13 Hazardous Foods your Dog CAN’T eat

what can dogs not eat

For centuries, scraps of food have been synonymous with man’s best friend. But can our best friends safely eat our leftovers? And what can dogs not eat?

Due to all the garbage found in dog food these days, dog nutrition is at an all-time high. But let’s get back to basics and learn what foods are harmful and even toxic to your furry pal.

Here are 13 hazardous foods dogs CAN’T eat.


This needs to out of the way first because though it sounds somewhat obvious, common sense is rare.

Alcohol has similar effects on a dog’s liver and brain as it does on yours. But instead of a severe hangover, alcohol can be fatal for dogs. Depending on how much they ingest, alcohol can cause diarrhea, organ failure, and even death.

Grapes and Raisins

A few days ago we spoke of what fruits a dog can eat and had a footnote about grapes and raisins. Why are strawberries, blueberries and cranberries good while raisins and grapes are bad?

There is no hard evidence to what they do but grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure and even death.

Be sure to keep an eye on your raisin-filled bundt cake as it only takes about 6 raisins to cause harm to your pooch. This of course depends on the size of your dog but why risk it?

Onions and Garlic

I figured these would be added together because they’re similar and what they do to our breath is nothing compared to what they can do to your pooch.

Both of these veggies (which are part of the allium family) can cause gastrointestinal irritation which can lead to red blood cell damage.
I thought I’d mention the family of vegetables they belong to because I’m sure you’re likely thinking “what about shallots, scallions, and chives?”. The answer is, no. They can’t have those either.

Raw Meats and Bones

As long as I can remember, raw meat and bones have been synonymous with wolves but don’t feed them to your dog.

Just because Spike, the Bulldog on Tom & Jerry would have access to what appeared to be a round steak that doesn’t mean they can’t be harmful. Raw meat can often contain bacteria such as salmonella and e.coli which can harm both you and your pup.

Bones have also permeated pop culture and though my dog seems to want to jump at any he sees. The fun he’d have won’t be worth the scare he’d put me through. Not only can they choke on bones but a splinter and get stuck in their digestive tract.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter

Wait, before you bark back at me for this, peanut butter is actually safe for dogs. BUT, check the label to see if this particular bottle contains Xylitol. This is a sugar alcohol found in everything from our lip balms, deodorant and even toothpaste. More on xylitol later.

Xylitol is toxic to dogs and if you pick up a jar of peanut butter and don’t check the label, you could find yourself purchasing the wrong one.

Chocolate has always been known to be a no-no for dogs, but why? Chocolate contains a substance called methylxanthine. This can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and death.

Dark chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate and white chocolate is the least harmful.

Coffee and Caffeine

We didn’t have to tell you your dog shouldn’t be taking a sip of your morning coffee or big gulp for that matter, but here’s why.

Coffee and the caffeine found in cola, energy drinks, and energy bars also contain high doses of insulin-releasing xylitol.

This sugar substitute affects humans and dogs differently. The pancreas in both humans and dogs releases insulin, which controls blood sugar. Although xylitol doesn’t cause an insulin release in humans, it can in dogs. The release of insulin is so rapid, it causes a quick drop in blood sugar levels, known as hypoglycemia.

Chips & Nuts

I often wonder who are the people feeding their dogs potato chips. But then I remember there is an entire section on shampoo bottles with instructions.

The amount of sodium found in chips and pretzels can lead to sodium ion poisoning. If you see your pet a little too close to the snacks table at a party, beware and be sure to keep them away from the punch.

Nuts are also bad due to their high amounts of oils and fats that can lead to pancreatitis. By nuts, we mean almonds, pecans, walnuts, and especially macadamias. These can cause tremors and even depression.


I figured I’d include this as its separate item because the ingredient is in a plethora of our favorite foods and foods dogs can’t eat.
As previously stated, Xylitol is toxic to dogs and found in the following foods.

  • Baked Goods
  • Some Peanut Butters
  • Drink Powders
  • Candy
  • Pudding
  • Barbecue Sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Syrup

Pretty much anything you can find at an amusement park concession stand.

Other Foods Dogs can’t Eat – Hot Sauce

No, you shouldn’t put Sriracha in their kibble. The garlic, sugar, onion, lemon and chili peppers found in hot sauce can cause diarrhea and if it gets in their eyes, it can be a scary moment .

What’s Next?

Your pup is going to be introduced to a world devoid of Funyions, Monster Energy and tapioca pudding. But that doesn’t mean they can’t see a new world of delicious and tasty snacks.

A lot of these foods aren’t good for us either and for those who haven’t had any of the items on this list in years, all the power to you. In the meantime, be sure to check out our list of Best homemade recipes for dogs.

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