What to Never, Ever Feed Your Dog

Just about everyone on the planet knows chocolate is toxic to dogs. But there are many other food items that are dangerous for your dog to consume.


Before we were aware of this one, we noticed Yellow was reluctant to eat grapes that fell on the floor. Good thing, too! dog avoids eating grapesGrapes have a toxin that can cause severe kidney or liver damage, even in small amounts. Also be wary of giving your dog human cookies that may contain raisins.

Onions and Garlic

Onions in all forms are risky for dogs, even in small amounts. This includes onion and garlic powder. Again, be careful of human foods, like chips, that may contain these powders.

Chicken/Turkey/Fish/Steak Bones

Yellow recovering post-op. You can see his belly stitches, which we had to carefully monitor to ensure proper healing.

We learned this one the hard way. Yellow is an inhaler. As in, he inhales his food. To the extent we have to feed him from a food-dispensing ball or he eats too fast and throws up. So couple not knowing bones are dangerous with inhaling food and you get chunks of bone lodged in Yellow’s stomach, followed by emergency surgery. Mommy was up with Yellow all night; he shivered as one piece of big bone passed through his tiny small intestine. He was throwing up fluids and had a fever. As soon as the vet opened at 8 a.m., we were there; an hour later, Yellow was in surgery. It was the worst day of a mommy’s life and it could have easily been much worse. Any type of bone, cooked or otherwise, can cause major problems. It can splinter, can be sharp, or can be too big to pass – so much potential to damage your dog’s vital organs.

bones removed from dog's stomach
The remnants of chicken bones that were pulled from Yellow’s stomach and intestine. It’s hard to tell from this angle but these pieces are very sharp, especially the one I’m holding which was the major cause for concern..

We are incredibly lucky the razor-sharp bone that passed didn’t rip Yellow’s small intestine. For this reason, the vet called for emergency, invasive surgery to remove the other bone still lodged in his stomach. Bottom line: do NOT feed your dog bone scraps.


Yeast rises. So as you might imagine, if your dog eats yeast, it will expand in his stomach. A little won’t kill him but it he eats too much, it could rupture his stomach or small intestines. Yikes!

Tylenol (Human Medicines)

The active ingredient in Tylenol, acetaminophen, can kill your dog. You should never give your dog over-the-counter medicine without consulting your vet first. Some medicines, like Benadryl, are okay but you must check with your vet for dosage. Others, like Tylenol, can be deadly for dogs. Better to go with a pain reliever meant for dogs, which you can get from your vet.

Tennis Balls

Okay, so you don’t feed your dog a tennis ball. But they sure do chew on them, ripping the material from the outside first, followed by tearing the ball apart and often swallowing it. These pieces can get lodged in the digestive tract, causing blockage. The same is true for any non-edible chew toy. Take a look at the packaging of toys you buy; chances are, it suggests monitoring your dog at all times while he plays with the toy. This is to ensure he does not swallow any piece or all of the toy. If your dog doesn’t actually chew on the ball (or other toy), it’s not an issue but if you find Fido munching on a tennis ball, don’t leave it lying around.

There are more…

WebMD put together a slideshow of 25 items not to feed your dog. There are some repeats of this list but some other items as well, such as alcohol, macadamia nuts, avocado and milk products. Some of the other items aren’t toxic but can sure make your dog sick. Check it out and familiarize yourself with this list!

Remember, dogs are scavengers. Even though you feed them consistently, they can’t reason if that will continue. So they will eat everything they can get their paws on. It’s important to have a well-trained dog who knows the command “off!” or “drop it!” Knowing this command just may save your dog’s life. Make an appointment with a trained professional, like Beverly Ulbrich, to show you how to teach this command if your dog just isn’t getting it or is counter surfing.

Keep those poochie-faces safe!


  1. I saw my 12 week old Boston eat alot of avocado and it didn’t seem to bother her at all yet I have reac here and in other places that one should never ever feed a dog avocado.

    • I have heard that before from other dog owners – that not only did their dog not have a reaction but loved avocado. Pet WebMD says large amounts may be toxic; maybe in small amounts for your dog, it’s okay?

Leave a Reply to jaqbennett Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s