What Can Dogs Not Eat? Foods To Stay Away From

Posted by Bridget Reed on

We may be guilty of giving our pup little morsels of people food from time to time. Who can resist those big puppy-dog eyes when you are enjoying something delicious? One of the fun parts of being a pet parent is sneaking tasty bits of food into our dog from time to time.

Most of the time, this is fine in moderation. However, our dogs need to steer clear of some human foods, no matter how much they beg.

Let’s look at what foods that our dogs need to keep their paws away from:

Onions & Garlic

Cooking with onions and garlic can make foods smell and taste incredible… to us. Although they are vegetables and add nutritious value to our diets, they are not friends to your dog’s stomach.

Any veggies from the Allium family, like onions, garlic, leeks, and chives, are not safe for dogs. This includes all forms like fresh, dried, or powder. If you cook with these flavors regularly, table scraps are off the table.

The sulfur in these veggies can destroy dogs’ red blood cells, and garlic can cause anemia. Onions that are chopped or cooked can pose an extra threat, but even onion powder is a danger. (Hidden danger: onion powder sometimes is even in human baby food.)

Macadamia Nuts

White chocolate macadamia nut cookies are oh-so-tasty! Even if your dog is giving the most pleading eye expression, avoid allowing your dog to ingest anything with macadamia nuts. This toxic food can cause muscle weakness and tremors.

Sugar

While it is hard to resist your dog’s puppy eyes when they see you enjoying a sweet treat, it’s best to avoid allowing your dog to have any food with processed sugars. It is not good for their teeth and can cause weight gain. Too much sugar is also not great for your dog’s system and can cause issues with insulin and lead to diabetes.

Bones

While we may want to give our dog bones from leftover meals, doing so is not safe for dogs. Raw bones can harbor bacteria that may be harmful to digestive systems and make your dog feel yucky. Bones can also hurt your dog’s teeth or even be a choking hazard.

Cooked bones can split, and they can also obstruct the intestine. Bone shards can also be dangerous to our dog’s digestive system as they can be abrasive to sensitive tissues. Stick to bones designed especially for your dog.

Speaking of meat, be super careful about raw meat and raw eggs — Salmonella and E. coli can hurt dogs (and people!), causing upset stomachs. Before transitioning your pooch to a raw food diet, consult your veterinarian.

Chocolate

Although we love the rich, creamy taste of chocolate, keeping it out of our dog’s reach is critical. Chocolate is toxic to dogs, but those noses sure do love to sniff out the sweet stuff. Essentially, chocolate is a stimulant, like caffeine, and dogs shouldn’t be near any of that stuff.

There are various factors that can determine if your dog has ingested too much chocolate, mainly —what type of chocolate they ingested and your dog’s weight. If your large-sized dog got into a few fun-size pieces of milk chocolate, they will likely be okay but will experience some gastrointestinal upset.

However, if your dog gets into dark chocolate or powdered cocoa, veterinarian assistance will be necessary. These varieties of chocolate contain a higher concentration of the compounds (like theobromine) that can make your dog sick.

Your dog’s weight is also a factor to think about in this situation. Smaller dogs will be affected by a smaller amount of chocolate, while larger dogs will have to eat a larger amount of chocolate to make an impact.

When holidays roll around, remain vigilant that any and all chocolate is put away. Ensure that there are no pieces lingering in gift bags left on the floor, as this is an easy way for your dog to get into the stash.

Grapes & Raisins

Grapes and raisins are also big no-no foods for your dog. Your dog may accidentally ingest raisins if they were to get into those soft oatmeal raisin cookies that grandma made. If you have grapevines in your yard, your mischievous pup may try to steal a few grapes off the vine.

If you suspect that your dog has ingested grapes or raisins, call your veterinarian ASAP. They will need to intervene as soon as possible with supportive care before your dog’s digestive system can finish processing those grapes of wrath.

Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure.

Xylitol

Found in chewing gum and many sugar-free candies, this sweetener is great for humans looking to cut calories or sugar from their diets. However, xylitol is a sweetener that is not safe for dogs and can cause their bodies to produce too much insulin. Xylitol can lead to liver failure and dangerous drops in blood sugar.

Xylitol can be found in treats that we may commonly give to dogs, like ice cream and peanut butter. Check those labels closely and ensure that they are not sweetened with xylitol. If you see “diet” or “no-sugar” on the label, it more than likely will contain xylitol.

Our pups love a small scoop of ice cream now and again, especially if you are celebrating a birthday! Peanut butter is a favorite amongst dogs, and we love watching them try to get all the peanut butter off the spoon. To help fuel this fun, look for dog-brand ice creams or xylitol-free ice cream.

It’s not just sugary treats: If you brush your dog’s pearly whites, ensure that you are using toothpaste specially designed for dogs. Human toothpaste may also contain xylitol to be more palatable, so avoid using a dab of your own toothpaste on your dog’s toothbrush.

Foods Dogs CAN Have

It is important to know what foods our dogs should steer away from, but just as important is knowing what our dogs can safely have. It may be tempting to give our pups a little morsel of what we are having. Sharing is caring, after all!

While it is nice to give our furry friends treats, we want to make sure that these treats are within their dietary needs. This keeps our dogs trim and healthy. Vegetables like carrots, green beans, spinach, and butternut squash are wonderful additions to your dog's regular pet food and add a fresh flavor.

Fruit is a tasty treat and adds nutrients to your dog’s diet. Your fur baby may enjoy some sweet, juicy bits of watermelon, strawberry, banana, or honeydew in small doses. Normally, you want treats to make up only 1/10 of what your dog typically consumes, with the other 90 percent coming from their normal food.

Consult with your veterinarian if you are unsure of the amounts of treats your dog can have. These amounts are usually dependent on their weight, and the veterinarian can provide more useful insight on additional fruits and vegetables you can safely add to your dog’s diet.

At the end of the day, dog food is the best food for dogs.

PAWZ - A Treat for Both You and Your Best Pal

While you love keeping your furriest buddy safe and sound, you also want to treat yourself sometimes. PAWZ is here when you want to reward yourself and your best pal with something other than snacks.

Here at PAWZ, we offer stylish tees, crewnecks, and hoodies that show off your love for dogs and being a pet parent. We also offer style options for your dog in the chicest leashes, collars, and bandanas.

Check our PAWZ Sunflower Dog Bandana that will have your pup looking fresh and vibrant. We also have plenty of floral apparel options so you can match your pup as well.

You’ll look and feel fresh as a daisy in our PAWZ Spring Meadow Front Print Tee, featuring spring flowers in shades of yellow, purple, and pink. This tee is perfect as we head into springtime.

In addition to looking good, you’ll also feel good when you wear PAWZ, as a portion of your purchase goes towards helping dogs in need. Our mission at PAWZ is to help dogs find warm and loving homes. 10% of our net profits go towards supporting local and national no-kill shelters and animal welfare organizations, like Best Friends Animal Society.

While we want you to keep your dog safe and sound from the foods they shouldn’t have, we also think you should treat yourself and your pup from time to time. Check out PAWZ for stylish new threads, and know that your purchase will raise awareness to save dogs’ lives.

It’s simple: PAWZ keeps you stylish, and you’re helping the Best Friends Animal Shelter make our country no-kill for shelter pets.

Sources:

Some food toxic for pets | PMC

Toxicology Brief: Grape and Raisin Toxicity in Dogs | Vet Folio

Paws Off Xylitol; It's Dangerous for Dogs | FDA

Treats guidelines for dogs | UC Davis Veterinary Medicine

Food hazards | Merck Vet Manual

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