Some foods meant for human consumption can be
dangerous, and even deadly, to your dog.
According to Carmela Stamper, D.V.M., a veterinarian
at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an
animal’s body processes food much differently.
And while sometimes people can have severe allergic
reactions to foods, it’s different for dogs.
“Allergies in animals tend to manifest themselves
more in skin or ear issues,” Carmela Stamper
Moreover, a food might harm one dog and not another.
It depends on a number of factors, including the
animal’s genetic makeup and size, as well as the
amount that animal eats. “A big lab that eats a bar
of dark chocolate may not have any problems,” she
says, whereas a Chihuahua could get dangerously ill.
“In summer, be particularly careful of foods eaten
at picnics and barbecues,” Stamper says. Among the
foods you want to withhold from your dog are:
Raw meat, which can contain E. coli, Salmonella,
or other harmful bacteria.
If you’re making hamburger patties or setting
out steaks and chicken breasts for the barbecue,
for instance, make sure they’re well out of
reach of your counter-surfing canines; you’re
not doing them any favors by tossing a chunk or
Don’t handle raw meat and then give your dog a
treat unless you’ve washed your hands first.
And remember it works the other way around, too.
“People can get sick after handling contaminated
dog food, not washing their hands, and then
using their hands to eat a sandwich or a slice
of pizza,” Stamper says.
Grapes, raisins, and currants can cause kidney
failure in some dogs.
Stamper says not all dogs are affected, but if
you think you’re handing your dog a healthy
snack, you could be disastrously wrong.
But what about other fruits? For instance, can
dogs eat apples and bananas? Stamper says yes,
just make sure that with apples, you don’t feed
your dog the core or seeds.
Fried and fatty foods can not only give your dog
a stomach ache, but can also cause a potentially
life-threatening disease called pancreatitis.
Even if your dog is eyeing the fried chicken
with longing, resist the temptation to give him
his own piece to chew on.
Moldy foods are not something you would feed
your family, and your dog shouldn’t eat them
If you put moldy cheese rinds or hamburger buns
in the trash can, make sure your dog doesn’t
then get into the garbage.
the same token, if you have a compost heap and it’s
the first place your dog makes a beeline for, be
sure the moldy scraps are well out of reach.
Onions, garlic, and chives (as well as onion and
garlic powder) can be harmful to your dog,
especially in large amounts.
If you’ve put a lot of onions and garlic powder
in your salsa, marinade, or beans, don’t let
your dog get into the leftovers.
Salty snacks, in large quantities, could also
cause problems in your dog. “Feeding the odd
potato chip or pretzel probably won’t do any
harm,” Stamper says. But if your dog gets into a
whole bag of them, he could get really sick.
Make sure your dog has access to plenty of water
at all times, especially if he gets into salty
Macadamia nuts can be very harmful to dogs.
If you’re packing white chocolate chip macadamia
nut cookies, make sure they stay in the picnic
basket and out of reach of your dog.
Finally, many dog owners know chocolate is bad
for their dogs, but they may not realize that
xylitol, a sugar substitute used in many
sugarless products, can be deadly for him.
Xylitol is found in sugarless gum, candies, oral
products, and some peanut butters and other nut
butters. “If you feed your dog pills coated in
peanut butter, or put peanut butter in their
hollow chew toys, make sure to check the list of
ingredients first to make sure it doesn’t
contain xylitol,” Stamper says.
Xylitol and your dog: the consequences could be
FDA - U.S. Food and Drug Administration