Dogs: Which Foods are Good and Which are Bad?

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Dogs are notorious for eating things they shouldn’t, but what exactly is off limits?

Dogs shouldn’t eat chocolate, grapes, avocados, or macadamia nuts because they contain substances that can be harmful to their health. Other foods they shouldn’t eat are onions, garlic, and alcohol because they contain thiosulphate, which can damage red blood cells.

In this article, I’ll tell you what foods to avoid and why so you can keep your pup safe and healthy.

Food for dogs

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What Not to Feed Your Furry Friend

When it comes to feeding your dog, there are certain foods that you should avoid at all costs. These foods can cause harm to your furry friend and should be removed from their diet immediately. Here are some of the most common bad foods for dogs:

  • Chocolate: Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine, which can cause heart damage and even death in dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is.
  • Onions and Garlic: These foods contain a substance called thiosulphate, which can damage a dog’s red blood cells and cause anemia. This can be fatal in some cases.
  • Grapes and Raisins: These fruits can cause kidney failure in dogs, even in small amounts.
  • Avocado: Avocado contains a substance called persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.
  • Macadamia Nuts: These nuts can cause muscle tremors, weakness, and hyperthermia in dogs.
  • Alcohol: Even a small amount of alcohol can be harmful to dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and even death.

Food that Contains Harmful Ingredients

Some types of food that are safe for humans to eat can be harmful to dogs. Here are some examples:

  • Fatty Foods: Foods that are high in fat can cause pancreatitis in dogs, which can be life-threatening. Avoid giving your dog fatty cuts of meat, such as bacon or sausage.
  • Bones: Cooked bones can splinter and cause damage to a dog’s digestive system. Stick to raw bones or boneless meat.
  • Sweet Foods: Foods that are high in sugar can cause weight gain and dental problems in dogs. Avoid giving your dog candy, cookies, or other sweet treats.
  • High-Carbohydrate Foods: Dogs don’t need a lot of carbohydrates in their diet, so it’s best to avoid foods that are high in carbs, such as bread and pasta.

Alternative Options

If you’re looking for alternative options to feed your dog, here are some helpful tips:

  • Stick to fresh, natural ingredients whenever possible.
  • Offer a variety of different foods to prevent boredom and provide a balanced diet.
  • Check with your vet to find out which types of food are best for your dog’s specific needs.
  • If you’re not sure if a food is safe for your dog to eat, it’s better to err on the side of caution and not give it to them.
  • If you’re looking for a substitute for a certain type of food, ask your vet for recommendations.

Remember, what you feed your dog matters, and it’s up to you to make sure they’re getting the best possible nutrition. By learning what foods to avoid and what to offer instead, you can help prevent harm and keep your furry friend healthy and happy.

Healthy Treats for Your Pooch

1. Lean Proteins

Dogs are carnivores, and they need a lot of protein to maintain their muscles and keep their energy levels up. Lean proteins like chicken, turkey, and fish are great options for your furry friend. You can even give them some cooked eggs as a treat!

2. Fruits and Vegetables

While some fruits and veggies are dangerous for dogs (like grapes, raisins, and avocados), there are plenty of safe options that can provide your pup with some extra nutrients. Some good choices include:

  • Apples (without the seeds)
  • Blueberries
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Sweet potatoes

3. Peanut Butter

Most dogs love peanut butter, and it can be a great source of healthy fats and protein. Just make sure to choose a brand that doesn’t contain xylitol, a harmful substance that can cause a dangerous drop in blood sugar.

4. Yogurt

Plain, unsweetened yogurt is a great source of probiotics, which can help keep your dog’s digestive system healthy. Just make sure to choose a brand that doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners or added sugars.

5. Bones and Chews

Chewing on bones and other tough treats can help keep your dog’s teeth clean and their jaws strong. Just make sure to choose options that are appropriate for your dog’s size and chewing habits, and always supervise them while they’re enjoying their treat.

Remember, just because something is safe for humans to eat doesn’t mean it’s safe for dogs. Always do your research before giving your pup any new foods, and never give them anything that could be harmful (like chocolate or alcohol). With a little bit of knowledge and some careful planning, you can treat your furry friend to some healthy and delicious snacks!


So, dogs shouldn’t eat chocolate, onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, and avocado because they contain substances that can be harmful to their health. 

Also, don’t feed them fatty foods, high sugar, and high carbohydrate foods because they don’t need that much of those. Instead, they need lean proteins like chicken, turkey, and fish, fruits and vegetables, and a little bit of peanut butter as a treat. 

So, don’t be afraid to ask your vet if you’re not sure about something. You can also research online for more information. Just make sure you know what not to feed your dog!

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

Read for free

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.