Bad Foods For Dogs

                                 What Not To Feed My Dog


DogLicious says: "I'm a dog and I'll eat anything, so please be careful what you give me"!

                               NEWS FLASH This just came in...

March 12, 2010

 Watch out for "Real Ham Bone for Dogs!"

The Food and Drug Administration is looking into a treat called Real Ham Bone for Dogs after reports that it killed dogs and sickened others.

According to this Associated Press report, the FDA is investigating the product — a smoked pig femur sold as a dog treat or chew bone — that is distributed under the Dynamic Pet Products label of Frick's Quality Meats in Washington, Mo.

The Better Business Bureau of St. Louis said it has fielded consumer complaints about the Real Ham Bone from throughout the U.S. The BBB said Thursday that concerns arose after the bones splintered, then ulcerated or obstructed the dogs' intestines. Consumers reported their dogs had become lethargic or were vomiting. One man came home to find his dog dead, bleeding from the mouth               


Some commonplace items you may have around your home are poisonous to dogs. Be sure you keep these items safely away in a locked cabinet or up on a high shelf!

There are many foods you should never give to your dog. Some of them aren't even that good for people, either!

Dogs always seem to want what we're eating and it's really difficult to resist that pleading face with those big beautiful eyes that say "oh pleeeeze". But, before you give in to that four legged friend of yours, look at our list below and watch the video on "Bad Pet Food" below.

Please make sure you never give, or let your dog have access to, any of these foods!

Certain foods that are edible for humans, and even other species of animals can be hazardous foods for dogs because the difference in their metabolism. Some foods cause only mild digestive upsets, but others can cause severe illness, and even result in death.

To learn about foods that are safe for your dog visit our section on healthy food for dogs and see our other section on best commercial dog foods quality natural dog food.

The following common food items should not ever be fed (whether intentionally or unintentionally) to dogs. Although this list is extensive, it is incomplete because we can not possibly list everything your dog should not eat. We'll add more as soon as we learn about check back often!

Here are the bad foods for dogs:


Chocolate: is highly toxic to dogs and tops the list of foods you should never give your dog.

Baker's chocolate and high cocoa content chocolate is the most toxic; the toxic dose is 2 baking squares for a 10lb dog. Baking chocolate is the worst and white chocolate is the least harmful, but please do not give any to your dog no matter how much he begs! And warn your kids also!!!

Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that is a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic.

Baker's chocolate and high cocoa content chocolate is the most toxic; the toxic dose is 2 baking squares for a 10lb dog.

Initial excitation.
Increased drinking and urinating.
Vomiting and Diarrhea.
Theobromine causes an increased heart rate and arrhythmia -.
Seizures can then be seen.
Death is then possible...

ACTION PLAN: Induce vomiting, give activated charcoal, and go to the Vet if depression and seizures begin. Call the ASPCA Poison Hotline shown above.

Grapes and Raisins: can be very harmful for your dog. They contain an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys and cause kidney failure. There have been no problems associated with grape seed extract. Don't be fooled by their small size!

As few as 6 grapes and raisins have caused acute kidney failure in some dogs.

The toxic ingredient is not yet known.

There is no treatment.

Do not feed ANY grapes or raisins to your dogs. And be sure to tell your kids!

Onions and Garlic (raw, cooked, or powder): as good as they taste in a salad they are very dangerous for your dog.

They are very harmful to your dogs digestive system. Especially if they were to ingest a large amount!

They contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Garlic is less toxic than onions and can be given to dogs in small amounts when used for seasoning in their food.

Onions contain the toxic ingredient thiosulphate.

Dogs affected by onion toxicity will develop anemia. One Onion can cause this.

Fortunately ALL dogs recover once they are stopped from ingesting onions.

Bones: are thought by many to be a good thing for a dog to chew on and are probably your dog's favorite thing. We all know never to give your dog chicken bones but larger bones can also be a hazard to your dog. They can splinter and get caught in a dog's intestines and possibly puncture them. Your dog can choke on any bone fragments, not only chicken bones. It's probably better to buy your dog rawhide chew sticks or artificial bones that do not cause problems. Bones from fish, poultry, or other meat sources Can cause obstruction or laceration of your dog's digestive system.

Milk: milk based products are not good for your dog. As much as your dog may enjoy them, some adult dogs do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme, lactase, needed to break down the lactose in milk so they can digest dairy products. This can result in diarrhea. Lactose-free milk products are available for pets. Most dogs just love ice cream but it's really bad for them. Lactose-free milk product are available for pets.

