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What fruit is poisonous to dogs?

15 Holiday Foods for Dogs to Avoid

Two Spaniels (Black & white + Brown) licking lips at dinner table waiting for food)

The holidays are here, and with them, the year’s tastiest eats that tempt even our four-legged family members. While it’s difficult to deny those puppy dog eyes from underneath the dinner table, not sharing your ‘people food’ is often in the best interest of your pet’s health. We worked with Dr. Julien, Chief Medical Officer for PAZ (a locally trusted Vet Clinic), to answer your big questions like: Can my dog eat potatoes? Are grapes bad for dogs? What is xylitol poisoning? Is Chocolate actually toxic? IMPORTANT: If your pet has ingested an entire batch of cookies, pecan pie, or chowed down cooked turkey bones — contact your nearest emergency vet. In most cases, your pet will have a serious tummy ache but poultry bones and some nuts can become dangerous. Looking for our Cat version? Click here!

Holiday Foods: Toxic or Non Toxic?

Let’s start with the no-no foods. These foods and ingredients range from mild to highly poisonous to dogs, depending on the amounts ingested. We do not recommend these items for your dog or cat. If you notice symptoms of lower or higher body temperature, difficulty breathing, incoordination, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, or trembling in your dog — these could be signs of severe food toxicity and could be life threatening. Please contact your veterinarian immediately — PAZ has four locations in Austin.

15 Toxic Human Foods for Your Dog

Peach Icon


Toxicity level: High The inner kernel of peach pits contain cyanide — yes, cyanide. If you have cleanly pitted, skinned, and cooked down your peaches, you won’t need to call the vet if they stole a few nibbles. But be advised that ingesting and chewing even one to two peach pits could be dangerous for your dog. Not only because of the toxicity, but these could require emergency surgery if ingested and lodged in the GI tract.

Grape Icon

Grapes and Raisins

Toxicity level: High According to Dr. Julien, Chief Medical Officer at PAZ, the toxin in grapes is believed to be potassium bitartrate (same thing as cream of tartar) and is found in grapes (concentrated in raisins) at varying levels depending on multiple factors. Grape toxicity can lead to severe kidney failure! Avoid grapes for both dogs and cats as a dangerous dosage varies based on size and breed. Symptoms include vomiting, stomach pain, and in severe cases, kidney failure.

Pomegranate Icon


Toxicity level: Mild The pomegranate is not toxic and is found in many pet foods. However, whenever not properly prepared and handled, this fruit has been known to make dogs sick. Just a few seeds could start a vomiting spell! While your pup is in no real danger, keeping this exotic fruit away is a good rule of thumb for paw-rents. Your carpets, and dog, will thank you later.

Cranberry Icon


Toxicity level: Mild Like the pomegranate, this holiday fruit isn’t exactly toxic and in general aren’t a terrible treat. Feeding in moderation is generally okay. Dr. Julien says the biggest issues arise when well-intentioned pet owners aim to treat or prevent urinary tract infections with cranberries. Overfeeding cranberries to your dog could cause a stomach upset and lead to diarrhea or vomiting. To avoid this and keep your pet safe, we are labeling this tart fruit as a no-no food.

Citrus Icon

Citrus: Limes, Oranges, Grapefruit

Toxicity level: Medium The high oil content in the peels of many citrus fruits will cause irritation in your pet’s digestive tract and skin. While this might be a mild reaction, the seeds of some citrus fruits may contain very small traces of cyanide — a dangerous toxin. However, it’s more common for a small fruits to be lodged in their GI tract. Steer clear of grapefruits and limes and beware of symptoms including drooling, sensitivity to light, trembling, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and depression.

Onion and Garlic

Onions & Garlic

Toxicity level: High While your pet will most likely experience gastrointestinal irritation, your pet’s red blood cells may also be damaged after ingesting onions, chives, or fresh garlic — ultimately leading to anemia. Cats are most at risk, but dogs can also suffer if ingesting in large quantities of onions or fresh garlic. Weakness, vomiting, and trouble breathing are typical symptoms. Typically, the effects on red blood cells occur several days after exposure according to Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Julien.



Toxicity level: Medium Though healthy for people, avocados contain a toxin called persin that can be moderately poisonous to dogs and lethal to other small pets (like birds). Also, the high fat content can potentially lead to diarrhea or even pancreatitis in prone pets. Symptoms can include vomiting or diarrhea, but the biggest danger is obstruction of the intestinal tract should your pet swallow a whole avocado seed.



Toxicity level: High Chewing gum and other artificially flavored candies often contain a sweetener known as xylitol, or «Birch Sugar», which is extremely dangerous to pets. If ingested even in small amounts, xylitol can cause seizures, liver failure, and even death. Symptoms appear rapidly within 15-30 minutes of ingestion and include vomiting, lethargy, incoordination, tremors, seizures, and coma. If you suspect your dog has consumed xylitol, seek emergency vet care immediately.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia and Pecan Nuts

Toxicity level: Medium Macadamia and many other types of nuts are high in phosphorous and may cause bladder stones or urinary problems. Macadamia nuts also contain an unknown toxin that has been shown to cause neurological problems. Pecan nuts contain juglone, a compound that can cause digestive issues. A 20 pound dog could be affected by as little as 10 nuts. As a general rule, avoid giving your pet any type of nut.



