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  • Writer's pictureIan

Foods and Supplements That Can Harm Your Dog

Foods that can harm your dog.

As responsible pet owners, we strive to provide our canine companions with the best care possible, including proper nutrition. While there are many foods and supplements that can benefit dogs, it's equally important to be aware of those that can pose risks to their health.

Understanding Harmful Foods and Supplements

1. Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which are toxic to dogs and can cause symptoms ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to tremors, seizures, and even death. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate are dangerous because of their higher cocoa content.

2. Grapes and Raisins: Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs, even in small amounts. Symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and decreased urine production. It's best to keep these fruits away from your dog entirely.

3. Xylitol: Xylitol is a sugar substitute commonly found in sugar-free gum, candy, baked goods, and some peanut butter brands. Ingestion of xylitol can cause a rapid release of insulin in dogs, leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and liver failure.

4. Onions and Garlic: Onions and garlic, whether raw, cooked, or in powdered form, contain compounds that can damage a dog's red blood cells, leading to anemia. Even small amounts can be harmful, so it's best to avoid feeding these ingredients to your dog altogether.

5. Macadamia Nuts: Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs and can cause symptoms such as weakness, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia. In severe cases, they can lead to paralysis. Keep macadamia nuts and foods containing them out of reach of your dog and check ingredient labels.

Harmful Supplements for Dogs

1. Human Medications: Many medications intended for human use can be toxic to dogs, including pain relievers like ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol), as well as antidepressants, stimulants, and others. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any medication.

2. Iron Supplements: Iron supplements intended for human use can be toxic to dogs, especially if ingested in large amounts. Iron poisoning can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even organ damage.

3. Vitamin D Supplements: Excessive intake of vitamin D supplements can lead to vitamin D toxicity in dogs, resulting in symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and kidney failure. Avoid giving your dog vitamin D supplements unless recommended by a veterinarian.

4. Essential Oils: Some essential oils, such as tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil, can be toxic to dogs if ingested or applied topically. Even diffusing essential oils in the home can pose risks to pets with sensitive respiratory systems.

Consultation with Your Veterinarian

This blog is not a substitute for contacting your veterinarian and is for information only. If you suspect that your dog has ingested something harmful or if they are experiencing symptoms of poisoning, contact your veterinarian or the pet poison helpline (888-426-4435) immediately. Prompt veterinary care is essential for minimizing the risk of complications and providing appropriate treatment.


Being mindful of what foods and supplements are harmful to dogs is crucial for protecting their health and well-being. By avoiding common culprits like chocolate, grapes, xylitol, onions, and garlic, as well as harmful supplements and medications intended for humans, you can help keep your canine companion safe from potential dangers. Remember to consult with your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about your dog's diet or exposure to potentially harmful substances. With vigilance and proper care, you can ensure a happy, healthy life for your beloved pet.

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