Artificial Sweeteners and artificial fats are bad for your dog. They enjoy the natural flavors of food so there is no need to add these products.

Xylitol is a artificial sweeter found in "SUGAR FREE" Products,
such as gum, candy etc.

Signs relate to a sudden drop in glucose (blood sugar),
in-coordination, collapse and seizures.

Do not feed any gum/candy to your pets and be sure to warn your kids about this!!!

Sugary and Processed Foods: are not good for your dog and can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitusThey do not digest these foods very well. Stick to healthy, nutritious, whole foods (it's good advice for people too!

Spicy Foods: do not agree well with dogs. They do not need spices to make their food more inviting. Stick with good healthy nutritious food for your dog. The natural flavor of food is fine for your dog.

Old Leftovers: you should never give your dog old or molding, spoiled leftovers. It's really difficult to believe so many people do it. Instead of throwing food out that is going bad, many dog owners give it to their dog. Somehow they believe that dogs can tolerate it better than humans. The fact is, you're putting your dog's health at risk by giving him food that should be thrown out.

Garbage can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhea and can also affect other organs. Many molds contain a type of toxin called an Aflatoxin. This is thought to be a common cause of "compost toxicity".

Signs include...
GI (Vomiting/Diarrhea), muscle tremors, in-coordination, elevated temperature, excessive salivation, and liver damage.

Avoid feeding ANYTHING that's moldy to your dog or cat.

Table Scraps (in large amounts): Table scraps are not nutritionally balanced. They should never be more than 10% of the diet. Fat should be trimmed from meat; bones should not be fed to your dog.

Remember these important guidelines whenever you are considering sharing your table scraps or snacks with your dog. Fortunately, there are many people foods that are good and healthy for dogs. In fact, there are many dog food and treat recipes you can make with them. Just be sure the foods you should never give your dog, which are listed here, are not in any of them.

Avocado:Avocado leaves, fruit, seeds and bark contain a toxic principle known as Persin. The Guatemalan variety is most toxic - but all have toxic potential. They cause vomiting and diarrhea - primarily gastrointestinal distress.

More Food & Other Items....           To Keep Away From dogs...

Alcoholic Drinks: Causes intoxication, coma, and death...   
They attract dogs and cats because they are sweet, but can cause serious and fatal intoxication. Don't ever offer them to your pets!

Here are some of the signs and side effects:
- In-coordination/ataxia
- Excitement
- Depression
- Excessive urination
- Breathing rate is slowed
- Cardiac arrest and death

Baby Food: Can contain onion powder, which can be toxic to dogs. (Please see onion below.) Can also result in nutritional deficiencies, if fed in large amounts.

Cat Food: Usually too high in protein and fats for dogs.

Coffee & Tea: Contain caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline, which can be toxic and affect the heart and nervous systems.

Coffee contains dangerous components called xanthines, which cause nervous system or urinary system damage and heart muscle stimulation

Fatty Foods: The primary concern is severe gastrointestinal upset- and in some cases Pancreatitis. This can be fatal in some pets- and it is ALMOST always triggered by a High Fat Meal, such as gravy or bacon.

Citrus Oil Extracts: Can cause vomiting.                        
Fat Trimmings:
Can cause pancreatitis.                        

Hops: Unknown compound causes panting, increased heart rate, elevated temperature, seizures, and death.

Human Vitamin Supplements Containing Iron: Can damage the lining of the digestive system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.

Large Amounts of Liver: Can cause Vitamin A toxicity, which affects muscles and bones.

Macadamia Nuts: Contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscle.This has
lead to paralysis. A small number of nuts and even the nut butter can cause this.                                                                      Marijuana: Can depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, and changes in the heart rate.

Mushrooms: Can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death.

Nutmeg: High levels of nutmeg can be toxic, even fatal.

The toxic component is unknown.

Signs of toxicity include tremors, seizures, nervous system
abnormalities or death.

Persimmons Seeds: can cause intestinal obstruction and enteritis.

Pits from Fruit: Can cause obstruction of the digestive tract.

Apples, Apricots, Cherries, Peaches and Plums.

Ingestion of large amounts of stems, seeds and leaves of these
fruits can be toxic.

They contain a cyanide type compound and signs of toxicity include apprehension, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, hyperventilation and shock.

Note - it's the seeds and stems that contain the toxic component,
not the fruit itself.

Potato, Rhubarb, and Tomato Leaves; Potato and Tomato Stems: Contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems. This is more of a problem in livestock than it is in dogs.

