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32 Toxic Foods For Dogs + Signs Your Dog Is Poisoned

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Many human foods are toxic foods for dogs but are entirely harmless to humans because our internal organs carry different bacteria and enzymes to our canine friends.

It is this metabolic difference that makes our sweet-tasting and delicious everyday foods so poisonous to a dog even if they are given in tiny quantities.

This article lists the most common foods that are toxic for dogs and the signs to look out for if you believe that your dog may be suffering from the effects of toxic food.

30 Toxic Foods For Dogs

Disclaimer:

The contents of this page are not veterinary advice. There are several factors that determine what is toxic to your dog including age, size, health, weight, allergies, and amount of product ingested to name but a few. If you think that your dog has eaten something potentially toxic please seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.

1. Alcohol

Under no circumstances should you give your dog alcohol or leave it in a place where your dog can gain access to it.

Alcohol contains ethanol which quickly attacks a dog’s central nervous and respiratory systems. Some alcoholic drinks also contain Hops which I will cover later.

Small amounts of alcohol ingested by a dog can cause:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased coordination
  • Respiratory problems
  • Panic attacks
  • Tremors
  • Coma
  • Death

Short-term exposure to alcohol may have a similar effect on a dog as it does on a human, but, due to the size and weight difference, alcohol poisoning can quickly develop to life-threatening levels.

Long-term exposure to alcohol, in a dog, will lead to:

  • Liver failure
  • Heart and blood pressure problems
  • Abnormal blood acidity
  • Central nervous system problems
  • Coordination and brain problems.

Alcohol poisoning can also occur if your dog eats yeast dough, some homemade playdoughs, or a large quantity of rotten fruit, as these produce ethanol.

Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your pet has ingested alcohol.

2. Apple cores Or Seeds In Large Quantities

Apple cores and seeds contain cyanide which can be dangerous to dogs of all sizes but is particularly dangerous to puppies or elderly and sick dogs.

The signs of cyanide poisoning may occur in only a few minutes, and without immediate veterinary care, the chances of survival beyond 2 hours are low.

The signs of cyanide poisoning in dogs are:

  • Excitement
  • Rapid respiratory rate followed by breathing difficulties
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Bright red gums
  • Excessive salivation
  • Convulsions and Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Paralysis
  • Coma

There may be a smell of bitter almonds on the breath but not all humans can detect and recognize this which is why it is not listed.

The flesh and the peel of apples are safe for dogs to eat but the core also provides a choking risk to puppies and may block the intestinal tract compounding the risk.

3. Avocado

Avocados contain a fungicidal toxin called persin which is dangerous to dogs in high doses but causes gastric discomfort in lower quantities.

The signs of Persin poisoning in dogs are:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Avocados also contain a very large pit which is tough, contains persin, and is indigestible meaning that it can become lodged in a dog’s throat or intestinal tract.

Persin can be found in all parts of the avocado, and while there is significantly less persin in the fruit’s fleshy inside it is still dangerous to dogs.

However, If your dog ingests a small amount of the flesh, he should be ok but be aware that avocados are heavy in fat and calories.

Avocados are a bigger problem for small mammals and birds so it’s best to keep them away from all of your pets.

4. Blue Cheese

cavalier-king-Charles  Toxic Foods For Dogs
32 Toxic Foods For Dogs

Unlike some low-lactose, low-fat cheeses, blue cheeses are particularly dangerous to dogs due to mold growth within the cheeses. 

This mold growth, particularly Penicillium mold produces mycotoxins which can result in tremorgenic toxin production. Fresh Roquefort produces roquefortine C which is believed to be less serious but will still have an effect on a dog’s metabolism.

Dogs are sensitive to these substances and exposure to them can have life-changing consequences.

The signs of blue cheese mold poisoning in dogs are:

The signs of blue cheese mold poisoning in dogs are:

  • Vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Hyperesthesia
  • Ataxia
  • Uncontrolled eye movement
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Seizures

Most dogs will quickly recover from blue cheese poisoning however, some do not and will suffer from some degree of ataxia for several months to several years.

If you think your dog has eaten blue cheese and is suffering from any of these clinical signs, then you should seek emergency veterinary advice.

A special note about Roquefort

Roquefort produces roquefortine C and if spoiled can also produce another mycotoxin called Penitrem A.

Penitrem A poisoning exhibits all of the signs above but can be aggressive to the central nervous system and can cause tissue damage in the brain. For this reason, you must dispose of any uneaten blue cheeses carefully and keep your dog away from the waste bin.

