Top 5 Human Foods Dogs Shouldn’t Eat

Dr. Caitlin Connor

Jul 8, 2021

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As a dog owner, you want to share your favorite foods with your furry friend. However, this is not always safe for your dog, and it can sometimes even be deadly. Although there are some human foods that are safe for dogs to eat (such as plain, boiled chicken, green beans and carrots), it’s best to keep most human food away from dogs as there are certain human foods that dogs shouldn’t eat.

In the article below, you’ll find more information about five of the top human foods dogs shouldn’t eat. Read through this list and make sure you save it, as it could make the difference between life and death for your dog in the future. When you know some of the most dangerous human foods that dogs should never be allowed to eat, you can take care to protect your dog from having access to any of these foods in your home.

Some common human foods dogs should never eat include, but aren’t limited to:


Xylitol is one of the deadliest human foods for dogs and should be avoided at all costs. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener and is most commonly found in gum, although it can be found in a variety of other sugar free food items too. It can even be purchased in packets that you can stir into drinks.

If a dog ingests xylitol, it causes his body to release too much insulin and quickly leads to liver damage. It can also cause seizures and brain damage, and it can easily lead to death. Stay away from xylitol in your home if possible, and never let your dog near anything that contains it.


You’ve probably always heard that you should never give a dog chocolate, but did you know the reason is because of its caffeine content? Caffeine is extremely dangerous to dogs as well as cats, and it should not be given to dogs in any form or in any quantity.

Caffeine can cause diarrhea, vomiting, excessive thirst, rapid heart rate or uneven heart rate, seizures, and death in dogs. Caffeine can be found in coffee, soda, chocolate, and many other foods and drinks that may not be immediately obvious. Always check labels if you’re unsure.


Currently, experts do not know what causes grapes to be dangerous to dogs. However, there is no doubt about just how dangerous they are, and they can quickly lead to kidney failure and even death if they are ingested by dogs in any quantity.

Grapes are not the only food that causes this, either. Raisins can do the same, since they are simply dried grapes. All types and colors of grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs and should be avoided no matter what. If you think your dog has eaten grapes, take him to an emergency vet.


Onions may be more toxic to cats, but that doesn’t mean they’re safe for dogs, either. Dogs should not be allowed to eat onions that are cooked, raw, or even powdered, and you should refrain from giving your dog any foods seasoned with onion salt.

At best, onions can cause severe digestive system problems including stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting. If ingested in a high enough quantity, they can cause your dog to suffer from damage to his red blood cells. Garlic and chives can cause the same symptoms in a dog as onions can, so keep them away from your furry friend as well.


It might go without saying, but you should never give your dog alcohol and you should not allow him to ingest it, even if he tries to lick your glass. Dogs do not have any tolerance for alcohol and can become sick very quickly after ingesting it.

Even a small lick or two of alcohol can cause your dog to start vomiting and have diarrhea. It can also lead to coordination problems, trouble breathing, and issues with the nervous system, which can quickly lead to death. Alcohol can easily be fatal to dogs.

Go to the Emergency Vet Right Away if Your Dog Ingests any Human Food They Shouldn’t Eat

Although this list represents some of the most common and most important human foods dogs shouldn’t eat, it is nowhere near comprehensive. There are dozens of human foods that are unsafe or fatal for dogs to ingest, and it’s important to learn all about them so you can be a responsible dog owner. Take time to do your research and ensure you know all about the foods you should never allow your dog to ingest. This way, you can create a safer and more secure environment for him.

If you have any further questions or concerns about this list or about any other food-related topics, be sure to speak with your vet. Your trusted vet should be able to provide you with the best information about your dog’s individual health and wellbeing, and should also be able to provide plenty of general information like this as well.

If you know that your dog has eaten any of the foods mentioned above, or any other human food they shouldn’t eat, don’t wait to seek veterinary care. Go to an emergency vet as soon as possible. VEG has locations across the country, many of which are open 24/7 and all of them are open 24 hours on the weekends and on holidays. Our team cares about your dog’s wellbeing as much as you do, which is why when time is truly of the essence, we’re always here for you and your pet when you need us most.