Potato peelings and green looking potatoes...Potatoes and other Solanum species, including the tomato, are members of the nightshade family of plants.                                                          

These plants contain solanine and other toxic alkaloids which, if
eaten in large enough amounts, can produce drooling, severe
gastrointestinal upset, including vomiting and diarrhea, loss of
appetite, drowsiness, central nervous system depression, confusion,
behavioral changes, weakness, dilated pupils and slowed heart rate

Tomato leaves & stems (green parts):

The green parts of the tomato plant are considered toxic because
they contain solanine, which has the potential to produce
significant gastrointestinal and central nervous system effects.

Raw Eggs: Contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.

Raw Fish: Can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. More common if raw fish is fed regularly.

Salt: If eaten in large quantities it may lead to electrolyte imbalances.

String: Can become trapped in the digestive system; called a "string foreign body."

Tobacco: Contains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Can result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death.

Yeast Dough: Can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing sever gastrointestinal distress (vomiting/diarrhea) bloating, pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.

Never allow a dog to ingest raw yeast dough!

Medications: Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, aspirin,      cough and cold syrups, and prescription drugs. (see below for more).

Make sure medications are always out of reach of your dog's mouth!

Insecticides: Rat poison, flea and tick products, and other insecticides.

Household cleaners: Bleach, detergent, furniture polish, soap, and disinfectants.

Chemicals: Lighter fluid, turpentine, antifreeze, gasoline, glue, paint, solvents, and acids.

Tobacco: Don’t leave your cigarettes lying around.

Indoor Plants: Tulip bulbs, poinsettias, philodendrons, daffodils, lily of the valley, and azaleas.   These can be toxic to dogs and should only be kept high enough on a shelf so your dog can’t get at them. If you have a large dog, you should eliminate these plants from your house completely.

Become familiar with any and all in and outdoor plants that are toxic (visit this ASPCA page for a complete list), and remove those from your house, especially if your dog is a plant-eater.

Here's a video from the ASPCA on plants that can be toxic to your dog. To watch the video click here

More on Medications!

People often leave medication around, especially if they don’t have children, but dogs are very curious creatures and can get into things too. So, for their safety, always keep medicine and prescriptions safely away. Even a child-proof cap is not going stop a dog determined to get into a those teeth opening it can be a challenge.

Here’s a list of the top ten people medicines that are dangerous to our pets, compiled by the ASPCA;

NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen or naproxen are the most common cause of pet poisoning in small animals, and can cause serious problems even in minimal doses. Pets are extremely sensitive to their effects, and may experience stomach and intestinal ulcers and—in the case of cats—kidney damage.

Antidepressants can cause vomiting and lethargy and certain types can lead to serotonin syndrome—a condition marked by agitation, elevated body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, disorientation, vocalization, tremors and seizures.

Acetaminophen in dogs can cause liver damage and, at higher doses, red blood cell damage.

Methylphenidate, a medication used to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in people acts as a stimulant in pets and can dangerously elevate heart rates, blood pressure and body temperature, as well as cause seizures.

Fluorouracil an anti-cancer drug—is used topically to treat minor skin cancers and solar keratitis in humans. It has proven to be rapidly fatal to dogs, causing severe vomiting, seizures and cardiac arrest even in those who’ve chewed on discarded cotton swabs used to apply the medication.

Isoniazid Often the first line of defense against tuberculosis, isoniazid is particularly toxic for dogs because they don’t metabolize it as well as other species. It can cause a rapid onset of severe seizures that may ultimately result in death.

Pseudoephedrine is a popular decongestant in many cold and sinus products, and acts like a stimulant if accidentally ingested by pets. In cats and dogs, it causes elevated heart rates, blood pressure and body temperature as well as seizures.

  Many oral diabetes treatments—including glipizide and glyburide—can cause a major drop in blood sugar levels of affected pets. Clinical signs of ingestion include disorientation, lack of coordination and seizures.

Vitamin D derivatives Even small exposures to Vitamin D analogues like calcipotriene and calcitriol can cause life-threatening spikes in blood calcium levels in pets. Clinical signs of exposure—including vomiting, loss of appetite, increased urination and thirst due to kidney failure—often don’t occur for more than 24 hours after

Baclofen is a muscle relaxant that can impair the central nervous systems of cats and dogs. Some symptoms of ingestion include significant depression, disorientation, vocalization, seizures and coma, which can lead to death.

For more on things that are dangerous for our dogs and what to do if your pet ingests something harmful, search for Poison or Toxic for Pets online.

