Pet Care Blog

Foods that are Toxic for Dogs

Our Memphis vets know that loving dog owners enjoy giving their canine friends little treats now and again, but some people-foods are toxic, and potentially deadly for dogs. Below is a list of foods you should never feed to your dog or puppy.

Why shouldn't I give my dog people-food?

Dogs are clever animals, and sometimes they manage to get into things they shouldn't. When it comes to food, it's important to understand which of the foods we enjoy are actually toxic to dogs. 

Your dog's body just doesn't metabolize foods the way a person's body does, that's why some things that are relatively harmless to us can be potentially deadly for dogs. 

List of foods that are toxic or poisonous for dogs, Memphis vet

10 Foods You Should Never Give Your Dog

Please note that this list is just a summary of some of the most common foods that are toxic to dogs, it is not a comprehensive list. To find out more about which foods are toxic or poisonous to dogs, speak to your Memphis vet.

Garlic, Onions & Chives

Garlic, onions, shallots and chives contain substances which may cause anemia and damage red blood cells. The onion family are toxic to dogs whether they are raw or cooked, and signs of illness may take several days to become apparent. 


Even in very small amounts, alcohol can cause intoxication in dogs as it does in people. Alcohol may also lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and in extreme cases damage to your dog's central nervous system.

Grapes & Raisins

Any cookies, cakes or other treats containing grapes or raisins should be kept well away from dogs. Grapes and raisins may cause severe liver damage or even kidney failure in dogs.


Chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, contains a stimulant called theobromine which can cause kidney failure in dogs.

Corn On The Cob

Corn kernels themselves are not toxic to dogs, however if your dog swallows the cob it may cause a serious blockage in your dog’s intestine. 


OK, so tobacco is not a food but it's important to mention because nicotine is extremely toxic to dogs. Signs of tobacco poisoning in dogs include vomiting, abnormal heart rate, tremors and weakness. 


The artificial sweetener called Xylitol may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, liver failure and possibly hypoglycaemia which can lead to loss of consciousness or even death in extreme cases. 

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts contain a toxin that can affect your dog’s muscles and nervous system resulting in weakness, swollen limbs and panting.


Avocado leaves, fruit and seeds contain a substance called persin which may cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.

Cooked Bones

It may be tempting but never give your dog cooked bones to chew on. Cooked bones splinter easily and could lead to a perforation of the gut, which can be fatal. 

If your dog has ingested any of the items listed above call your Cordova vet immediately! At Memphis Veterinary Specialists & Emergency, we offer 24/7 emergency services for cats and dogs in the Greater Memphis Area.

From Happy Pet Owners

  • “What a wonderful alternative when something happens to your babies outside normal vet hours. They treated us and my kitty like family. Explained everything and fixed him right up. He’s not enjoying the cone, but his stitches look great. Thank you to the whole team!”
    Kelly C.

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