Foods Poisonous To Dogs

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The Essentials in a Dog's Daily Diet

Protein: Adult dogs need a minimum of 18% protein in their diet for maintenance and 22% for growth and reproduction. Too much protein can lead to hyperactivity

Fat: Adult dogs need a minimum of 5% fat in their diet to give them energy and keep their coat healthy.

Vitamins. Speak with your vet to see what vitamin types and amounts your dog needs.

Water: Your dog’s water needs depend on his activity level.

We all want to keep our dogs safe from harm and knowing which foods are poisonous to dogs will help.

Generally speaking if your dog consumes tiny amounts in propotion to its size, then it s will either not be affected, or the effects will be minimal and pass quickly. Large amounts of ingestion from any of the following foods poisonous to dogs, may be cause for concern. Acting quickly and contacting your vet or the poison line  if you are worried, could make all the difference to your dog’s health.

poisonous foods to dogs

Alcohol

Never a good idea!

The published oral lethal dose in dogs is 5.5 to 7.9 g/kg of 100% ethanol. 

One milliliter of ethanol is equal to 0.789 g.

  • Depression or lethargy
  • Incoordination
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting or retching
  • Weakness
  • Collapse
  • Decreased respiratory rate
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Hypothermia (low body temperature)

Avocado Pit

Whole or In Part

The avocado produces a natural antifungal called Persin. It is present in the leaves, skin, seeds and fruit of the avocado. Dogs do not seem to be affected by this poison, although sensitive dogs ingesting a small amount of avocado can develop pancreatitis.

The pit of the avocado should never be given to your dog. Swallowed whole or in part, it will cause a foreign body obstruction in the esophagus, stomach, or intestinal tract.

  • Difficulty Breathing,
  • Lethargy
  • Drooling
  • Hacking.
poisonous foods to dogs
poisonous foods to dogs

Bones

Only offer human-grade raw meaty bones

Do Not feed your dog cooked bones (especially chicken) OR raw pork or rib bones. These bones will easily splinter or crack into small sharp pieces which can cause an intestinal obstruction or get lodged in the throat, obstructing its airway.

Never give your dog a bone that is smaller than its mouth, as it can swallow it whole and choke.

  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloody stool
  • Mouth and Tongue Lacerations
  • Broken Teeth
  • Cuts and Wounds in the mouth or Tonsils
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Severe constipation
  • An intestinal blockage that may require surgery
  • Choking
  • Death

 

Broccoli

A Little Bit Is OK

Dogs can benefit from the nutrients in broccoli in small quantities. Feeding your dog less than 5% of their diet is said to be safe. Broccoli does however contain isothiocyanate which can potentially be dangerous to your dog if too much is eaten. Anything over 25% of your pet’s daily calories could be extremely fatal.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Digestive Issues
  • Severe Abdominal Pain  
poisonous foods to dogs
poisonous foods to dogs

Caffeine

Tea, Coffee etc

Consumption of unused coffee grounds, beans, tea bags, or even supplements can cause serious toxicity in dogs.  Moderate amounts can cause death in small breed dogs.

  • Hyperactivity
  • Restlessness
  • Vomiting
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Elevated body temperature (hypothermia)
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Tremors
  • Seizures

Chocolate

Darker chocolate is more toxic

50% of dogs find a chocolate dose of 100mg/kg of body weight lethal.

White chocolate and the odd chocolate chip carry the least risk.

This is one of the most common foods poisonous to dogs. Be careful with children dropping pieces of chocolate.

  • Hyperactivity

  • Restlessness

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhoea

  • Increased thirst

  • Elevated heart rate

  • Hypertension (elevated blood pressure)

  • Abnormal heart rhythms

  • Tremors

  • Hyperthermia (elevated body temperature)

poisonous foods to dogs

Citrus Fruits

Includes Oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit

Oranges – Citric acid is found on the fruit, seeds, peelings, leaves and stems. -Large amounts of ingestion can cause issues with the central nervous system.

Lemon & Limes – the psoralen compounds and aromatic oils in lemons are toxic to dogs. The sour green fruit of the lime is poisonous to dogs

Grapefruit – The flesh is very acidic and can cause digestive issues for dogs. The rind has essential oils which are toxic to dogs.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Depression
  • Potential Dermatitis
  • Unusual Light Sensitivity.

Garlic

Includes Onion, Chives, and Leeks

Toxic doses of garlic can cause damage to the red blood cells leading to anemia.  Tiny amounts of garlic  may be safe, but large amounts can be very toxic.

Japanese breeds of dogs, like Akita and Shiba Inu are more sensitive than others.

Signs of garlic poisoning can be delayed and not visible for several days.

  • Nausea
  • Drooling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lethargy
  • Pale Gums
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Increased Respiratory Rate
  • Weakness
  • Exercise Intolerance
poisonous foods to dogs
poisonous foods to dogs

Green Tomatoes

Large Amounts

The amount of unripe tomato or foliage a dog eats in relation to its size, will determine the level of toxicity.

  • Hypersalivation

  • Loss of appetite

  • Gastrointestinal upset

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Confusion

  • Drowsiness

  • Behavioral change

  • Weakness

  • CNS depression

  • Dilated pupil

  • Abnormal heart rate

Grapes

Includes Raisins, Sultanas & Currants

The skins of these fruits are highly toxic. Ingestion of even a small amount of grapes, raisins, sultanas or currants can result in severe, acute kidney failure.

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrohea

  • Abdominal pain

  • Anorexia 

  • Acute Kidney Failure

poisonous foods to dogs
poisonous foods for dogs

Liver

In large quantities

In small amounts, liver is great for your dog.

