Health

Dangerous Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat

Gern möchten wir unseren Hund verwöhnen und fragen uns hin und wieder, ob wir ihm nicht von dem Leckeren geben könnten, das wir gerade essen. Doch einige Lebensmittel, die für den Menschen gesund, lecker und verträglich sind, sind für unsere Hunde leider schädlich oder sogar giftig.

 

Some foods are downright dangerous for dogs

A delicacy for humans - deadly for dogs

We often assume that our food cannot be harmful to our dogs, but this is not the case. Another comparison from the animal world helps me: birds can eat rowan berries with pleasure and absorb healthy vitamins. For us, however, rowan berries are poisonous. And it is similar with some foods from our everyday life for dogs.

Dogs do not recognise toxic foods

Unfortunately, dogs are not always able to tell if food is harmful to them. The best example is chocolate, the sweetness of which magically attracts almost all dogs and which is highly toxic for our dogs. Therefore, it is important to know the foods that are toxic or inedible for dogs and to keep them out of their reach. We have compiled a list of foods that your dog should not eat.

Very toxic foods for dogs

1. Toxic vegetables

Avocados

Avocados contain persin, which is a heart and circulation poison for dogs.

Onions, garlic etc.

All allium plants contain disulphides and sulphur compounds that are toxic to dogs and can dissolve the red blood cells of dogs. In larger quantities, these are toxic to dogs.

Raw legumes

Raw legumes contain lectins that are toxic to dogs and can cause red blood cells to clump together. Cooked pulses are not toxic to dogs, but they are often not well tolerated and cause flatulence and stomach problems. Legumes also contain phytic acid, which is considered a nutrient robber. Legumes include:

  • Lentils
  • Peas
  • Chickpeas
  • Green beans
  • Soybeans
  • Lupins

Raw and unripe nightshade plants

Nightshade vegetables are not well suited for feeding dogs and can lead to severe poisoning if fed unripe or raw. Particularly unripe and raw nightshade plants contain increased levels of alkaloids and lectins that are toxic to dogs. The nightshade plants cultivated as vegetables include:

  • Potatoes
  • Bell pepper
  • Tomato
  • Eggplant

2. Toxic fruit & nuts

Fermented fruit

Especially fallen fruit in the garden can ferment quickly at high temperatures and forms alcohol. Caution: Dogs are attracted to the sweet fruits, but a high ethanol content can lead to poisoning.

Quince

Quinces, which grow in our area, are not edible for dogs, especially raw, and contain poisons. Therefore they should be avoided. However, there are non-native varieties of quince in other countries that would be best peeled and cooked and also edible by dogs.

Grapes & Raisins

Grapes are highly toxic for dogs. They can cause acute kidney failure (acute renal failure) in dogs, which can be fatal. This also applies to dried grapes such as raisins, currants and sultanas.

Raw elderberries

Raw elderberries contain toxic glycosides such as samburginin, which is found especially in the seeds of the berries. Elder is toxic to dogs. 

Toxic nuts

Not all nuts and seeds are edible for dogs, some of them are even poisonous for dogs:

  • Bitter almonds
  • Peanuts
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Nutmeg
  • Black walnut - highly toxic fungi possible in the shell!
  • Walnut - highly toxic fungi possible in the shell!

3. Toxic dairy products

Blue cheese

The mould contained in blue cheeses can lead to poisoning for dogs. While many cheeses are well tolerated by dogs, all blue cheeses should be avoided at all costs.

4. Other

Coffee & Caffeine

Caffeine cannot be metabolised by dogs. Therefore, ingestion of caffeine can cause restlessness, nausea, diarrhoea and cramps. In the worst case, life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias can occur. Unfortunately, dogs are often attracted to milk and sugar in lattes or cappuccinos. Caffeine is often found in the following foods:

  • Coffee
    Energy drinks
    Coke

Black and green tea

Black and green also contain caffeine. It can cause life-threatening circulatory and cardiac disorders.

Alcohol

Alcohol is a cytotoxin that dogs cannot break down as well as humans. The intake of 5.5g ethanol per kilogram of body weight of the dog is considered a lethal dose, which can lead to the death of the dog. However, symptoms of poisoning occur much earlier. Therefore, dogs should never be given alcoholic drinks or food containing alcohol.

