This amazing article was written by Christine Caplan, Certified Veterinary Technician and Founder of My Life With Dogs (PDX). I encourage you to check out her website!

One of the single greatest resources pet owners have us the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. These pulled together some fantastic tips and I often refer to their list of the “top toxic people foods to avoid feeding your pet”. I refer to this often when asked about foods our dogs should stay away from. What’s really tough is every home contains common foods that are toxic for our animals.

This is a list and why these foods are toxic. Sometimes the foods are toxic due to seeds that can act as choking hazards but in other cases, the entire substance is toxic for dogs and owners should call the ASPCA Poison Control Center if they suspect these items have been ingested and then of course, take you dog immediately to the vet.

One of the food items I’ve been talking with pet parents about lately is xylitol and the danger of certain peanut butters and nut butters. Years ago I used to give our dogs peanut butter filled Kong’s frequently. Many of the latest nut butters introduced use a sweetener that’s replaced sugar and that substitute is called xylitol. So xylitol has been added to the below list as well and according to Preventive Vet, Dr. Jason Nicholas there are certain peanut butters you should stay away from.

While these are “specialty butters” that are mostly sold in nutrition stores and online (currently), the subtle presence of xylitol in these butters definitely highlights the importance of reading ingredient labels on products you bring into your home,” says to Dr. Jason Nicholas in his latest article on the dangers of xylitol. Also, blogger, Keep the Tail Wagging, just wrote about another reason to stay away from Peanut Butter – Aflatoxins. This is a fungus growing on crops that can lead to liver cancer!

The Top 8 Foods To Never Feed To Your Dog


1. Fatty Foods

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One word, Pancreatitis. You may only think about this during Thanksgiving but pet parents should stay away from fatty foods all year round. Veggies are great! Leftover fried chicken is NOT. Dogs cannot metabolize fatty foods like we can.

2. Tea, Coffee and Chocolate

Contain caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea and be toxic to the heart and nervous systems. Many pet parents have left out chocolate at one point or another and the chocolate toxicity calculators are used by techs (been there), more here – a Chocolate Toxicity Meter will let you know how much theobromine and caffeine your dog has consumed and the symptoms that may follow. Get an app for your phone.

3. Avocados

Avocados are dangerous for dogs for a few reasons. Persin is found in the leaves, seed, and bark, as well as in the fruit. If a large amount is ingested, this can be toxic for dogs.

4. Alcohol

Not only is alcohol bad for dogs but it actually affects dogs the same way it effects humans. The damage to their liver is far worse and happens much faster so alcohol of any kind is an absolute DANGER to dogs.

5. Yeast Dough

Have you left a pizza on top of the counter before you put it in the oven? Or biscuits on a weekend morning? Yeast is dangerous as it can expand in the digestive system and produce gas.

6. Grapes/Raisins

Two words: kidney failure. A small amount is all that’s needed to do serious damage.

7. Onions & Garlic

GI irritation is inevitable if you dog ingests either of these.  According to Pets WebMD, any form of these can lead to anemia. Small pearl onions are especially toxic. “Symptoms of anemia include weakness, vomiting, little interest in food, dullness, and breathlessness,” says Pets WebMD. Always look at the back of chicken broth and check to make sure the ingredient onion powder is not included on the list.

8. Any Product Containing Xylitol

Even peanut butter brands use this so read the ingredients as I note above – we talked about Peanut Butter but there are lots of food items that contain xylitol. This includes gum!


This is just a list of the “most common” human foods toxic to dogs. In addition to these foods, raw eggs, and some mushrooms should also be considered dangerous human foods. Peaches and plums have pits that dogs can choke on.

It’s a lot of fun to share your leftovers with your four-legged friend and there are a lot of foods that are OK including sweet potatoes! Try baking these in the oven as this treat is something our three dogs enjoy throughout the week. We also make banana “yogurt” and add bananas and blueberries to Kong’s on a hot summer day. Put these treats in the freezer and during these dog days of summer – this is a great snack!



ASPCA Poison Control Center:

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