Can Dogs Eat Garlic? Common Foods You Should Never Feed Your Pup

If you are wondering if dogs can eat garlic, you’ve come to the right place. And, spoiler alert, the answer is “no”. Find out why, along with information on other foods you should never feed your pup.

most dangerous foods to dogs on wood serving board

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Can Dogs Eat Garlic? What About Avocados? And Grapes?

Hard to resist those adorable puppy dog eyes, isn’t it? If your pups are anything like mine, they have absolutely mastered the art of begging. 

However, when it comes to certain foods, it’s crucial to remember that there are some things you should never give your dog, no matter how politely or persistently they ask.

And this includes foods that you may love and commonly have in your kitchen. In my house, we (the humans) love garlic and use it whenever possible. But just like vampires, the answer to the question “can dogs eat garlic” is a hard no.

If you don’t have time to get into all the details right now, save the below pin for later.

title of protect your pups, top kitchen dangers with images of 3 dogs in kitchen and dangerous foods for dogs on kitchen counter

In fact, when researching the most dangerous human foods for dogs, I found quite a few things that we love and use regularly made the list. For many of these foods, I was already aware that there was some danger. 

However, there were a couple I was surprised by, so I am quite glad I picked this topic as one of my initial posts.

I’ve already been spreading the word to my family and am also happy to share my findings with you. As a fellow pet parent, I know we want to do everything possible to keep our fur babies safe.

some of most dangerous foods to dogs in kitchen setting
three dogs in kitchen

Some of the Most Dangerous Foods for Dogs

While adverse reactions will vary, and your dog may have even consumed some of these things in the past without issue, it is important to be aware of these dangers so that you can proactively keep your pup safe and healthy. 

I’ll also mention that this list is not exhaustive. Rather, here I focus on the most dangerous and most common human foods that dogs may encounter.

Xylitol

Xylitol, a natural sugar alcohol found in different plants, tops the list as one of the most dangerous substances for dogs. Commonly used as a sugar substitute, you’ll see this in the ingredient list of many sugar-free products including gum, candy, and baked goods.

In dogs, xylitol can cause a rapid release of insulin, leading to low blood sugar levels, seizures, and even liver failure. To be extra safe, I try to avoid buying goods that contain this ingredient altogether.

xylitol in a colorful bowl on a wood serving board
pieces of chocolate on wood serving board

Chocolate

While a favorite treat for humans, or dogs, chocolate can be highly toxic. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which can cause adverse effects on a dog’s nervous system and heart.

Dark chocolate and baking chocolate are particularly dangerous, and it’s best to avoid sharing any chocolate or chocolate-containing foods (including white chocolate) with your dog.

Grapes (Including Raisins and Currants)

In the world of pet parenting, I think the dangers of grapes are lesser well-known than that of chocolate. In fact, the exact toxic component in grapes, tartaric acid, wasn’t identified until 2021.

Due to dogs’ sensitivity to tartaric acid, even a small amount can lead to poisoning and kidney failure. So, be extra cautious with grapes, as well as raisins and currants. Additionally, for any of you bakers out there, tartaric acid is also found in cream of tartar…so giving your pup a little sample of that freshly baked cookie or cake is NOT a good idea.

grapes and raisins on a wood serving board
several types of alcohol with wine corks on wood serving board

Alcohol

Dogs make excellent buddies in many ways…but a drinking buddy is not one of them. Simply put, alcohol is definitely a big no-no. Just like humans, dogs can experience severe intoxication and alcohol poisoning.

Even small amounts can lead to symptoms such as central nervous system depression, respiratory distress, and even coma or death.

Garlic and Onions

Garlic and onions, whether raw, cooked, or in powdered form, can be harmful to dogs. They contain compounds that can damage a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia.

