Many dogs will eat and beg for any foods they set their eyes on, and many people have no idea what constitutes a dangerous food for dogs. Would you be surprised to know that macadamia nuts can be fatal for dogs in small amounts? Let’s look at the foods that can be dangerous for dogs, and then what you should have on hand should your dog ingest something harmful.

Certain Fruits:
Several fruits have components in them that are not safe for canines.  Avocado, the main substance in guacamole, contains a substance called persin that may be toxic to dogs in large amounts.  Grapes and raisins also have the potential to be harmful.  They can actually cause kidney failure for unknown reasons, and do this in small amounts.  These seemingly harmless fruits are often used as treats for canines, but it is best to keep them out of sight altogether.  Fruits with pits, such as persimmons, peaches and plums can be dangerous.  The seeds from these fruits can cause inflammation of the small intestine, intestinal obstruction and cyanide poisoning. 


Anything that contains caffeine is a dangerous food for dogs; this includes tea, coffee and chocolate.  In large enough quantities, caffeine can be fatal.  Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitation, muscle tremors, fits and bleeding.  Keep all forms of these products out of your dog’s reach. 

Alcohol should also never be given to canines.  It has the same effect on a dog’s liver and brain that is has on humans, but the main issue is that it takes less to cause damage.  Most of us know not to give our pets alcohol, but sometimes accidents happen and it is good to know to keep it in a place a dog cannot access. 

Dairy Products:
Just like with lactose intolerant humans, milk and milk-based products can cause digestive upsets for dogs.  It is often tempting to share your ice cream cone with your dog but it would be beneficial to avoid it. 

Macadamia Nuts:

Dogs should not eat macadamia nuts, ever.  They can be fatal in very small amounts and are an extremely dangerous food for dogs.  Symptoms of poisoning include muscle tremors, weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters, vomiting, elevated body temperature and rapid heart rate.  And this doesn’t only include “pure” macadamia nuts; it includes everything made with them.

Onions in all forms should not be ingested by dogs.  They can destroy red blood cells, leading to anemia.  Anemia in dogs can cause some pretty worrisome symptoms such as weakness, vomiting, little interest in food, dullness and breathlessness. Garlic can also cause this problem.

Candy and Chocolate:
We all know that if candy and chocolate are bad for us, then it is probably bad for dogs!  But it can even be harmful in small amounts, so always avoid giving them tiny bites.  Candy, gum, toothpaste, baked goods and some diet foods are sweetened with xylitol.  This is a sugar alcohol that may cause in increase in the insulin circulating in your dog’s body.  Because of this, the dog’s blood sugar will drop and lead to liver failure.  Chocolate contains a toxic substance called theobromine.  It is in all types of chocolate.  Theobromine can cause vomiting, excessive thirst, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and death. 

What do do:
So what do you do if one of these dangerous foods for dogs makes it into your dog’s body? The goal here is to have something on hand before this situation occurs. There is a product called Nutri-Lyze that contains an extremely powerful decontaminating agent which is designed to absorb toxins in an animal’s stomach giving you time to make it to the vet. Nutri-Lyze is also safe to use for suspected cases of poisoning with no ill effects to the dog. This is something that should reside in your pet first aid kit.

Now remember that the substances in the above foods are dangerous foods for dogs, not humans.  You will most likely not suffer any consequences from consuming the foods (but remember to consume the unhealthy stuff in moderation!) mentioned in this article.  There are several other foods that may cause harm to dogs.  If you have any specific concerns, it would be best to contact a veterinarian. 


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For when your pet injests poison. Add to your pet emergency kit!