poisonous toxic foods for dogs

By Andrew Fischer

The Most Dangerous Foods for Labradors

Feeding the same food we eat to our dogs can cause serious damage to their health. While most human food is only likely to cause a diarrhea or vomiting, at worst, certain foods are much more unsafe for our dogs.

Dogs don’t have the same digestive system as humans do. There are certain chemicals that they are unable to ingest. 

It’s important to know what foods are toxic to your pup because even if your dog has eaten some of the foods on our list in the past without any problem, the food could be causing serious underlying issues that you might not be aware of.

We’ve compiled an easy-to-reference list of all major dangerous foods for dogs. Let’s have a look at the most common ones.


Chocolate contains substances dangerous to Labradors called methylxanthines (specifically theobromine). Theobromine is found in all kinds of chocolate, however, the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is for dogs, because the more theobromine it contains. 

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs include vomiting, lethargy, frequent urination, diarrhea, irregular and increased heartbeat, seizures, muscle tremors etc. 

Learn more about the dangers of your Labrador consuming chocolate in THIS ARTICLE.

Apple seeds

If your dog ingests a small quantity, it’s most probably not a big deal. However, apple seeds contain low amounts of cyanide, which may cause difficulty breathing, convulsions, paralysis and death in dogs if consumed in larger quantities. 

If your dog has eaten an apple core of one apple and doesn’t appear to be having any symptoms of cyanide poisoning, there’s no reason to immediately worry. Cyanide poisoning isn’t usually a danger after a single apple, but you should definitely make sure that your dog doesn’t consume whole apples again in the near future. Cyanides may accumulate in his body, which may cause severe health complications. 


Onions are also toxic to dogs. They contain a substance called thiosulphate, which can lead to anemia and damage red blood cells of your dog. 

Signs of onion poisoning in dogs include weakness, lethargy, orange-colored urine, etc. 

Grapes, raisins

Grapes and raisins are associated with kidney failure in dogs. 

Common symptoms of grapes poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, increased or decreased urination, lethargy etc.

Dogs that eat grapes or raisins can die from kidney failure within few days. If your dog has consumed this fruit, talk to your vet as soon as you can, especially if he develops some of the symptoms described above.


Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is quite commonly found in baked goods, sugar-free gums, mints or other sugar-free candies.

Xylitol is one of the most poisonous foods for dogs. Some say it’s 100 times more poisonous than chocolate.

Xylitol ingestion leads to hypoglycemia in dogs, which is a condition of dangerously low blood sugar levels.

Double-check labels of your sugar-free foods, many of them contain xylitol. Make sure your dog cannot get to these foods. 

Common symptoms of xylitol poisoning in dogs include sudden changes in blood pressure, vomiting, liver failure, loss of coordination, seizures etc.

If you suspect your dog has consumed a food containing xylitol, you should contact your vet as soon as you can. 


Coconut contains oil that causes stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, and other digestive problems.

Also, coconut milk is too high in potassium, which may cause potassium overdosage.

When coconut and other coconut-based products are ingested in small amounts, they don’t usually cause serious harm. Anyway, you shouldn’t give coconut to your dogs intentionally.  

Cooked bones

Avoid offering your dog cooked bones because they easily splinter and cause damage to dogs’ gums and digestive system. There were several cases when a cooked bone perforated a gut. This may be in many cases fatal. 

Giving your dog raw bones is fine. 


Garlic causes gastrointestinal irritation and may damage your dog’s red blood cells and lead to the development of anemia. 


Many of us put nutmeg into cakes. If your dog eats some food containing nutmeg he can get very sick. 

Nutmegs contain a substance called myristicin, which can cause hallucinations and lead to seizures in dogs. 


Bacon, ham and other high fat and salty foods can cause upset stomach, bloating and pancreatitis in dogs. 


Nuts such as almonds, macadamia, pecans, or walnuts contain high amounts of oils which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and other digestive conditions in dogs. Nuts are also known to cause nervous system and muscle damage in dogs.


Avocadoes contain a substance called persin, which is can cause diarrhea and vomiting in dogs.

Especially the skin and leaves contain high amounts of persin. The fruit itself contains also some persin but lower amounts.

If your dog ingested large amounts of avocado, make sure that he gets to drink plenty of fluids to keep him hydrated. 

If the gastrointestinal distress seems to be more severe, contact your veterinarian. 

Also, dogs have been known to choke on avocado pits that also contain high amounts of persin. 

Citrus Plants

Various parts of citrus plants like the leaves, peels, and fruits contain citric acid, which can damage the central nervous system of dogs if eaten in larger quantities. 

Yeast Dough

Dogs that consume yeast dough may develop severe cramping, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. 

The consumption of yeast dough in dogs can also lead to twisted intestines, which can develop into a fatal condition. 

Also, yeast dough may contain ethanol. Your dog ingesting raw yeast dough can therefore become drunk. 

Most common symptoms of yeast dough intoxication include disorientation, vomiting,  depression and abdominal distention. 

Cold water introduced into the stomach may slow the rate of yeast fermentation. In some cases, surgical removal of the dough mass may be necessary. 

So if you often bake fresh cakes and bread, make sure your dog cannot reach the dough.


Alcohol is not only toxic to humans but also to dogs. 

Symptoms of alcohol intoxication in dogs include loss of coordination and frequent urination. 

If you believe your dog is suffering from alcohol poisoning, contact your vet immediately. 


Coffee includes caffeine which is bad for your dog as it causes tremors, excessive bleeding, restlessness and other conditions. 

Medical attention is usually necessary when your pup eats some coffee beans or drinks your coffee. 

Salty snacks

Dogs should avoid the consumption of large amounts of salt. 

Common causes of salt overconsumption in dogs include excessive urination, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, elevated temperature, and thirst. Salt overconsumption can even lead to ion poisoning in dogs.

Therefore, your dog should avoid the consumption of salted popcorn, potato chips, salted peanuts, and other salted snacks. 

Unripe tomatoes

Unripe tomatoes or the leafy green parts of tomatoes contain solanine, which is a toxic substance for dogs.

Solanine can cause lethargy, confusion, weakness, diarrhea, and other more serious issues.

Green unripe potatoes are similarly poisonous to dogs so avoid offering them to your pup as well.


Plain unsalted and unbuttered popcorn may be fine in small quantities.

However, salted and buttered popcorn contains high levels of fat and sodium, which causes dehydration, diarrhea, etc. in the short run and obesity, heart attack, and other serious conditions in the long run. 

Also, unpopped kernels can hurt your dog’s teeth and gums.

Fruit fallen from trees

Fallen fruit may be moldy and fermented, and since mold and alcohol are dangerous to dogs, it’s recommended to keep an eye on your dog when walking in your neighborhood with fruit trees. 


Little bit of milk is fine but your dog should avoid consuming large amounts of milk, cheese and other dairy products, which often cause diarrhea and other digestive problems in dogs.


Tea leaves contain caffeine, which causes restlessness, diarrhea, vomiting, increased thirst, increased heart rate, tremors, and other health conditions.

Early treatment is usually key to preventing a development of more serious symptoms. So if you know that your dog has drank some tea, coffee or ingested caffeine in some other form, don’t wait for the first symptoms to appear and contact your vet right away.

Chewing gum

Gum is very hard for dogs to digest and often causes intestinal blockages.

Spoiled food

Spoiled or moldy food contains mycotoxins which can cause convulsions and other serious issues.

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