If you think your dog has eaten blue cheese and is suffering you should seek emergency veterinary advice.

5. Bouillon

Bouillon contains relatively high amounts of sodium, and the ingestion of bouillion may lead to low-level hypernatremia.

The signs of low-level hypernatremia in dogs are:

  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Severe watery diarrhea

This will result in a significant loss of free water and a higher sodium concentration in the blood.

Too much sodium in the bloodstream can also occur from drinking seawater or soy sauce.

6. Caffeine In Coffee, Tea & Other Products

Caffeine can be found in coffee grounds, tea (loose and bagged), and many commercial products however caffeine can very quickly overstimulate a dog’s central nervous system.

It is so toxic that within 1-2 hours of ingestion, your dog could experience severe problems and will need immediate veterinarian assistance.

The signs of caffeine poisoning in dogs are:

  • Mild to severe hyperactivity
  • Lack of bladder control
  • Restlessness
  • Vomiting
  • Increased and abnormal heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Ataxia

Coffee beans contain high caffeine levels, so eating coffee beans may immediately trigger symptoms of caffeine toxicity in dogs.

So although a few teas or coffee laps may not cause them immediate problems, larger amounts of caffeine will.

If your dog consumes even moderate amounts of coffee grounds, or used tea bags veterinarian advice must be sought immediately.

7. Cobs Of Corn

Corn is one of the most common ingredients in dog foods but fresh corn on the cob is hard to digest.

This means that excessive amounts of fresh corn could cause an internal blockage and cause your dog some serious pain and so should be given in moderation.

However, the corn cob is the most dangerous part as it is very tough, difficult to swallow and a choking hazard. In addition, once in the gut, it is hard to digest and may become a life-threatening intestinal blockage.

This blockage will be very painful for your dog, and if left untreated, could prove fatal.

Signs of an intestinal blockage in dogs include:

  • Drooling
  • Vomiting – (both food and water)
  • Anorexia
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal pain and bloating
  • inability to rest or find a comfortable position
  • Haunched appearance

If you suspect your dog has an intestinal blockage you must seek veterinarian advice as harmful bacteria may be building up around the blockage weakening the dog.

8. Cooked Bones

Dogs love to gnaw on fresh raw bones and it is these bones that may be beneficial to dogs. Unfortunately, cooked bones react differently and may crack, splinter, and break into shards which may cause damage to a dog’s mouth, gums, and teeth.

Cooked bones, and antlers, can also fracture teeth which will bring you some very high veterinarian bills!

If pieces of cooked bone are ingested they can clump together in the gut causing a blockage. The sharp bone shards may also perforate the gut or intestinal lining which can lead to a life-threatening infection known as peritonitis.

Visible signs of peritonitis in dogs are:

  • Weakness
  • Rapid breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Black stools
  • Visible signs of pain

9. Cherries

All parts of the cherry plant except the fleshy pulp around the seeds are toxic to dogs as they contain cyanide.

Cyanide disrupts an enzyme necessary for cellular oxygen transport.

Unfortunately, this means that your dog’s blood oxygen supply drops, and the depleted cells begin to die off.

The signs of cherry poisoning in a dog are:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Collapse
  • Shock
  • Bright red gums
  • Cherry red blood color
belladonna cherries  Toxic Foods For Dogs
32 Toxic Foods For Dogs

There are many types of cherry and each will have a level of cyanide within them so I have included the overall cherry poisoning signs and the more distinct cyanide poisoning signs below.

The signs of cyanide poisoning in a dog are:

  • Excitement
  • Rapid respiratory rate followed by breathing difficulties
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Bright red gums
  • Excessive salivation
  • Convulsions and Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Paralysis
  • Coma

10. Chives

Chives belong to the Allium family, which also includes onion, garlic, and leeks and all of them are dangerous to dogs in all forms, dry, raw, processed, or cooked as they can cause hemolytic anemia.

Hemolytic anemia is a blood condition where the red blood cells are being damaged and destroyed faster than your body can replace them.

Although minimal amounts of these foods can be ok for some dogs to ingest, medium to large quantities is not.

If your dog ingests a large number of chives they can cause gastrointestinal irritation, red blood cell damage, and anemia.

Please be aware that the clinical signs and symptoms are not always immediate and may not appear for a few days but this time can be very damaging to the dog.

Signs of chive poisoning in a dog could include:

  • Nausea
  • Drooling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea.

