We use cookies to help us improve website user experience. By continuing to use this site or closing this panel, you agree to our use of cookies. See our cookie policy Close

Five things you should never feed your dog

Chocolate: don't feed this to your dog

Here’s PetPeople magazine vet Alison Logan’s top five no-nos when it comes to your dog’s diet:

1. Chocolate should never be given to dogs, and must be safely stored out of their reach. Dogs are very sensitive to the theobromine found in chocolate because they can’t break it down efficiently. Signs of toxicity occur within twelve hours of eating the chocolate, and include diarrhoea, vomiting, excitement, seizures and coma. The amount of chocolate eaten to cause a problem depends on both the size of the dog and the level of theobromine found in the chocolate. The theobromine dose increases with the cocoa level, so cocoa beans and powder, dark and continental chocolate have higher levels of theobromine than milk chocolate, and white chocolate has the lowest.

2. Dogs are really partial to cat food, primarily because of the high protein content, but it is no good for them in the long term. They are different species and a dog’s dietary needs are very different from a cat’s – a dog is not a cat and should not be fed cat food!

3. Substituting high calorie treats and snacks with fruit and vegetables is fine, but never feed your dog grapes, which contain an as-yet unidentified toxin causing kidney failure, sometimes when only a few grapes have been eaten. If they are in a fruit bowl, ensure your dog cannot steal from it. Raisins pose an even higher risk, so keep that fruit cake out of reach!

4. Onions and shallots should not be fed to dogs in any form (cooked, raw or as onion powder). They contain thiosulphate, which is not deactivated by cooking and causes haemolytic anaemia in dogs. Garlic and garlic powder contain lower levels.

5. Fat balls for wild birds – the inherently high fat content makes these very attractive to dogs but if eaten could result in pancreatitis. Store fat balls safely away from your dog, and site the feeders high up and out of reach.

Do you have any other items to add to our list? Just let us know by commenting below.

This entry was posted in Diet and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to Five things you should never feed your dog

  1. Gill Arney says:

    Grapes & raisins should not be fed to dogs!

    • Pippa says:

      Yes Gill, the article says that – did you not read it?

    • David Cohen says:

      Over fifty years I have fed my dogs chocolate (they love Creme Eggs), grapes, raisins (a favourite treat), cheese and just about everything I consume including beer. They have all remained healthy, fit and happy. They do not read advice such as that provided on this website.

      I do despair of the doom-mongers who tell us humans what we should not eat, and it is tedious in the extreme to find the same phenomenon in the world of pet care. It seems an “expert” is by definition someone who has no evidence for their outlandish claims.

    • Steve says:

      Did it occur to you, dear David, that perhaps either your dogs have been lucky, or that the quantity of chocolate you’ve fed them is not enough to cause harm? I have to laugh at people like you who value their own anecdotal evidence over the opinions of science. “My gran smoked every day since she was 5 and she lived to be 100!! It’s all nonsense that smoking is bad for you!!”

    • David Cohen says:

      Steve

      If chocolate, grapes, raisins, cheese and everything else identified anecdotally on this page were actually poisonous to dogs, I would have seen some evidence for it.

      If you care to check through Google, you will find countless claims that this or that is wrong for dogs. Sometimes the author claims to have qualifications, or to be an expert. They all disagree.

      I can remember endless so-called scientific reports warning human beings against the consumption of virtually anything and everything, including water. They are all disputed by other “experts”. The only scientific fact I can identify is that too much of any kind of food is bad for you, and there are plenty of fat humans, and plenty of fat dogs.

      If “a vet” wishes to benefit the doggy kingdom with pearls of advice, then a warning against obesity would be of value. Unproven theories about specific foodstuffs remain just that – theories without any basis in fact.

    • Peter says:

      To be on the safe side, you can try free samples of dog food on PetPoints.co.uk

  2. stephney higham says:

    Sweetcorn, avocado, tomatoes, macadamia nuts, xylitol, coffee…

    • Bradley Elliot says:

      too much sweets things were leave tartar of your pets mouth.

  3. Mark from Torquay says:

    Any dog food with E numbers and artificial colourants, think massively advertised brand leader, your dog may love it… But expect lots of hyperactivity, think ADHD in kids, and you will find your dog calmer, healthier and more biddable if you change to a more natural diet, i.e.The B.a.r.f. Diet.

  4. pauline lee says:

    Can dogs eat cheese safely?

    • Rose says:

      Our vets have said yes you can feed them cheese but on a small amount. I usually give our dig a teaspoon of grated very mild cheese once a week, usually weekends.

    • Kathleen Smith says:

      Hi vets recommend that you feed your dog a small lump of cheese every day as it gives them calcium and it is claimed that if every dog owner did this it would prevent all dogs from eating other dogs poo’s as it stops the poo from smelling like food to them. Dogs love cheese x

  5. Clare wilding says:

    Sweetcorn, especially when still on the cob! I speak from experience!!

    • JACQUELINE A. CHANDLEY says:

      Corn on the cob: do you mean not to feed a dog on it or not?/cooked or raw?

