Dogs love to eat people food, and occasionally we love sharing with them. While most foods are fine for dogs, some common grocery items can be extremely dangerous and even poisonous. Take caution before sharing with your pet—they might have an adverse reaction to something you eat every day. Our team at Animal Care Center of Castle Pines wants to keep your dog as safe as possible, so here is a list of ten foods you should never feed your dog:

1. Chocolate

Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs. Small amounts will cause vomiting and diarrhea, while large doses can cause heart problems, tremors, seizures, or death. 

2. Coffee/Caffeine 

Coffee is just as bad as chocolate. As much as humans love caffeine, it’s toxic to dogs, and can even be fatal. Keep caffeine away from pets!

3. Xylitol

This sweetener is commonly found in candy, gum, toothpaste, mouthwash, and some pharmaceuticals. Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs, and can be fatal. It over-stimulates insulin release in dogs, leading to extreme low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) which can further lead to seizures and liver failure.

4. Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins are proven to be severely poisonous to dogs, although the reason that they cause a toxic reaction is unknown. Large amounts can cause kidney failure and even tiny amounts will induce vomiting and diarrhea.

5. Macadamia Nuts

While it’s fine for dogs to eat peanuts, almonds, and cashews, all other nuts should be avoided. Like grapes and raisins, there’s an unknown toxin in some nuts that causes tremors and neurological damage in dogs. Peanut butter is still okay, just make sure that it has no xylitol.

6. Avocados

Don’t share your avocado toast! Avocados have persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Ingesting the pit is dangerous as well, as it could become lodged in the digestive tract and cause an obstruction.

7. Persimmons, Peaches, and Plums

Stone fruits are the pits! Just like avocados, the pits can cause internal blockages if swallowed. 

8. Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic are acutely poisonous to dogs. Plants in the allium family have disulfides and thiosulphates, which damage the red blood cells and lead to anemia if dogs ingest them. However, it would take a large quantity of onions or garlic to cause serious illness.

9. Bones

It may seem natural to give a dog a bone, but it’s not always wise. Bones—especially cooked bones—can splinter and cause choking or internal damage if swallowed. Small bones from chicken, turkey, and fish are especially dangerous. Additionally, bones are the number one culprit when dogs break their teeth.

10. Dairy

Dogs can have allergies, just like people. Dairy is one of the most common pet allergies. Dogs do not have the lactase required to digest dairy products, and so they are lactose-intolerant. Feeding them dairy treats can cause upset stomach and digestive discomfort. 

Emergency Care at Animal Care Center

Always keep our number close by! If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, call us at Animal Care Center in Castle Pines immediately. If your pet is experiencing a medical emergency of any kind we will gladly make time to see you and examine your pet with no appointment required. We are equipped to handle most emergencies and for the things that require 24-hour care, we offer stabilization, diagnostics and can help you transfer your pet to the nearest 24-hour facility. You can also call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center 24 hours a day at 888-426-4435.