Toxic foods for dogs

What we like is far from suitable for the dog. Some foods are harmful to health and can even be fatal. The reason is that dogs metabolize food differently than humans. Even small amounts can cause symptoms of intoxication. However, it also depends on the amount consumed and the bodyweight of the dog.

Raw meat, onions, and salt

Onions, whether raw, cooked, or steamed, contain the substances allyl propyl disulfide and N-propyl disulfide. These substances destroy your dog’s red blood cells (erythrocytes) and can cause anaemia. The same applies to garlic and wild garlic.
Salty foods are not a problem for healthy dogs that drink a lot. Caution should be exercised in dogs with cardiac disease. In general, spices are more challenging to digest. Do not feed your animal any pickled grill steak or the remains of the Sunday roast.
You should also avoid raw fish and raw meat. They can contain highly dangerous parasites, bacteria, and viruses for the dog. These, in turn, can also pose a danger to humans. Therefore meat or fish should always be cooked through well.

Avocado, grapes, and nuts

The core, skin, and pulp of the avocado contain persine (a toxin). Persine has a damaging effect on the muscles of the heart, which can lead to dog heart failure if poisoned. Other dog organs can also be affected. Avocado poisoning can result in irreparable damage to the heart muscle.
Also, do not feed grapes or raisins: these can cause diarrhoea and vomiting. In large quantities, grapes and raisins can cause acute kidney failure, which can be fatal. Fourteen grams of raisins per kilogram of body weight are sufficient.
As a reward, nuts should also be taboo as they contain a lot of phosphorus. The high phosphorus content quickly leads to bladder stones or disorders of bone metabolism. Fresh walnuts can also be affected by a mould that contains deadly toxins.


Chocolate can cause severe poisoning in dogs. The cocoa contained in chocolate contains theobromine, which is lethal at a dose of 100 mg per kg bodyweight of the dog. Symptoms of poisoning can occur even in small amounts with the following symptoms: agitation, restlessness, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Besides, there is an increased urge to urinate to incontinence, muscle tremors, cramps, and paralysis. To make matters worse, theobromine can only be excreted very slowly. If the dog is regularly given small amounts of chocolate, this can lead to heart damage in the long term.


Eggs contain essential nutrients: they have good protein quality and a high content of essential fatty acids. You should only feed your dog eggs when they are cooked. When raw, the egg contains trypsin. This inhibits protein digestion and leads to difficulties and deficiency symptoms. Also, fresh eggs pose a high risk of possible salmonella.


Dogs can also suffer from lactose intolerance. The high content of milk sugar cannot be broken down by many dogs. This can lead to flatulence and diarrhoea.

Dairy products such as cottage cheese, yoghurt or curd, on the other hand, are better tolerated by dogs because of the lower lactose value and can even have a positive effect on digestion in small doses.

Alcohol and caffeine

Dogs should generally only be given fresh water to drink. Alcohol and caffeine are toxic foods. Even a small amount of alcohol leads to vomiting and coordination problems and sometimes even in a coma or death. Caffeine increases blood pressure, constricts blood vessels, accelerates the pulse, and reduces the irritation threshold of the cranial nerves. Too much caffeine leads to restlessness, tremors, seizures, and irregular heartbeat.

Detect poisoning

It is often not easy to tell whether a dog has eaten a portion of unhealthy food. Symptoms such as sleepiness or diarrhoea are more common in dogs and are therefore not necessarily due to poisoning. They often only occur with delays. The best protection for the dog is to keep toxic food out of reach, not to feed sweets, and to be careful about what the dog eats while walking.

If poisoning occurs, the animal should never be given an emetic or something similar. As a result, the animal is unnecessarily burdened. It is best to see a veterinarian immediately. Fast action is required: first symptoms often show up late, and after their appearance, life-threatening problems can quickly arise.

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