The ASPCA recently published a list of the top ten toxins in they are

      Top 10 Pet Poisons of 2009


Human Medications

For the past several years now, human medications have been number one on the ASPCA's list of toxins. Last year, the ASPCA dealt with45,816 calls that involved prescription and over-the-counter drugs such as painkillers, cold medications, antidepressants and dietary supplements.These can be lethal! Dogs will often get hold of pill containers from countertops
and night tablesor grab medications accidentally dropped on the floor. That's why it's critical for us to keep meds put away in difficult-to-reach drawers or cabinets.


In our attempt to protect our homes and dogs from pests, we often unwittingly put ourbest friends at risk. In 2009, ASPCA toxicologists fielded 29,020 calls related to insecticides. One of the most common incidents involved the misuse of flea and tick products--such as applying the wrong topical treatment to the wrong species. That's why it's very important to talk to your pet's veterinarian before beginning any flea and tick control program.

People Food

People food like grapes, raisins, avocado and products containing xylitol, like gum, can seriously disable our best friends, and haveaccounted for more than 17,453 cases in 2009. One of the worst offenders--chocolate--contains large amounts of methylxanthines, which, if ingested in significant amounts, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst, urination, hyperactivity, and in severe cases, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors and seizures.


Common houseplants were the subject of 7,858 calls to APCC in 2009. Varieties such as azalea, rhododendron, sago palm, lilies, kalanchoe and schefflera are often found in homes and can be harmful to pets. Lilies are especially toxic to cats, and can cause life-threatening kidney failure even in small amounts.

Veterinary Medications

Even though veterinary medications are intended for pets, they're often misapplied or improperly dispensed by well-meaning pet parents. In 2009, the ASPCA managed 7,680 cases involving animal-related preparations such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, heartworm preventatives, de-wormers, antibiotics, vaccines and normally healthy nutritional supplements.


Last year, the ASPCA received 6,639 calls about pets who had accidentally ingested rat and mouse poisons. Many baits used to attract rodents contain inactive ingredients that are attractive
to pets as well. Depending on the type of rodenticide, ingestions can lead to potentially life-threatening problems for pets including bleeding, seizures or kidney damage.

Household Cleaners

Everybody knows that household cleaning supplies can be toxic to adults and children, but few take precautions to protect their pets from common agents such as bleaches, detergents and disinfectants. Last year, the ASPCA received 4,143 calls related to household cleaners. These products, when inhaled by our best  friends, can
cause serious gastrointestinal distress and irritation to the respiratory tract.

Heavy Metals

Heavy metals such as lead, zinc and mercury,  accounted for 3,304 cases of pet poisonings in 2009. Lead is especially pernicious, and pets are exposed to it through many sources, including consumer products, paint chips, linoleum, and lead dust produced when surfaces in older homes are scraped or sanded.

Garden Products

It may keep your grass green, but certain types of fertilizer and garden products can cause problems for outdoor cats and dogs. Last year, the ASPCA fielded 2,329 calls related to fertilizer exposure, which can cause severe gastric upset and possibly gastrointestinal obstruction.

Chemical Hazards

In 2009, the ASPCA handled approximately 2,175 cases of pet exposure to chemical hazards. A category on the rise, chemical hazards--found in ethylene glycol antifreeze, paint thinner, drain cleaners and pool/spa chemicals--form a substantial danger to pets. Substances in this group can cause gastrointestinal upset, depression, respiratory difficulties and chemical burns.

Prevention is key to avoiding accidental exposure, but if you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, contact your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center's 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435.

Let's do all we can as caring dog parents to make 2010 a safe and healthy year for our best friends.

If you have an emergency situation, you can also visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. They have a 24 Hour poison emergency hotline to assist you.

Here's what to do yourself if your pet ingests ANY of them:

GET YOUR DOG TO YOUR VETERINARIAN ASAP! If your dog is showing signs of ingesting a poison, it is important that your veterinarian examines him or her and administers treatment immediately. Some toxins can progress and lead to severe seizures. If you suspect antifreeze poisoning, it must be treated within four to six hours, before irreversible kidney damage occurs.

EJECT THE POISON. In most cases of poisoning, getting your pet to vomit is the most important thing that you can do. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING if something caustic has been consumed (such as drain cleaner or bleach). To induce vomiting, give hydrogen peroxide at 1 teaspoon per 10 lbs of body weight. If your pet doesn't vomit in 10 minutes, repeat again. NEVER do more than 2 treatments
of peroxide. You can also try salt: dilute 1 teaspoon of salt in a tablespoon of water per every 10lbs of body weight.

