For pet owners, there is no greater reward than the undying love and attention of their dog. Owning a dog is one of the greatest joys in life, but it is not without responsibility.   There are many foods that would seem like a delicious treat for your dog that in reality could be harmful, or even fatal.   Although there are products on the market which can eliminate the toxicity of certain poisonous foods during the event of a dog poison or cat poison pet emergency, the following foods should be kept away from dogs at all costs.

1. Onions

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Your dog may die WHAT TO DO: Seek immediate veterinary assistance to prevent severe anemia


This is NOT a rubber ball

Onions are a delicious ingredient, present in many dishes, but they can be fatal if ingested by a dog. While the opportunity for a dog to snatch an onion seems rare, keep in mind the fact that they may be a key ingredient in something the dog can easily get paws on. Onions cause Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia, or IMHA. In a nutshell, IMHA causes a loss of red blood cells and wreaks general havoc on the circulatory system of dogs. Symptoms of IMHA include lethargy, depression, pale gums or a heart murmur. While quick and prolonged treatment can provide a full recovery for affected dogs, the outlook is not always as positive. Keeping onions away from dogs ensures that nobody will cry when they are eaten.

2. Cat Food

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: High fat/protein levels lead to obesity and artery failure WHAT TO DO: Nothing immediate, but feed dogs and cats separately

Cat food is not good for dogs.

Cat food is not called "Dog Food" for a reason

This one seems like a no-brainer. Since cat food is made for cats, and dog food is made for dogs, sticking to what the manufacturer suggests seems logical. However, it is a mix-up that occurs quite often and can be detrimental to your dog’s health. A last minute substitution sounds like it could be okay. However, cat food contains a much higher ratio of fat and protein that could be worse for your dog than people think. Even for those who are prepared with pet food reserves need to keep an eye out, as a grazing dog may go for the cats bowl instead of its own dish. As a simple rule, make sure that the animal eating the food matches the animal on the bag.

3. Raisins & Grapes

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Kidney failure, or serious complications WHAT TO DO: Seek veterinary assistance as soon as possible to mitigate damage


These raisins even resemble the kidneys they attack.

Although nobody is certain why, raisins and grapes are delicious and seemingly harmless foods that damage dogs. Although they are fruits, and therefore about as natural and sweet as can be, grapes pose a significant threat to dog kidneys. Acute kidney problems are common in dogs that have ingested a significant amount of grapes or raisins. Although the fruit may be very good for your own health, it may permanently impair your dog’s health.  Although these issues can often lead to the death of a dog, they may also lead the pet owner down a lengthy path of kidney treatments including Azodyl and Epakitin.

4. Macadamia Nuts

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Death by toxicosis WHAT TO DO: Spend the day with your dog, and if he lives, be grateful

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are expensive enough without the vet bill

Macadamia nut toxicosis can be fatal to dogs. In fact, oftentimes dogs can die within 48 hours of ingesting the delicious nuts. The good news is that those dogs that make it past the 48 hour rate have an infinitely higher rate of survival. However, it requires months of treatment and monitoring to ensure that the toxins have left the dog’s body. Symptoms of Macadamia nut poisoning include wobbly walking, depression, vomiting, and an empty jar of Macadamia nuts in your house. If any of these symptoms present, call a veterinarian immediately.

5. Bones

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Internal bleeding and/or lacerations WHAT TO DO: Dispose of bones so that your pooch can’t find them

Dog bones

“With a knick knack, paddy wack, give the dog a scone”

As every cartoon, children’s drawing, and rap song suggests, dogs love bones. Your dog loves them, but it doesn’t mean he should have them. Dogs will move heaven and earth to get into meat bones. Unless the bone is Dino-from-the-Flintstones large, the chance that your dog will chew, break and swallow bone fragments is enormous. The chances for digestive track lacerations are immense, which could cause your dog a horrible amount of pain. It is best to be a good parent and hide bones since you know what’s best for your dogs.

6. Sugarless candies

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Significant liver damage WHAT TO DO: Don’t share your treats with your dogs

Sugarless Candies

Now in 4 flavors! Cherry, lemon, green and red!

Many dog owners falsely believe they are doing their dogs a favor by giving them sugarless candies instead of the regular kind. In reality, they are doing their dogs far more damage than they could have ever imagined. Xylitol, the artificial sweetener present in most sugarless candies, can cause dogs significant liver damage, and subsequent death. Although candy is not made for dogs, owners would be better off giving dogs candy with sugar in it, rather than candy with Xylitol.

7. Caffeinated beverages

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Caffeine can kill elephants, so don’t give it to your pet WHAT TO DO: Give your coffee to me, and take your dog to the veterinarian


Dogs don’t get cases of the Mondays

Anyone who willingly gives coffee or soda to their dog should read more on the subject, but for those dogs that get into the coffee pot on their own, there could be serious trouble. Caffeine is a stimulant, which in high enough doses can kill a full-grown elephant. Although the amount of caffeine present in coffee and soda is appropriate for humans, it is not appropriate for dogs. Once again, in the event of Fido taking his 12 cups black and from all over the floor, call a veterinarian immediately.

8. Chocolate

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Theobromine will over-stimulate, and maybe kill your dog WHAT TO DO: Call your veterinarian, and monitor your dog for 24 hours


More for you

Perhaps the most recognizable of the Doggy Don'ts, chocolate is a serious threat to pooches. That means there will be more of it for you, though. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is a stimulant like caffeine. Unlike caffeine, theobromine is unable to be processed by a dog’s system, which means a little goes a long way. This chemical can cause irreparable damage to a dog’s nervous system and heart, and therefore should be avoided at all costs. Conclusion: Although many pet lovers want to pamper their dogs by giving them delicious treats, the best thing they can do is feed them a healthy diet of veterinarian-approved dog foods. Although treats like chocolate, Macadamia nuts, and raisins are delicious for humans, they can be fatal for man’s best friend. Learn more about Nutri-Lyze - our recommended brand of emergency first aid gel for pet poisonings?