Dangerous Food You Should Never Feed Your Dog - Canine Compilation
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Dangerous Food You Should Never Feed Your Dog

5 Poisonous Things You Should NEVER Feed Your Dog

I often feed my dogs our leftovers. They wait patiently while we eat, intently watching and hoping for some tasty morsel to come their way once we’ve finished. And most of what we eat is OK for them too, but a few things are not. The list of poisonous food you should never feed your dog isn’t that long, so it’s easy to avoid giving our beloved fur kids something dangerous.

Protect your dog from food that is bad for her
Protect your dog from food that is bad for her – print out the checklist and keep it safe

Food That Is Toxic For Dogs

The things you should NEVER feed your mutt because they really are toxic for dogs are onions, chocolate, grapes, raisins, and xylitol. This last one is an unseen danger since it’s a sugar alternative often found in baked products: unless you read the ingredients list on your packaged food, you might not know that you’re giving your pup something toxic.

The things you should NEVER feed your beloved mutt because they really are toxic for dogs are onions, chocolate, grapes, raisins, and xylitol.

Food That Is Bad For Dogs

Then there are things that are bad for your pooch, such as caffeine and alcohol, so we should be careful where we leave our drinks. I remember when I was in college and Piggy, my dobermann, began to drink from the full glass of beer that I put down on the floor where I was sat studying. At that time I hadn’t begun to research canine nutrition or home cook for my dogs. I just thought it was funny.

an image of a hand with a glass of beer

A small quantity of alcohol can lead to your pooch suffering from vomiting or diarrhoea. And just like a human, alcohol can make a dog lose coordination – but it takes a lot less alcohol to affect your dog than a human. And the smaller the dog is, the bigger the impact alcohol will have on it.

Likewise, I used to share pieces of my fruit and nuts pick ‘n’ mix. Now I’m horrified that in my ignorance I gave my fur babies raisins. However, since you’re reading this, you hopefully won’t make the same mistake. You’re welcome to download this free printable chart of food you should never feed your dog.

list of poisonous food your dog shouldn't eat
list of poisonous food your dog shouldn’t eat

However, there’s some controversy over which foods are poisonous. Dr. Cathy notes that some foods are “not truly poisonous – like avocado. Avocado meat is not poisonous to dogs, it is the shell, the seed, and bark that is poisonous to dogs.”

She notes the same is true of macadamia nuts, which she says are not poisonous to every dog. Rather, some dogs are allergic to them, and others not. If your dog reacts badly to eating macademia nuts, it will seem like [it has] an intestinal problem”

Other Food Your Dog Shouldn’t Eat

Just as in our case, too much fat isn’t good for your dog either. Take chicken skin for example: mine love it and since they generally have a lean diet and plenty of exercise, I let them have some. But too much fat can lead to pancreatis in dogs.

Can My Dog Eat Bones?

Most of us know that cooked bones – particularly chicken – are a big no-no because there is a high risk of them splintering and causing internal damage.

Raw bones are fine in most cases, though some vets advise against these too. Gnawing at big, raw bones can be bad for dogs’ teeth, wearing them down. I get bones from my local butcher each week. I use the smaller bones with joints to make bone broth for my dogs – here’s the recipe for preparing it. The larger bones are given to my doberbeasts under supervision. If any bits break off, I throw them away so there is no risk of my pups choking on them. I also limit the time they have chewing the bones as too much of it always leads to diarrhoea with my oldest pooch. Generally, I throw the bones away after 2 days.

If you are going to give your dog bones, make sure that the bone is bigger than the length of your dog’s muzzle so they can’t possibly swallow the bone whole.

Eating Bones is Messy Business

I always try to have them eat the bones in the garden because dogs eating bones = a disgusting messy red floor in the house. Thankfully they never try to bury them and dig up my lovely plants… However, if it’s raining I limit them to eating their bones in the kitchen where it’s tiled, and on towels I keep just for the dogs. Keeping your house clean when you have dogs can be a whole new challenge! See my tips for that here.

Food That Dogs Can Eat

So know we’ve looked at the dangerous food your dog should NEVER eat, what about extra food your dog CAN eat in addition to it’s normal dinner? In fact, dogs can eat most of what we do, but some foods of course are better than others.

Which Fruit Can Dogs Eat?

a photo of berries on a plate

Berries are a good addition to your dog’s diet

Berries are great and rich in anti-oxidants. Bananas are great too, but high in sugar so don’t overdo it. Apples and pears are also good, either fresh or dried, but make sure when feeding your pooch fresh apples or pears that you discard the pips. The same goes for watermelon.

The Jury Is Out

Just when you think you understand something, along comes new research and blows everything you thought you knew out of the water… There are some types of food that are praised and condemned in equal measure. For every article I researched who found in favour of a particular food, another one slammed it and added it to their list of food you should never feed your dog. I figure, ‘If in doubt, leave it out’… or at least, continue researching until I find something more definitive.


Most guides to canine nutition tell you that garlic, like onion, is very bad for your dog. However, it seems that in the case of garlic, the issue is about how much of it you give your dog. DNM praise the beneficial qualities of garlic for dogs and have lots of information about adding garlic to our dogs’ diets.

Peanut Butter

Many dog treat recipes have peanut butter as a principle ingredient, so you would think it would be fine for dogs, right? It has several possible problems though: remember the ingredient xylitol in the list above of ‘5 Poisonous Things You Should NEVER Feed Your Dog’? Some brands of peanut butter contain xylitol as a sugar alternative. Peanut butter is high in fats and sugars too, also not good things to feed Fido too much of. And apart from the problem of the high fat and sugar content, DNM point to the presence of mycotoxin, which causes cancer, as being the principal reason to avoid peanut butter.


Dr. Dobias now warns against feeding sardines because of contamination in the seas where they may be fished. You can read his extensive report here. However, many other dog nutritionists disagree with his hard stance.

Milk and other dairy products

Some specialists advise against dairy products for dogs, much the same as some nutritionists advise human adults to avoid consuming dairy products. Personally I do give cheese to my dogs (and I LOVE cheese myself), and I always let them lick out a pot of cream after I’ve finished using it. Some dogs are allergic to dairy, the same as some humans. It’s your call, depending on your dog.

Be Prepared

Always have your Emergency Vet contact details clearly displayed somewhere in your home. Even if you are careful with your dog’s diet, accidents can happen: the door left open to the pantry resulting in pup eating things he shouldn’t, or your beloved pooch eating something she found on the floor during your morning walk.

Feel free to download and print the chart listing the dangerous food you should never feed your dog.

A list of 5 poisonous things You Should NEVER Feed Your Dog,
A list of 5 poisonous things You Should NEVER Feed Your Dog, plus other food that is bad for dogs.

list of poisonous food your dog shouldn't eat
list of poisonous food your dog shouldn’t eat
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