Making safe choices for your dogs

Every dog loves a treat but it is important to make sure they given as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

In order to give your dog the best possible start in life and ensure the foods it is eating are healthy, pet owners should familiarise themselves with the types of diet that are unsafe for canines.

While there are some dietary choices that will inevitably be better than others - such as the Barf diet for example - other foods can be detrimental for your pooch.

For that reason, you should definitely be wary of giving your animal food that will cause more problems in the long-run.

It is easy to give into those big brown eyes and that pleading look from your dog and assume that one little treat can't hurt.

Sometimes people make the mistake of thinking that their dogs can eat the same type of food as they can.

However, there are some snacks that are downright dangerous for dogs and can cause fatalities or make them extremely ill once consumed.

Other types of food will cause your pooch to become obese, hyperactive and lack energy.

You really don't want either scenario, so you should always be careful what you feed them.

So what foods should you avoid?

Below, we have listed some of the main snacks and treats that dogs should never eat.


Avocados are something of a superfood for humans but absolutely lethal to dogs. It is because the fruit contains a substance called Persin, which, in high amounts, is highly toxic to your pooch.


Many dogs are brought into the vets with chocolate intoxication around the holiday periods - most notably, Christmas, Halloween and Easter.

However, chocolate can have a negative impact on your dog around any time of the year.

Feeding your dog sweet treats such as cookies, cocoa powder, and chocolate bars for instance, will make an unplanned trip to the vets much more likely.

Darker chocolate is the most toxic to dogs as it contains higher amounts of a substance called methylxanthines. This chemical can cause stomach upsets, severe agitation, irregular heartbeat restlessness, and fatalities to dogs.


Any food or drink that contains caffeine such as tea or coffee should be avoided. Would you really want to give your dog a cup of tea anyway? Probably not. Caffeine can cause muscle tremors, fits and bleeding in dogs, as well as heart problems.

You should also be aware that many other foods contain caffeine, including chocolate coffee beans and some medication.


Grapes are another no-no for pooches. Pet owners will sometimes give them to their dog, but it could potentially cause kidney failure.

The same is true of raisins. Even relatively minute amounts could make your dog unwell. If you notice your dog vomiting constantly, or becoming lethargic and depressed, you should definitely take it to the vet.

Bread Dough

Raw bread that contains live yeast is another food you should avoid giving your dog. Once the yeast becomes settled in your dog's stomach it is in the ideal environment to multiply, causing the dough to rise.

This can create a number of issues including restricted blood flow, breathing difficulties and disorientation.

If the yeast multiplies, it can also create alcohol in the stomach that can be absorbed and lead to death from alcohol intoxication.


Be sure to avoid any alcoholic beverage that could potentially be harmful to dogs. It causes the same damage to a dogs system as it does to humans, but the difference is you need far smaller amounts for it to cause harm to dogs.

Even tiny amounts of alcohol can cause inebriation, damage to the central nervous system, coma and death.

If you have a relatively small dog, the effect has an even higher risk of fatality.

In addition to ensuring your dog cannot get hold of any alcoholic drinks, you should also avoid letting it get near to any foods or sweets that contain alcohol.


These can potentially be life threatening to dogs who ingest them. Fresh and cooked hops can poison your dog and give it an uncontrollably high temperature.

Eventually, this can lead to multiple organ failure. Symptoms of hop poisoning include panting, restlessness, and seizures.

If you notice this you should take your dog to the vet immediately.


Tempted to give your dog a lick of that ice-cream? This is actually quite a bad idea as it could result in diarrhoea, allergies and an upset stomach.

Therefore, your best bet is to avoid all dairy products - including milk.

Written by: Declan