Treats from your table can be deadly for your dog. You might never suspect that the nibble you give as a reward may produce disastrous and even life-threatening symptoms. You already know about chocolate, so we’re saving that one for last. Here are just some of the other foods that can sicken your pup.

Grapes and Raisins

A small amount of grapes and raisins can make a dog very sick and cause kidney failure. The signs are repeated vomiting followed by depression and lethargy.

Macadamia Nuts

As few as six raw or roasted macadamias can produce symptoms such as vomiting, high temperature, rapid heart rate, muscle tremors, weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters.  If the macadamia nuts are in a chocolate bar, the combination can be deadly.


Persin is a substance found in avocados that, while harmless for humans who aren’t allergic, can be toxic for dogs in large doses. Persin is not only in the fruit but also in the leaves, seed, and bark of the avocado plant.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic can poison your dog by destroying your pet’s red blood cells. The result can be anemia with the symptoms of vomiting, weakness and breathlessness. Small doses on a regular basis or one large quantity in powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated form can be harmful.

Caffeine in Coffee or Tea

There is no antidote for caffeine poisoning. Caffeine found in cocoa, chocolate, colas and stimulant drinks such as Red Bull can produce restlessness, fits, and fast breathing. Large enough doses can prove fatal. It’s not just the brewed drink but also the beans and grounds of coffee and tea that contain caffeine.


Just a little bit of beer can have a disastrous impact on your pet: vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system depression, coordination problems, difficulty breathing, coma, even death. Alcohol does the same damage to your dog that it does to your brain and liver, but because the animal is smaller, the impact is bigger. Foods containing alcohol as well as wine and liquor can do damage.

Milk and Milk-based Products

Milk and dairy products can cause digestive upsets and diarrhea. Food allergies, which show up as itchiness, can be traced to dairy.

Candy and Gum

A sweetener called xylitol can cause seizures and liver failure within a few days. Xylitol is found not only in some diet foods but also in candy, gum and toothpaste. Symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination follow when xylitol produces extra insulin and causes blood sugar to drop.


What’s so toxic about chocolate? Theobromine. Even small amounts can produce diarrhea, vomiting and extreme thirst. Death can come on the heels of abnormal heart rhythm, tremors and seizures. While found in all chocolate, theobromine is concentrated most dangerously in dark chocolate, unsweetened baking chocolate and chocolate mulch. Even white chocolate poses a threat to your dog.

And that’s not all. Other substances are toxic for your pet such as baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and other spices. Hats off to WebMD to devoting a section to pets and providing a lengthy tabulation and explanation of foods your dog should never eat.