Toxicity level: Medium Everyone loves potatoes. But, raw potato skins could contain solanine, a toxic compound that can cause GI upset and pain. If a pup were to eat enough green potato peels, it could lead to coma and death. Even though toxicity is a rare occurrence, pets who are prone to stones might be susceptible to its toxins. Just make sure when skinning raw taters to not let Fido grab the scraps off the ground.



Toxicity level: Mild Cinnamon isn’t toxic to dogs but high quantities will sure result in an upset stomach. However, nutmeg contains a substance called myristicin and is thought to cause hallucinations in dogs. Large dosages of nutmeg could even be fatal to dogs. Foods like pie, sweet potato casserole, and baked squash might have a higher concentration of cinnamon and nutmeg. It is advised to k eep holiday spiced foods and baked goods out of paws reach.



Toxicity level: High Chocolate contains two toxins — theobromine and theophylline — that are stimulants which can cause vomiting, seizures, and heart trouble in dogs if ingested in large amounts. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is: it takes only 3oz of unsweetened baking chocolate for a 20lb dog to exhibit signs of poisoning, whereas 6-9oz of milk chocolate will make a dog ill. Symptoms may take a few hours to manifest and could include incoordination, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, and fever.


Bread Dough

Toxicity level: High Rising bread dough that contains yeast is very dangerous for pets for two reasons: 1. The mass of dough in the stomach continues to rise and expand, causing distended abdomen. 2. The warm environment of the stomach (like an oven) promotes ongoing fermentation of the yeast in the dough, which can result in ethanol toxicosis (aka alcohol poisoning). This includes those tasty dinner rolls! Symptoms take 30 minutes to 2 hours to appear and begin with distended abdomen and gassiness (from the rising dough ball), followed by signs of alcohol poisoning like vomiting, loss of coordination, incontinence, and central nervous system depression.



Toxicity level: Medium Extreme thirst and dehydration are signs of mild salt consumption. However, sodium ion poisoning is possible if your pet ingests large amounts of salt. They may be at risk if you notice symptoms like vomiting, depression, diarrhea, tremors, or seizures. Common holiday foods with lots of salt: turkey skin, gravy, mashed potatoes, casseroles, and stuffing. The gravy you made is NOT the same as what your pets gets out of a can.



Toxicity level: High Just like humans, pets can suffer from alcohol poisoning if their blood alcohol level is too high. But because pets are smaller, it takes far less alcohol to induce poisoning than it would for humans. Never give your pets alcohol on purpose. While there may not be cause to panic should they get a few laps of spilt beer, consumption of hard liquor or more than a small amount of beer or wine can lead to poisoning and you should seek vet help.

20 Non-Toxic Foods for Your Dog

Dog eating a slice of Apple (without the pit or seeds)

We can’t let you go home without a list of foods that are safe your your pets! These below items are safe for Fido and all of his furry friends. No need for worry if your dog grabs a few bites of these ingredients off the kitchen counter!


Thank you to Dr. Julien, Chief Medical Officer for Paz Veterinary Clinic in Austin, Texas, for providing toxic holiday food information for pets.

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Harmful Substances and Foods for Dogs

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small dog standing on back legs with paws up

Many foods, medicines and plants which are safe for humans, can be toxic to our pets. In fact, some common household items can be life-threatening for dogs.

We’ve put together this comprehensive guide so you can learn about poisonous foods for dogs, which plants to avoid and what chemicals to always keep out of reach of your four-legged friend. Some of the items on this list may surprise you!

What foods can’t dogs eat?

We all love to treat our pups to the occasional treat! While some human foods are fine in moderation, others should be avoided entirely. Harmful foods for dogs include:

Certain fruits and vegetables

Many fruits and vegetables are fine for dogs to eat in small quantities, but can pose a choking hazard if they’re not cut into small pieces and fed under supervision. However, the following foods should be avoided, and can be very toxic, even in small amounts:

  • Raisins.
  • Sultanas.
  • Grapes.
  • Onions.
  • Garlic.
  • Some kinds of wild mushrooms.

Other plants that can cause toxicity in dogs when eaten in large quantities include:

  • Rhubarb (mainly leaves).
  • Potato leaves and stems.
  • Tomato leaves and stems.
  • Apple seeds, Cherry pits, Apricot pits, Peach pits, present a small risk only but can cause obstructions in the digestive system.

Other potentially harmful foods for dogs

owner holding bar of chocolate in front of dog

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  • Macadamia nuts.
  • Walnuts.
  • Chocolate.
  • Coffee.
  • Tea.
  • Alcohol.
  • Xylitol – often found in certain types of peanut butter and chewing gum.
  • Bread dough.