At high toxicity levels, the signs of chive poisoning in a dog could include:

  • Lethargy
  • Pale gums
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Weakness
  • Collapse – may be followed by death.

If your dog ingests a medium to a high amount of chives, seek veterinarian advice immediately.

11. Chocolate

Commercial chocolate is very toxic to dogs.

Therefore, only chocolate specifically manufactured and labeled “safe for dogs” should be given to them.

Regular chocolate contains chemicals called methylxanthines—specifically, theobromine and caffeine which in high enough doses can be deadly for dogs.

However, the level of toxicity depends on the type and amount of chocolate ingested, in addition to the dog’s size, weight, and overall health level.

Therefore with so many variables, one or two chocolate drops may have little effect on your dog but the same amount may be enough to kill your neighbor’s dog!

So don’t take the risk and always remember that problems can occur whenever a dog ingests methylxanthines, specifically theobromine and caffeine.

Baking chocolate and dark chocolate have the highest methylxanthines level, while white chocolate contains the lowest, but none are entirely safe.

The visible sign of chocolate poisoning in dogs usually begin within 6 hours of ingestion but can take longer to develop as there are many factors involved.

Small amounts of chocolate in a dog can cause:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive thirst
  • Lack of bladder control
  • Restlessness

a potent dose of chocolate in a dog can cause:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Rapid breathing
  • Bluish tinge to the skin and mucus membranes
  • Central nervous system disturbances
  • Tremors
  • Fever (elevated body temperature)
  • Seizures
  • Coma, and even death.

Due to its varying degree of toxicity, chocolate remains high on the list of human foods dangerous to dogs. But as a rough guide, one ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight is considered to be a fatal dose for most dogs.

For this reason, if your dog does ingest human-grade chocolate, it may be wise to contact a veterinarian for advice especially if your dog is still a puppy.

12. Citrus

The skin, rind, and pips of oranges, limes, grapefruit, and lemons contain compounds that are dangerous to dogs in high concentrations.

In addition, the non-fleshy parts of the fruity also present choking and gastrointestinal blockage hazards, while the acids in the fleshy fruit can cause tummy upsets, vomiting, and diarrhea if fed as a juice or in quantity.

When fed in low quantities, however, the fleshy parts of citrus fruits are not toxic to most dogs but the high sugar and acid content does make them dangerous to puppies, overweight and weak dogs, and those suffering from diabetes or gastrointestinal issues.

Citrus Essential Oils (A Required mention In Toxic Foods For Dogs)

Citrus essential oils are substantially more toxic for dogs as a dog’s nose has up to 300 million olfactory receptors compared to about 6 million in a human. And a dog’s ability to analyze the aromas it detects is about 40 times more acute than ours.


So when a dog smells very acidic and pungent essential oil, 100 times the strength of the naturally occurring oil, a dog’s olfactory senses and brain functions can be very quickly overwhelmed in the short term.

Due to the high concentration levels and high acidic content citrus essential oils are extremely dangerous for dogs if ingested and can be fatal to old weak dogs or those with health issues.

Puppies and cats are especially vulnerable to liver poisoning from all essential oil variants as they lack the enzyme glucuronyl transferase that would enable them to process and excrete the oils from their body.

citrus essential oils  Toxic Foods For Dogs
32 Toxic Foods For Dogs

The lack of an enforceable manufacturing standard and quality controls within the essential oil industry means that there is little known about the effects on veterinary patients and adequate treatments are still being investigated.

The signs and symptoms of essential oil poisoning depend upon many factors including the type of compound within the essential oil, the amount taken, size and breed of dog, and time elapsed therefore the list below is a guide and is not exhaustive.

Signs of citrus essential oil poisoning in dogs are:

  • Respiratory problems
  • Heavy panting
  • Burns or/and swelling around the nose mouth and lips
  • Lethargy
  • Excessive drooling
  • Gastrointestinal irritation
  • Vomiting may include blood
  • Muscle tremors
  • Ataxia (poor gait)
  • Lack of balance
  • Pawing at the face whilst whining
  • Dermal irritation

Pot Pourri can contain citrus essential oils so if your dog eats your potpourri seek veterinarian advice as the signs may be weak and gradual as the oil seeps from the Pot Pourri.

To see which essential oils are toxic to fish please read: Adding essential oils to fish tanks the pros and cons.

13. Currants ( Zante )

Zante currants are extremely toxic to dogs and the ingestion of small amounts can bring on vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially acute renal failure.

