What Foods Can Dogs Not Eat?

Although our furry best friends may seem more than happy to eat anything that they can get their paws on, there are several foods dogs shouldn’t eat, including chocolates, grapes, macadamia nuts, and more!

These foods can cause serious side effects like nausea, indigestion, vomiting, and in severe cases, even death.

Luckily, avoiding the foods detailed below is easy so long as pet owners are vigilant and practice good habits like not leaving food out on the table, dog-proofing their trash bins, etc., etc.

In this article, we’ll provide you with a full list of dog foods to avoid, then we’ll go through the healthy foods that you should be feeding your dogs, including our very own Formulas for Life dog foods.

Lucy Pet’s Formulas for Life dog foods have been carefully designed by dog nutrition experts to ensure they contain all the essential nutrients dogs need, and nothing they don’t!

Shop our Formulas for Life Dog Foods here.

What Foods Are Toxic for Dogs?

Many of the most dangerous foods for dogs are things that we humans regularly eat, including chocolate, grapes, and certain nuts.

If your pantry or fridge contains any of these harmful food items, it’s important to dog-proof these locations and to refrain from leaving these dangerous foods out where your dog can reach them.

In many cases, even if your dog does consume an item from this list, there’s a good chance that they will end up being completely ok, but if your dogs eat anything from this list, we suggest monitoring them closely and getting in touch with your veterinarian as soon as possible to make sure that your dog won’t require medical intervention.

Below is our comprehensive list of foods dogs can’t eat:

Chocolate & Coffee
When discussing what dogs can’t eat, chocolate is often mentioned first. However, chocolate is derived from cacao nuts—a nut that many other foods are also derived from, including coffee.  Chocolate and coffee contain a family of compounds known as methylxanthines, and when ingested by dogs, these can cause severe side effects, including:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Panting
  • Excessive Thirst & Urination
  • Hyperactivity
  • Abnormal Heart Rhythm
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Death

If your dog happens to break into your snack jar and eats a couple of chocolates, or happens to take a slurp from your coffee cup, don’t panic quite yet! Many dogs are capable of handling a low dosage of methylxanthines, and depending on their weight and the type of chocolate consumed, your furry friend may end up being just fine. However, to make sure everything will be ok, please call your veterinarian immediately to tell them what happened, get their advice, and make sure to monitor your dog for any of the symptoms listed above. Also, keep in mind that of the different types of chocolates, baking chocolate tends to contain the highest amount of methylxanthines, followed by dark, milk, and white chocolate respectively. Finally, extracts used in some sodas are derived from nuts containing methylxanthines, so it’s best to avoid these products as well.

Citric acid can cause many problems for dogs; however, like most of the items on this list, the severity of symptoms depends on the amount consumed and the size of the dog. For some dogs, the citric acid contained in foods like lemons, oranges, and limes can cause stomach irritation and potentially even issues with their central nervous system. This also means pet owners should refrain from giving their dogs acidic drinks like lemonade, as they contain just as much citric acid as the fruits themselves.

Grapes & Raisins
Grapes and raisins (which are just dried grapes) are extremely toxic to dogs for all breeds, sizes, and ages.

Symptoms include:

  • Loss of Appetite
  • Lethargy & Weakness
  • Vomiting & Diarrhea
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Dehydration
  • Increased Thirst
  • Kidney Failure

Research has yet to determine the substance responsible for these negative effects, so it’s best to avoid any and all products containing grapes or raisins.

If your dog has ingested grapes or raisins, it’s important to seek treatment from your veterinarian as soon as possible.


Although not all nuts are toxic to dogs, some nuts, like macadamia nuts, are extremely toxic to dogs. If ingested, your dog may experience neurological problems, tremors, vomiting, weakness, and hyperthermia. Other nuts, like pistachios, can upset your dog’s stomach, and if fed for an extended period, can cause serious health conditions like pancreatitis. That said, all nuts contain high amounts of oils and fats, which can lead to obesity and other health issues, so they should generally be avoided for dogs. While peanuts and cashews are safe to feed dogs in small quantities, there are other, more nutritious dog treats available, like Lucy Pet’s own dog treats made with real meat and high-quality, complex carbohydrates.

Milk & Dairy
Like humans, many dogs lack the enzymes to digest milk and other dairy products, leading to indigestion and diarrhea.

Common symptoms of lactose intolerance in dogs include:

  • Loose Stools
  • Gas
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Diarrhea

That said, many dogs can safely consume small amounts of milk and dairy as a treat, and as always, we recommend consulting your veterinarian whenever making a change to your dog’s diet.

Onions, Garlic, Chives
Onions, garlic, and chives can cause damage to your dog’s red blood cells, causing anemia, upset stomach, lethargy, and more.

Other symptoms of eating these foods may include:

  • Drooling
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Elevated Heart Rate
  • Weakness
  • Pale Gums

It’s important to note, however, that these symptoms may take several days to manifest, so if you suspect your dog may have eaten these foods, please be sure to monitor your dog closely and stay in touch with your veterinarian.

Salty Foods

Salty foods or snacks can cause excessive thirst, and in severe cases, sodium ion poisoning.

Symptoms of excess salt consumption include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Tremors
  • Elevated Body Temperature
  • Seizures


Because yeast rises, it can cause gas to accumulate in your dog’s digestive system and lead to painful side effects like stomach bloating.

In severe cases, digesting yeast can cause the stomach to twist and contort, which is a life-threatening emergency that must be treated right away.

What’s more, ingesting raw dough containing yeast can produce ethanol and cause the dog to become drunk as a result.

Raw or Undercooked Meat

Although dogs are descendants of wolves, that doesn’t mean they can eat like wolves.

While it’s true that dogs can eat and digest raw or undercooked meat, these foods still pose some serious risks to your dog’s health.

