Table Food-What’s Toxic & What’s Best

You’ll be surprised by what human foods are dangerous to dogs.



Please lists foods that may be or are toxic to dogs. I know about chocolate but my daughter tells me that onions and peanuts should not be feed to dogs even in very small amounts. My dog likes raw carrots,  celery and bananas. I know that your position is to feed them just high quality dog food but do other things in small amounts harm them?


Dr. Nichol:

Are you ready? Is your dog ready? Onions, chocolate, alcoholic beverages (hic), yeast dough, coffee (for some of the same reasons as chocolate), tea (caffeine), salt, macadamia nuts, hops (used in home beer brewing-hic), tomato and potato leaves and stems, rhubarb leaves, tobacco, moldy foods, and some wild mushrooms. I checked with Dr. Jill Richardson at the National Animal Poison Control Center in Urbana IL, (1-800-528-2423). Peanuts did not make the list. I can tell you from experience that while they are not poisonous, like bananas, peanuts have a lot of fat. This raises an important point: Please feed dog food only.


So why not give your dog small amounts of other things? High fiber raw vegetables like celery and carrots can be a good way to help “fill up” an overweight dog because it takes as much calories to digest them as they give. But the problem I have seen is that dogs often REALLY like some of the table food they get from their owners and eventually start to refuse dog food. These dogs end up on unbalanced diets that predispose them to a myriad of health problems.


A good quality hard dry adult dog food is complete and it’s balanced. The balance is important. For example we know that minerals like calcium and phosphorus must be in the proper ratio or a dog will develop bone and kidney disease. Throwing a diet out of balance by adding to it can only risk your dog’s health. Sorry to be the party pooper. I hope you still like my column.