Dangerous Foods | Canine Care

"people food" and Commercial Pet Product

(special notes for DIABETIC PETS at the bottom of the page)

“Human” Foods (but for the below) are good for dogs. Dogs can and SHOULD eat fresh foods. It is better than any dog food product.

However some people foods can make a dog sick or even be deadly
If your dog has ingested any of these foods, get veterinary help immediately. If your vet doesn't feel it's a worry and says JUST TO WATCH THEM I would invest the money and call the ASPCA Poison Hotline -(888) 426-4435. A $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card. It's the best investment I've personally made as my vet said not to worry just watch my dog overnight. Had I listened to my vet instead of my GUT feeling my dog would be dead now. Another person I know told me that her dog ate a few raisins. She called her vet who said, give some Maalox and it should be fine tomorrow. They went to bed and found the dog DEAD the next morning. Don't take that chance! Stand up to your vet and if they won't do something, find one who will. 

Grapes and Raisins: Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs.  As little as a single serving of raisins can kill a dog.

Onions: Onions destroy red blood cells and can cause anemia.

Chocolate: Chocolate can cause seizures, coma and death. If you feel you want to give your dog a natural treat that’s safe and you both can share, try a few NON SWEETENED CAROB CHIPS are safe.
Dark/Baker’s chocolate is the most dangerous. A dog can consume milk chocolate and appear to be fine because it is not as concentrated, but it is still dangerous.

Coffee, Coffee grounds, tea and tea bags
: Drinks/foods containing caffeine cause many of the same symptoms chocolate causes.

Macadamia Nuts: Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, muscle tremor and paralysis. Limit all other nuts as they are not good for dogs in general, their high phosphorous content is said to possibly lead to bladder stones. Exception to this rule seems to be PEANUT BUTTER. However- always use Salt/Sugar free ORGANIC Peanut butter (sugar encourages cancer growth) free . Use only ORGANIC peanut butter as regular peanut butter has lots of toxins and is full of pesticides!

Animal fat and fried foods: Excessive fat can cause pancreatitis.

Bones: Cooked bones can splinter and damage a dog’s internal organs. Raw Bone should always be supervised as a piece can always break off and cause problems. Try frozen oxtails or frozen knuckle bones then take the bone away before the dog can swallow a final small piece whole. It's a good natural way to clean teeth too. Though a deer antler may be better!

Citrus fruits: Though not toxic they can cause stomach and kidney problems.

RAW Spinach, Swiss Chard, and Rhubarb: While these are not toxic, they are high in oxalic acid, a compound that interferes with calcium absorption, so don't feed these very often.
Avocados: The skin, pit and plant are all toxic. They can cause difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation in the chest, abdomen and heart.    The meat of the fruit is safe in small doses.

Tomatoes: Excessive amounts of tomatoes can cause tremors and heart arrhythmias. Tomato plants and the most toxic. However a few pieces of tomato are usually ok for most dogs-though for some dogs they may cause digestive problems.
Nutmeg: Nutmeg can cause tremors, seizures and death

Cherries, Peaches PITS are dangerous. It can also become lodged in the intestines and kill the dog in 24 hours with no warning. If your dog swallows a pit call the ASPCA hotline and have them talk you through making your dog vomit it up asap. Their number is 888 426 – 4435. You will be charged a $65 fee but it’s better than a dead dog and trip to the vet! I’ve used this and it’s a life saver!

Raw eggs: Some experts feel raw eggs can cause salmonella poisoning in dogs. Dogs have a shorter digestive tract than humans and are not as likely to suffer from food poisoning, but it is still possible. BEST to use ORGANIC EGGS if you do raw. Scrambled lightly is best!

Salt: Excessive salt intake can cause kidney problems.

Mushrooms: Can be deadly- never let your pets chew on mushrooms found in your yard. Only safe "food" mushrooms for dogs are shitaki, maitake and reishi.

Xylitol aka Birch Sugar & Artificial Sweeteners: Even a small amount can cause liver failure and death.
here and in this article at About.com.