Like humans, dogs are susceptible to dangerous bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli. If your dog consumes contaminated meat, they may experience severe side effects, including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Elevated Heart Rate
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Skin Disease
  • Shock
  • Miscarriage

Additionally, bones from beef, chicken, and other sources are unsafe for dogs, as they can cause cracked teeth, choking, and even punctures in your dog’s stomach.

And while many pet owners swear by feeding their dog a raw diet due to benefits like a shinier coat, higher energy levels, etc., many of these benefits come as a direct result of feeding a high-fat diet—something that can be achieved without the dangerous side effects of consuming raw meat.

Finally, feeding your dog raw meat or a raw diet has the potential to create nutritional deficiencies or excesses that can lead to serious health issues down the road.

Diet is one of the most complicated components of healthy living (in both humans and dogs), which is why Lucy Pet has taken great care to develop balanced dog foods made with real meat to support optimal health and happy living!

Lucy Pet’s Formulas for Life Dog Food

When deciding what to feed your dog, it’s important to choose foods that are natural, healthy, and packed full of essential vitamins and minerals. Lucy Pet’s Formulas for Life Dog Foods were created with the help of nutritional experts to promote optimal gut health and a strong immune system.

Our dog foods not only contain real meat but also our proprietary P.B.F Prebiotic Fiber Blend designed to create a healthy balance in your dog’s digestive tract. Based on 40 years of research and studies by the renowned scientist and expert in animal nutrition, Dr. George C Fahey, the P.B.F blend contains a superfood blend of high-quality fiber sources like quinoa, flaxseed, pumpkin, and more.

This blend helps protect the digestive tract from dangerous pathogens and it also keeps dogs feeling their best!

In addition to fostering gut health and a healthy immune system, Lucy Pet’s Formulas for life dog foods also provide several other key benefits, including:

  • Improved Gut Health
  • Healthy Immune System
  • Antioxidant Nutrients
  • High-Quality Energy
  • Healthy Heart
  • Healthy Eyes
  • Shiny Coat
  • Stronger Muscles

Lucy Pet’s dog foods are formulas you can depend on and feel proud to feed your furry best friend!

Our Duck, Pumpkin & Quinoa Dog Food

Lucy Pet’s Duck, Pumpkin, and Quinoa dog food formula features real duck meat sourced from France and the United States and absolutely no duck by-products.

This formula also features delicious pumpkin, a nutritional powerhouse packed with fiber for healthy digestion.

The last ingredient, quinoa, is a premium, digestible seed rich in protein and essential amino acids.

Our Duck and Potato Limited Ingredient Dog Food

If your dog has food sensitivities, consider Lucy Pet’s Duck and Potato Limited Ingredient Diet.

This formula is made with a single source duck protein and limited carbohydrate sources.

Like all Lucy Pet dog foods, our Duck and Potato Limited Ingredient Diet uses real duck meat—a premium protein perfect for keeping your dog healthy and strong.

We then blend this protein with whole fresh potatoes from the EU and whole sweet potatoes from the USA to supply your dog with energy and high-quality sources of dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins.

Our Salmon, Pumpkin & Quinoa Dog Food

Lucy Pet’s Salmon, Pumpkin, and Quinoa Formula features real, Wild Alaskan Salmon as the first ingredient.

This premium protein is then combined with other proteins, complex carbohydrates, and fiber sources like chickpeas, quinoa, and pumpkin to help promote gut health, high energy levels, and overall well-being.

Our Chicken, Brown Rice & Pumpkin Limited Ingredient Dog Food

Our Chicken, Brown Rice, and Pumpkin Limited Ingredient Diet Formula combines real chicken and brown rice sourced from the USA to provide dogs with clean, sustainable energy.

Pumpkin is then added to aid in healthy digestion, and this dog food is ideal for dogs with food sensitivities.

Lucy Pet’s Healthy & Natural Dog Treats

Lucy Pet also offers a variety of healthy and nutritious dog treats perfect for training or rewarding your furry friend for good behavior.

Like our Formulas for Life dog food, Lucy Pet’s dog treats are made with natural, real, premium proteins like duck and chicken, in addition to high-quality fiber and carbohydrate sources.

Our treats are also grain-free and contain limited ingredients, making them ideal for dogs who may suffer from food sensitivities.

Our Hip to Be Square Salmon & Pumpkin Dog Treats

Lucy Pet’s Salmon and Pumpkin Dog Treats are meaty, chewy, semi-moist treats made in the USA!

This grain-free, limited ingredient dog treat combines US-sourced salmon and pumpkin to make a tasty treat your dog will absolutely love.

And because of its limited, high-quality ingredients, this dog treat is ideal for dogs with food sensitivities.

Our Hip to Be Square Duck & Pumpkin Dog Treats

Made with premium US-sourced duck meat and pumpkin for taste, Lucy Pet’s Duck and Pumpkin Dog Treats are perfect for treating and training your dog.

Additionally, this delicious and healthy snack is grain-free and contains no corn, wheat, or soy.

Our Hip to Be Square Chicken & Pumpkin Dog Treats

Lucy Pet’s Chicken and Pumpkin Dog Treats features premium chicken from the US and sweet pumpkin for taste.

Like our other dog treats, our Chicken and Pumpkin dog treat features a limited ingredient formula perfect for dogs with food sensitivities.

Shop Lucy Pet Today!

We hope you’ve found this list of what not to feed dogs useful and we also hope that you will consider everything Lucy Pet has to offer when making diet choices for your furry friends!

Lucy Pet offers premium ingredients and all-natural pet food containing real meat for both dogs and cats, in addition to shampoos and conditioners. We even sell cat litter!

All of our products can be conveniently purchased online, and if you’re located within the continental US, shipping is 100% free!