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Toxic Foods: What Your Dog Should Never Eat

·6 mins

Knowing which foods are toxic to dogs is crucial for preventing food poisoning, which can unfortunately be fatal. Here is a guide to help you detect dangerous foods for your dog, their harmful effects, and how to react in an emergency.

Dog owners want the best for their four-legged friends, especially in terms of health and well-being. And rightly so: your pet’s health is precious! To take care of a dog, an essential element is understanding which foods are safe and which can be dangerous.

Main Toxic Foods: Delicious but Dangerous

❌ Common Dangerous Foods

  • Chocolate, coffee, and tea: It is well known that chocolate is harmful to our dogs, but we think less about often associated foods such as coffee and tea. And generally, the reasons for this toxicity are not well known.

    These products actually contain stimulants such as theobromine and caffeine, which are very toxic to dogs. Even in small amounts, these foods can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, or even death. Dogs metabolize these substances much more slowly than humans, thus increasing the risks of poisoning.

  • Sugary products and xylitol: Xylitol, a sweetener found in many sugar-free products like chewing gum and candies, can cause a rapid drop in a dog’s blood sugar and liver failure.

    In addition to xylitol, excessively sugary foods are also harmful to dogs. While their effects are less drastic than those of xylitol, they can still lead to long-term health problems. High sugar consumption can contribute to obesity, dental problems, and even diabetes in dogs.

  • Macadamia nuts: Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs and can cause symptoms such as muscle weakness, vomiting, hyperthermia, and tremors. The reasons for this toxicity are not clearly defined, but the effects can be very serious.


❌ Fruits and Vegetables to Avoid

  • Avocados: Avocados contain a substance called persin, which is harmless to humans but toxic to dogs in large quantities. Persin can cause symptoms such as gastrointestinal disorders, including vomiting and diarrhea, especially if the animal eats the skin or pit of the avocado.

  • Onions and garlic: These vegetables, as well as other members of the allium family such as shallots and leeks, are particularly dangerous for dogs. They contain substances that can cause oxidation of red blood cells, leading to hemolytic anemia (abnormal decrease in red blood cells in the blood). Signs of poisoning can include weakness, accelerated breathing, lethargy, and in severe cases, kidney failure.

  • Raw potatoes and green tomatoes: These vegetables contain solanines, natural glycoalkaloids that can be toxic to dogs. Symptoms of solanine poisoning include gastrointestinal disorders, confusion, and muscle weakness. It is important to note that cooked potatoes and ripe tomatoes are generally safe in small amounts.

  • Mushrooms: Some types of wild mushrooms can be toxic to dogs. Symptoms of mushroom poisoning vary widely but can include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, liver damage, and neurological disorders. Avoid letting your dog consume mushrooms found outdoors during your walks, for example.

  • Grapes and raisins: Even in small amounts, grapes and raisins can cause acute kidney failure in some dogs, a potentially fatal condition. To date, the exact mechanisms of this toxicity are not well understood, but the risks are high enough to justify a total exclusion of these fruits from the canine diet.

If this list seems tempting, these foods remain toxic to your dog. So, think about banning these types of foods from your dog’s diet.

Risks Associated with Certain Types of Foods

❌ Fatty Foods and Cooked Bones

  • Fatty foods: Foods high in fats, such as bacon, sausages, and certain types of fatty meat, can be extremely harmful to dogs. Consuming large amounts of fats can lead to pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas that is not only painful but also potentially fatal. Symptoms of pancreatitis include vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and decreased appetite.

  • Cooked bones: Unlike raw bones, which are generally softer, cooked bones, especially those of chicken and other small animals, can break and form sharp shards. These fragments can perforate or obstruct the dog’s digestive system, causing severe pain, internal bleeding, and often requiring urgent surgical intervention. It is advisable to avoid giving cooked bones to dogs and to opt for safer alternatives like specially designed chew toys.

❌ Dairy Products

  • Milk and cheese: Although some dogs can tolerate small amounts of dairy products, many are lactose intolerant. This inability to digest lactose can lead to gastrointestinal disorders, including bloating, gas, diarrhea, and vomiting. It is recommended to introduce dairy products very gradually into your dog’s diet to observe their reaction, or better yet, to choose lactose-free alternatives specially formulated for dogs.

❌ Alcohol

  • Alcohol: Alcohol is highly toxic to dogs, even in small amounts. Alcohol ingestion can quickly lead to ethanol poisoning, affecting the central nervous system. Symptoms may include disorientation, respiratory depression, tremors, coma, and, in extreme cases, death. It is imperative to keep all alcoholic beverages out of reach of pets and to clean up any spills immediately.

If you tend to slip the little piece of fat left on your plate to your dog, we advise you to stop now. These foods are toxic to your dog and should therefore be very limited in their diet.

Symptoms of Food Poisoning in Dogs

Recognizing the signs of food poisoning can save your pet’s life. Symptoms vary depending on the food consumed but often include:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea: Common signs of gastrointestinal disorders.

  • Lethargy: A sudden drop in energy or disinterest in usual activities.

  • Breathing difficulties: A sign of an allergic reaction or severe poisoning.

  • Seizures: A sign of neurological toxicity, particularly related to the consumption of chocolate or caffeine.

In the event of such symptoms, it is crucial to act quickly and consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Minitailz: The Key to Keeping an Eye on Your Dog’s Health

While some symptoms of food poisoning or poisoning of your dog are visible at first glance, it is possible that you might miss others. This is especially true if you did not pay attention to what they ingested: without knowing, one might not necessarily notice the small details.

Vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures are visible at first glance. But this is not necessarily the case, for example, with lethargy or breathing difficulties, which can be more discreet. Having a way to monitor your dog’s health and activity data can therefore be key to spotting these symptoms.


And that’s exactly the mission of Minitailz! With this dog tracker, Invoxia offers dog owners a comprehensive view of their companion’s health and activity level. On the associated app, you get an overview of your dog’s resting breathing rate, as well as their activity. If either of these data changes from one day to the next, you are directly notified.

Minitailz is

  • accurate health monitoring

  • daily activity surveillance

  • a live GPS tracker

Learn More

How to React in an Emergency?

First Aid for Dogs

In case of ingestion of a toxic food, the first step is to contact your veterinarian or an animal poison control center. They will be able to advise you whether you should induce vomiting or bring your dog in for treatment immediately.

Importance of the Emergency Veterinarian Number

Always keep your veterinarian’s number handy, as well as that of an animal poison control center. Knowing who to contact in an emergency can make all the difference.


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