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What can dogs not eat? The top 10 toxic foods

When we’re chowing down on our favourite foods, those big doughy eyes can be hard to resist. Let’s face it, we love spoiling our pups!

But while many of us are guilty of sharing our lunch with Fido, you might want to think twice in the future. Many human foods are unhealthy for dogs, and some are even toxic. Here is a selection of foods you should never feed your dog.

what can dogs not eat

Grapes and raisins

Both grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs. Even a small amount can cause kidney failure which can be fatal. Early symptoms include vomiting and lethargy. So always keep grapes and raisins well out of reach.


Chocolate contains theobromine, which although isn’t harmful to us, is toxic to dogs. The amount of chocolate a dog eats determines how sick they will get. In mild cases a dog will experience vomiting, diarrhoea and excessive thirst. Severe poisoning can cause rapid heart rate, seizures and even death.

Onions and garlic

Onions and garlic can destroy a dog’s red blood cells when consumed in large quantities, which can lead to anaemia. Symptoms include breathlessness, vomiting and weakness. It may not do too much harm in very small amounts, but it’s best to keep them well away from your dog to be on the safe side.

Macadamia nuts

Even a small amount of macadamia nut can be lethal to dogs. Although experts don’t know the exact toxin that causes symptoms, dogs can experience vomiting, weakness, tremors, hyperthermia and ataxia.


Alcohol should be kept well away from dogs at all times. Our canine friends are more susceptible to alcohol poisoning, which can cause breathing difficulties, vomiting, kidney damage and potentially death.


Xylitol is a sweetener often found in sugary treats, but is highly poisonous to dogs. It’s sometimes found in peanut butter too, so it’s important you check the ingredients before feeding any to your dog. Xylitol can dramatically lower a dog’s blood sugar levels and also cause liver failure.

Fatty meats

High fat foods like bacon, ham and meat trimmings can cause severe stomach upset in dogs, which can lead to pancreatitis. It’s best to avoid fatty meats altogether and stick to leaner meats for your dog.

Salty foods

Too much salt can lead to sodium ion poisoning in dogs which can be fatal. Foods like crisps, chips and salty bacon are best avoided. Symptoms of salt poisoning include, excessive thirst and urination, fever, vomiting, diarrhoea and seizures.

Dairy products

Unless your dog is lactose intolerant, a small piece of cheese is unlikely to cause much damage. However, dogs aren’t as good at processing dairy products as we are. They lack the enzyme needed to break down milk sugar. So save the milk, cheese and ice cream for us humans.


As mentioned above, many sweets contain the artificial sweetener xylitol, which is poisonous to dogs. But in addition to the possibility of poisoning, sugary sweets can also leave your dog with dental problems, obesity and diabetes.


10 foods dogs should avoid


Be sure to avoid feeding your dog any foods on this list, no matter how tempting it may be. This will ensure you have a healthy, happy pooch for years to come!

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