What human foods are toxic to dogs?

What human foods are toxic to dogs?

Dogs love food – that’s a fact. Whether you’re a seasoned dog owner or new to the pup life, you’ve probably caught your pooch chowing down on something they shouldn’t be. They’re also incredibly manipulative; one flash of those big puppy-dog eyes and they know they’ve got some goodies coming their way!


Unfortunately, though, not all of our human treats are good for our canine friends – that’s why it’s good to know what foods dogs should avoid. However, if you’ve got a mischievous one on your hands, it’s a good idea to compare dog insurance and avoid those costly vet bills should your pup get his snout in the biscuit tin.


What foods are toxic or poisonous to dogs?


Whilst it’s common knowledge that chocolate is poisonous to pups, there are some foods you may not have even realised are dangerous – foods that could lead to anything from minor tummy upsets to fatal complications. Here are just a few foods that are toxic to dogs and why.


  1. Chocolate


This is normally the first thing people think of when asked what foods are poisonous to dogs, but not everyone knows why. Cocoa contains the stimulants theobromine and caffeine, which can lead to kidney failure, seizures and even heart attacks in dogs depending on the amount ingested (if it’s just a crumb of chocolate cake your pup will likely be fine).


  1. Fatty foods and meats

Dog sitting at table with owner placing a bowl of meat down

Besides gaining a few extra pounds, fatty foods like avocado, mushrooms, bacon and ham can cause pancreatitis in dogs, which can be extremely painful for your pooch and sometimes fatal. Since these usually have a high salt content, they can also cause a bad stomach and bloating from excess water intake.


  1. Grapes, raisins and sultanas


While it’s not known exactly what the toxins are in these foods that cause damage, they are definite no-nos for your hound, causing severe liver and kidney damage. They’re found in a lot of our foods, like cakes and biscuits, so be sure to check before you offer your furry friend a treat.


  1. Garlic, onions and chives


Your pooch might be enticed by the delicious aromas wafting from your kitchen, but these vegetables and herbs should definitely be banned from their diets. In whatever form (raw, dehydrated, cooked or powdered) they are dangerous, and disulfides and sulfoxides can cause gastrointestinal irritation, damage to red blood cells and anaemia. Watch out for these in table scraps, baby food puree and leftover takeaways.


  1. Xylitol (artificial sweetener)


Found in many of our human treats, the artificial sweetener xylitol can be particularly poisonous to pups, especially in high amounts. It raises insulin levels in animals, which can cause vomiting, lethargy, liver failure and fatally low sugar levels. Watch out for this in sugar-free sweets like diabetic cakes, gum and drinks. It can even be found in some peanut butter, so be sure to check.


You can find out more about what foods are poisonous to dogs through animal advocates like Battersea and RSPCA.


Best ways to keep dogs away from dangerous foods

Small pug sitting at table staring at pie

If you’ve just got a new puppy or are just thinking about adopting a pooch, you might be wondering how to keep them safe from dangerous and toxic foods. It goes without saying that you should never feed them human foods that are known to cause sickness and damage like those listed above. However, we all know that dogs are sneaky opportunists, which is why it’s always good to have dog insurance just in case. But, there are a few things you can do to minimise the risks.


  • Always keep food in cupboards or in the fridge away from sight and scent. Even food left far back on countertops can be got at by determined pups and larger dogs.
  • Never leave any leftover food or takeaways on tables or counters.
  • Use childproof latches on low-level food cupboards to prevent dogs from pawing them open.
  • Make sure all bins are either kept tucked away or have a heavy base so they can’t be knocked over.
  • Keep kitchen and pantry doors closed when not in use.
  • Teach children never to feed their puppies from the table or from their own treats.
  • Early and ongoing behaviour training, with firm a ‘no’ and commands like ‘leave it’ and ‘drop it’, will help your pup learn what he can and can’t put in his mouth as he gets older.


Human foods that are safe for dogs

 small dog running in garden with carrot in it's mouth

It’s not all doom and gloom, though – there are plenty of human foods that are fine to treat your pooch to. Like with humans, fruit and vegetables can do a world of good for your dog’s health and although not all of them are safe to eat, there are some that will be just fine for your canine companion. Whilst it’s good to avoid things with stones and pits for fear of blockages and choking, generally, you can treat them to the following without any worries.


  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Pineapple
  • Apples
  • Pumpkin
  • Cucumber
  • Courgette
  • Cooked sweet potatoes
  • Hard-boiled eggs (without shell)
  • Brown rice
  • Porridge
  • Unsalted peanut butter (always check for artificial sweeteners)
  • Cooked shrimp and salmon


For extra brownie points from your pooch in the summer, try freezing fruit like berries, bananas, apples and pineapples for cooling, crunchy and nutritious snacks. You can even make your own ‘pupsicles’ – just don’t use a wooden stick.


Compare dog insurance


As a puppy parent, you can try your hardest to keep your little fur baby safe but you can’t always guarantee they’re going to keep their noses out of trouble, especially when it comes to tasty treats. Vet bills can be costly, even more so if surgery is needed to correct problems caused by poisonous food. That’s where dog insurance can come in very handy. So, why not compare dog insurance with us today so you can enjoy time with your four-legged friend worry-free? Get a quote today!

Don't risk not having cover in place. Unexpected bills can be an unwanted surprise

Get a Quote now