Certain people-food favorites can harm your dog’s health in a big way. Read on to learn what foods you eat are unsafe for your dog.

If your dog had her way, she’d probably be eating from a plate at the table with you. But, thankfully, a few well-chosen table scraps in her bowl should do the trick. Just remember the old adage: what’s good for the dog person isn’t always good for the dog (okay, we made that up, but it’s true).

Certain people-food favorites can harm your dog’s health in a big way. In fact, most calls to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center were caused by common human foods and household items. That’s why it’s important to keep the numbers of a 24-hour vet handy, just in case. For a listing of 24-hour emergency pet resources in the Bay Area, visit woofreport.com – and for a complete list of bad news foods for dogs, check out the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control website. For the cheat sheet, read on: 

Don’t be a Nut

If you’re planning on serving mixed nuts for company, make sure they’re out of pup range. Especially, the highly toxic walnuts and macadamia nuts. The effects of nuts on a dog’s nervous system are deadly. From vomiting to paralysis to death, dogs can develop symptoms within 12 hours of eating nuts. Some types of nuts, specifically peanuts (including peanut butter, almonds, and pistachios are fine to feed most dogs in small quantities. Large quantities are unsafe since nuts contain high amounts of oils and fats and therefore, can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and potentially pancreatitis.

Pass on the Grapes & Raisins

It’s hard to believe that a single serving of raisins or grapes can lead to kidney failure and even death in a dog. But the effects are cumulative. So even if a dog eats a few grapes or raisins over time, the toxins build up in his system.

Hold the Onions

Not a safe choice for dogs, the cumulative effects of onions can cause destruction of the animal’s red blood cells. Dogs can experience anemia, breathing problems and weakness after repeated consumption of onions.

No Go for Avocado

Pitch that leftover guacamole and spare your dog the heart, lung and tissue damage it can cause. The culprit is persin, a component of avocado that’s safe for people and toxic to dogs.

Say No No to Cocoa

Chocolate of any kind is seriously dangerous for dogs, but dark and unsweetened baking chocolates are especially toxic. Ignore those pleading eyes as you pass around the chocolate cake or spread on that chocolate icing. Chocolate contains theobromine, which can cause a pet’s heart to race and even death in large quantities.

Don’t Share Your Candy

Sweet to you, toxic to pups, candy and gum can contain Xylitol. This common sweetener found in some diet products can result in a sudden drop in an animal’s blood sugar. This can lead to loss of coordination, seizures and the worst if not promptly treated.

Skip the Caffeine

Any coffee, tea or caffeinated product is not safe for dogs’ central nervous and cardiac systems. Spare your pup any restlessness and heart palpitations – don’t let him near your morning joe.

The Scoop:

Despite precautions, accidents do happen. Be sure to keep the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline number handy. It operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (888) 426-4435

See a complete list of which foods are dangerous to your dog:

Thanks to Chris for the photo.

Originally published January 2011; reviewed and updated September 2017.