Toxic Foods
A comprehensive list of things to avoid feeding our Canine friends

*Please keep in mind, I am NOT a Veterinarian but have done research to compile this list of  "human"  foods to avoid.  Not all foods listed here are TOXIC but should be avoided. There is likely more to put on it, but this is what I have so far.  Let us know if you found it helpful.*

 Nothing can replace good Veterinary Care, share your concerns with your Vet

Q: Can my dog eat apples?

A: Apple, Almond, Apricot, Peach, Wild Cherries, Plum, Balsam Pear, Prunes and similar fruits: The seeds of apples and most of the above listed fruits contain cyanide which is poisonous to dogs as well as humans even in small quantities. Apples only: It is OK to feed small amounts in moderation but both the stems,skin and seeds should always be avoided. Leaves should also be avoided.

Symptoms include: Diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and should your pet ingest seeds, it should be taken promptly to the vet or emergency vet.

Q: Can my dog eat avocado or have some guacamole?

A: The Avocado fruit, pit and plant are all toxic.

Symptoms Include: difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation in the chest, abdomen and heart.

Q: Can my dog eat broccoli?

A: Broccoli is vegetable to be avoided

Symptoms report Broccoli to be pretty potent gastrointestinal irritant

Q: Can my dog eat cherries?

A: The cherry should be also be avoided.

Symptoms Include: rapid breathing, shock, mouth inflammation, heart rate increase

Q: Can my dog have chocolate?  What about caffeine?

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

After their pet has eaten a large quantity of chocolate, many pet owners assume their pet is unaffected. However, the signs of sickness may not be seen for several hours, with death following within twenty-four hours. Symptoms include Staggering, labored breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, tremors, fever, heart rate increase, arrhythmia, seizures, coma, death.

Cocoa powder and cooking chocolate are the most toxic forms. A 10-kilogram dog can be seriously affected if it eats a quarter of a 250gm packet of cocoa powder or half of a 250gm block of cooking chocolate. These forms of chocolate contain ten times more theobromine than milk chocolate. Thus, a chocolate mud cake could be a real health risk for a small dog. Even licking a substantial part of the chocolate icing from a cake can make a dog unwell.

Semi-sweet chocolate and dark chocolate are the next most dangerous forms, with milk chocolate being the least dangerous. A dog needs to eat more than a 250gm block of milk chocolate to be affected. Obviously, the smaller the dog, the less it needs to eat.

Q: Can my dog have some coffee?  Can dogs or puppies have tea?

A: Coffee, Tea and other drinks and foods containing caffeine or sugar may cause many of the same symptoms chocolate causes.

Q: I have some bones left over from cooking?  Are they safe for my dog?

A: When Bones are cooked you should refrain because they deteriorate and easily splinter.

Symptoms Include: extensive damage to internal organs and passage ways, may times resulting in death.

*Uncooked bones MAY be safe*

Q: Is it safe to feed my puppy dog grapes or raisins?

A: As few as a handful of raisins or grapes can make a dog ill; however, of the 10 cases reported to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), each dog ingested between 9 ounces and 2 pounds of grapes or raisins. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and lethargy.

Q: Can my dog have onions or garlic?  What about onion powder, onion salt, garlic powder or garlic salt?

A: Onions and garlic contain the toxic ingredient thiosulphate. Onions are more of a danger.

Pets affected by onion toxicity will develop haemolytic anaemia, where the pet’s red blood cells burst while circulating in its body. Symptoms include Hemolytic Anemia, labored breathing, liver damage, vomiting, diarrhea, discolored urine.

The poisoning occurs a few days after the pet has eaten the onion. All forms of onion can be a problem including dehydrated onions, raw onions, cooked onions and table scraps containing cooked onions and/or garlic. Left over pizza, Chinese dishes and commercial baby food containing onion, sometimes fed as a supplement to young pets, can cause illness.

While garlic also contains the toxic ingredient thiosulphate, it seems that garlic is less toxic and large amounts would need to be eaten to cause illness.

Q: Can I give my dog cooked or uncooked mushrooms? What about the little mushrooms in the yard?  Are they okay for the puppy or dog to be around?

A: Mushroom toxicity does occur in dogs and it can be fatal if certain species of mushrooms are eaten. Amanita phalloides is the most commonly reported severely toxic species of mushroom in the US but other Amanita species are toxic. Symptoms include Abdominal pain, drooling, liver damage, kidney damage, vomiting diarrhea, convulsions, coma and death.

Q: Is Nutmeg safe for dogs?

A: Nutmeg should be AVOIDED.

Symptoms Include: tremors, seizures and death

Q: Are Macadamia nuts or other nuts safe for our puppy dog to have? 

