What Foods are Poisonous to Dogs?

Common foods that are poisonous to dogs

Dogs are very curious animals, they are omnivores and natural scavengers and can get into and eat just about anything. There are many common foods in your home right now that are considered toxic substances that could potentially kill your dog. The following is a list of ten common household substances that you should make sure to keep out of your dog’s reach.


Avocados contain a substance called persin, which is considered a toxin to dogs. Persin, a fungicidal toxin that, in large enough quantities, can cause serious health problems including diarrhea, vomiting, and in some instances can even be deadly. Dogs may be more resistant to persin than other animals, but you should still avoid feeding avocados to your dog. Persin is present in the avocado fruit, pits, leaves, and the actual plant. All of these parts are potentially poisonous to your dog. Though avocado is considered a “healthy fat” for humans, it is also too high in fat for dogs, and can cause gastrointestinal issues or put them at risk of pancreatitis.


Dogs can eat the fleshy fruit part of the cherry around the pit, however the stems, leaves, and pits of cherries contain cyanide, which can be a potentially deadly chemical if consumed in high enough quantities. Cyanide kills tissues by making it difficult to use oxygen. Cyanide can cause symptoms such as labored breathing, bright red gums, and dilated pupils in dogs. Cherry pits can also cause intestinal blockages, especially in smaller dogs. Also, the cherry pit can be a hazard because the pit could get caught in your pup’s airway and become a choking hazard.


Chocolate can be deadly for dogs and can make them very sick. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine which dogs are not able to digest. These chemicals can cause symptoms like throwing up, loose stools, fast breathing, high heart rate, shaking, and organ damage. How bad the poisoning is depends on how much and what kind of chocolate the dog ate, and how big the dog is. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate have more of the toxic chemicals than milk chocolate or white chocolate. If your dog has eaten any chocolate, you need to call your vet or animal poison control center as soon as possible and follow their instructions.

Grapes and Raisins

Both grapes and raisins (raisins are dried or dehydrated grapes), are highly toxic to dogs. If you feel your dog has eaten a grape or raisin you should call your veterinarian immediately. Do not try to induce vomiting unless advised by your vet. It only takes a few grapes or raisins to cause sudden kidney failure in your dog. Grapes and raisins contain tartaric acid, which is extremely harmful to a dogs’ kidneys. The symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, dehydration, and changes in urine production


Green or unripe tomatoes and the plant itself are poisonous to dogs. You should avoid giving your dog the flesh of unripe tomatoes, the tomato plant itself, or tomato stems, as they contain solanine and tomatine, which are toxic to dogs. These toxins can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, muscle weakness, tremors, and cardiac problems. If your dog has eaten any of these parts of the tomato, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.


Some mushrooms are poisonous to dogs and can cause serious health problems or even death. You should never feed your dog mushrooms, especially wild ones, as it can be very hard to tell which ones are safe and which ones are toxic. Only a fraction of mushroom species are known to be poisonous to dogs, those that are can be deadly. Identifying mushrooms can be tricky, even for experts. Therefore, you can never be 100% sure your dog would be getting a safe variety. Even one bite of a toxic mushroom could be fatal. If your dog has eaten any mushrooms, you should contact your veterinarian right away and follow their instructions. Some of the symptoms of mushroom poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, muscle weakness, tremors, seizures, and organ failure. The type and severity of symptoms depend on the kind of mushroom and the amount ingested. To help prevent mushroom poisoning in dogs, you should keep your dog away from areas where mushrooms grow, and be vigilant when walking in the woods, parks, gardens, and on lawns.


Yes, onions are poisonous to dogs and can cause a condition called hemolytic anemia, which is the destruction of red blood cells. Onions, onion flakes, onion powder can contain substances called thiosulphates, which dogs cannot break down safely. The symptoms of onion poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, pale gums, increased thirst, rapid breathing, weakness, and jaundice. If your dog has eaten any onions or onion products, you should contact your veterinarian or animal poison control center right away and follow their instructions. You should also avoid giving your dog garlic, chives, leeks which are closely related to onions and can also cause hemolytic anemia.

This is just a partial list of common foods that dogs and puppies should avoid. Please consult your vet for more information.

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