What Foods Are Toxic to Dogs?

Dog looking at stack of cookies and chocolate

Have you ever seen your dog make puppy eyes? We have! It’s that classic “give me some food” look. Don’t let their loving face tempt you into sharing all your food with them! Did you know there are some foods that can cause dogs severe organ damage? Things as simple as an onion or garlic can hurt your dog and cause them long-term sicknesses and, in some cases, death. Learn what foods you can and can’t feed them!

Fried or very greasy foods

Even though fried food is delicious, it might have been the worst invention in culinary history (health-wise). These health issues are more noticeable in dogs than humans because their life span is shorter, so their organs don’t function the same as ours. Dropping your pup more than one French fry is a terrible idea. Dogs are prone to suffering pancreatitis. Short anatomy lesson: the pancreas is a tiny organ attached to the beginning of the intestines, called the duodenum, and is where fat is processed. One or two french fries might not do any visible damage but going overboard might start affecting your dog’s pancreatic cells. Trust us, pancreatitis is a terrible disorder that causes a lot of suffering, so we’d keep them away from fried foods as much as you can.

Some foods that are quite delicious to humans can cause our furry friends a lot of damage. What’s that one vegetable you love adding to all of your food because it has a taste like no other? That’s right, garlic! Delicious for humans but quite dangerous to dogs.

Why is garlic toxic to dogs?

Garlic has a natural chemical called thiosulfate that attaches itself to red blood cells and causes hemolytic anemia. Micro-biology lesson: this kind of anemia is caused because red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout the body, rupture and stop functioning. Garlic can also cause low-grade toxicity in your pup, resulting in vomiting or diarrhea. Avoid feeding your pups even the smallest amount of garlic, even if it’s garlic bread or a meat you’ve cooked along with garlic because they might build up without you noticing. This will likely result in you rushing to the vet sooner than later. Onions have the same effect as garlic, so stay away!

Xylitol, it’s in a lot of candy but it’s very toxic to dogs!

Picture your son after a wonderful trick or treat session. You guys come home and leave the bag of candy on top of the dinner table. The next morning you find the living room full of empty candy wrappers. Uh-oh! You might want to rush to the vet.

Candy is always harmful to dogs because it’s made with sugar. This can quickly cause your dog to develop diabetes. However, they also contain another substance called xylitol that is toxic for dogs. According to the Merck Manual, xylitol stimulates a large release of insulin, the molecule required to transport glucose inside the cell, and causes hypoglycemia. If consumed in large quantities, xylitol can cause liver damage. Watch out and make sure your dog doesn’t eat any candies you drop on the ground.

Cooked bones

Yes, as surprising as this sounds, don’t give your pup cooked bones.

Yes, dogs are carnivores and free-roaming carnivores eat bones, but they eat them raw. The problem with cooked bones is that the bone’s structure is damaged, and it becomes easier for your dog to chip off pointy pieces of bone. This can rupture your dog’s esophagus or bowel and cause serious internal damage. However, you can give your dog tiny pieces of cartilage. The best way to know the difference is the cartilage is chewy and a bit transparent. Make sure you’re not giving your dog any cooked bones. If you want to enrich your dog’s environment and give them a bone to chew on, make sure you buy the processed ones that have been treated to prevent them from chipping.


Yes, we all love them but they’re toxic to dogs. Avocados contain persin, a toxin that can cause vomit and diarrhea in dogs. If you’re going to add a bit of guac to those tacos, then make sure you don’t drop any on the ground because it might hurt your dog.

Never give your dog any of the foods mentioned above. If for some reason your dog consumes one or more of the foods mentioned above, you should contact a veterinarian immediately.