Human Foods that are Toxic to Dogs

We all love spoiling our dogs with special treats. Resisting those sweet puppy dog eyes can be nearly impossible. So what’s the harm in sharing a little bit of your dinner with your pup? Unfortunately, the consequences can be much more severe than you’d think. There are a variety of “human foods” that are actually poisonous to our furry friends. This is why it is always important to research all foods before feeding them to your dogs. With this helpful list, you’ll be able to easily identify some common foods that are toxic to pups!


Dogs become drunk the same way that humans do. Although the thought of a drunk dog may be amusing, the reality can be extremely dangerous. Alcohol actually intoxicates a dog much more than humans. Some researchers attribute this to a dog’s small size. The effects of alcohol can be harsh on a dog’s kidney which has trouble filtering a substance as harsh as alcohol. Alcohol has also been known to cause damage to the liver and nervous system. Common symptoms of alcohol poisoning include vomiting, weakness, low blood pressure, coma, and in some cases death. Contact your vet immediately if your dog is suffering from any of these symptoms after consuming alcohol.


Caffeine is a strong stimulant that can cause serious health problems in dogs. It’s important to keep coffee, tea, energy drinks, and any other caffeinated drinks away from your pups. The effects of caffeine include vomiting, elevated or abnormal heart rate, tremors, seizures, and in extreme cases death. Just taking a few sips of coffee or tea shouldn’t contain enough caffeine to cause any side effects, but consuming large amounts can be detrimental to a dog’s health.



Xylitol is a sweetener that is commonly used as a replacement for sugar. It can be found in a variety of gums, candies, and baked goods. It can also be found in unexpected products such as vitamins and oral-care products. Xylitol triggers an intense insulin release when ingested by dogs. This insulin release can result in extremely low blood pressure or liver failure. Both of these conditions are life-threatening.


It is common knowledge that chocolate is poisonous to pups. But what exactly causes chocolate to have such a high toxicity in dogs? It contains caffeine and theobromine which are both toxic when ingested by dogs. If your dog sneaks some chocolate out of the candy jar, you shouldn’t have to worry about more than some digestive issues. A large amount of theobromine and caffeine entering a dog’s system can result in vomiting, increased heart rate, seizures, coma, and in serious cases death.

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins may be great snacks for humans, but they can be extremely dangerous for dogs. Grapes and raisins have been linked to kidney failure in dogs.  Researchers are still not sure what exactly causes some dogs to have these reactions while others are not affected. Although your pup may be one of the lucky ones that are not affected, the potential threat of kidney failure is enough to steer clear of grapes and raisins!

Onions and Garlic

All of the members of the garlic family, including garlic, onions, scallions, and chives, have been known to cause serious damage to red blood cells which can lead to anemia. Anemia can then lead to organ damage or failure and even death.  If your dog has eaten any of these, check for pale gums, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.

If your dog is experiencing any of these unusual symptoms, contact your vet immediately. Emergencies can happen at any time so it is important to know the location, phone number, and hours of your local animal hospital!


Here is a graphic from Canine Journal for a more comprehensive list of foods that are toxic to dogs:



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