Large amounts of liver in a dog’s diet can create toxic levels of vitamin A or hypervitaminosis A.

  • Calcified Skeleton
  • Diseased Skin
  • Deformed Bones
  • Excessive Bone Growth on the elbows and spine
  • Weight Loss
  • Anorexia

Lunch meats

Deli meat also

Lunch meat is high in both fat and salt. It is full of additives, fillers, sodium, nitrates, and spices which are unhealthy for your dog.

If your dog’s diet contains alot lunch meat it can lead to pancreatitis.

The nitrate content in deli meats is also unhealthy.

  • Hypersalivation

  • Loss of appetite

  • Gastrointestinal upset

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Confusion

  • Drowsiness

  • Behavioral change

  • Weakness

  • CNS depression

  • Dilated pupil

  • Abnormal heart rate

poisonous foods for dogs
poisonous foods for dogs

Macadamia nuts

Walnuts & Hickory Nuts

Macadamia Nuts have an unknown toxin which can affect the nerve and muscle function. 

Walnuts and Hickory Nuts are not toxic. However walnuts are too large for dogs to chew properly and may cause intestinal obstruction. Moldy walnuts  or Hickory nuts contain tremorgenic mycotoxins.

The high oil content in the nuts may cause some dogs to develop pancreatitis.

  • Severe Lethargy
  • Temperature
  • Vomiting, tremors, joint stiffness, and inability to walk

Brazil nuts, Cashews, Pistachios, Pecans, Peanuts, Almonds are safer, but all contain a lot of fat. Large quanities  can cause weight gain, pancreatitis, and upset stomach.

Moulds

Mouldy Food & Compost

Tremorgenic mycotoxins can be found in mouldy bread, pasta, cheese, nuts, or other rotting matter like compost. A specific mycotoxin called aflatoxin can even cause liver failure

  • Vomiting

  • Agitation

  • Incoordination

  • Tremors

  • Seizures

  • Elevated Body Temperature

  • Liver Failure
poisonous foods to dogs
poisonous foods to dogs

Mushrooms

Best to avoid altogether

While many mushrooms are considered non-toxic, some may cause severe clinical signs or even death. Unless you know your mushrooms, it’s best to not give them to your dog at all.

In general, all mushroom ingestions by dogs should be considered toxic unless a specialist can accurately identify the mushroom as non-toxic.

Mushroom poisoning can take effect within 15-30 minutes of ingestion, and up to 24 hours to show signs.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Visual Disturbances
  • Aggression
  • Disorientation)
  • Liver (e.g., vomiting, black-tarry stools, increased liver enzyme blood tests, liver failure),
  • Kidney (e.g., anorexia, vomiting, inappropriate thirst or urination, kidney failure).

Nutmeg

Large Amounts

Nutmeg is toxic to dogs in large quantities.

  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Central Nervous System
  • Death.
poisonous foods to dogs
xylitol in dogs

Peanut Butter

With added sweetner

Lots of dogs love peanut butter as a treat in their Kongs. Some peanut butter is made with Xylitol which is extremly toxic to dogs. 

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhoea

  • Blood in stool

  • Drowsiness

  • Restlessness

  • Weakness

  • Tremors

  • Convulsions

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Low blood pressure

  • Loss of control of bodily movements

  • Seizures

  • Coma

  • Death
  •  

Rhubarb

Rheum - Pie Plant

See our section on poisonous plants to dogs

  • Drooling
  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Tremors
  • Bloody urine
Poisonous_Foods_To_Dogs

Raw Eggs

Raw egg whites have the avidin enzyme. If dogs ingest vasts amounts of this it will result in egg-white injury. This enzyme inhibits the proper absorption of biotin in dogs which can lead to skin and coat problems.

Raw eggs can also be a source of Salmonella.

Salmonella Poisoning:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea (which may be bloody)
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Decreased activity level

Raw Fish

Salmon

Salmon poisoning can be fatal and is caused by a rickettsial organism that can be found within flukes (parasitic flatworms) infecting the tissues of wild fish. These organisms are released in a dog’s intestines and cause fevers within 24 hours. 

Raw salmon also contains lots of small brittle bones, which can lodge in his stomach or intestines or choke your dog.

If fed any type of fish in large enough quantities dogs develop a deficiency in thiamine. Thiamine deficiencies cause anorexia, seizures, and death.

  • Decreased Appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Weight Loss
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody Diarrhoea
  • Fever
  • Death
poisonous foods to dogs

Salt

Table Salt, Sea Water, Home Made Play Dough etc

Salt toxicity, also known as Hypernatremia, is when sodium levels are raised, due to an increase in salt or a loss in water intake. If a dog’s sodium levels increase too much, their body reacts adversely. 

Road Salt ( used to melt snow) Has chemicals such as sodium, potassium and magnesium chloride, which are detrimental to your dog’s if ingested.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Incoordination
  • Excessive thirst or urination

In severe cases, tremors, seizures, coma, and even death are possible.

Yeast

Or Bread Dough

As the yeast ferments it releases alcohol which may lead to alcohol poisoning. The warm area of the stomach acts as an oven allowing the dough to continue to rise. Causing a possible bowel obstruction or bloated stomach. 

The stomach may then twist leading to a gastric dilitation and volvulus.  Emergency surgery will be required before the walls of the stomach die from lack of blood supply.

 

 

  • Bloat or GDV:
  • Distended Abdomen,
  • Unproductive Vomiting
  • Retching, lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Tachycardia (elevated heart rate)
  • Collapse
  • Shock
poisonous foods to dogs