Foods You should Never Give to Your Dog

Dogs are mealtime opportunists. You’re finishing your dinner, and Sparky thinks it’s his turn to chow down on whatever table scraps are left on your plate. Or you’re grabbing a quick snack, and you look down to see Spot looking up at you with those big, begging eyes. When it comes to snagging a bite, there’s no bad handout in your dog’s opinion. However, there are some foods that shouldn’t become treats for your dog, no matter how much they beg.

Some foods that are even considered healthy for humans can be downright toxic when they’re ingested by your dog. Others won’t be deadly, but can still cause some serious discomfort for your canine. The best thing is to stick with the dog food your veterinarian recommends for your pet, but it’s natural to want to give treats every now and then. That’s well and fine, as long as you avoid using these foods.

What to do if your dog eats these foods

If you come home to find that Fido raided the pantry, or you accidentally give your dog one of these snacks without thinking about it, make sure you seek expert advice.

1. Onions and garlic

If you use any form of garlic and onion in your meals, save the leftovers for your own lunch instead of sharing them with your dog. Garlic, onions, and leeks are part of the allium plant family, which can break down red blood cells in canines. This can cause your dog to become anemic, explains Justine Lee, a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.

Garlic in particular is five times more toxic to dogs than the other allium plants, but even the onion powder found in baby food can cause an issue, WebMD reports. Eating large amounts of raw garlic and onions is particularly concerning, but smaller amounts over a consistent amount of time can also cause issues. Symptoms of anemia in your dog can include weakness, vomiting, little interest in food, and breathlessness, among others.

2. Peaches, plums, and persimmons

Who knew so many fruits were a bad idea to feed to your dog? It’s unlikely a dog would start chomping on one of these fruits on their own, but if you live in an area with peach and plum trees, it’s best to pay careful attention. The fruit itself isn’t the issue — it’s the pits inside that cause damage.

Most obviously, the pits can cause intestinal blockages that can turn serious. However, the pits also contain cyanide, which is toxic to humans and pets alike. Humans know to not take a bite out of the pit, while your dog might continue chowing down. In addition, persimmon seeds can cause inflammation in the intestines, adding to your dog’s discomfort.

3. Yeast

If your dog has created his own Canine Olympics out of jumping up to grab food from the kitchen counter, it’s best to not leave your rising bread dough unattended. Yeast in any form before it’s baked is extremely dangerous for your dog, as it will continue rising in their stomach.

“Ingestion of yeast dough can cause gas to accumulate in your dog’s digestive system as a result of the dough rising,” VetsNow explains. “Not only can this be painful but it may also cause the stomach or intestines to become obstructed (blocked) or distended.” The yeast also produces ethanol as a by-product, which in your dog can make them become drunk.

4. Grapes and raisins

The compound in grapes and raisins that is toxic to dogs is unknown, the ASPCA reports. Whatever it is, it’s dangerous enough that it can cause kidney failure in canines, and feeding grapes or raisins to your dog should be avoided completely. According to Canine Journal, eating these otherwise innocuous snacks can also cause severe liver damage.

How your dog responds to eating some will vary based on breed and size, but even a handful can cause serious problems. “I’ve seen dogs that have had only a couple of raisins go into horrible kidney failure and have to be hospitalized for days,” Lee told Good Housekeeping. If you don’t seek medical attention for your pet, this can ultimately be fatal.

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