We love to share food with our dogs, and since fruits and vegetables are healthy for us, we often assume they’re healthy for our pets too. This is often the case, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s always the case. In fact, there are some fruits and vegetables that are toxic to our dogs. So if you plan on sharing some snacks with your pup, make sure you don’t feed anything you find on this list!
#1 – Grapes & Raisins
The fact that grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs is becoming common knowledge among pet owners, and for good reason! They are toxic. While some dogs can consume grapes and/or raisins with no symptoms, it’s simply just not worth the risk. This is because consuming grapes or raisins can actually lead to irreversible kidney damage. So it’s best to make sure these are far out of reach of your pup.
#2 – Onions & Garlic
While some argue there are benefits to feeding our dogs garlic, the Pet Poison Helpline warns that garlic is actually considered to be even more toxic than onions. Either way, both vegetables can cause serious problems in our dogs. Symptoms of onion or garlic toxicity include lethargy, elevated heart and respiratory rates, pale gums, and even collapse.
#3 – Cherries
There are many types of cherries, all of which are pretty popular snack foods. It’s no wonder why – they’re delicious! While the pulp of the fruit is safe for dogs to eat, the plant and pit are moderately toxic to our dogs, and can result in respiratory failure and death. In fact, the plants and pits contain cyanide, so it’s no surprise that they are toxic. Be sure to keep your dog away from cherry plants, and feed only the pulp if you’re going to share with your pooch.
#4 – Mushrooms
While only a small amount of mushroom species are toxic to our dogs, it’s important to make sure you aren’t feeding the wrong ones if you ever share them with your dog. If you’re unable to identify a mushroom species quickly, it’s imperative that you take your dog to the veterinarian immediately after consumption. Mushroom toxicity is known to be fatal in dogs, resulting from seizures, tremors, and organ failure.
#5 – Currants
While you might be familiar with grapes and raisins being dangerously toxic to dogs, currants might catch you by surprise. But currants carry the same level of severe toxicity that grapes and raisins do. Even if you don’t notice sudden vomiting and diarrhea after your dog consumes currants, take your dog to the veterinarian. Just like the other small fruit, currants can cause severe renal failure.
#6 – Raw & Green Potatoes
This might seem surprising, considering potatoes are often found in quality dog foods. But unripe, green, and raw potatoes are toxic to our dogs. In fact, consuming any of these varieties are toxic to humans as well! Symptoms of potato toxicity in dogs include nausea, vomiting, seizures and heart irregularities.
#7 – Apricot
Like cherries, the seeds, leaves and stems of apricot plants are toxic to dogs. While they are able to consume the pulp of the fruit with no ill effects, caution should be taken if your dog has access to any other parts of the plant. These plants also contain cyanide, and can result in respiratory failure and death.
#8 – Rhubarb
Although this vegetable can make a delicious pie for humans, it should never be given to our canine friends. The leaves and stems of rhubarb depletes the calcium levels in our dogs’ bodies. This can result in renal failure as well as other medical problems.
#9 – Apple Seeds
Another fruit that is generally safe for dogs, apples should be fed with care. Apple seeds contain cyanide, and are very toxic to our dogs. While dogs typically have to eat quite a bit of apple seeds in order to suffer the effects, it’s not unheard of. Many dogs will eat just about anything! So if you notice your pup has gotten into your produce basket, make sure he hasn’t consumed too many apples. If you feed them as a snack, better to be safe than sorry and avoid feeding the core.
#10 – Tomato Plants
While the actual red tomato can be beneficial to our dogs, the plant itself is quite toxic. The stems and leaves of the tomato plant, as well as the unripened fruit, can cause gastrointestinal upset in our dogs. While your pooch will need to consume quite a bit of the plant to be dangerous affected, it’s best to make sure your pup can’t get into your garden and eat these plants.
Avocados (entire plant: leaves, fruit, seeds and bark) – contain Persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs, and also trigger difficulty breathing, fluid accumulation in the chest, abdomen and heart, or pancreatitis. It is under debate as to whether or not the actual meat and oils are poisonous to dogs, with no scientific conclusions at this time. Note that avocado meat and oils are used in some dog products and foods.
Symptoms: problems breathing (loss of breath, wheezing), vomiting, diarrhea, nasal congestion, fluid accumulation in the dog heart and chest area.
Possible Outcomes: pancreatitis, oxygen deprivation leading to death.
Action: Take your pet to your vet or emergency clinic. The vet may start by inducing vomiting, or the stomach might be pumped (gastric lavage). Treatment involves aggressive supportive care including fluid therapy and medications.
Persimmon Seeds – can cause inflammation of the dog’s intestine causing enteritis.
Symtpoms: diarrhea and possibly a high temperature.
Action: Take your pet to the vet immediately. In some cases, antidotes are available. Other treatments include oxygen therapy, fluids and supportive care.
Tree nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, pistachios, and Brazil nuts – are often contaminated with very low levels of the poison Aflatoxin, which comes from the Aspergillus mold. Although levels are safe for humans, dogs are acutely sensitive to this poison, and even low levels of Aflatoxin can be extremely toxic and lead to complications such as gastroenteritis.Other varieties of nuts such as walnuts can cause various other dog illnesses and dog poisoning. Nuts also have a high phosphorus content which causes the formation of bladder stones in dogs.
Peanut butter (non-salted) appears to be non-toxic to dogs, although peanuts themselves may have ill-effects on your dog.
Symptoms of Aflatoxin poisoning include: loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, orange-colored urine and jaundice, liver failure, blood-tinged vomit and bloody or blackened stools.
Possible Outcomes: Aflatoxin causes severe hepatocellular necrosis (acute liver failure) within 72 hours.
