, and chives contain thiosulfate. Thiosulfate can cause an upset tummy, a depressed mood, and dehydration in mild cases. More severe poison levels can result in anemia, shortness of breath, lethargy, and muscle weakness.

Sometimes Sharing Isn’t Caring When It Comes to Your Dog

When it comes to keeping your dog safe, your best bet is to treat your dog to snacks and goodies formulated just for them. Giving your dog human foods may seem innocent, but the wrong one could make your dog sick or worse. So, stick to dog-safe treats, lock up any potentially poisonous foods out of paw’s reach, and if you must give in to those puppy eyes, always read the ingredients, first.