NEUTRALIZE THE TOXIN. If a caustic substance has been ingested, DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING, rather give something to neutralize it. An alkaline toxin such as drain cleaner is neutralized by something acidic such as vinegar: give 1 tsp per 10 lbs of body weight. An acidic toxin, such as battery acid, is best neutralized with something alkaline such as Milk of Magnesia: give 1 tsp per 10lbs of body weight.

DELAY ABSORPTION. Activated charcoal is readily available at most pharmacies. It delays absorption of any toxin by binding to the toxic compound in the stomach. The easiest way is to give the capsule form. For garbage-eating dogs it is a good idea to always have hydrogen peroxide and activated charcoal on hand.

TOPICAL TOXINS. If your pet is having a reaction to something on the skin, such as flea medications, or oil on the skin, you want to remove it as soon as possible. Dish soap works well - lather it up, then rinse your pet thoroughly. Thick stubborn substances that you can't easily wash off can be first covered in flour, the flour absorbs some of the oil, then washed off with dish soap.

PREVENTION. Ensure medications are always out of mouth's reach. Become familiar with toxic plants...see above and
(visit for a complete list) and remove those from your house, if your pet is a plant-eater.

Keep your compost covered at all times!

How BPA is poisoning our pet's food -------------------------------------------------

Bisphenol A or BPA is typically found in plastic (ie water bottles and other plastic containers), but it is also found in the lining of many canned pet foods.

BPA leaches from the liners, and containers into food or liquids.

Here is some information published from the Environmental Working Group:

BPA is associated with a number of health problems and diseases that are on the rise in the U.S. population, including breast and prostate cancer and infertility. Given the amount of widespread human exposure to BPA and hundreds of studies showing its adverse effects, the FDA and EPA must act quickly to set safe levels for BPA exposure based on the latest science on the low-dose toxicity of the chemical.

Scientists Link Chemical Exposure to Increased Rates of Cancer, Other Diseases in Pets:

Under current federal law, chemical companies do not have to prove chemicals are safe before they are used in products, including pet toys and other products for our companion animals. For pets as for people, the result is a body burden of complex mixtures of industrial chemicals never tested for safety. Health problems in pets span high rates of cancer in dogs and skyrocketing incidence of hyperthyroidism in cats. Genetic changes can't explain the increases in certain health problems among pets, leaving scientists
to believe that chemical exposures play a significant role.

FDA fails to protect the public

Dr. George Pauli, at the time FDA's associate director for science and policy, offered this rationale: "FDA sees no reason at this time to ban or otherwise restrict the uses now in practice" (Pauli 2005). Never mind that the Agency's estimated exposures for infants, at 15-24 ug/kg/d, exceed by a factor of up to 10 the dose shown to permanently alter prostate gland growth.

Some thoughts...

BPA and Pets

There is little scientific study of BPA on pets.

It seems pretty clear that BPA poses SERIOUS health risks- for both pets and people.

Our dogs and cats are given MUCH lower priority in terms of TOXIN regulation by organizations such as the FDA.

The Pet Food Recall Tragedy in which thousands of pets died is a reminder of this.

In light of ALL of the health challenges to your pets, it just makes sense to me to AVOID as many toxins as possible-specifically


P.S. What can you do?

1. Call the manufacturer and ask-

2. Stick to premium quality, holistic brand dog foods. In most cases these companies are going out of their way to avoid toxins such as BPA.

3. Plastic- Get rid of it! Use Stainless steel for your pets food and water bowls

Are you surprised by any of this? Most people just don't know about some of these toxins and other dangerous items for dogs.

For information on how to make healthy and safe homemade dog food and some easy, nutritious recipes that your dog will absolutely love, please visit our dog food recipes page.

*Remember to have fresh water available for your dog, at all times. This is especially critical during the summer months when it's hot and your dog can become dehydrated.

Important Notice! Although we at Feeding A Dog are long time dog enthusiasts and dog advocates, we are not veterinarians or professional animal nutritionists. Our purpose is strictly to provide you with  information, so that you can make your own decisions. Any and all of the information contained or stated on this web site and on our blog is provided for general information purposes. The information provided is not direct veterinary advice and should not be construed as such nor substituted for a consultation with a veterinarian or dog nutrition professional. Every dog and situation is different. If you have any concerns about your dog's health, please contact your veterinarian's office immediately. We all love our dogs and want only the very best food for them!

                                                    "In Dogs We Trust"

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