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What are the lesser known foods that are dangerous to dogs?

red haired collie dog licking an ice cream cone

Most dog owners know that their pets can't have chocolate and onions, but did you know that there is a LONG list of foods that can make your dog sick? Some of these may surprise you!

Unbaked bread dough

If you've made homemade bread, you know how much gas yeast can develop. Yeast will continue to do its job until baked, so feeding your dog unbaked dough can result in painful bloating and even life threatening issues such as twisting of the stomach. It's best to wait until the bread is out of the oven and cooled.

Some peanut butter

Pet owners have been giving their pups peanut butter as a treat for decades. However, this has become an issue recently thanks to a change in the ingredients. In an effort to reduce the sugar content while maintaining the flavor we're used to, some brands have begun using a sweetener called Xylitol. While this is fine for us, it can make our dogs very sick and result in vomiting, lethargy, loss of coordination, seizures, and even liver failure.

Xylitol is a common sweetener that is also found in chewing gum, candy, and toothpaste. So, be sure to check the ingredients.

Milk and cheese

While your dog may love cheese (who doesn't?), it's actually not good for them. Their bodies have a hard time breaking down lactose which can cause your dog to suffer from digestive upset and diarrhea.


For reasons we don't quite understand, giving dogs alcohol is incredibly common. Alcohol can be extremely dangerous for your pets which can potentially result in vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma, and even death. You dog will be much happier with water.

Salty snacks

While we all enjoy snacks like chips and pretzels, your pets are much better off with treats intended for them. Snack products for people are often far too high in salt for your pets and can cause dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, and even salt (sodium) poisoning.

Grapes, raisins, cranberries, and currants

Veterinarians aren't quite sure why these berries affect dogs so negatively, however they are all in agreement that they are extremely dangerous. Even a single grape can result in kidney failure and even death. It's important to be cognizant of products that may contain one of these berries, such as granola bars, cereal, and trail mix.

Nuts, especially macadamia nuts

Most nuts are high in fat which could cause diarrhea and digestive upset in large quantities. Macadamia nuts, however, can make your pooch extremely sick and result in everything from weakness and depression to vomiting, tremors, and even hyperthermia.

As a general rule, we prefer to stick to food and treats specifically formulated for our pets. We hope this will help you avoid some unexpected hazards when you do opt to share what you're eating with your dog.

However, If your dog does help themselves to your plate while you're not looking, immediately contact your veterinarian. In most cases, prompt response by a professional can prevent serious health problems that may result.

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