Home Page
Products and Pricing
Contact Heather
tennis ball in dreis' pooch
About Heather
Mission Statement
Toxic Food for Animals

Through many years of dog ownership I’ve learned what is good and bad for my canine companions.  Some of the most surprising discoveries come in the form of people food.  We all know not to feed table scraps, but did you know that some fairly common “people” food could be dangerous and potentially lethal to your dog?  It’s become evident that a large number of people are unaware of these foods so I’ve compiled a list in hopes of educating fellow dog owners.

CHOCOLATE:  Best to remember – dark chocolate, especially baker’s chocolate, is the worst when it comes to this type of “poisoning”.  Chocolate contains a substance called Theobromine (similar to caffeine), which in toxic doses can cause heart attacks.  As little as 2 oz baker’s chocolate can be fatal for a small dog.  If you suspect your dog has gotten into chocolate call your vet immediately.

GRAPES/RAISINS:  Surprisingly, this is a toxic fruit for dogs.  They contain an unknown toxin, which can cause acute renal (kidney) failure.  As little as a handful at a time can be deadly.

ONIONS:  A substance in onions, disulfide, is harmless to humans but toxic to not only dogs but cats, horses, sheep and cattle.  It causes hemolytic anemia, and as little as 2 slices a week can damage red blood cells, impairing their ability to carry oxygen.
NOTE: Garlic and onion are in the same family, while small amounts of garlic will not harm your dog, too much is not good.

LIVER:  In small amounts liver is very good for your dog (less than 3 servings a week).  Large amounts cause vitamin A toxicity (hypervitaminosis A).  This can lead to bone problems, weight loss and anorexia.  Also, never feed liver if your dog is taking vitamin A supplements, and always cook it before feeding.

BONES:  Sterilized bones that are purchased aren’t the problem.  Raw meaty bones and chicken bones are prone to splinter and lodge in the throat, or worse, the intestines, in which case they can perforate the lining causing internal bleeding and possibly death.  This doesn’t mean “no bones” – ask the butcher for soup bones, bring water to a full boil then cook the bones for approximately 20 minutes (depending on size).
NOTE:  The first time I did this I removed much, not all, of the fat and meat from the outside of the bone.  My dog’s stomachs weren’t used to such a treat and I didn’t want to cause diarrhea.  However, I did save the scraps and fed them on their food at a later date.

RAW EGGS:  Cooked eggs are a very healthy treat for dogs, raw egg whites contain a protein called Avidin. This protein depletes your dog of B vitamins, specifically Biotin, which is essential to growth and coat condition.  Also, raw eggs may contain bacteria, such as Salmonella.

RAW MEAT/POULTRY:  Once again bacteria are the main problem – Salmonella and Clostridium, both can be very serious and costly to treat.  Just remember, if you feed meat, cook it first.
NOTE:  Best to avoid pork, especially bacon (which contains sodium nitrate).

MILK AND MILK PRODUCTS: FYI, 50% of dogs are lactose intolerant (just like people!) – they don’t produce the enzyme Lactase, therefore they are unable to break down Lactose (milk sugar).  This can cause gas, diarrhea and abdominal discomfort.

NUTS:  Walnuts can cause gastroenteritis and are considered poisonous to dogs.  Macadamia nuts contain an unknown compound, which can cause muscle tremors, weakness and paralysis of the hindquarters – luckily these symptoms last a short time.  In general, nuts are high in phosphorus and may contribute to the formation of bladder stones.
NOTE:  Peanuts are a legume, “from the earth”, not grown on trees.  They are not harmful when used in small amounts.

POTATO:  Cooked and mashed potatoes are good for dogs.  However, poisonous alkaloids (Solanum) are present in green sprouts and green potato skins.
NOTE:  Poisonings occur in people as well as dogs!

TOMATO PLANTS: Stems and leaves contain oxalates, which can cause bladder stones.
NOTE:  The fruit itself is not the culprit, however high amounts of vitamin C can cause gastrointestinal distress.

RHUBARB:  This plant (especially the leaves) also contains oxalates.

TURKEY SKIN:  Known to cause acute Pancreatitis in dogs.

PIPS:  Found in the seeds of apples, pears, plums, peaches and apricots – ALL CONTAIN ARSENIC!

NUTMEG:  Is a hallucinogen in dogs.

BABY FOOD:  When I worked as a veterinary assistant we commonly gave chicken baby food to dogs and cats that wouldn’t eat.  Just be careful that the baby food you are feeding doesn’t contain onion powder – some do.  See onion poisoning for more information.

MUSHROOMS:  In all honesty, any wild growing mushroom scares me, and if my dogs are anywhere near some, I go the other way – you just don’t know.  Store bought mushrooms are fine, but do you really want you’re dog to develop a taste for them?

BROCCOLI:  There has been a bit of confusion where broccoli is concerned.  Broccoli is very good for dogs, however, if the daily intake exceeds more than 10% of the animals diet – problems can occur.  The toxic substance is isothiocyanate and can cause gastrointestinal irritation.
NOTE:  Broccoli toxicity was first noted in dairy cattle raised in
California.  When there was an over abundant broccoli crop, it was fed to the cattle.  Problems may have occurred because cattle have rumens and digest things much more thoroughly, therefore taking in more of the toxic substance.

Click here for a printer friendly version


Toxic Plants for Dogs
Alocasia Cordatum Jimsonweed Java Bean (seed)
Aloe Vera Corn (Cornstalk) Plant Jonquil (bulb) Jerusalem Cherry
Amaryllis (bulb) Corydalis Kalanchoe Jessamine
Andromeda Crotalaria (seed) Laburnum Pencil Cactus
Apple (leaf & stem) Croton Larkspur Peony
Appleseed (cyanide) Crown of Thorns Laurel Philodendron
Arrowgrass Cuban Laurel Lilly of the Valley (bulb) Poinsettia
Autumn Crocus (bulb) Cycad Locoweed Poison Ivy
Avocado (seed) Cyclamen Lupine Pokeweed (root)
Azalea Daffodil (bulb) Manchineel Potato (not tuber)
Bird of Paradise (seed pod) Daphne Marble Queen Precatory Bean
Bittersweet Death Camas (bulb) Marigold Primrose
Black Locust Delphinium Marijuana Privet
Bleeding Heart Dieffenbachia May Apple (root) Rayless Goldenrod
Boxwood Dumb Cane Medicine Plant Rhododendron
Buckeye (seed) Easter Lily  Mistletoe (berries) Rhubarb
Buddhist Pine Eggplant (not fruit) Monkshood Snow on the Mountain
Buttercup Elephant's Ear Morning Glory Star of Bethlehem (bulb)
Caladium English Ivy Mushrooms Stinging Nettle
Calamondin Orange Elderberry Narcissus (bulb) String of Pearls/Beads
Calla Lily Fava Bean (seed) Nightshade Taxus
Castor Bean Fiddle-Leaf Fig Oleander Toadstool
Cherry (leaf & stem) Finger Cherry (fruit) Onion Tobacco
Cherry Pit (cyanide) Foxglove Pea Tomato (not fruit)
Chokecherry Ground Cherry (not fruit) Peach Tulip (bulb)
Christmas Rose Hemlock Iris (bulb) Walnuts
Chrysanthemum Holly (berries) Japanese Yew Water Hemlock (tuber)
Cineraria Hyacinth (bulb) Jasmine (berries) Wild Aconite
Climbing Lily  Hydrangea  Indian Tobacco  Wisteria

Click here for a printer friendly version





  Web Site By Steven Corgiat
Website Hosting Services by PSI