Things Dogs Eat That Will Kill Them: Raisins, onions, etc…

Food That Can Kill Dogs

We got the most adorable puppy two months ago.  He’s a Golden Retriever and he is a sweet bundle of love.  We had endless family meetings to pick a name and the only one that everyone agreed upon was Wally, so he’s named after the Red Sox mascot.

Last week, I had dinner with a good mom friend and she admonished me that I had not read any of the puppy books assigned to us by both breeder and trainer.  Hey, divide and conquer, I say!  I read 19 baby books and 0 puppy books.  My husband read 0 baby parenting book and 3 puppy books.  “No, no, no,”my  mom friend gently scolded.  “You HAVE to read the books to know what foods are poisonous to dogs.  Did you know that raisins cause kidney  failure?  YOU NEED TO KNOW THESE THINGS!  And a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide makes your dog vomit? And did you ever schedule that mammogram you are due for?!”

So, today I had my mammogram.  Check.  And here is my post on foods that are poisonous to dogs, who knew?!  Small confession:  my puppy ate a mushroom in our front yard while I was walking him.  It caused him to vomit 3 times.  My husband rushed him to the vet who asked if this was our first dog.  Check, mushrooms are bad and my puppy’s jaws are hard to pry open.

Thank you to my mom friend — you know who you are even though you have four kids and no time to read my blog.  You are truly a good friend!

p.s.  Our dog wolfs down his food.  We got him a special divided bowl to slow him down.  He needs to rest 20 minutes after he eats so his stomach doesn’t  implode.  Honest to God!  We walk him before meals and he’s not allowed to run around for 20 minutes after he eats.  Just like the swimming rule.

p.p.s I have more posts on pets here.

Foods That Can Kill Your Dog!

Grapes and Raisins: Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. As little as a single serving of raisins can kill a dog.

Onions: Onions destroy red blood cells and can cause anemia.

Chocolate: Chocolate can cause seizures, coma and death. Baker’s chocolate is the most dangerous. A dog can consume milk chocolate and appear to be fine because it is not as concentrated, but it is still dangerous.

Coffee, Coffee grounds, tea and tea bags: Drinks/foods containing caffeine cause many of the same symptoms chocolate causes

Macadamia Nuts and Walnuts: Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, muscle tremor and paralysis. Limit all other nuts as they are not good for dogs in general, their high phosphorous content is said to possibly lead to bladder stones. Exception to this rule seems to be PEANUT BUTTER. However- always use Salt/Sugar free ORGANIC Peanut butter (sugar encourages cancer growth) free . Use only ORGANIC peanut butter as regular peanut butter has lots of toxins and is full of pesticides!

Animal fat and fried foods: Excessive fat can cause pancreatitis.

Bones: Cooked bones can splinter and damage a dog’s internal organs. Raw Bone should always be supervised as a piece can always break off and cause problems. Try frozen oxtails or frozen knuckle bones then take the bone away before the dog can swallow a final small piece whole. It’s a good natural way to clean teeth too.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes can cause tremors and heart arrhythmias. Tomato plants and the most toxic, but tomatoes themselves are also unsafe.

Avocados: The fruit, pit and plant are all toxic. They can cause difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation in the chest, abdomen and heart.

Nutmeg: Nutmeg can cause tremors, seizures and death

Apples, Cherries, Peaches PITS and similar fruit are great for your dog – HOWEVER, the seeds of these fruits contain cyanide, which is poisonous to dogs as well as humans. Unlike humans, dogs do not know to stop eating at the core/pit and easily ingest them. It can also become lodged in the intestines and kill the dog in 24 hours with no warning.

Raw eggs: Raw eggs can cause salmonella poisoning in dogs. Dogs have a shorter digestive tract than humans and are not as likely to suffer from food poisoning, but it is still possible. BEST to use ORGANIC EGGS if you do raw. Scrambled lightly is best!

Salt: Excessive salt intake can cause kidney problems.

Mushrooms: Can be deadly- never let your pets chew on mushrooms found in your yard. Only safe “food” mushrooms are shitaki, maitake and reishi.

Xylitol: even a small amount can cause liver failure and death. Read more at here and in this article at

Sugar and Corn Syrups. EVEN ORGANIC IS BAD! (this does not include Honey or Molasses though they should only be in small amounts and never for cancer dogs)

This is from PetEducation.