Sugars and Corn Syrups** Including Fructose, fruit juices, etc.. EVEN ORGANIC IS BAD!  It’s not poisonous, but it’s a fast track to cancer and diabetes. This does not include Honey or Black strap Molasses, as small amounts of these are healthy for dogs, though they should only be in small amounts and never for cancer dogs)
Read more at the ASPCA website

When in doubt check the web and research before giving any food or just avoid it! Here is a link with a good list to print out


Rawhides & Hooves are generally NOT recommended. Most rawhides have chemical that cause cancer .But if you do still want to use them from time to time as a treat it is important that if you do give them that they are of the highest grade and US manufactured. Therefore make sure you buy ones made in the USA and are UNBLEACHED. Do not buy the white ones as they are full of chemicals. Good quality rawhide should only get gooey and gum up when chewed, never chip off. If they chip -the chips can get lodged in the little dip in their esophagus and they can choke on that. As many as 40% of all dogs are allergic to cow skin rawhide chews.

NEVER give COW HOOVES! They splinter and sharp pieces have killed many dogs. Better alternatives are pig ears, nylabones, and American made bully sticks - however ALWAYS be with your pet when they are eating these as there is always a danger of a piece breaking off and splitting.

Nylarbones are not detectable on an x-ray. Also when giving Pigs/Cows ears it's best to give basted or natural - NOT SMOKED. That puts a carcinogenic coating on it.

Deer Antlers, Unbleach/natural lambs ears are another better choice. Always supervise your pet when chewing these types of things.

Greenies - are the latest popular treat to become deadly. It is found that they can be slippery and if a piece slides down the throat the dog can die. Also some animals are having problems digesting. The new formula is said to be safer and crumble but vets we spoke with did not like the way they were digested and also they are not made of human grade ingredients. We suggest you use something like a Kong Dental stick stuffed with frozen cooked meat for a safe long lasting treat that will also help massage gums and clean teeth or investigate Deer Antlers.

Also supervise any chew treats! Also read labels. Many commercial dog treats contain: BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin & propylene glycol– and corn syrups/sugars that cause cancer. Do NOT use treats with ANY OF THESE THINGS!

SAFE ALTERNATIVES -our personal favorites are the KONG DENTAL STICK and the Buster Cube. See our

STUFF-ABLE HARD RUBBER TOYS. Fill them with frozen meat chunks, low fat hard cheese, and organic peanut butter for a long lasting SAFE TREAT!

Also give your dog frozen carrots to naturally clean teeth. Organic carrots are best, if not scrub and wash well and then freeze. 

Also check out a great toy called the BUSTER CUBE and KONG "DENTAL" stick which we love to stuff with frozen strips of chicken for a long lasting treat. See more info out

Please note for Diabetic dogs:

When giving supplements containing vitamin A, remember that Diabetics cannot convert Beta Carotine to Vitamin A once metabolized. This is the one instance we DO NOT recommend Omega 3 Oils as it will increase blood levels of low-density lipoproteins and cholesterol as well as blood sugar-And LDL is EXTREMELY BAD NEWS to a diabetic!
More info on this can be found at Newman Veterinary.
Also- NEVER give supplements containing GLUCOSAMINE as this nutrient must be avoided by diabetics because Glucosamine blocks the formation of insulin. Also DO NOT feed your a diabetic pet any pet foods containing GLUCOSAMINE.

Many 'Senior Foods'  (have this added now to help aging pets with arthritis and joint mobility. It is a good thing for arthritic and older dogs but NOT if they are DIABETIC!

In March 2001 issue of PREVENTION Magazine tells more of the dangers for diabetics and this supplement both in HUMANS AND ALL ANIMALS. It is shown taking Glucosamine if you are Diabetic can trigger INSULIN RESISTANCE. This means that the body stops recognizing insulin and, as a result sugar in the blood can build up to a dangerous level. Another online article on this is found here at Nutrition Science News