Symptoms of gastroenteritis include: persistent vomiting (sometimes bile may be seen in the vomit), dehydration and watery diarrhea. Lethargy, lack of appetite, stomach grumbling, and general listlessness.
Symptoms of bladder stones include: difficulty urinating, frequent “dribbling” urination, bloody urine, painful urination. This results in blockage of urinary tract due to bladder stones.
These episodes can be either acute (short lived), or last for several days.
Action: Take your dog to the vet for immediate treatment.
Macadamia Nuts – generally consumption will not be fatal, but can cause your dog to become extremely ill. The toxin in the nut is not known. Ingestion of just a handful of nuts can cause adverse effects. As few as six macadamia nuts can trigger locomotory difficulties in dogs. Toxicity will typically evince within 6 to 24 hours.Symptoms: vomiting, weakness, depression, lack of energy, drunken walking, joint/muscle pain, and joint swelling, tremors, ataxia, hyperthermia, abdominal pain.
Possible Outcomes: Severely sick. May require hospitalization.
Action: Take your pet to the vet if symptoms are not abating or large quantity of nuts is consumed. Dogs are typically treated symptomatically and recover uneventfully within 1 to 2 days. In-hospital supportive care may be recommend for dogs that become very sick.
Meats & Fish
Fatty Meats – although saturated fats aren’t technically poisonous foods for dogs, high fat foods (such as bacon, ham) can be very dangerous foods for dogs and can cause canine pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). Chronic pancreatitis in dogs may develop over time with regular and frequent ingestion of high fat foods. Or, just one fatty meal can cause acute pancreatitis in dogs. Canine pancreatitis is a painful and potentially life-threatening disease. Generally, middle-aged and older female dogs appear to be more susceptible to canine pancreatitis, as do Miniature Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, and Miniature Schnauzers.Symptoms: may either be mild and not that obvious, or clearly very painful and severe. Signs include vomiting, diarrhea, no appetite, abdominal pain, dehydration, severe weakness and/or collapse, shock, and fever. Signs of abdominal pain include restlessness, heavy panting, wincing, trembling, arched back, or lying with their front down and their rear end up.
Actions: Take your dog to the vet for diagnosis and treatment.
Cat Food – is very high in fats and protein and when ingested by a dog, particularly in large amounts or on a regular basis, can lead to potentially deadly pancreatitis. For symptoms of pancreatitis see Fatty Meats above.
Raw Eggs – can risk food poisioning from bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli. Also there is an enzyme in raw eggs that interferes with the absorption of a particular B vitamin, that can cause skin and coat problems for your dog if fed raw eggs for a long period of time.Actions: A bout of antibiotics may be necessary for a detected bacterial infection.
Raw Fish – certain kinds of fish such as salmon, trout, shad, or sturgeon can contain a parasite (Nanophyetus salmincola) which is infected with an organism called Neorickettsia helminthoeca that causes”FISH DISEASES” in dogs. This parasite is commonly found in fish that swim upstream. To avoid infection, thoroughly cook the fish which will kill the parasite and protect your dog.Symptoms: vomiting, weakness, appetite loss, dehydration, fever, and swollen lymph nodes.
Possible Outcomes: severe illness. If not treated the disease can be fatal within 2 weeks.
Actions: Take your pet to a vet. This condition can be diagnosed with a fecal sample. Antibiotics and a wormer will likely be prescribed. Dogs recover quickly from this type of infection.
Camel Meat from Australia – can contain the acid indospicine which can cause severe and sometimes fatal liver disease in dogs. The cause is that some camels in Australia graze plants that have a toxic amino acid which accumulates in the camels’ system and is then passed on to dogs when the dogs eat their meat. The RSPCA is warning pet owners to avoid feeding their dogs camel meat.Symptoms: Lethargy, decreased appetite, diahrea, vomiting, jaundice. Stools may be gray and light in color, urine may be darker than normal, possible orange. Some dogs may also sufer from weakness and confusion.
Possible Outcomes: hepatotoxicosis, severe liver diseases.
Actions: take your dog to the vet if you suspect camel meat poisoning.
Xylitol – is a sugar-free sweetener most often found in sugarless chewing gum and candy. It can also be found in toothpaste, baked goods and some diet foods. For dogs it is toxic as it stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin, resulting in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and liver failure. As few as 2 pieces of gum can cause hypoglycemia in a 20 pound (9 kg) dog. A pack of gum can cause liver damage. Signs of toxicity can occur within 30 to 60 minutes.Symptoms: vomiting, lethargy, weakness, drunken gait, collapse and seizures.Possible Outcomes: hypoglycemia, liver failure, permanent liver damage, death.
Action: Fast action required. Take your pet to a vet or emergency clinic immediately. The vet may induce vomiting or perform gastric lavage. The dog will need to be treated intravenously with dextrose (sugar) and monitored closely for several days. If treated early enough, many dogs improve with supportive care, though liver damage can be permanent.
Drinks & Beans
Chocolate and Cocoa – contains a chemical called theobromide that is toxic to dogs and affects the heart, lungs, kidney and central nervous system. Pure baking chocolate or very dark chocolate is most toxic, while more diluted forms, such as milk chocolate or cocoa butter require much more to be injested to cause harm. A 20 pound (9 kg) dog can be poisoned after consuming about 2 ounces (56 grams) of baking chocolate, but it would take nearly 20 ounces (566 grams) of milk chocolate to cause serious harm. Note: some dogs may be more sensitive and react with lesser amounts than the quantities stated above.Symptoms: hyperactivity, excitement, tremors, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rate, “drunken” walking, hyperthermia and coma.
Possible Outcomes: Damage to heart, lungs, kidney organs, and coma or death.
Action: Take your pet to a vet immediately. The vet may induce vomiting or perform gastric lavage. Activated charcoal may be administered along with aggressive supportive care with fluid therapy and medications.