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What Foods Are Harmful To Dogs? Free Printable List

Is your dog an opportunist who jumps at the chance of eating human food? Perhaps they’re known as the family hoover? As dog owners we need to be wary of the foods we are keeping around our treat hungry pooch, as not all foods they come into contact with will be safe for them. So what foods are harmful to dogs? We’ve asked Burns Pet Nutrition to give us the scoop (not the scoop of ice-cream though as you’ll soon discover).

Don’t forget to download our free printable list at the end to pin to the fridge!


Chocolate contains theobromine and while humans can easily break this down, dogs struggle to do so leading to toxic levels.  Dark and cooking chocolate is worse as it contains higher levels of theobromine. 

Grapes and Raisins

Particularly toxic to dogs, even just a small amount can cause issues such as kidney failure. 


This is a sweetener often used in “sugar –free” foods and is highly toxic to dogs. You will also find this in a lot of peanut butter, so always check the ingredients for this sneaky ingredient.  Xylitol tricks your dog’s body into thinking they have eaten something high in sugar and they produce lots of insulin causing their blood sugar level to drop dangerously low. They can go into a condition called hypoglycaemia and could progress into blood clotting and liver failure.

Foods High In Salt And Fat

This is likely just to make your dog thirstier if it is just a one-off. However if you regularly feed your dog foods high in salt it can lead to heart and blood pressure problems as with humans so it is not advised.

Eating something high in fat such as bacon can lead to a painful condition in dogs called pancreatitis which can be fatal.


It may seem like we’re stating the obvious here, but you’ll be surprised how many glasses of alcohol have been left out at parties and BBQ’s. Even in small doses alcohol can cause serious damage to the central nervous system.


Cooked bones are dangerous to dogs as they can splinter, or perforation of the gut. They can also cause constipation. Raw bones can be given to dogs but it is best to do your research before feeding these.

Ice cream

Most dogs are lactose intolerant so struggle to digest dairy and it can lead to digestive problems. 


Whether they are dry, cooked or raw, the onion family can cause gastrointestinal irritation and red blood cell damage. Certain breeds such as those originating from Japan are more susceptible of onion poisoning and the symptoms can be delayed and may not show for several days. 

Macademia nuts

These foods are harmful to dogs. They contain a toxin that if consumed will affect your dog’s muscles and nervous system. Symptoms include weakness, panting and swollen limbs.


Avocados can be dangerous in two ways. First of all the seed could get stuck in your dog’s stomach. Secondly, avocados may contain a substance called Persin which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.

Healthy Alternatives

Pets don’t necessarily need treats; it is us owners that love to give them! They can come in handy when training a dog however or as a little snack if you have a particularly greedy dog!

Most vegetables are great to give as extras, broccoli and green beans are both a great source of Vitamin C and fibre. Carrots are a great source of Vitamin A and are also good to give frozen to teething puppies! You could also set aside part of your dog’s daily allowance of food and use these as treats to ensure they are not over-eating.  All treats should be given in moderation however. 

Free Printable

Click here to download our free printable. Pin it on your fridge, so if you’re in the middle of cooking in the kitchen, and have a worry, you can quickly check the list to see if it’s okay or not.

Concerns About Harmful Foods

If you think your dog has eaten anything harmful it is always best to make contact with your vet immediately and let them know what they have eaten and preferably how much of it they ate as this is also important. They will be able to inform you if you need to take them for treatment or let you know of any symptoms to watch out for. 

Looking for more foods that are harmful to dogs? Click here if you’re looking for Christmas foods to avoid. Or click here if you’re looking for BBQ stuff!


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