Dangerous Foods To Avoid

These foods could send your dog to the emergency vet!

Introduction - Read This First!

When it comes to foods that you should avoid feeding to your dog, we've broken them down into 3 levels of seriousness:

Level 1: Avoid These If You Can


Sometimes these are the most dangerous foods because you have no idea that they are harmful to your dog! These foods are things like chewies that are sold in pet stores so they seem safe. Or HUMAN FOOD that we eat so it seems harmless to dogs.


It used to be that only cooked bones were thought to be dangerous. We now know that really any kind of bone can shatter when dogs chew them and cause cuts and bleeding in their stomachs! It’s safest to not feed them bones at all.


Even though rawhides are still sold in lots of pet stores, they have been shown to be very unsafe. They are usually treated with lots of chemicals, and so they don’t digest very well in a dogs stomach. They can eventually cause blockages.

Bone And Rawhide Alternatives

While bones used to be the standard dog treat, they have now been shown to crack and shatter into sharp pieces, which can badly injure a dogs intestines! Read more in the CHEWING and PICKING TOYS pages. For now, here are some safe and digestible alternatives to bones. 

Lots of Fat

A little bit of fatty food as a treat can be OK. A piece of cheese, some peanut or almond butter, or a piece of meat are all fine. But too much fat can give dogs diarrhea or even problems with their pancreas! Don’t feed too much of these if you can avoid it. 

Fatty Treat Alternatives

Here are some examples of treats that may satisfy your dog’s craving for sweet or fatty foods. Remember that too much fatty food can upset a dogs stomach, so go easy on these!

Level 2: Can Make Your Dog Sick Right Now


These foods will cause your dog to feel sick, have diarrhea, or even throw up. Check out the FIRST AID 101 lesson for what to do when your dog isn’t feeling well and keep an eye on them. And of course always make sure to hide these foods from your dog!

For more information on these, watch this informative video from Bestie:

Milk Chocolate

The darker a chocolate is, the more poisonous it is to a dog. Therefore, milk chocolate isn’t as bad as dark chocolate, but should still be kept away from dogs. For a larger dog, the most common issue might be vomiting or diarrhea. Check the chocolate dosing calculator below to know how much chocolate would be toxic for your dog. 


Avocado meat (the green part!) is very fatty, so it will upset a dog’s stomach a lot. The seeds are the most poisonous part, so those should be kept away from dogs and thrown away.


Alcohol, especially anything made from grapes, like wine, can seriously upset a dog’s stomach and may send them to the vet. Don’t ever give dogs alcohol, even as a joke!

Bread Dough

Because of fermentation, bread dough can create alcohol, and so it can be dangerous just like wine or beer. Because it’s raw it can also cause a very upset stomach if your dog eats enough. Be careful when cooking!

Fruit Seeds and Stems

The main part (meat) of many fruit, like apples and bananas, are actually good for dogs! However, seeds, stems, and peels can make your dog sick and should be thrown away.

Poisoning Alert!

If Your Dog Eats Any Of The Following Foods, Go To An ER And Call The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center:

Level 3: VERY Dangerous! Hide These From Your Dog​


These foods deserve their own section because they can cause very serious illness or even kill dogs! NEVER leave these around the house where your dog can sneak in and eat them. If they do somehow get a hold of one of these, you should rush to your nearest emergency room immediately. 

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate contains a higher concentration than milk chocolate of the chemical theobromine. Theobromine is broken down by the human liver very easily, but not in dogs. Keep this away and hide it very well. Check the chocolate dosing calculator below to see just how dangerous dark chocolate is for your dog. It could be lethal!

Grapes, Raisins, and Jellies

Chemicals in grapes, raisins, and jellies can cause acute kidney failure in dogs. Even a handful can be very dangerous, so you should hide them away very carefully, and call the vet if your dog eats any at all!

Xylitol Sweetener

Xylitol is found in many candies, and small amounts of it can cause toxicity, seizures, and liver failure. Watch out when cooking with it, and don’t leave bags of candy out. 

Macadamia Nuts

Although the exact chemical that causes toxicity is unknown, even a few macadamia nuts can be very toxic to dogs. Don’t confuse these with peanuts or almonds, which can be OK in small amounts. 

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