However, Zante currants are actually dried raisins made from small black grapes called Corinth or Champagne grapes.

True currants which belong to a different group of plants, genus ‘Ribes’, are relatively harmless and not considered to be toxic foods for dogs.

Although the ingestion of large amounts of currants will still result in a tummy upset and maybe a little package for you to clear up.

Clinical signs of grape (Zante currants) poisoning in dogs include:

  • Anorexia
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Acute renal failure.

If you suspect your dog has eaten Zante currants, you must seek veterinary help immediately.

14. Fatty Foods ( Table Scraps )

You may not immediately associate fatty table scraps as dangerous to dogs but think again.

High-fat foods from table scraps such as bacon, gammon, and cold cuts can quickly upset a dog’s digestive tract and may lead to pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, which may cause mild to severe abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.

Table scraps usually have a high fat and sodium content and, if fed regularly, will also lead to unnecessary weight gain and sodium poisoning problems.

The symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs often start suddenly and could include all or just a few symptoms from the list below:

Signs of pancreatitis in dogs

  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Anxiety
  • Painful Abdomen – Dogs will often stretch into the prayer position to relieve the pain.

Do you want to put your dog through all that just for a few pieces of leftover bacon?

15. Garlic

garlic  Toxic Foods For Dogs
32 Toxic Foods For Dogs

Garlic is part of the Allium, (onion), family, and is one of the most toxic foods for dogs as it can cause hemolytic anemia in all its forms, raw, powdered, cooked, or dehydrated but it is about 5 times as potent as onion and chives.

Hemolytic anemia occurs when the red blood cells are destroyed but if caught early enough the condition can be halted and the red blood cell count can increase. Source

Only minimal amounts of garlic are considered to be safe for dogs, and larger amounts can prove fatal but it may take several days for the physical signs of anemia to surface.

Therefore, it’s essential to monitor your dog for a few days, not just right after consumption.

Early signs of Garlic poisoning in dogs could include:

  • Nausea
  • Drooling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea.

At high toxicity levels, the signs of garlic poisoning in dogs could include:

  • Lethargy
  • Pale gums
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Weakness
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Collapse – may be followed by death.

Japanese breeds of dogs are particularly susceptible to garlic poisoning and should never be fed garlic no matter the quantity.

If your dog ingests a nominal amount of garlic, you should always seek veterinary advice immediately.

16. Grapes

Although the toxic substance within grapes is unknown, these fruits are so toxic that they can cause severe acute kidney failure.

This is true no matter the size, breed, age, or health of the dog or the amount ingested even the grape is part of another product such as trail mix or raisin bread !
All grapes and raisins (dried grapes), seeded and seedless, organic and conventionally grown, can cause toxicity.

The signs of grape poisoning are:

  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty in urinating
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Anorexia
  • Acute renal kidney failure.

If you suspect your dog has eaten grapes or raisins (dried grapes), you must seek veterinary help immediately.

Grapes are very high on the list of toxic foods for dogs.

17. Hops

Hop is an ingredient used in the home brewing of beer that can be toxic to your dog if the hops are ingested.

The hops for home brewing come in a plug or pellet form, plugs are more toxic, and although the exact toxin is unknown it may be related to the essential oils, resins, or phenolic compounds of the plant.

When hops are ingested by dogs, the signs of poisoning are malignant hyperthermia with temperatures exceeding 105°F / 40.6°C.

signs of Hops poisoning in a dog:

  • A rapid rise in body temperature exceeding 105°F / 40.6°C
  • Heavy panting
  • A rapid heart rate
  • Anxiety
  • Gastrointestinal irritation – abnormal clotting
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle tremors
  • Collapse and death

Unfortunately, death has been reported in dogs in as little as 6 hours after ingestion without any treatment.

So although hops are not necessarily human food I thought it prudent to include them due to the popularity of home brewing.

18. Ice Cream

The basic ingredients of ice cream are milk, cream, and sugar which can be a relatively low risk for dogs but ice cream usually contains many additives, some of which can be deadly for dogs.

Low fat ice cream, for instance, can contain Xylitol which if eaten by a dog can cause vomiting, seizures, liver failure, and death.

Other additives in ice cream can include chocolate, macadamia nuts, coffee (caffeine), and raisins; all of which are toxic foods for dogs and your dog may require immediate veterinarian assistance if these foods are ingested.