Which chemicals are bad for your dog?

There are a range of substances around your home that could harm your dog, so it’s important to know what these are so you can keep your pet away.

Many cleaning products are bad for your dog, so keep them behind a closed door and fit child locks if you have a particularly curious dog. Some chemicals may cause a mild stomach upset, while others could cause severe burns of the tongue, mouth and stomach, or even be fatal.

Pest control products can be extremely dangerous. For example, some types of rat poison can lead to severe bleeding and anaemia in dogs. Therefore, if you’re using rat or mouse baits, ant or cockroach traps, or snail and slug baits around your home or garden, place the products in areas that your dog can’t get to.

Never give your dog any medications unless they have been prescribed or recommended by your vet. Human medication can be dangerous to dogs, even in small doses. These include: ibuprofen and other pain killers, cold medicines, anti-cancer drugs, anti-depressants, vitamins, herbal remedies and diet pills. Keep all drugs out of your dog’s reach, preferably in a closed cabinet.

There are many common household items that can be potentially dangerous to dogs, even in low quantities. Some of these are toxic, while others can cause gastrointestinal obstructions. These include: pennies (high concentration of zinc), mothballs, potpourri oils, fabric softener sheets, automatic dish detergents (contain cationic detergents which could cause corrosive lesions), batteries (contain acids or alkali which can also cause corrosive lesions), homemade play dough (contains high quantities of salt), winter heat source agents like hand or foot warmers (contain high levels of iron), cigarettes, ground coffee and alcoholic drinks.

Car products such as oil, gasoline and antifreeze should be stored properly, somewhere your dog can’t get their paws on them. In particular, be careful about antifreeze (ethylene glycol) as this can be attractive to dogs and is deadly if ingested. In winter, be extra cautious as some people use antifreeze on their paths or spill it on the ground when filling their engine’s cooling system. It’s a good idea to wash your dog’s feet after a walk in case they lick their paws.

Always follow veterinary and manufacturer advice when applying flea and tick products to your pet. Never give products that have been prescribed for a different pet or species, and make sure to administer the correct dose. An overdose can be linked to neurological symptoms including seizures, and certain medications can be lethal if applied to the wrong species.

Read all product information thoroughly and follow the instructions closely. If you’re in any doubt, contact the manufacturer or your vet to clarify the directions before using it. The same applies to house sprays – read the instructions carefully and remove all pets from the area for the time period specified on the container.

If you’re treating your lawn or garden with fertilisers, herbicides, or insecticides, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and keep your dog away from the treated area. This will be at least until the product is completely dry, but in some instances a longer period of time is necessary. Store these products safely away from your dog’s reach.

Take care if you’re using any household products that could contain potentially health-threatening pollutants such as cleaning agents, pesticides, paints and varnishes. Also be aware of any microbial and fungal agents found in air conditioners, air ducts, filters and humidifiers. Keep your dog away from the area where the pollutants are and provide plenty of ventilation. Lead-based paint, linoleum and caulking compounds should all be removed with extreme caution, due to their lead content, and must always be cleaned up thoroughly afterwards. Contact your vet immediately if your dog shows any signs of ingestion including: vomiting, diarrhoea or constipation, loss of appetite, muscle co-ordination, blindness or seizures.

Poisonous plants for dogs

yellow labrador puppy with food bowls

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The following is a list of poisonous plants for dogs, so keep a watchful eye on your dog if you have any of them around your home or garden, and consider whether you should remove them.

The list isn’t exhaustive, but you can find more information at The Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS). Although the VPIS only handles direct enquiries from vets (not pet owners), its website does provide some useful information.

  • Aloe Vera.
  • Apple (seeds).
  • Apricot (pit).
  • Autumn Crocus.
  • Cherry (seeds and wilting leaves).
  • Daffodil.
  • Easter Lily.
  • Elephant Ears.
  • English Ivy, Poison Ivy, Devil’s Ivy and other ivies.
  • Foxglove.
  • Geranium.
  • Marijuana.
  • Narcissus.
  • Oleander.
  • Oriental Lily.
  • Peach (wilting leaves and pits).
  • Primrose.
  • Rhododendron.
  • Tomato Plant (green fruit, stem and leaves).
  • Yew.
  • Amaryllis.
  • Azalea.
  • Bird of Paradise.
  • Clematis.
  • Cyclamen.
  • Eucalyptus.
  • Indian Rubber Plant.
  • Lily of the Valley.
  • Mistletoe.
  • Nightshade.
  • Onion.
  • Peace Lily.
  • Poinsettia (low toxicity).
  • Swiss Cheese Plant.
  • Tiger Lily.
  • Weeping Fig.

If you have any concerns that your dog may have ingested poisonous plants, toxic foods or anything else that is potentially harmful, you should always speak with your vet as soon as possible to obtain advice and guidance.

Now you’ve learned all about poisonous foods for dogs, find out what treats are safe with our guide to healthy dog treats for training, next.

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