The life of a dog owner isn’t an easy one. In 2009 alone, nearly 20,000 calls were made to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center after their dog had eaten human food. But how do you know what’s bad for dogs? What can’t dogs eat?
There’s a long list of things your dog shouldn’t eat, from human foods to lab-made ingredients to common houseplants. Besides keeping these things out of their reach, you can also substitute them with food they can enjoy, from bully sticks to dog chews.
So just what can’t your dog eat?
What Your Dog Can’t Eat
Things your dog should never eat
- Chocolate: Chocolate is poisonous to dogs as they contain a substance (methylxanthines) that can hinder and, at worst, stop your dog’s metabolic process. In larger quantities, it can lead to heart failure and death.
- Onions: While common in the food we cook, onions (and raw garlic) can cause anemia in dogs. If something you cooked or are eating has onions and/or garlic, do not feed it to your dog!
- Avocados: While avocados are a favorite ingredient for modern Americans, they contain an acid called persin, which is known to be toxic to dogs (particularly in large quantities). If you have avocados in the home, place them in a drawer rather than out on the open counter.
- Grapes: Grapes – and raisins – should never be fed to a dog. When consumed in high quantities, they can cause kidney failure, which is an extremely dangerous condition that should be avoided at all costs.
- Macadamia nuts: Science still doesn’t know what it is that causes these nuts to be toxic to dogs, but they are, so you should never allow your dog to eat something that has them inside of it.
- Sugar: Processed sugars should never be fed to a dog. So keep the cookies, fruit juice, and candy bars for yourself. Processed sugars can cause serious problems to a dog’s health, from unnecessary weight gain and obesity to serious diseases such as diabetes and tooth decay.
- Caffeine: You need to make sure your dog never gets their mouth onto coffee, used coffee grounds, black tea bags, or products containing coffee. Caffeine is a toxic stimulant to dogs, so it should be avoided at all costs.