Foods to Avoid

Make treats that are SAFE and healthy!

Making homemade dog biscuits is a fun and healthy way to treat your dog. However, it’s important to know what ingredients NOT to use. Some foods that are safe for us can be harmful and even deadly to our dogs.

Any time you are trying a new recipe or creating one of your own – make sure the ingredients you are using are safe for dogs.  If you are unsure – do your research.  Just because someone listed it in a recipe doesn’t make it safe. (I’ve seen a number of dog treat recipes on the internet that included raisins!)  The following is a list of the “top” human foods identified as being TOXIC to dogs. Much of the information found here is from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

Some of these should be common sense – others you may not have been aware of.

Alcoholic beverages -  Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.
Avocado – Contains Persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.

Chocolate – Contains a substance called methylxanthines and is very toxic to dogs. It can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death.  Baking chocolate poses the highest risk because it contains the highest level of methylxanthines followed by dark chocolate and milk chocolate.

Coffee/coffee grounds – and caffeine in general is toxic for the same reason chocolate is.  It contains methylxanthines. (See above)

Grapes/raisins – It is unknown exactly what substance in grapes and raisins is the cause – but it is known that these fruits can cause kidney failure.

Macadamia nuts – Can caus weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs.

Onions and Garlic  – Can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage, which can lead to anemia if a large enough amount is ingested.  In general, very small amounts, such as would be used in pet treats should not cause a problem.

Xylitol (sweetener often found in chewing gum, candy and breath fresheners) It can cause insulin release in most species, which can lead to liver failure.  Initial signs of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination.

NOTE: This is not intended to be an all inclusive list. There are other foods that may be harmful to your dog. Please contact your veterinarian with any questions about your dog and food safety.

Visit our dog treat ingredients page to learn about some of the ingredients we commonly use in making homemade dog treats. For more detailed information about the ingredients to avoid visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.