Things You Should Never Feed Your Pet


If you’ve ever watched a dog gobble down their food, you know that they can eat pretty much anything. But just because dogs are scavengers doesn’t mean they should get to eat everything in sight. Here are some foods that should never be given to your pet:


Alcohol is toxic to pets and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, liver damage and central nervous system depression. Alcohol also increases the risk of seizures and aspiration pneumonia.


If you have a dog, you might be wondering if it’s okay to feed him an avocado. Unfortunately for your pet, avocados are poisonous to dogs. They can cause stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea in small amounts. In large amounts, the fruit can be fatal.

If you want to feed your pet avocados safely, consult with the vet first and make sure they know exactly what varieties of avocados have been used in cooking so they can determine whether or not they are safe for dogs. The safest way is not to give them any at all as there are many healthier foods available that won’t cause harm if ingested by pets

Candy and gum

Candy and gum can be toxic to your pet. As an owner, you should know that candy and gum can cause intestinal blockage in dogs because they are made with sugar, which is not easily digested by animals. Additionally, chewing on something sweet will result in tooth decay for dogs as well as humans. Gum should never be given to a dog because it can cause choking if swallowed whole or stuck to the roof of the mouth or throat.

Finally, candy and gum can also pose a choking hazard for small children who are playing with their pets or trying to feed them treats from their own hands.

Caffeine (coffee, tea, soda)

Some pet owners may assume that their pets can have a little caffeine because they don’t drink coffee or tea on their own. But while this is true, it’s important to remember that caffeine is a stimulant which can affect your pet in several ways:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure (which may not be good for older pets)
  • Can be toxic to pets in large doses or over time

Chocolate and cocoa powder

Chocolate and cocoa powder are toxic to dogs and cats. Chocolate contains theobromine, a substance that can be lethal to animals when consumed in large amounts. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is—so keep your chocolate bar away from your cat!

In addition to being poisonous, both chocolate and cocoa contain caffeine which may cause vomiting or diarrhea in pets.

Keep these foods away from your furry friend so they don’t develop an addiction like this poor pup did!

Cooked bones

  • Cooked bones are brittle and splinter easily, which is why you should never give your pet cooked bones.
  • Cooked bones can cause choking when they break apart in the digestive tract or when your pet eats too much at once.
  • Cooked bones can also cause obstruction of the digestive tract as they stick together and block food from moving through it.
  • Cooked bones can even perforate the digestive tract if they get stuck in one area for a long time, causing infection and inflammation that could result in death if not treated right away (which means bringing them to an animal hospital).
  • This includes any type of bone: chicken necks, ham hocks…you name it!
  • If you’re worried about what kind of food is safe for your dog or cat to eat during different stages of life (like puppies vs adult dogs), check out this article from Vet Street here:

Dairy products (except yogurt and cheese)

Dairy products (except yogurt and cheese)

Dogs are not supposed to eat dairy, but some cats can tolerate small amounts. Some cats are lactose intolerant, meaning they cannot digest lactose, which is a sugar found in milk. If your pet has an upset stomach after eating foods containing dairy products like cheese or ice cream, speak to your vet about whether or not it’s safe for them to consume these types of foods.

Fermented yeast dough

Fermented yeast dough is made of flour and water, but with the addition of a little bit of baker’s yeast. As it sits and ferments, it can become toxic to pets. If your pet has ingested fermented yeast dough, you should call your veterinarian or poison control center immediately.

Fermented yeast dough has a strong odor, so if you see this in your home or on your pet, you should consider having them checked out by a veterinarian without delay. Fermented yeast dough is not the same as baking yeast and can’t be used for baking purposes like traditional baking yeast products (though it does have some similar properties).

Grapes, raisins or currants

Grapes, raisins or currants can cause acute kidney failure in dogs. The effects of this toxicity is not fully understood, but it’s thought to be caused by a toxin found in the seeds (the good part for humans). It’s not known if other parts of the grape are toxic as well.

As with other toxic foods that affect the kidneys, symptoms can appear within a few hours after exposure and include vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy. If you notice your pet has eaten grapes and shows any of these signs contact your veterinarian immediately.

Human vitamin supplements containing iron

Do not give your dog any human vitamin supplements containing iron. Iron is toxic to dogs and can cause severe liver damage, stomach ulcers, anemia and gastrointestinal irritation.

If you want to give your dog something that will help him or her grow strong bones and muscles (like humans do), talk to your veterinarian about a pet-specific supplement that contains calcium and vitamin D3.

Macadamia nuts, walnuts or pecans, especially in any form of candy or baked goods (such as brownies)

Macadamia nuts, walnuts and pecans are a no-no for your dog. Some may think that it is okay to give your pup some sweets because brownies or chocolate don’t seem like they can harm them. However, these nuts are toxic to dogs, and they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors and seizures. They can be fatal if left untreated! This is true for both macadamia nuts and macadamia nut butter (butter with macadamia nuts).

This toxicity is also true for cats as well! So please keep that in mind when you go about making treats for your pets!

Molds (moldy foods, such as bread)

Molds (moldy foods, such as bread)

  • Moldy foods can be toxic to pets.
  • Moldy bread can cause vomiting and diarrhea. It may also cause liver damage and neurological problems or death.

Mushrooms (the fleshy fruiting bodies of various fungi; saprophytic ones, typically from the ground)

Mushrooms (the fleshy fruiting bodies of various fungi; saprophytic ones, typically from the ground) are not toxic to humans, but they can be toxic to pets. For example, some mushrooms are poisonous to pets while some others aren’t poisonous at all.

Mushrooms should also never be given to your pet as a treat or snack because they’re a choking hazard for cats and dogs.

Onions and garlic (cooked or raw; powdered, dehydrated)

Onions and garlic (cooked or raw; powdered, dehydrated) are toxic to both dogs and cats.

Dogs can develop Heinz body anemia, which is a type of hemolytic anemia. Cats can develop both Heinz body anemia and hemolytic anemia. The signs of these conditions include increased thirst, increased urination, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy (lack of energy), weakness or collapse.

Persimmons (raw Japanese persimmon fruit contains an unidentified toxin that can damage dog intestines.)

The Japanese persimmon fruit contains an unidentified toxin that can damage dog intestines. While the fruit is safe for humans to eat, it can cause serious problems in dogs.

There are several cases of dogs getting sick after eating this common fruit, including one where a pet was hospitalized for dehydration and vomiting after eating just two pieces of raw persimmons. If you think your dog has eaten this potentially dangerous fruit, contact your veterinarian immediately. Your vet may decide to induce vomiting or perform other treatments depending on the amount ingested and your pet’s symptoms.

Salt (including salty foods such as chips and pretzels)

Salt (including salty foods such as chips and pretzels) can cause dehydration, stomach upset, kidney problems and electrolyte imbalance. If this is not treated with medical help it could lead to hypertension.

Some foods are toxic to pets.

Some foods are toxic to pets. Have you ever thought about what your pet is eating? Is it the same thing you eat? No, right? Well, dogs and cats are not omnivores. They cannot eat like us and for a reason.

A lot of people do not know that some foods are toxic to their pets. Some of these foods include:

  • grapes and raisins (the seeds have been known to cause kidney failure in dogs)
  • chocolate (not just for humans!) * avocados (the seeds can cause intestinal blockage)


It’s not always easy to know what foods are toxic to pets, but the best thing you can do is research and educate yourself. The more you know about your pet’s health and nutrition, the better equipped you’ll be to provide them with a happy and healthy life.

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