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11 Human Foods That Can Be Fatal to Dogs: Vet Approved Guide

Adam Mann

By Adam Mann

english mastiff dog at the vet clinic

Vet approved

Dr. Lauren Demos  Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Just because you love the food on your dinner table doesn’t mean you should share it with your dog to see if they like it too. That’s because while it might be delicious to us, there are plenty of human foods out there that can be fatal for dogs.

Below, we’ve highlighted 11 foods you should never feed your dog. But before you feed your pooch any human food, we highly recommend looking it up to ensure it’s safe, even if it didn’t make it onto our list.


The 11 Human Foods That Can Be Fatal to Dogs

1. Xylitol

a bowl of Xylitol with branch of leaves on wooden surface
Image Credit: morisfoto, Shutterstock
Seriousness: High
Reason: Drop in blood sugar and liver failure

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that you can find in many different foods and drinks, and it’s very common in toothpaste. It’s not a harmful ingredient for humans, but it can lead to a drop in blood sugar and potential liver failure in dogs. Even worse, it doesn’t take much xylitol to create these conditions in our dogs. Because of this, you should always double-check the ingredient list for xylitol before feeding anything to your dog.

2. Onions/Garlic

Seriousness: High
Reason: Anemia

While many people love eating different foods from the allium family, that’s not the case for dogs. Alliums include onions, garlic, and other similar foods, and they all cause anemia in dogs. It doesn’t take much for it to create this condition either, so you need to be extremely careful with these foods. Even a single onion or related plant can lead to disastrous consequences for your dog.

3. Chocolate

dark chocolate bars
Image Credit: Alexander Stein, Pixabay
Seriousness: High
Reason: Caffeine, theobromine, and sugar

Chocolate might be the most well-known human food that a dog can’t eat. There’s a good reason for that since there are three reasons it can end up being fatal to dogs. First, chocolate contains caffeine, and even small amounts of caffeine can lead to dangerous side effects for your dog.

Of course, chocolate is also full of sugar, and too much sugar can have long-term consequences for your dog. But perhaps the most dangerous part of chocolate is the theobromine. It doesn’t lead to anything negative for humans, but dogs simply can’t handle theobromine, and it’s in every type of chocolate.

4. Alcohol

Seriousness: High
Reason: Alcohol poisoning

Dogs can suffer from alcohol poisoning just like us, but it doesn’t take nearly as much alcohol to create this condition in our smaller dogs. Even a little alcohol can have disastrous consequences, so keep all alcohol far away from your dog.

5. Coffee and Tea

Image Credit: skeeze, Pixabay
Seriousness: High
Reason: Caffeine

Coffee, tea, and other drinks high in caffeine should stay far away from your dog. Caffeine elevates heart rates, and because dogs are significantly smaller than people, it doesn’t take as much caffeine to have potentially fatal consequences.

Even if the caffeine doesn’t kill your dog, it’s going to make them extremely uncomfortable, so there’s really no reason to give them even a little.

6. Avocados

Seriousness: Moderate
Reason: Persin poisoning

While humans can happily munch on avocados, to most other animals, every part of an avocado is extremely toxic. The reason is that avocados contain an ingredient called persin, and many animals can’t tolerate it.

Persin is in every part of an avocado, so nothing about it is safe for your dog. Not only that, but avocado pits can create blockages in your dog’s digestive tract.

7. Grapes and Raisins

Image Credit: Pexels, Pixabay
Seriousness: High
Reason: Kidney failure

Grapes and raisins might seem harmless at first blush, especially if they’re seedless, but this simply isn’t the case. Dogs can’t process raisins, and even small amounts of either food can lead to kidney failure.

Not only that, but even small quantities will leave your dog feeling extremely uncomfortable after just the first day, so you want to keep these foods far away from your dog.

8. Macadamia Nuts

Seriousness: High
Reason: Shaking and death

This is one of the more surprising human foods on our list, but just a handful of macadamia nuts can be extremely dangerous results. It doesn’t matter if macadamia nuts are raw, roasted, or baked into cookies, dogs can’t eat them!

9. Bones

raw chicken bones
Image Credit: David Tadevosian, Shutterstock
Seriousness: High
Reason: Splintering and blockages

While cartoons all over the world show dogs happily munching on bones, you should never give your dog anything with a bone in it. When dogs eat bones, they can crack and splinter, especially when cooked, which can easily pierce and cut various parts of their mouth and digestive tract.

Not only that, but dogs can’t easily break down bones, so even if they don’t crack and splinter, they can create dangerous blockages that can wind up killing your dog.

10. Fruit Pits

Seriousness: High
Reason: Internal blockages

While many fruits are perfectly safe for your dog, you can’t just throw the whole fruit at them. This is especially true if the fruit has a hard pit in the middle. While your dog’s digestive system can break down the rest of the fruit, it can’t process the pit.

Not only can your dog choke on it as they’re eating, but even if they get it down, it can create an internal blockage which can be fatal for your dog.

11. Raw Dough

pizza dough
Image Credit: HardyKlossek, Pixabay
Seriousness: Moderate
Reason: Rising dough

This is another one of the more surprising foods on our list, but if you have any kind of raw dough with yeast, it can be extremely dangerous if your dog eats it. The problem is that bread with yeast expands, so while there’s enough room in your dog’s stomach while they’re eating it, as it expands, it can overly stretch their stomach and kill them.

This can also create a potentially deadly fermentation process inside their stomach. There’s nothing wrong with making bread, but you need to keep the dough far out of your dog’s reach as you make it.



Now that you know about these human foods that are potentially fatal for your dog, you can take a few extra precautions to keep your pooch safe when you have them around your home.

If your dog does happen to eat any of these foods, we highly recommend taking them to the vet as soon as possible so they can monitor their condition and ensure they get any treatment they may or may not need as soon as possible.

Featured Image Credit: UfaBizPhoto, Shutterstock

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