Harmful dog foods – keeping Fido safe!

So, a few days ago I published a blog post about dog food allergies and the alternative of feeding a home cooked diet. This got me thinking about how we easy it can be to accidentally expose our dogs to foods that are poisonous or dangerous that are often generally available in our home and garden. That’s why I’ve decided to compile a list of foods that are harmful to dogs, there are a few well-known foods to avoid for dogs: chocolate, onions, raisins, etc, it’s not an exhaustive list, but there are a few items that might surprise you.

‘Food’ items

  • grapesFruit and Vegetables – dried fruits such as raisins and sultanas, grapes, rhubarb (check if you have any growing in your garden, or a neighbour’s garden if your dog can reach it), onions, garlic, spinach, beetroot, mushrooms (and wild fungi) and avocado are all potentially hazardous and should be kept well out of your dog’s reach and certainly out of his diet!
  • Chocolate – this is a well-known toxin for dogs, so unless it’s a special doggy chocolate from a pet store you need to keep this locked away too!
  • macadamia-nutsNuts – not all nuts are toxic, but they are high in fat and often have large amounts of added salt, so best avoided, macadamia nuts are extremely hazardous for canines.
  • Caffeine – whether it be in tea and coffee, or energy drinks, this needs to be avoided as can be potentially fatal for our pets.
  • Xylitol – this is an artificial sweetener used in human foods, it is widely used in the US, but has become more widespread in the UK too. Check carefully on food labels as this sweetener is often added to peanut butter, yogurts, cakes, sweets and processed foods, so it could be in foods that you don’t expect it to be, always check the label or, better still, don’t feed your dog processed foods, as heaven knows what else might be in them!

Non-‘food’ items

  • cleaning-suppliesCleaning products – they contain a range of chemicals designed to break down dirt and kill bacteria, they should always be kept well out of reach of your pets, one of the most common instances of poisoning in this way is dogs drinking from a freshly cleaned toilet bowl, so make sure that you close the lid after cleaning and close doors.
  • General household items – copper coins, pot-pourri and refresher oils, dishwasher tablets, batteries, play dough, hand and foot warmers, cigarettes and replacement gums and alcohol are all potentially lethal to your pets.
  • Garden products – pest control, eg rodent poison, slug and snail pellets, lawn and plant treatments and fertiliser, paints and varnishes, fence treatment, all of those items contain a range of poisons and should be locked well away.
  • Toads – they excrete poisonous venom which can be toxic to dogs who lick or get close to them.
  • Antifreeze – a real hazard, not only is it highly poisonous to dogs, it tastes sweet, so they are more likely to be attracted to it. Some people use it to de-ice paths and roadways, so it is always best to rinse your dog’s paws after a walk in the wintertime.

Indoor and outdoor plants

There are many plants that can be dangerous for our dogs, many of which may be in your garden without you realising the danger. I have included the some more common ones in the list below, but you can see a comprehensive list on the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) website.

  • dog-sniffingAzalea
  • Aloe Vera
  • Apple – seeds
  • Bulbs – eg daffodils, tulips, crocus bulbs
  • Cheeseplant
  • Clematis
  • Cyclamen
  • Foxglove
  • Geranium
  • Lillies
  • Ivy
  • Narcissus
  • Primrose
  • Rhododendron
  • Tomato – green stems and leaves
  • Yew

Better safe than sorry!

So, as you can see there are a huge range of potential dangers lurking in our homes and gardens. I really hope that this article provides a little insight into how to keep your four legged friend safe and healthy. If you have any questions about the things covered in this post, or any other toxic items to share, please use the comments box below.

Yappy days!



  1. Having a dog for more than 15 years I know how important it is to be careful what your dog eats. This article provides a baseline of what we should be careful of but if you are not sure better ask! Never take a risk that could potentially harm your dog! Great article!

    • Thanks Stratos, I totally agree, it’s really just too much of a risk to think, oh it’ll be OK, the consequences of it not ‘being OK’ are just too big, thanks for the feedback.

  2. One of my friends have a dog named ‘Suishi’ (weird name for a dog I always thought) who tend to eat EVERYTHING she comes across. When I say everything, it includes clothes, metal pieces, and even stones! But to my knowledge, she never suffered any severe side-effect because of these. Maybe the effects are long-term. You think?

    • Hi Saumya, I agree, strange name, but each to their own! I think that if the dog is eating things like metal and stones the biggest risk is an internal blockage. The items themselves are unlikely to cause harm, but if they get stuck in the digestive tract there could be big problems. I hope your friend can find a way to stop their pet from eating these random things.


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