Determining Unsafe Foods: What Foods Can Dogs Not Eat?

Determining Unsafe Foods: What Foods Can Dogs Not Eat?

You want your pet to be as healthy as possible, and you understand the importance of feeding your furry friend a nutritious diet. As you plan your dog’s meals and keep your pet safe at home, you may wonder, “what foods can dogs not eat?”

Sadly, many foods that are healthy for humans are poisonous for dogs. Dogs account for 70 to 80 percent of all poisoning cases in domestic animals because of their willingness to eat anything, including foods that can harm them. Find out which foods to avoid and include in your dog’s diet to keep your furry friend safe and well.

What Foods Are Dangerous for My Dog?

Although there are dozens of foods that could be potentially dangerous for your dog, these are some particularly toxic ones to be aware of:

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins are toxic for dogs. Eating just a single grape or raisin can trigger sudden kidney failure in your pet which may be fatal.

If your dog eats a grape or raisin, seek emergency veterinary care immediately. Your pet might need overnight care at a veterinary hospital. Their vet may administer activated charcoal to encourage them to vomit and intravenous fluids to stabilize their condition.

Dog receiving treat from owner on couch


Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine. Since dogs can’t metabolize these compounds, ingesting even a small amount of chocolate could cause significant illness, including renal failure and heart rhythm abnormalities. Generally, the risk of chocolate poisoning is higher for smaller dogs than it is for larger breeds.

Along with your dog’s weight, the type of chocolate your dog ingests is a significant factor in the severity of illness. Dark chocolate contains the highest concentrations of theobromine and caffeine, and white chocolate has the lowest levels.

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea and increased thirst. If your dog ingests large amounts of chocolate, it could have seizures or muscle tremors. The sugar and fat in chocolate may cause pancreatitis, especially in dogs with pre-existing digestive issues.

Onions and Garlic

Like other allium family members, onions and garlic contain N-propyl disulfide, a compound that can damage your dog’s red blood cells. If your dog ingests onions or garlic, the red blood cells could rupture, leading to anemia. In severe cases, your pet could experience organ damage or organ failure.

Raw, dried, powdered and cooked onions and garlic can make your dog sick. For a 20 lb. dog, ingesting just one fourth of a cup of these foods can cause illness. Your pet could have red or brown urine, pale gums and difficulties with coordination and balance.

What Should I Feed My Dog?

Dog eating sustainably sourced beef kibble

A healthy diet is essential to helping your dog live a long life. That’s why at Open Farm we are so obsessed with farming the best, sustainably sourced ingredients for all of our dog and cat foods, broths and treats. That way, it’s not only foods your furry friend loves but foods that are good for them, too!

Puppy Food

If your dog is in the puppy stage, you may want to ask about high-protein puppy food to support growth. You may consider sensitive digestion dog food, or gently cooked dog food, for puppies and dogs with food allergies or other gastrointestinal issues.

Freeze-Dried Food

Freeze-dried dog food can benefit dogs of all ages. Freeze-dried food is prepared by freezing and dehydrating the ingredients to preserve their nutritional quality. Foods that are freeze-dried have antioxidant levels that are similar to those of fresh foods.

Bone Broth

If you've been wondering "is bone broth good for dogs?", Open Farm has the answers! Bone broth can be a great addition to your pet’s diet. It is rich in iron, zinc and fatty acids, and some dog owners use it as a supplement to aid joint and digestive health.

How Can I Plan My Dog’s Diet Effectively?

Always ask your veterinarian for advice about your dog’s diet to ensure you’re making nutritious choices for your four-legged companion.

For high-quality dog food, trust Open Farm’s sustainably sourced pet products. Everything in an Open Farm bag of dog food is sourced ethically so you can feel confident about what you’re feeding your pet!

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