A: Macadamia nuts are another concern, along with most other kinds of nuts. Their high phosphorus content is said to possibly lead to bladder stones. Dogs develop a tremor of the skeletal muscles, and weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters. Affected dogs are often unable to rise and are distressed, usually panting. Some affected dogs have swollen limbs and show pain when the limbs are manipulated.

Q: Raw eggs are safe for my dog to have, right?

A: Wrong! Many people feed raw eggs to their dogs but keep in mind that they can contain salmonella. Dogs do have a higher immunity against salmonella poisoning but are not immune and have been reported to get it from uncooked eggs.

Q: Is salt safe in a dogs diet? 

A: An excessive intake of salt can cause kidney problems

Q: Is tobacco toxic to dogs?

A: Tobacco should be kept away from your dogs possible reach at all times.  This includes any chewing tobacco, cigarettes, butts, etc.Symptoms Include: nausea, salivation, vomiting, tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)

Toxic Plants

A list of various plants poisionous to dogs inside the home and out

*Please keep in mind, I am NOT a Veterinarian but have done research to compile this list of  "human"  foods to avoid.  Not all foods listed here are TOXIC but should be avoided. There is likely more to put on it, but this is what I have so far.  Let us know if you found it helpful.*

 Nothing can replace good Veterinary Care, share your concerns with your Vet

Holiday Plants

When the holidays roll around, we often get caught up in the festivities and don't realize that we may be bringing something very dangerous into our home and around our pets. Please be aware of what holiday decorations may be toxic and avoid turning a happy occasion into a tragic one.  


These plants are probably the most popular holiday plant and are easily recognizable by their large red, white, pink, or mottled leaves. These plants also contain a thick, milky irritant sap. In general, it would take ingestion of a large amount of this plant to see possible clinical signs in your pet. Signs could include vomiting, anorexia and depression. The symptoms are generally self-limiting and treatment is rarely needed. Your Vet may recommend limiting food and water intake for 1 or 2 hours if your pet is suspected of becoming sick after ingestion of poinsettias.

Easter Lilies:

Some members of the Lilly family of plants can result in serious illness in cats. Specifically, Easter Lilies, tiger lilies, Japanese show lilies, rubrum lilies, many lily hybrids and day lilies have been known to cause kidney failure.

General Plants & Symptoms

Amaryllis: vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hyper salivation, anorexia, tremors

Autumn Crocus: oral irritation, bloody vomiting, diarrhea, shock, multi-organ damage, bone marrow suppression

Creeping Charlie: sweating, drooling

Daffodil, Narcissus: severe gastrointestinal disorders, convulsions, shivering, hypotension, dermatitis, muscular tremors and cardiac arrhythmias

Hyacinth: intense vomiting, diarrhea, occasionally with blood, depression and tremors

Gladiolas, Iris: vomiting occasionally with blood, depression, diarrhea, occasionally with blood, hyper salivation, abdominal pain

Lily of the Valley: ataxia, vomiting, cardiac arrhythmias, death

Tulip: intense vomiting, depression, diarrhea, hyper salivation, in appetence

Australian Nut: depression, hyperthermia, weakness, muscular stiffness, vomiting, tremors, increased heart rate.Only reported in dogs at this time.

Asparagus Fern, Emerald Feather (aka Emerald Fern), Lace Fern, Plumosa Fern: allergic dermatitis with repeated dermal exposure. Berry ingestion could result in gastric upset (vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhea.)

Cyclamen: vomiting, gastrointestinal inflammation, and death.

Hydrangea: vomiting, depression, anorexia, diarrhea, bufodienalides are cardio toxic

Christmas Rose: abdominal pain, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, convulsions, delirium

Foxglove: cardiac arrhythmias, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, delirium

Marijuana: prolonged CNS depression, respiratory depression, weakness, ataxia, sedation, sometimes hyper excitation

Morning Glory: seeds may cause hallucination, may cause diarrhea

Nightshade, Tomato Plant: hyper salivation, inaptness, severe gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, drowsiness, CNS depression, confusion, behavioral change, weakness, dilated pupils, slow heart rate

Glory Lily: oral irritation, bloody vomiting, diarrhea, shock, kidney and liver damage, bone marrow suppression

Day Lily, Orange Day Lily, Asian Lily (liliaceae), Easter Lily, Japanese Show Lily, Red Lily, RubrumLily, Stargazer Lily, Tiger Lily, Wood Lily: vomiting, inaptness, lethargy, kidney failure, (Cats are only species known to be affected.)

