8 Surprising Things You Should Never Feed to Dogs or Cats

Published by .

Whether you’ve just adopted an animal companion from your local shelter or you’ve been lucky enough to spend a good chunk of time with your furry BFF, it’s every guardian’s responsibility to make sure that we’re providing the best life possible for the animals we share our homes with.

We make sure they get the right amount of exercise, nutritious food to fill their tummies, regular checkups at the vet’s, and, of course, all the love and affection that they deserve. But we also have to be careful not to feed our furry friends things that can potentially harm them—which is why we put together this handy list of things that you should NEVER let dogs or cats eat:

1. Alcohol


Even small amounts of alcohol can cause intoxication (especially in small animals) as well as a dangerous drop in blood sugar, blood pressure, and body temperature; vomiting; seizures; respiratory failure; coma; and even death in more severe cases.

2. Bread Dough


The live yeast in bread dough may cause dogs’ and cats’ stomachs to expand, a painful condition known as “bloat” that can be fatal if not treated quickly. Yeast also produces alcohol after it begins to multiply, which can cause potentially fatal intoxication in dogs.

3. Chocolate

chocolate covered pretzels

Chocolate is tasty, but it’s not good for our furry friends. It contains caffeine and a chemical called “theobromine,” which are both harmful to dogs and cats and can even be fatal. So, make sure all your tasty vegan chocolates are stowed safely away.

4. Grapes and Raisins


Although the reason behind it is still unclear, dogs and even cats can experience terrible side effects, including vomiting, diarrhea, and even acute kidney failure, from eating even a small quantity of grapes or raisins.

5. Macadamia Nuts


Make sure you keep those macadamia-nut cookies out of Fido’s reach, since these nuts are known to cause neurological symptoms in dogs, including tremors and leg weakness.

6. Onions and Garlic


Onions, garlic, and other foods in the Allium family (think shallots and scallions) can damage our animal companions’ red blood cells, which can cause bloody urine and severe anemia, as well as gastroenteritis (stomach flu). Certain dog breeds are more susceptible, especially Japanese breeds, but any dog or cat can have a bad reaction to these foods.

7. Xylitol

Dog Licking Peanut Butter

Xylitol is a sugar substitute found in sugar-free products like gum and candy as well as in some brands of toothpaste and peanut butter. In dogs, it can cause a sudden life-threatening drop in blood-sugar levels or liver failure and death, especially with ingestion of larger amounts

8. Corn on the Cob

corn on the cob

While corn kernels themselves are safe for dogs to eat in small quantities, a whole ear can be deadly. The cobs are hard to chew up and totally indigestible, so the large pieces can create obstructions in your animal companion’s digestive tract or even perforate it. If you want to share this summertime favorite with your dog, just make sure you restrict it to the kernels alone and no cob.

Avoid giving your animal companions any of these dangerous foods and instead offer them treats that are made specifically for them.

Of course, if your dog or cat ingests a large amount of any of the listed foods or exhibits any signs of illness after accidentally ingesting any of them, contact your veterinarian or an animal poison hotline right away.

I Want Weekly Recipes and Lifestyle Tips!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

Get the Latest Tips—Right in Your Inbox
We’ll e-mail you weekly with the latest in vegan recipes, fashion, and more!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.