Items to avoid Reasons to avoid
Alcoholic beverages Can cause intoxication, coma, and death.
Baby food Can contain onion powder, which can be toxic to dogs. (Please see onion below.) Can also result in nutritional deficiencies, if fed in large amounts.
Bones from fish, poultry, or other meat sources Can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system.
Cat food Generally too high in protein and fats.
Chocolate, coffee, tea, and other caffeine Contain caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline, which can be toxic and affect the heart and nervous systems.
Citrus oil extracts Can cause vomiting.
Fat trimmings Can cause pancreatitis.
Grapes and raisins Contain an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys. There have been no problems associated with grape seed extract.
Hops Unknown compound causes panting, increased heart rate, elevated temperature, seizures, and death.
Human vitamin supplements containing iron Can damage the lining of the digestive system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.
Large amounts of liver Can cause Vitamin A toxicity, which affects muscles and bones.
Macadamia nuts Contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscle.
Marijuana Can depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, and changes in the heart rate.
Milk and other dairy products Some adult dogs and cats do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk. This can result in diarrhea. Lactose-free milk products are available for pets.
Moldy or spoiled food, garbage Can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhea and can also affect other organs.
Mushrooms Can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death.
Onions and garlic(raw, cooked, or powder) Contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Cats are more susceptible than dogs. Garlic is less toxic than onions.
Persimmons Seeds can cause intestinal obstruction and enteritis.
Pits from peaches and plums Can cause obstruction of the digestive tract.
Potato, rhubarb, and tomato leaves; potato and tomato stems Contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems. This is more of a problem in livestock.
Raw eggs Contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.
Raw fish Can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. More common if raw fish is fed regularly.
Salt If eaten in large quantities it may lead to electrolyteimbalances.
String Can become trapped in the digestive system; called a “string foreign body.”
Sugary foods Can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.
Table scraps (in large amounts) Table scraps are not nutritionally balanced. They should never be more than 10% of the diet. Fat should be trimmed from meat; bones should not be fed.
Tobacco Contains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Can result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death.
Yeast dough Can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.
Xylitol (artificial sweetener) Can cause liver failure.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Great post! There were actually a few items I didn’t know about.

  2. Wow

    Are you serious? If dogs kicked the bucket this easily, we wouldn’t have a surplus. I’ve heard of being overprotective about your kids, but this is even worse. Wow. Dorks.

  3. karissa

    i love the part about dogs not having marijuana and tobacco products…cause you know that dogs will totally be smoking a joint and such. Good things to know though..especially since my mom just asked if our dogs can have raisins.

    • To Karissa,
      You know dogs, with their addictive behaviors and vices!! But seriously, I was also surprised by some of the items on the list like tomatoes … I find I need to keep reviewing it as my dog eats just about anything.

  4. S

    This is a list of foods that COULD hurt your dog, but following this to heart is like saying that all children are deathly allergic to peanut butter and bee stings. Not all dogs react the same. My dog’s eat everything they come across and at 12 and 15 years of age without a food related reaction, I’m not going to stop them.

  5. Alessio Ventura


    Never feed your dog anything other than what the growers of organic dog foods tell you to feed them. This way the growers of organic food, over time, can buy big houses full of dogs. To keep the dogs happy and healthy, the organic producers feed their dogs table food bought at the supermarket (steak, ground beef, salami, prosciutto).

    So keep buying those organic foods to make the organic producers rich, and their dogs very happy.


  6. Lana

    To all the doubters:
    Ever wonder why dogs require medication for typical human ailments? Keep feeding your dog whatever he wants and you’ll soon see. My friend buried her dog after years of feeding him grapes. No one really connected that the food he was being fed may have caused his medical condition. Just a thought. I say, if your dog is really your best friend, you’ll treat him as such and look out for his diet. Peace

  7. Susan Pless

    Pragmatic Mom,Thank you so much for this imfo,I had 2 big dogs that ate dry dog food with a can ,and they wouldnt even touch it until we finished our family dinner,and I added the scraps ,too! They lived long lives,14 and 16yrs.But,I resently got a boxer puppy at 6 weeks old,now 6 mths.Potty training has been difficult,I was giving him,Sammy,a couple raisinets every time he went outside,they are my favorite and he dicovered them one day!I had no idea they were harmful! Also,this morning,I had a bowl of cheerios for breakfast,so I gave him a bowl also,12 hours later he had really bad diarrea! Thankfully,outside! I didnt realize milk until reading your article,it was the milk! I read boxers have a higher chance of stomach problems ,like colitis,then other dogs,can you reccommend a heathier dog food or diet?? Haha,my children are in different states at college,Sammy ,a relief to my children,is my new baby! Thank you !

  8. Kara Ritter

    can too much sugar make them throw son accidentally poured sugar in her bag of food she has been eating it for over a week now and i didnt know it..she has been throwing up now for two days..could it be from this..please help

  9. Rose Knapp

    My daughter mentioned to me one day not to feed my dog raisins that it could hurt him. She knew how much I liked them. I love this website it taught me a lot. All though I never feed my dog table scraps. He has tried though to eat the mushrooms in the grass. In the spring we’ve got a lot of baby caterpillars on our deck. He ate a couple of them. I don’t know what he eats when my husband walks him but, he became very sick had a high fever plus he was throwing up a lot of fluids and would not eat his food. It all passed in about 3 days but he has never been the same since, I have had him to the vet many time. So people be careful what your dog eats you never know.

  10. Jerry

    We have always given our dogs bones, fried chicken, tomato ends and they have never gotten sick. Of course they are hardy breeds, Border Collies and ACDs.
    This article sounds like it was sponsored by one of those megadollar dog food companies.

    • Hi Jerry,
      Nope, don’t think this article was sponsored by any corporate brand. My vet would agree. My dog eats chocolate, grapes and few other things on the list that he steals but he’s also a big dog; a golden retriever so the small quantities didn’t affect him but you do need to be careful. I heard cooked chicken bones can be a hazard for dogs from many sources. The bones shard and can tear their stomach lining.
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Positive Affirmations for KidsMy Profile

  11. Bri

    My dog drinks coffee all the time and she eats M&M’s occasionally and she is perfectly fine… Lol that’s weird..

  12. Bri

    My dog drinks coffee all the time and she eats M&M’s occasionally and is perfectly fine…Lol that’s strange. She’s a jack Russell and doxin mix.

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