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Toxic Dog Food List

Our canine companions love treats, but it's important to be cautious when it comes to sharing people-food with your pup. Some foods that are perfectly healthy for us can be toxic for dogs. Our Lincoln Park vets explain.

Why shouldn't I give my dog people-food?

Dogs are smart but sometimes their curiosity gets the better of them and they get into things they shouldn't.  This is especially true when it comes to food left within your dog's reach. Although many of the foods we enjoy are healthy for dogs in moderation, there are people-foods that are toxic to our canine companions and must be stored safely out of your dog's reach.

If it's ok for me, why is this food toxic for my dog?

Your dog's body just doesn't metabolize foods the way a person's body does, that's why some things that are relatively harmless to us can be potentially deadly for dogs. 

Many people wonder if grass is toxic for dogs but in fact, grass is typically fine for dogs to eat provided that it is free from fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. So, what are toxic dog treats and food? Let's take a look at our top 10 to avoid.

10 Foods You Should Never Give Your Dog

Please note that this list is just a summary of some of the most common foods that are toxic to dogs, it is not a comprehensive list. To find out more about which foods are toxic or poisonous to dogs, speak to your Lincoln Park vet.

Garlic, Onions & Chives

Garlic, onions, shallots and chives contain substances which may cause anemia and damage red blood cells. The onion family are toxic to dogs whether they are raw or cooked, and signs of illness may take several days to become apparent. 


Even in very small amounts, alcohol can cause intoxication in dogs as it does in people. Alcohol may also lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and in extreme cases damage to your dog's central nervous system.

Grapes & Raisins

Any cookies, cakes or other treats containing grapes or raisins should be kept well away from dogs. Grapes and raisins may cause severe liver damage or even kidney failure in dogs.


Chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, contains a stimulant called theobromine which can cause kidney failure in dogs.

Corn On The Cob

Corn kernels themselves are not toxic to dogs, however if your dog swallows the cob it may cause a serious blockage in your dog’s intestine. 


OK, so tobacco is not a food but it's important to mention because nicotine is extremely toxic to dogs. Signs of tobacco poisoning in dogs include vomiting, abnormal heart rate, tremors and weakness. 


The artificial sweetener called Xylitol may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, liver failure and possibly hypoglycaemia which can lead to loss of consciousness or even death in extreme cases. 

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts contain a toxin that can affect your dog’s muscles and nervous system resulting in weakness, swollen limbs and panting.


Avocado leaves, fruit and seeds contain a substance called persin which may cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.

Cooked Bones

It may be tempting but never give your dog cooked bones to chew on. Cooked bones splinter easily and could lead to a perforation of the gut, which can be fatal. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet. 

Our experienced veterinarians in Lincoln Park provide essential guidance and a wide variety of services to help keep your dog healthy and happy. Contact Dix Animal Hospital to book a wellness exam for your canine companion.

New Patients Welcome

Dix Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Lincoln Park companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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