Even ice cream free from toxic additives is problematic as many dogs are lactose intolerant and the milk in the ice cream may cause tummy upsets, diarrhea, and initiate allergies within the dog.

In short, while it may be ok to give your dog a lick or two of your plain ice cream it would be a bad idea to share a bowl or two.

Dad’s tip: Feed frozen chunks of watermelon (seeds removed); to your dog on a hot day to keep him hydrated as it is 92% water.

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19. Liver

The liver is a favorite for dogs and has many health benefits when fed due to the high concentrations of vitamin A however, frequent feeding of the liver over several weeks to months can cause hypervitaminosis A in dogs.

Hypervitaminosis A is a vitamin A toxicity that occurs when you have too much vitamin A in your body and the clinical signs of poisoning can be sudden or delayed in onset.

Vitamin A poisoning commonly occurs when a dog is very frequently fed raw liver or given cod liver oil supplements in a routine not prescribed by a veterinarian.

Signs Of Sudden Vitamin A Poisoning In Dogs Are:

  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Irritability
  • Peeling of the skin

Signs of Delayed hypervitaminosis A poisoning in dogs are:

  • Poor coat condition
  • Dry and rough skin
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Anorexia
  • Bone pain or swelling with limited movement
  • Deformed or excessive bone growth
dogs feet deformed bones 30 Toxic Foods For Dogs
32 Toxic Foods For Dogs

Vitamin A is stored in the liver and may remain present for years which heightens the risk to dogs who have already suffered from hypervitaminosis A.

Unfortunately for these dogs diet may become an issue, the bone abnormalities are irreversible and long-term pain management may be a requirement.

If left unchecked, hypervitaminosis A has in some cases caused death.

20. Macadamia Nuts

The toxin that affects dogs within the macadamia nut is still unknown, but it interferes with a dog’s muscle and nerve functions, particularly in the hindquarters and some dogs have developed pancreatitis from the high oil content.

The signs and symptoms of macadamia nut poisoning usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and typically last between 24 to 48 hours.

Depending on the number of nuts ingested, the signs of macadamia nut poisoning include:

  • Weakness
  • Depression
  • Severe lethargy
  • Increased body temperature
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Joint stiffness
  • Inability to walk (due to hind limb weakness)
  • Decreased nerve and muscle function
 30 Toxic Foods For Dogs macadamia nuts
32 Toxic Foods For Dogs

Are Other Nuts Dangerous To Dogs?

Nuts are very high in fat and oil, so all “safe nuts” should be fed in strict moderation without exception as they risk your dog developing pancreatitis. For this reason, nuts are not recommended for your dog’s regular and established diet.

In addition, do not allow your dog to crunch or feed on fallen Black Walnuts under any circumstances:

The mold that forms on the husks and shells of black walnuts can cause tremors, seizures, and incoordination and may provide serious health risks to the older weaker dog.

Black Walnuts, native to the Northeastern U.S. and Canada, are considered to be toxic foods for dogs.

Although some nuts contain toxins that can be highly dangerous to dogs, the husks or empty shells can be a higher risk factor.

Simply put, most nutshells are undigestable therefore once ingested they could potentially rip and tear at a dog’s digestive tract.

Intestinal rupture is a life-threatening condition that will require immediate surgery.

Signs of an intestinal rupture in dogs are:

  • Depression
  • Collapse
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting
  • Fast and shallow breathing

Blockages are also a problem as the nut shells work their way through the dog’s system.

Many commercially available nuts are also covered in additives, flavorings, salt, or chocolate all of which are toxic foods for dogs.

Old nuts can contain mold, which can cause various problems, including seizures, neurological distress, and liver problems for dogs.

21. Milk & Dairy

milk and dairy 30 Toxic Foods For Dogs
32 Toxic Foods For Dogs

Some dogs have no problems digesting milk, cheese, or other dairy products; however, others can experience acute gastrointestinal upset.

This is because dogs do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk).

Without lactase, a dog cannot digest dairy products, and acute gastrointestinal problems begin.

Signs Of Lactose Intolerance in Dogs Are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain/discomfort
  • Excessive and smelly gas
  • Bum wiping/dragging across the ground
  • Itching and chewing at the paws and anal area

So if your dog suffers from any of the above after eating dairy products consider removing the food from the diet and make observations over the next few weeks.

However, not all dairy products contain the same amount of lactose.

Milk, for instance, has 11 grams of lactose per cup, cottage cheese has 6 grams per cup, and American cheese only has 1 gram per ounce. 

