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Surprising Foods That Are Poisonous to Dogs and Cats

When we welcome animal companions into our families, it means making a promise to take care of them as well as we can. That means giving them the right amount of exercise, regular vet visits, and, of course, lots of love and attention.

jovie dog treat

It also means feeding them good food and not letting them eat anything that’s bad for them. Here’s a list of some of the foods that are the most harmful to cats and dogs. Keep it handy so you and your fam can be sure not to give any of them to your dog or cat.

Bread Dough


We know how much fun it is to make vegan baked goods like bread, but it’s no fun for our animal friends if they eat bread dough. One ingredient in dough is live yeast, which can cause their stomachs to expand, which is very painful. The sugar in dough also turns into alcohol, which can be deadly to cats and dogs.


Animal-free chocolate sure is yummy—but unfortunately, we can’t share it with our animal pals! It contains a chemical called “theobromine,” which is so harmful to dogs that it can even kill them if they eat enough of it.

Dairy Foods


Many dogs have a bad reaction to milk, ice cream, cheese—they can cause uncomfortable conditions like diarrhea, an upset stomach, and itchy skin allergies.

Garlic and Onions

Some people feed dogs garlic to prevent fleas, and it’s even found in some dog foods and treats. That small amount is unlikely to cause serious problems, but certain dogs (especially Japanese breeds) can’t handle garlic or anything else in the Allium family (like onions, leeks, and chives), and any dog can have a bad reaction after eating a lot of it. These foods can damage red blood cells and cause anemia.

Grapes and Raisins


Dogs can get very sick from eating grapes and especially raisins, which are more concentrated. Veterinarians are still unsure why, but they’re so harmful that even just a few can lead to kidney failure or death.

Macadamia Nuts

Not all nuts are bad for dogs, but macadamia nuts sure are. They have been known to cause trembling, weakness, vomiting, and other problems. So be sure to keep your fave vegan macadamia-nut cookies away from Spot!



Dogs don’t need salt added to their food, and it can be terrible for them if they have an underlying heart condition. In large quantities, it can cause symptoms such as thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures and lead to kidney damage, coma, or even death. Also, be careful because play dough and paint balls both contain salt, too!


It has a funny name (pronounced “ZY-li-tall”), but xylitol isn’t funny to dogs and cats when they eat it—it can even be deadly. It can be found in sugar-free products like gum, candy, toothpaste, and peanut butter.


Don’t forget to share this list with your parents so that they know which foods should be kept away from your animal pals!