8 Human Foods That Are Harmful To Dogs, and Should Never Eat

White and Black English Bulldog Stands in Front of Crackers on Bowl at Daytime


As a pet owner, you are often faced with the temptation of sharing every human foods you eat with your pup right?  You may find it difficult to resist the glaring attention that your puppy gives you while you eat. Likely, your puppy is passing the message “I want to share your food with you”.

So you share basically every type of human foods you eat with your little friend. Dogs have a unique and different digestive system from that of human beings. Some of the human food for dogs we consider to be safe is not really what they seem.

Pets are sometimes exposed to their environment where they feed on food substances that are potentially harmful to their systems. In the USA a high percentage of households own dogs as pets (about 39%).  Cases of dog poisoning as a result of exposure to harmful substances in their environment was on the increase over a three year period from 2009 to 2012.

This is according to reports from the Kansas state veterinary laboratory. We should be careful about the kinds of people food for dogs that we assume.  There are some human food dogs can eat while others are very harmful. The kind of ingredients in human foods can be a pointer to whether the food will be safe for dogs or not.


8 Human Foods That Are Harmful for Dogs

We have compiled some human foods that are dangerous to dogs, which you should never serve your little buddy.


1. Milk and Other Dairy Foods

Dairy products like milk are not good for your furry friend. Most dogs lack this enzyme called lactase in their digestive system.  Dairy products like milk are composed of a high amount of lactose.

This requires the enzyme called lactase to break it down. Due to this deficiency, the food may not digest. This may result in constipation. Gastrointestinal diseases may occur.

Dog Licking Ice Cream


You may see your pet vomit or have diarrhea. So as much as you can, avoid sharing your dairy foods with your pup.

2. Chocolate

Chocolate contains a toxic substance known as theobromine. Theobromine is not harmful to man because humans metabolize it easily. The process is very slow in dogs. A high accumulation of theobromine in the system of your dog can be very fatal. If the amount is small, it may result in vomiting and diarrhea for your pet. Avoid giving your dog chocolate.

However, if you notice that your dog has taken a good amount of chocolate and s showing symptoms of tremors, seizures and irregular heartbeat. Report the case to your veterinarian immediately.


3. Salty Foods

Excess salt should not be added to meals given to your furry friend. A high amount of salt can result in what is known as sodium ion poisoning.  Another effect is the high level of temperature and seizures. When your dog eats too much salty foods, it will begin to dehydrate. So manage the quantity of salt that your dog takes because excessive salt is an imminent danger.


Fries and Cream on Plate


4. Onions and Garlic

While a little amount of onion might not be harmful to your dog. Don’t forget that if you give onions and garlic to your dogs consistently.  A time comes when it accumulates and becomes harmful. At this point, even a little piece of onion can result in your dog having diarrhea.

Raw onions and garlic especially if taken in high amount by your canine, are human food that will result in hemolytic anemia in your pet. An effect where the red blood cells of your dog are destroyed. You don’t want this to happen. So, minimize the quantity of onions and garlic that you give as food to your dog.

5. Chinese Food

Another food you should never serve to your dog is Chinese food. And the reason for this is quite simple.  There are a lot of dangerous ingredients in this human food – high salt, spices, magnesium and a host of others. These ingredients are commonly responsible for diarrhea in dogs. And more so, Chinese food is spicy, which makes it generally a bad food choice for your furry friend. Except of course you may want to read about Max Polyakov FireFly.

6. Grapes and Other Citrus Fruits

Citric acids emanating from citrus fruits are not good for dogs. It targets the dog’s central nervous system. This will lead to depression.  Human food ingredients composed of citric acid should also be avoided when preparing meals for dogs. When grapes are consumed in high amount by your dog, the result is kidney failure. Avoid grapes!


Black and White Dalmatian Dog Eating Fruits


7. Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts may not cause death to your dog. But cases of lethargy, depression, vomiting, and general weakness have been reported. Don’t allow your dogs to ingest this nut.

A case was reported in Vestwest Animal Hospital of a 3-year-old puppy suffering from muscle tremor. It was unable to walk. The pet owner had shared her macadamia nut with the puppy the previous night.

The next morning, the dog couldn’t walk. At the hospital, it was given some charcoals to help coagulate the macadamia in its stomach and stop the spread.  Hours later it improved remarkably. So even though, macadamia nuts poisoning may not be very fatal in dogs, it can make her weak and crippled.


8. Alcohol

Beverages and food ingredients with a high amount of alcohol should not be given to your dog.  As a dog owner, under no condition should you give alcohols to your pet.  Common effects of alcohols on dogs include difficulty in breathing, the acidity of blood, unconsciousness and even death.

Other human food substances you should avoid giving to your dog are avocado, raw/undercooked meat, xylitol, and yeast dough.

To wrap it up

Pets have become a very good companion of ours in our day to day life. Dog pets are also expensive to keep. We should, therefore, be mindful of the kind of foods we give to them to avoid dog food poisoning. Hopefully, we’ve answered the important question that bothers on what human food can dogs eat.

Let us know if you’ve had any experience of food poisoning of your pet as a result of giving them human food. Which human food was that?


Author Bio

Lynda Bentley is a doctor with over two decades of experience in general practice.  He is an ardent lover of pets and has an interest in veterinary medicine. Presently, she lives in California where’s he’s also licensed.

Ken Weiss


  1. Julie Bradford March 28, 2020
    • Ken Weiss April 5, 2020
  2. Lindsay September 17, 2019
  3. BCP September 15, 2019
  4. ash green September 4, 2019
  5. Juana Noris August 24, 2019
    • Ken Weiss August 27, 2019

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