Therefore, it may be OK to offer low-lactose or lactose-free products to your dog, depending on the food.

22. Wild Mushrooms

There are thousands of wild mushrooms worldwide, but only a relatively few of them are dangerous to dogs.

The main problem is that only an expert can identify the dangerous ones.

So while the white mushrooms found in most shops should be fine, the safest thing to do would be to avoid the fungi altogether.

This may sound excessive; however, mushroom poisoning symptoms can vary considerably depending upon the type of mushroom ingested.

Signs Of Wild Mushroom Poisoning In Dogs:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Visual disturbances
  • Aggression
  • Kidney Failure
  • Liver failure, and even death.

If you see your dog eat wild mushrooms, contact your veterinarian immediately and take a mushroom with you for identification.

23. Nicotine ( Chewing Tobacco

Nicotine poisoning occurs when a dog chews on discarded cigarette butts, chewing tobacco, nicotine gum/patches, or e-cigarettes and is a rapid-acting toxin with visible signs of poisoning showing within 1 hour of ingestion.

Fortunately, nicotine entering the gut will stimulate the dog’s brain to induce the vomit impulse.

Dogs ingesting small amounts of nicotine will, therefore, often vomit spontaneously and may self-decontaminate as nicotine must move past the stomach into the small intestine for absorption for poisoning to occur.

Signs of nicotine poisoning in dogs are:

  • Vomiting
  • Drooling
  • Diarrhea
  • Agitation
  • Rapid and shallow breathing
  • Abnormal or fluctuating heart rate
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Tremors
  • Weakness
  • Ataxia
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Blue gums

Ingestion of large amounts of nicotine may result in symptoms followed by ongoing long-term problems or even death.

vape poisonous to dogs 30 Toxic Foods For Dogs
32 Toxic Foods For Dogs

Note, that an e-cigarette with a full cartridge can contain up to 36 mg of nicotine, and for small dogs, ingesting 20 mg of nicotine can be lethal.

This means that e-cigarette juice is highly dangerous to dogs if ingested or absorbed through the skin.

Poisoning from e-juice exposure requires Immediate veterinary care and symptoms can occur within 15 minutes after ingestion.

However, no matter the quantity of nicotine ingested all cases of nicotine poisoning must be treated by a veterinarian.

24. Nutmeg

Nutmeg is considered to be one of the toxic foods for dogs as it contains a compound called myristicin which can kill a large dog if ingested in large enough quantities.

However, unless your dog gnaws through raw nutmeg seeds or devours the contents of the spice containers it is unlikely that your dog will ingest enough nutmeg to cause serious harm.

signs of Nutmeg Poisoning In Dogs Are:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Disorientation
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Gastrointestinal pain
  • Seizures.

Small amounts of nutmeg should not pose an immediate threat to your dog and will pass through the dog without harm.

25. Onions

Onion in all its forms, raw, cooked, powdered, bits, etc., is toxic to dogs and can cause oxidative damage to the red blood cells (making the blood cells likely to burst or rupture) which if left untreated can be fatal to dogs.

However, onion poisoning may have a delayed onset; and the signs of poisoning may not be apparent for a few days.

Early signs of Onion poisoning in dogs could include:

  • Nausea
  • Drooling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea.

At high toxicity levels, the signs of Onion poisoning in dogs Are:

  • Lethargy
  • Pale gums
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Collapse – may be followed by deat

If you suspect your dog has eaten a medium to a large number of onions, you must seek veterinary help.

Leeks also contain the same compound (thiosulfate) that makes the other members of the Allium (onion) family one of the toxic foods for dogs so don’t feed your dogs leeks in place of onion.

26. Persimmons

Persimmons can cause gastrointestinal inflammation due to a chemical that tends to react with a dog’s stomach acid, but the real danger is the pits as they can cause intestinal blockage.

Intestinal blockage is a potentially fatal condition that may require emergency surgery to correct.

This is why I placed persimmons on my toxic foods dangerous to dogs list.

In addition, persimmons are rich in vitamin A, potassium, folic acid, manganese, and natural sugars. 

This high sugar content could lead to excess weight gain and diabetes if the flesh is fed regularly or your dog eats the fallen fruit in large amounts.

However, unlike apple, peaches, plums, and papaya seeds/pits, which contain cyanide, the seeds/pit of the persimmon is not poisonous.

If you feed your dog the persimmon’s flesh, be aware that multiple persimmons can have a laxative effect on dogs.

