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Facts on Fatal Foods for Dogs

by LifeLearn in Recalls and Warnings on 13 September, 2013

Most of us know better than to give human food to our dogs as treats, but it would be naïve to think this doesn’t happen at one point or another for most pet owners. You probably already know some table foods that appeal to your dog. What you may not know is how many common foods pose potentially fatal health threats to pets. We encourage you to review this list which highlights just a few of the many foods that carry real danger for your dog.


Very widely understood as being poisonous to dogs, chocolate poses a major health risk because it contains something called theobromine, an alkaloid that is fatally harmful to dogs. While humans consume theobromine without many problems, dogs absorb it at a much slower rate and often present with toxicity when it’s ingested in small to moderate doses. Theobromine can accelerate your dog’s heart rate, over-stimulate the central nervous system, cause vomiting, diarrhea, and in some cases result in death. Make sure that chocolate treats are stored far out of reach in your kitchen, and that your dog never licks your hands or face after you’ve eaten chocolate.

Grapes and Raisins:

Many pet owners are unaware of this food risk to dogs. In fact, some think of grapes and raisins as a natural, healthy treat for their pet. However, studies have shown a significant connection between grape consumption and kidney failure in dogs. Worst still, there doesn’t seem to be a difference in the reaction for different types of grapes, or for different quantities. This means that even a small handful of grapes or raisins has the potential to make your dog very sick- so save these snacks for humans only in your household!

Chewy Candy or gum:

These aren’t foods that you’re likely to feed your dog intentionally, but it is important to know why they are toxic. Xilotyl is a sweetener found in many brands of chewing gum and sweets that can also be found in some baked goods and cereals. Its canine toxicity is well documented –it causes dogs to become hypoglycemic and has been known to result in long-term liver failure. Be careful when walking your dog outside at Halloween or on playgrounds at recess- there may be discarded or misplaced candy littering the ground.


Avocados are a delicious source of healthy fats for humans, but contain a toxin called persin, once thought to affect cats, dogs and birds alike. For this reason avocados have long been affiliated with pet poisoning. New research suggests that persin does not poison cats and dogs to the degree it was believed to. However, swallowing an avocado pit can result in a very serious intestinal blockage in your dog. Keep those avocados safely stored high in your fridge or in a secure crisper drawer.

As mentioned, there are many different dangers and fatal foods for dogs. We urge you to learn more about pet poisoning by visiting an accredited website such as the Pet Poison Helpline’s Poison List. For specific questions or concerns about lethal foods and your pet, speak to your veterinarian immediately.



Additional Info

  • Written by: LifeLearn / MyPetED.com
  • Caution: These news items, written by LifeLearn Inc., are licensed to this practice for the personal use of our clients. Any copying, printing or further distribution is prohibited without the express written permission of LifeLearn Inc. Please note that the news information presented here is NOT a substitute for a proper consultation and/or clinical examination of your pet by your clinic veterinarian.