Chocolate & Cocoa

Sweeteners & Sugar Substitutes

In many households, the sugar substitute birch sugar (xylitol) is increasingly used to sweeten food. It is also contained in many ready-made foods. But be careful: The sugar substitute birch sugar (xylitol) is highly toxic for dogs even in small doses!

It is found in the following foods, for example:

  • Sugar-free chewing gum
  • Sugar-free cakes
  • Sugar-free biscuits
  • Sugar-free chocolate
  • Sugar-free sweets (e.g. vitamin candy and peppermint candy)
  • Sugar-free jams
  • Diet puddings

Free Printouts

Overview "Toxic food" to print out

We have compiled an overview of toxic foods for dogs on one page with pictures. You can download it either in a colour or black and white version.

Simply click on the desired link below, print out the PDF and hang it on the fridge. This way, no one in the household will forget which foods are toxic for your dog:

Foods to avoid

Raw egg white

Dogs are allowed to eat eggs, but it is better not to feed raw egg white as it draws biotin from the body.

Spicy dishes

Food that is seasoned with household salt, hot spices or otherwise is taboo for dogs. Many spices can be toxic to dogs (e.g. nutmeg) and too much salt is harmful to dogs.

Fruit stones & stone fruit

The seeds in fruit are good for dogs to process in small quantities, but in larger quantities they can form too much hydrogen cyanide in the body. On top of that, larger pits and stones from stone fruit can injure the intestines especially of small dogs.

Raw edible mushrooms

Edible mushrooms are not poisonous for dogs, but many dogs do not tolerate them well. Therefore, edible mushrooms should always be cooked and only fed in small quantities.

Cooked bones

Cooked bones can splinter very badly and our dogs can therefore easily injure themselves when eating them.

Raw pork

Raw pork should be taboo for the dog, as it may contain the Aujeszky virus, which unfortunately can quickly become fatal for dogs. This applies in particular to the meat of wild boar. Pork from domestic pigs, on the other hand, only very rarely contains this virus.

Food that is not suitable for every dog

These foods are not equally well tolerated by all dogs and should only form a small part of the food ration, even for those dogs that do tolerate them well:

Milk & Dairy Products

Milk and many dairy products can often be difficult for dogs to digest because of the lactose and can cause bloating and diarrhoea. Natural dairy products with bacteria such as yoghurt or lactose-free cheese, on the other hand, are better tolerated by most dogs.

Grains

Grain is very hotly debated as a food for dogs. According to the latest scientific findings, feeding dogs too much grain is harmful and can trigger diseases and allergies. In moderation, certain grains and pseudocereals are certainly useful for dogs that need a lot of energy. Pros & Cons: Should dogs eat grain?.

Cabbage

Many dogs do not tolerate raw cabbage well and it causes flatulence and stomach problems. Cooked cabbage, on the other hand, is better tolerated by most dogs in small quantities.

  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Red cabbage
  • White cabbage
  • All other cabbage varieties

Poisoning

What should I do if my dog has ingested toxic food?

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for dogs with poisoning to end up in the veterinary hospital or at the vet. If your dog has ingested something toxic, every minute counts. It is best to call your vet or a vet on duty or the nearest veterinary clinic immediately and describe what has happened. Do not hesitate to go to a 24/7 clinic immediately. This is an emergency.

If you would like more information about the symptoms of poisoning or the treatment of poisoning, we have a reading tip for you here.

Learn more: Avoiding, recognising and treating poisoning in dogs.

Prevention

Keep hazardous food safe

No normal person poisons their dog with food on purpose, but poisonings unfortunately happen again and again out of ignorance or by accident. Of course, you cannot avoid every situation, but it helps immensely to know what is toxic to dogs.

Educate children & family

Especially in households with children, it is important to explain to them that dogs should not get any of their food, as many foods can be toxic for dogs. Especially sweets and chocolate can easily be left lying around. Therefore: explain to all family members, flatmates and people who have to do with your dog that your dog should really only be given dog food and dog treats. Educate them that food that is healthy for us can be fatal for dogs and ask them not to leave food or treats lying around.

Secure food

Some dogs are very inventive when it comes to getting food. My first dog managed to open the fridge and helped herself to plenty. Luckily nothing happened, except that she had terrible flatulence.

Dangerous fruits, vegetables & nuts in the garden

If you have a walnut or black walnut tree in your garden, you should not let your dog into the garden alone when the nuts are ripe.

Care should also be taken with elderberries and quinces. Fallen fruit that is fermented is magically attractive to dogs, but it can lead to alcohol poisoning.

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