What Human Foods Will Make a Dog Sick?

Some human food can cause vomiting and even death in a dog.
i stray dog image by Cherry-Merry from Fotolia.com

Sometimes it's hard not to feed your pup tidbits of human food. When he sits and looks at you with big eyes, you want to indulge. Unfortunately, that chocolate cake, grapes and beer might taste good to you but are toxic to your pet.


Any alcohol is toxic for dogs. Wine, beer, mixed drinks and even syrups with alcohol can intoxicate your dog. Vomiting, disorientation and stupor as well as possible coma and seizures can occur after a dog ingests alcohol. Dogs showing mild signs of intoxication need to be watched. If your pooch cannot stand up or has a seizure, it's time to take him to the vet where he can be monitored. (Call your vet or emergency clinic for advice if your dog eats anything toxic.)


Dogs love chocolate and will tear through a grocery bag to reach the chocolate candy bars. Chocolate is also in cakes, cookies, brownies and some munchies such as chocolate covered pretzels. The caffeine and theobromine found in chocolate is toxic to your pup. Side effects can include vomiting, thirst, severe agitation and irregular heart rhythm, depending on how much of the chocolate your dog ingests. Seizures and death can occur. A larger dog who eats a small bit of chocolate might not need medical attention. A teacup dog eating the same amount might need his stomach pumped. If your pup has even mild restless behavior after ingesting chocolate, take him to the vet.

Grapes and Raisins

Grape and raisin toxicity is associated with possible kidney failure. However, some dogs can eat grapes and raisins and not have a toxic reaction -- then eat them again and become sick. The size of the dog and the the number of grapes or raisins is not a factor; any amount in any dog can cause toxicity. Vomiting can start within 12 hours of ingesting a few grapes. Your dog might become lethargic, have diarrhea and refuse to eat. Dehydration can occur and within three to four days, his kidneys can fail. If your dog survives an acute attack, he may have long-term kidney disease. Because you don't know when a dog is going to have a toxic reaction, contact your veterinary if your dog ingests any grapes or raisins.

Macadamia Nuts

Even though macadamia nuts are most likely not fatal to your dog, the symptoms can be very unpleasant for your pooch. Your dog can develop weakness in the back legs, tremors and a low-grade fever. The symptoms can last up to 48 hours and cause severe pain for your dog. To avoid dehydration and limit pain, your vet may insert an IV to deliver fluids and pain medication.

Onions and Garlic

Garlic is more toxic than onion but both can cause severe problems. Even if your pup doesn't get near the actual vegetables, the concentrated forms found in dry soups and powders can be toxic. Onions and garlic can attack red blood cells. The symptoms don’t show up for three to five days, so it can be difficult to connect the symptoms to the food. Dogs might appear weak, avoid eating and tire easily after any physical exertion. Urine might appear orange and even dark red. Take your dog to the veterinarian if you see any of these symptoms. Blood transfusions are sometimes necessary.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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