Heavenly Bamboo shrub: cyanosis, pale mucous membranes, slow heart rate, vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory congestion, seizures, semi-coma, respiratory failure, death

Holly shrub: intense vomiting and diarrhea, depression, also same symptoms as Jerusalem Cherry (see below)
Jerusalem Cherry shrub: gastrointestinal disturbances, possible ulceration of the gastrointestinal system, seizures, depression, respiratory depression, and shock

Mistletoe "American" shrub: gastrointestinal disorders, cardiovascular collapse, dyspnea bradycardia, erratic behavior, hallucinogenic in humans

Oleander shrub: vomiting, diarrhea, cardiac abnormalities, decreased body temperature, death
Precatory Bean shrub: beans are very toxic, especially if broken or chewed. Can see severe vomiting and diarrhea, increased body temperature, lack of coordination, inaptness and death

Cycads, Sago Palm Shrubs: vomiting, melena, icterus, increased thirst, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, bruising,coagulopathy, liver damage, liver failure, death

Yucca: vomiting, depression, diarrhea, drooling, seizures

Aloe (Aloe Vera): vomiting, depression, diarrhea, anorexia, tremors, change in urine color

Avocado: vomiting, diarrhea, death, inflammation of mammary glands, cardiac failure, respiratory distress, generalized congestion, fluid accumulation around the heart

Buddhist Pine: severe vomiting and diarrhea

Chinaberry Tree: Berries are most toxic. Can see slow heart rate, diarrhea, vomiting, depression, weakness, seizures, and shock

Japanese Yew (aka Yew): sudden death from acute cardiac failure, early signs muscular tremors, dyspnea, and seizures in dogs

Macadamia Nut, Queensland Nut: depression, hyperthermia, weakness, muscular stiffness, vomiting, tremors, increased heart rate. Only reported in dogs at this time.

Branching Ivy: allergic dermatitis with repeated dermal exposure. Berry ingestion could result in gastric upset (vomiting, abdominal pain or diarrhea)

European Bittersweet: drooling, in appetence, severe gastric upset, drowsiness, lethargy, weakness, dilated pupils, slow heart rate

English Ivy, Glacier Ivy, Hahn's self branching English Ivy, Needlepoint Ivy: (The foliage is more toxic than the berries.) gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, hyperactivity, breathing difficulty, coma, fever, polydipsia, dilated pupils, muscular weakness, and lack of coordination

American Bittersweet: weakness, convulsions, gastroenteritis (vomiting, diarrhea)
Andromeda Japonica, Azalea, Rhododendron: vomiting, diarrhea, hyper salivation, weakness, coma, hypotension, CNS depression, cardiovascular collapse and death

Bird of Paradise: gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea, vomiting, lack of coordination is possible. Deaths in rabbits have been reported

Buckeye: severe gastroenteritis, depression or hyper excitability, dilated pupils, coma

Castor Bean: (beans are very toxic): oral irritation burning of the mouth and throat, increase in thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney failure, convulsions

Clematis: vomiting, diarrhea, oral ulcers, ataxia or vesicant action

Corn Plant (aka Cornstalk Plant), Fiddle-Leaf Philodendron, Florida Beauty, Gold Dust Dracaena, Madagascar Dragon Tree, Ribbon Plant, Red-Margined Dracaena, Striped Dracaena, WarneckeiDracaena: In cats: dilated pupils, breathing difficulty, abdominal pain, increased heart rate. In cats and dogs: vomiting depression, in appetence, drooling, lack of coordination and weakness.

Caladium hortulanum, Calla lily, Ceriman (aka Cutleaf Phiodendron, Charming Diffenbachia, Chinese Evergreen, Cordatum, Devil' Ivy, Dub Crane, Elephant Ears, Fruit Salad Plant, Flamingo Plant, Golden Deiffenbachia, Golden Pothos, Green Gold Nephthysis, Heartleaf Philodendron,Horsehead, Marble Queen, Mauna Loa Peace Lily, Nephthyti, Peace Lity, Philodendron, Hurricane Plant, Lacy Tree, Mexican Breadfruit, Mother-in-Law, Panda, Philodendron Pertusum, Red Emerald, Red Princess, Saddle Lef Philodendron, Poinsettia, Satin Pothos, Scheffiera Tree, Spotted Dumb Cane, Swiss Cheese Plant, Taro Vine, Tropic Snow Dumbcane, Variable, (Dumb Cane) Dieffenbachia,Veriegated Philodendron: oral irritation, intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips, tongue, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing

Yellow Jasmine: Convulsions, death

Sweetheart Ivy: gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, hyperactivity, breathing difficulty, coma, fever, polydipsia, dilated pupils, muscular weakness and lack of coordination

Should your pet eat a substantial part of a toxic plant, rush to your veterinarian as soon as possible. Time can cause a lot of damage. If you can, take the plant or part of the plant with you for identification purposes!  Don't take chances with your pet's health!

© Working Dog Chihuahuas by Midwest, 2007