While small quantities may not cause immediate harm, it’s best to avoid feeding any dishes or treats that contain garlic or onions to your pup.

garlic and onions in wood serving bowl
macadamia nuts in colorful bowl on wood serving board

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are a great snack for humans, but for dogs, they can pose a serious risk. Ingesting macadamia nuts can result in weakness, vomiting, tremors, and even hyperthermia.

This is one on the list that I didn’t realize was a problem. And as my husband eats these regularly, we’re now more cautious to ensure none accidentally hit the kitchen floor.

Raw Bread Dough

And here is another one that I had never thought about before. Raw bread dough can be hazardous to dogs due to its ability to expand in the stomach. The yeast in the dough ferments, producing alcohol, which can lead to alcohol toxicity.

Additionally, the expanding dough can cause bloating and potential obstruction.

bread dough and wooden rolling pin on wood serving board
avocado sliced in half on wood serving board

Avocado

Avocados are another popular food in our house, but they contain a substance called persin, which can be toxic to some animals, including dogs.

While the flesh of the avocado is generally safe, the pit, skin, and leaves can cause gastrointestinal upset and other complications. So, in general, it’s best to prevent your dog from getting a hold of avocados in any form.

Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant found in various products like coffee, tea, energy drinks, and certain medications.

Dogs are much more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than humans, and ingestion can lead to restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, and even seizures.

coffee makers and bowl of coffee beans on wood serving board

Bones

Bones, although strongly associated with dogs, can actually be quite hazardous. Although not toxic per se, it’s important to know that bones can splinter and cause serious injuries. These splinters can lead to choking, gastrointestinal obstructions, or punctures in the digestive tract.

To keep your dog safe, it’s best to avoid giving them bones altogether and opt for safe, sustainable chew toys or natural treats specifically designed for dogs.

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So Now That You Know the Answer to “Can Dogs Eat Garlic”…

Even with all the precautions in place, accidents can happen. I know all too well that dogs can be like ninjas when it comes to finding food.

So, if your pup does manage to get a hold of any potentially dangerous food, it’s important to monitor them closely for any symptoms of distress. 

Symptoms may vary depending on the substance ingested but can include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, tremors, or atypical behavior. If you notice any concerning signs, it’s crucial to seek veterinary care immediately.

And remember, as every dog is different, it’s always recommended to consult with your veterinarian for specific dietary guidelines and to address any concerns regarding your dog’s health or nutrition.

FAQs: Dangerous Foods for Dogs

Can a small amount of these dangerous foods harm my dog?

Yes, even a small amount of certain foods on the list can be harmful to dogs, depending on their size, age, and overall health. It’s best to avoid feeding them altogether to prevent any potential health risks.

What should I do if my dog accidentally eats one of these foods?

If your dog consumes a potentially harmful food, contact your veterinarian immediately, even if they are not showing any symptoms. Your vet can provide guidance on whether immediate treatment is necessary based on the amount ingested and your dog’s health status.

Can cooking or processing these foods make them safe for dogs?

While cooking or processing some foods may reduce their toxicity levels, it’s not guaranteed to make them safe for dogs. Certain ingredients and compounds in these foods can still be harmful, even in cooked or processed form.

Are there any alternative treats I can give my dog instead?

Yes, there are plenty of safe and healthy treat options available for dogs, such as commercial dog treats specifically formulated for their dietary needs. Additionally, you can offer your dog fruits and vegetables like carrots, apples (without seeds), and blueberries as safe alternatives.

Can I give my dog a small piece of these foods as a special treat?

It’s not recommended to give your dog any of these foods as a treat, even in small amounts. The potential risks associated with these foods outweigh any perceived benefits, and there are plenty of safer options available for rewarding your furry friend.

How can I prevent my dog from accessing dangerous foods?

To prevent accidental ingestion, store all hazardous foods securely out of your dog’s reach, whether in cabinets, pantry shelves, or the refrigerator. Be vigilant when preparing and serving meals, and educate family members and visitors about the importance of keeping these foods away from pets.

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