7 Human Foods To Avoid Feeding Your Dog

Woman and dog biting the same piece of watermelon. - 7 Human Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Dog
Dog parents are eager to share food with their canine friends. But not all human foods are safe for dogs. Here are 7 human foods to avoid feeding your dog.

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Does your dog beg for food at the dinner table? Dog owners love their dogs and are quite eager to share food with their canine friends. But not all human foods are safe for dogs to eat.

Many human foods can give your furry friend an upset stomach, can be harmful enough to require an emergency visit to the veterinarian, or can even be fatal. So, you should think twice before feeding your pup any table scraps. 

Let us take a look at seven human foods to avoid feeding your dog.


Nutmeg is commonly used in baking cakes and cookies. It has a rich aroma that can attract your dog. But don’t feed your dog anything with nutmeg in it.

Nutmeg contains a chemical called Myristicin that is toxic for dogs. If your puppy eats enough food with nutmeg in it, she could experience symptoms like diarrhea, stomach pain, hallucinations, and increased heart rate.

Keep your nutmeg products safely locked away where your pooch can’t get her paws on them.

Raisins and Grapes

Raisins (dried grapes) and fresh grapes are both deadly for your dog. Depending on the size and breed, eating even a few raisins can cause life-threatening symptoms.

It is not exactly known which compound in grapes and raisins actually causes the damage, but the toxicity to dogs is a well-established fact. Every year the Animal Poison Control Center receives thousands of calls related to grape and raisin poisoning in dogs.

Within a few hours of ingesting grapes or raisins, your dog can display symptoms like weakness, dehydration, and increased urination, eventually leading to kidney failure.

If your dog eats even a couple of grapes or raisins, it is best to immediately call your vet.


Fresh walnuts aren’t harmful to your dog if fed as an occasional treat. However, feeding too many or too frequently is harmful because the high fat content can damage your pup’s pancreas. Walnuts can also be a choking hazard if your dog is a smaller breed.

Moldy walnuts are, however, highly dangerous for your pooch because they contain fungi that produce poisonous compounds known as tremorgenic mycotoxins. These toxic compounds can cause symptoms like increased heart rate, muscle tremors, and seizures.

If your dog displays any of these symptoms after eating a walnut, contact your vet quickly. With timely medical assistance, your pup should make a full recovery in most cases.

Raw Yeast Dough

Raw bread dough that contains yeast is very poisonous for dogs.

When a dog eats bread dough, his stomach provides the ideal conditions for the yeast to ferment. Yeast fermentation leads to the dough’s expansion, which can block your dog’s stomach. This can cause difficulty in breathing. 

Yeast fermentation also leads to the production of ethanol, which is highly deadly for dogs. As the yeast ferments and the level of alcohol in your dog’s blood rises, she may experience symptoms like depression, disorientation, seizures, and, if left untreated, will eventually become comatose.

If your dog accidentally ingests even a little raw bread dough, it is best to quickly take her to the vet.


Caffeine is harmful to your dog in high doses. The severity of your pooch’s symptoms will depend on the quantity and the concentration of caffeine in the product he has ingested. If your pup eats up an entire bag of coffee grounds, it will be more toxic than taking a few licks of your coffee.

Common symptoms of caffeine poisoning in dogs include tremors, restlessness, vomiting, and increased heart rate. These symptoms appear within about 2 hours of consumption.

You must note that coffee is not the only product that contains caffeine. Teabags, candy bars, sports drinks, and diet pills can all contain caffeine in various doses. So it is best to keep all caffeine-laden products away from your furry friend.

Spicy Pepper

Spicy chili pepper is rich in a compound known as capsaicin, which can irritate your dog’s stomach.

Humans may love to eat spicy foods, but a dog’s taste buds are different. A dog cannot taste the spiciness of peppers the same way a human can. Hence there is no advantage in feeding your pooch spicy foods.

Eating too many spicy foods can cause stomach pain, gas, diarrhea, vomiting, and excess thirst in dogs. Long term consumption of spicy foods can even cause inflammation of the pancreas.

It is best to keep your pup away from all kinds of spicy foods for her own safety.


Pickles are basically cucumbers soaked in salt-water brine that may also contain some spices and vinegar. While cucumbers are healthy for dogs, it is the salty brine that makes pickles dangerous for your pooch.

Pickles have very high sodium content due to the salty solution they are soaked in. This level of sodium is unhealthy for a dog. Furthermore, many pickle solutions also contain onion, garlic, peppers, and other ingredients that are toxic to your pooch.

If your dog eats even a few pickles, it can quickly raise the sodium content in her body. This sudden spike in sodium levels can lead to symptoms like loss of balance, diarrhea, vomiting, and excessive thirst and even cause seizures.

Being well informed on which foods are safe and which harmful foods to avoid feeding your dog will definitely save you many emergency visits to the vet. 

Your dog’s daily diet should consist mainly of kibble or other foods specially formulated for dogs. Only offer human foods as occasional treats. This will give your pup well-balanced nutrition and keep her healthy.

Featured Image by Tiffany Goerlich via Unsplash

Janet Walker

Janet Walker

Janet Walker is the founder of puppybeing.com where she shares in-depth guides on how to raise a healthy and happy dog. You can read the complete guide to foods dogs can and cannot eat by visiting the website or following on Twitter @puppybeing.

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