VCA Animal Hospitals

Foods that are dangerous for your dog

Published: Aug 13, 2012

Back to News

Many humans subscribe to the school of thought that variety is the spice of life, especially when it comes to their diet. However, while some pet owners worry that their dogs may be bored with the same food every day, vets say supplementing with or relying solely on table foods can be risky.

According to VCA Animal Hospitals, humans and dogs have different nutritional needs, so their diets must be different.

In addition to different dietary requirements, certain foods can make your dog sick.

Avocado, for instance, contains a substance called persin that can be toxic to dogs, according to Web MD. Other flavorful foods that are dangerous for dogs include garlic, onions, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, chives, salt and nutmeg.

You may know that chocolate is a no-no for pets, but perhaps you're not sure why this is. According to the ASPCA, chocolate contains methylxanthines, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death if ingested by a pet.

Other foods that contain methylxanthines include coffee, tea and other caffeinated items.

While many people may give their cat a bowl of milk, it's not advised to feed your dog milk or other dairy products. According to Web MD, milk and milk-based products can cause digestive problems, including diarrhea. Additionally, some animals may be allergic to dairy products.

Pet owners who enjoy baking may be tempted to share some of their creations with their dogs. However, experts say sweets are not good for animals. In addition, baking soda, baking powder and yeast dough can make your dog very sick.

It's also important to keep your dog away from any beverages containing alcohol, as its effects may be concentrated in animals.

What should you do if your animal accidentally or inadvertently ingests a food that may cause him harm? Calling a vet hospital can be helpful, even if you only suspect your pet may be in danger. The ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center is also a great resource. The number is (888) 426-4435.



General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

Find a VCA General Care Animal Hospital near you:


See all VCA Animal Hospitals >


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:


See all VCA Animal Hospitals >


Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.