Foods Harmful to Dogs

By D.B. Ryan
Dogs love to eat, and they're usually happy to tear into anything offered them, especially if it smells and tastes good. Unfortunately, human and canine digestion and physiology are not alike, and some foods we can process without any problem are potentially very dangerous to dogs. Even cat food, which is too fatty and has excess protein, is not recommended.

Table Scraps

Giving the dog items that would otherwise be destined for the trash is often a bad idea. While we abuse our own systems by consuming massive amounts of salt and sugar, a dog's system is unequipped to handle them. Cooked fat or beef can cause cancer in dogs, and the fat can also trigger pancreatitis. Beef stew, Chinese food, baby food or pizza might contain onions, onion powder or garlic, which contain thiosulphate. That is especially damaging to dogs' red blood cells. The result can be vomiting, diarrhea, breathing problems or liver damage. If mushrooms were also added to the stew, your dog could go into shock or even die from ingesting them. Ingesting cooked liver can adversely affect the dog's bones and muscles by creating vitamin A toxicity.


Most people know enough not to give fish or chicken bones to pets because of the choking danger they present, but this caution rarely extends to other types of bones. Dogs love to gnaw on bones, and they are often given cooked bones from meat dishes. But these, too, can block or even lacerate part of the digestive system.

Sweets and Other "Treats"

While the dog might appear to enjoy sweets, they are generally very bad for the canine constitution and should be kept out of the dog's reach. Chocolate is a major substance to avoid because it has cardiac stimulant and diuretic properties that are bad for dogs. The most serious effects of a dog consuming chocolate can be coma and death. Cooking chocolate and cooking powder, which have the most serious concentrations of the harmful ingredient theobromine, are to be kept away from dogs in all cases. Dark or semi-sweet chocolate are also especially hazardous. Nuts, particularly macadamia nuts, must never be given to dogs as they can have terrible effects on them. Other exotic canine "treats" to avoid include grapes, raisins, citrus and especially alcohol, which can kill dogs. Uncooked bread dough should never be shared with a dog. As it expands in the belly, it might stick in the digestive tract. Milk can be bad if the dog is low on lactase enzymes.
Comments (7)
Mar 10, 2010 temple
I have been giving my puppy cooked chicken due to when she was sick and the vet told me to give her cooked chicken and rice. She is ok now but is giving me a hard time without the chicken. She won't eat her puppy food dry and wet. What do I do. Im giving her chicken mixed with her food daily is that bad. Victoria Temple
May 13, 2010 Carmilove1209
I'm an absolute freak about what my dog eats. I always make sure that if we drop a table scrap its not something she cant have. My dog LOVES to eat anything and everything so this article helps me a lot. Have a long, happy life with your puppy everyone!!!! P.S dont feed it anything it cant have!! haha!
Feb 9, 2011 capetown
Thanks for the info,very useful.Is garlic good or bad ? I was suggested to add garlic for flee control.
Feb 25, 2011 jumbuck
Garlic has the same chemicals as onions but is much less concentrated and as far as I understand it'd take quite a large amount to cause a problem. I feed a half a crushed clove fortnightly,on average, to Toby (Australian Kelpie) (now deceased) for 15 years without any visible side effects. I have recently read that apple cider vinegar is meant to be a good natural flea detterent for dogs but haven't yet tried it as Riki (Australian cattle dog) is only three months old. See to-Using-Apple-Cider-Vinegar-for-Yo ur-Dogs-Health&id=729679 o r google "vinegar dogs" for more info.
Aug 16, 2012 dawnles
I have been told that turkey meat is bad for dogs. Can anyone let me know if this is true. thanks
Feb 15, 2013 Rafal
I have a 1 years old mixed corgi, my parents are Daily feeding her boiled chicken and sometimes mix it with a little tiny portions of her dry dog food( she is rarely eating any dog food ). Other times they mixed the chicken with bread or rice. Therefore my dog became a picky eater. Recently she has been eating the cats poop, and vomiting it with her food. Her poop became dry-ish yellow and liquidly. When I try to stick with her dry food (starve her) and only serve that to her, I found out she was never starved and has been fed table scraps and treats the whole day. I am not with my dog 24/7, but my parents are. they can%u2019t seem to get what they%u2019re feeding her is harmful. I need a GOOD answer/explanation to show them that it is. Please! thank you.
Feb 14, 2014 evans4real
I have a 5month old cross coccasian,usually too playfull and barks with fear.I notice he runs away and hardly barks at strangers.I feel he is too lazy and not wild enough to scare strangers.Someone then suggested that I cook the blood of a cow n give him to eat.Please,how safe is that? Evans4real
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