27. Raisins

Raisins are very toxic to dogs, however, the exact toxins and the way they work are still unknown and the exact toxicity does not seem to be dose-dependent.

This means that for some dogs, even a small amount of ingested raisins could cause severe and acute kidney failure while other dogs may show no symptoms at all.

However, raisins in all forms are toxic and that includes products that have raisins as one of their ingredients such as bread, cookies, trail mix, protein bars, and possibly even wine.

Remember, The exact toxins in raisins are unknown and it may only take a small amount of the toxins to cause acute kidney failure and kill your dog so don’t take the risk.

Signs Of Raisin Poisoning In Dogs

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Anorexia
  • Acute renal (kidney) failure.

Raisins are very high on the list of toxic foods for dogs due to the lethality and randomness of the toxic element.

If you suspect your dog has eaten raisins (dried grapes), you must seek veterinary help immediately.

28. Raw Fish ( Salmon )

sockeye-salmon 30 Toxic Foods For Dogs
32 Toxic Foods For Dogs

Raw fish has the potential to be a source of parasites and bacteria that can be harmful to dogs such as the broad fish tapeworm which can cause diarrhea and weight loss that can have serious consequences in weak dogs.

If not properly maintained at low temperatures raw fish can quickly spoil and become the perfect host for poisonous bacteria such as salmonella and listeria, although listeria rarely causes dog problems.

Signs of Salmonella Poisoning In Dogs Are:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Anorexia
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea may contain blood

    Serious infections may lead to sepsis, shock, and possibly death.

Parasites become a concern when dogs eat raw or lightly preserved fish such as sashimi, sushi, ceviche, gravlax, and salmon.

Let’s take a closer look at just one of these, the mighty salmon.

Salmon poisoning occurs when a dog eats salmon infected with the parasite Nanophyetus salmincola which has itself been infected with an organism called Neorickettsia helminthoeca, and it’s this microorganism that causes salmon poisoning.

The signs of salmon poisoning generally appear within six days of ingestion and for small, weak, or older dogs, these parasites can cause problems but for most dogs, it is treatable if caught in time.

If salmon poisoning is not treated when symptoms occur, then death usually occurs within two weeks of ingestion however treatment is quick, and easy and most dogs will show a marked improvement within two days.

Signs Of Salmon Poisoning In Dogs Are:

  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes
  • Dehydration

Fish that have been stored frozen are the exception, as taking the internal temperature of the fish down to -4°F, for at least 7 days will kill any parasites that may have been present.

You can find more information on salmon poisoning disease on the Washington State University website.

29. Salt

The added salt present in many human snacks and foods that we may share with our canine friends can cause them problems and so salt makes its way onto my toxic foods for dogs list.

Increased salt levels will generally make a dog more thirsty and if the dog has access to fresh drinking water, he will flush the salt from his system, and no damage will be done.

Unfortunately, if this is not the case, salt poisoning will occur, and the dog’s life may be at risk.

Signs Of Low Salt Poisoning In Dogs Are:

  • Increased thirst
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Gastrointestinal pain.

Too much salt in the blood; (hypernatremia) can cause the muscles to lose moisture, shrivel, and become stiff, which will create shaking and jerking.

Without fresh water to drink, dehydration will set in, and more serious signs will occur.

Signs Of High Salt Poisoning In Dogs Are:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Incoordination
  • Excessive thirst or urination

Signs Of Severe Salt Poisoning In Dogs Are:

  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death.

While salt poisoning remains a low risk to dogs, a dog eating your high salt-laden scraps, or processed foods without access to fresh drinking water is at risk so please do not underestimate the danger.

30. Tomatoes (Unripe) And Potato (unripe)

Ripe tomatoes and potatoes are nontoxic to dogs and can be eaten in moderation however, unripe “green” tomatoes and potatoes contain a substance called solanine, a glycoalkaloid, that is toxic to dogs and should be avoided.

Glycoalkaloids are typically bitter-tasting and produce a burning irritation in the back of the mouth and the side of the tongue. 

is toxic to dogs when ingested in large quantities and can cause gastrointestinal irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and lethargy.

signs of Solanine Poisoning In Dogs Are:

  • Gastrointestinal irritation
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy.
White dog 30 Toxic Foods For Dogs
32 Toxic Foods For Dogs

Keep dogs away from tomato plants by fencing off your garden area or supervising your dog when in the garden or allotment and never let them chew on unripe potatoes or the green sprouts that grow on them.