      I had a dog for 16 years and he was a regular chocolate eater. Many times a partially eaten box of chocolates were left without thinking, within his reach and when we were out of sight the chocs disappeared. He never had a days illness in his life and he had no knowledge of chemicals or dietary no-nos.

    • Kathleen Smith says:

      I’ve had 5 dogs over the last 40 years and I have given them all chocolate and they allloved it but my German shepherd was the only one that got ill he got sickness & diarrhea that lasted for days so I think it all depends on the type of dog. Some dogs are fine with chocolate some aren’t just like human some can eat nuts others can’t x

  6. malcolm skilton says:

    is it ok to give a german shepherd a bone to eat

    • Chistine Clark says:

      I have had 3 Germabn Shepards and they have all loved having the occasional bone. Beware however as they can have sensitive stomachs and the runs or strange coloured poo may be the reult. Try first with smaller bones, they love the ones off pork chops / spare ribs.

    • Kathleen Smith says:

      I wouldn’t feed spare rib bones to a dog as done that with a dog I had years ago and he ended up needing operated on for a blocked bowel and I got into trouble from the vet and told never give spare rib or chicken bones to a dog.

      My dog had been eating the spare rib bones for years as Friday night was Chinese night. X

    • rhianna marchant says:

      Hi, I would just like to say that my gsd is raw fed and is constantly having bones in his meal. The thing is not to give cooked bones as they splinter easily
      Raw bones are far better for your dog. I have not experinced a blocked bowl.with him yet and his poops are amazing, their like solid nuggets..
      .easy to pick up :)

  7. Catherine Perreira says:

    Chicken bones should never be given to a dog so when putting them into a bin remember to empty it before you seperate away from your loved ones as this splinters in a dogs throat and can be very dangerous

  8. Julie Grice says:

    Scampi, my dog took a piece off a plate which was leftover, we came down the next morning and she had diarrhoea!!!

  9. Amy says:

    When you say you can feed dogs fruit, what sort is actually best for them?

    • Kathleen Smith says:

      Dogs can eat Apples oranges (remove skin and only give a quarter a day) strawberries (all berries but small portions) banana (great source of energy) melon.

      Vegetables Carrots (raw or cooked) green beans garden peas

      Pasta & Rice

      Veg & Pasta/Rice are great for bulking up dog food and saving you money

    • rhianna marchant says:

      You cant give your dog apple seeds as that contains a natural cynide. But other than that apples are all good as it naturally cleans their teeth :)

  10. Francesca - The Petplan Team says:

    Hi Amy,

    It’s more a matter of which fruit will do your dog no harm, as I’m only suggesting that you can substitute high-calorie treats and snacks with fruit and vegetables, not feeding them as part of the diet. It will also depend on how your dog’s digestive system will cope. If you know your dog has a sensitive stomach, then it’s best not to offer fruit and vegetables as treats.

    Apples and pears are generally well tolerated. I would slice them up, not only to avoid a choking hazard but also to limit the energy intake – apples are still a source of calories, albeit less so than conventional treats. The pips are said to contain cyanide, but it is at a very low level and hidden within the pip’s tough outer case, and you would probably remove the core anyway.

    Stoned fruit such as peaches are probably safe, but less practical to use as a treat because of their soft nature. The stones are the dangerous part because they will block the intestines.

    The fruit to avoid – and I cannot over-emphasise this – is grapes. Never give grapes, or their dried versions, to your dog, and keep them out of your dog’s reach.

    Thanks, Francesca – The Petplan Team

  11. Thomas Davison says:

    Avoid feeding dogs with tuna fish or processed fish particularly mackerel

    • Dave Compton says:

      Not true dogs are fine with tuna

  12. Dave Compton says:

    Pits from peaches, plums or other fruits with pits- all fruits with pits can cause an obstruction in the digestive tract.

    Raisins – grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure – just a few raisins can kill a dog.

    Rhubarb leaves – these leaves contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous and urinary systems.

    Sugary foods- just like in humans too much sugar could lead to dental problems, obesity, and possible diabetes mellitus.

    Tobacco – because tobacco contains nicotine, it could affect the nervous and digestive systems causing rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death. If your dog eats cigarettes it releases toxins throughout their bodies.

    • Lizi Jones says:

      I totally agree about the tobacco thing. My vet was talking to me about the increasing number of dogs succumbing to cancer and how they usually come from houses where people smoke a lot. No proof of course. Those poor old Beagles. Interesting to know how many of them came down with smoking related illnesses. Does anyone know? Or was the evidence just shoved in the incinerator. My dog eats dog food and any cooked veggies and fruit she can get her chops around, but strangely, she’s always rejected grapes.

  13. Pauline says:

    What about carrots?

    • JACQUELINE A. CHANDLEY says:

      Carrots are good for dogs, raw or cooked (that is the carrots!) but better raw. Dogs are much like humans in as much as that they are mainly vegetarians requiring small amounts of meat to balance of the chemical input. Fish is natural to a dog as a minor addition to his veggy as an alternative to red meat. Remember a dog is a scavenger and will eat most things as a very varied diet. A little bit of this here and a little bit of that there.

    • Lizi Jones says:

      Ah, yes, my dog loves raw carrots. Maybe she’s thinking of training to be a fighter pilot. Spitfires of course, so she could get into a dog fight.

  14. Arsenal1Again says:

    Potatoes should never be given to dogs because it gives the dog wind. Very smelly wind.

  15. Pauline says:

    I give my dog a few spoonfuls of bio yoghurt with her meals……. does stop the ‘wind’!

  16. John flynn says:

    is pork bad for cats and dogs.

  17. Mehetabel says:

    I know it says don’t feed your dog cat food, but our dog thought it was a cat as it was adopted as a puppy by our cat. She refused to eat dog food, so had cat food all her life. She stayed healthy and happy until dying from old age at 16, so I don’t think it did her any major harm

  18. caramba says:

    XYLITOL has already been mentioned (not in your list) BUT it can be DEADLY. It is a sweetener and you may not realise that it is in something eg cake or biscuits before the dog has wolfed it down. Er swallowed it.

  19. The Baron says:

    Even bread and water makes Staffordshire Bull Terriers fart

  20. Mr Joe says:

    My dog loves chocolate and my home made Guinness fruit cake is his favourite snack. Surely he wouldn’t eat it all if it made him feel sick. Dog’s are instinctive animals and know what they should eat and what they should not.

    • MS says:

      I would dispute that, having discovered one morning that our labrador had apparently eaten a whole box of Finish dishwasher tablets! Thankfully they were the foil-wrapped ones and some of them passed out his rear end over the following days, but we never accounted for the rest of them! Amazingly, he survived this incident – and many others – completely unharmed!

  21. Nerdycat says:

    I was very surprised to read that dogs are Vegetarians by nature. If they are evolved from wolves,where would they obtain fruit and veg from in the “wild”? Surely they don`t have the digestive system to cope with leaves and raw tubers ? Hunting in packs, ring any bells?

    • Steve says:

      Nevertheless, dogs are omnivores and not carnivores like cats. The fact they are descended from wolves is largely irrelevant. We share a common ancestor with chimps and yet their diet is different to ours.

  22. Beth says:

    Can dogs eat cooked tinned sweetcorn?

  23. lifted diesel trucks for sale says:

    I think the admin of this web site is actually working hard in favor of his
    site, for the reason that here every information is quality based stuff.

    Also visit my web site lifted diesel trucks for sale

  24. Bienestarysalud.Blog.fc2.com says:

    I appreciate the way the info is effectively written, and the focus on the details.

  25. gold dragon dragon city says:

    Later today, I will have to compose a report in regards to
    this subject, therefore, you ended up saving me a lot
    of time with your useful content.

  26. Ayuda Para dragon city says:

    Many thanks for the fantastic blog post.

  27. what is keratin treatment for hair says:

    Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit
    and sources back to your site? My website is in the exact same
    niche as yours and my visitors would certainly benefit from a lot of
    the information you present here. Please let me know if
    this alright with you. Regards!

  28. Anne says:

    I subscribed to your rss feed; I am looking forward to read alot more info
    of this nature.

  29. http://translate.google.cn/ says:

    I got this web page from my pal who shared with me regarding this web site and at the moment
    this time I am visiting this web site and reading very informative content
    at this time.

    my web-site; http://translate.google.cn/

  30. hearthstone trap cheat sheet says:

    Hi there it’s me, I am also visiting this site on a regular basis, this website is in fact nice and the people are actually
    sharing fastidious thoughts.

  31. tllg.net says:

    I go to see everyday some sites and blogs to read articles orr reviews, however this web site provides feature bsed posts.

  32. tom says:

    I think while some of these may be true, its largely crap, most dogs eat this sort of thing, and have no problems just the same as humans can eat chocolate and be fine just do it in moderation :)

  33. ruby says:

    My beautiful black cocker spaniel with a delicate construction loves raw veggies. As soon as she hears the chopping she appears, to “help”! I stopped all dog biscuits, raw broccoli, u know the bit u throw away, the stalk, chop it up like we chop carrot +keep for training + treats. Peppers, cucumber, carrots, aubergine, courgette too!

    • Petplan says:

      Hi Ruby,

      Thanks for sharing your comments with everyone! We hope you enjoyed this post. Do come back as we post a new blog topic each week.

      Thanks,
      Jade – the Petplan Team

  34. Anton says:

    Skype has established its web-dependent client beta towards the entire world, following launching it
    extensively inside the United states and U.K. previously
    this month. Skype for Website also now supports Chromebook and Linux for
    immediate messaging conversation (no voice and video yet, individuals need a connect-in installation).

    The expansion of your beta brings support for
    an extended listing of dialects to assist strengthen that international usability

Leave a comment…

All fields marked with * are required.
Your email address will not be published. If you have any queries relating to your policy or claim please contact our customer service team on 0345 071 8000 Required fields are marked *