In an emergency, when you cannot reach your veterinarian, immediately contact your local animal emergency clinic or call the animal poison hotline at 888-232-8870. You can also try the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.

31. Xylitol

Xylitol is a sugar substitute often found in the “sugar-free,” “low sugar,” and “no sugar added” types of products. But it is also commonly found as an additive in foods that are not labeled as sugar-free or low-sugar.

Examples of this would be peanut butter, toothpaste, sugar candies, chewing gum, and mints a range of household products; a few essential oils, and many processed foods.

Xylitol Is extremely dangerous to dogs as it confuses the dog’s pancreas into thinking it is not a substitute sugar but a large amount of genuine sugar and the body reacts by releasing insulin to store it.

This massive insulin release removes a vast amount of genuine sugar from the dog’s bloodstream, which then drastically drops the dog’s blood sugar levels.

Xylitol is so effective at doing this that the dog can become; weak, lethargic, have tremors and show a loss of coordination within 15 – 30 minutes of ingestion.

If the Xylitol is in a product that could slow down its release such as chewing gum the clinical signs of poisoning may not appear for up to 18 hours.

Puppies, weak and elderly dogs may even drop into a coma within 20 minutes depending upon the amount ingested!

Please note that, if the Xylitol is in a product that could slow down its release such as chewing gum the clinical signs of poisoning may not appear for up to 18 hours.

Signs Of Xylitol Poisoning in Dogs

  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Ataxia
  • Depression
  • Constipation
  • Heart Palpitations
  • spasms
  • SeizuresComa
  • Liver failure – leading to death

So if you suspect your pet has eaten a product containing xylitol, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline for assistance as soon as possible.

The popularity of xylitol and its extreme toxicity for dogs keeps xylitol near the top of the list of top 10 toxic foods for dogs for the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC).

Be aware that accidental poisoning from xylitol is rising due to its being a food additive, making xylitol especially dangerous as a hidden killer for dogs.

32. Yeast Dough (Active Yeast)

If a dog ingests raw dough that contains active yeast the yeast will continue to ferment and expand within the warm moist environment of the dog’s stomach.

The expanding and fermenting dough will produce gas and expand the stomach walls causing very real and painful pressure, possible distention, twisting, of the stomach, painful cramping, and possible rupture of the stomach or intestine walls.

If enough yeast dough has been ingested, this situation can quickly lead to the death of a dog if no action is taken. However, even a small amount of expanding yeast dough can severely bloat the stomach and cause intense pain and suffering.

In addition to the expanding dough problem, the yeast in the activated dough will be producing ethanol as a by-product which will be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and cause ethanol, (alcohol) poisoning.

yeast dough 32 Human Foods That Are Dangerous To Dogs
32 Toxic Foods For Dogs

Expanding dough and increasing levels of alcohol poisoning means that the ingested raw dough can quickly become life-threatening for a dog, therefore veterinarian advice must be sought immediately.

In an emergency, when you cannot reach your veterinarian, immediately contact your local animal emergency clinic or call the animal poison hotline at 888-232-8870. You can also try the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.

Dangerous to dogs Infographic sustainabilitydad.com
Toxic Foods For Dogs

Final Thoughts On 32 Toxic Foods For Dogs + Signs Your Dog Is Poisoned

I hope this list has given you an insight into the many dangers contained within those little treats you might like to give your dogs.

From table scraps to tomatoes not all of them are deadly, but all of them are classed as being toxic foods for dogs and should be avoided whenever possible.

However, many of the symptoms are similar such as vomiting and diarrhea so you should always be aware of what your dog has potentially eaten and give this information to the veterinary practitioner.

My advice is that no matter how careful you are, dogs will be dogs, and will ingest something they shouldn’t. So use this post as a guide but always keep the number of your local veterinary practice close by and consult them at the earliest signs of trouble.

Remember, if your dog is acting strangely or experiencing minor symptoms of weakness, lack of coordination, vomiting, diarrhea, etc., and you think they may have consumed something they shouldn’t have, seek a veterinarian’s attention immediately. If you wait too long, your dog might not make it.

Disclaimer: Information published on this website is intended for reference use only. The only clear option for ensuring your dog’s health is to feed commercial-grade dog foods and treats only. Feeding human foods of any sort can be dangerous to dogs and carries some degree of risk that is not under this website’s control.

A proud father of two boys, an amateur actor, and a green living enthusiast, Mark has been sharing hints, tips, and sustainable living content on his website Sustainability Dad since august 2019.

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