Poisonous Foods

TOXIC: Raisins and Grapes

Both grapes and raisins have been proven to be highly toxic to dogs. Dangerous reactions include stomach upset and kidney failure—effects that can be triggered from as little as 1/3 oz. All cases of grape or raisin ingestion should be considered potentially serious. Vomiting is one of the initial signs of toxicity and can occur within the first two hours, while other initial signs include diarrhea, lethargy, and polydipsia. Signs of renal failure may develop within a few days and can include anorexia, lethargy, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or tremors. The prognosis depends on various factors, but it is usually favorable if supportive care is implemented early on. Please keep raisins and grapes away from pets!

TOXIC: Chocolate

If you’ve given your dog a bit of chocolate in the past and nothing happened, think again: chocolate can be highly toxic for canines. Larger amounts of chocolate can cause epileptic seizures and possibly even death. Why is it so dangerous? It contains Theobromine, a naturally occurring stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Theobromine levels vary per chocolate type, and effects vary according to the age, size, and health of your dog. You can tell if your dog has eaten a toxic dose of chocolate from the following symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, or an increased heart rate (which can cause restlessness, muscle twitching, increased urination, or excessive panting). Any chocolate can be potentially harmful—please keep it away from dogs!

TOXIC: Xylitol

Xylitol, a popular sweetener found in many sugar-free products, can cause serious reactions in dogs. Xylitol can also be found in some peanut butters – stick with those from our store, or all natural from a health food store. In fact, new data suggests that even very small amounts of this artificial sweetener can cause toxicity. In as little as 30 minutes after ingestion, Xylitol can cause significantly low blood-sugar, and, less frequently, liver failure. Symptoms of low blood-sugar include weakness and seizures. Treatment is aimed at induced vomiting as soon as possible after ingestion; once symptoms appear, treatment is intensive. Make sure to keep candy, gum and other foods containing Xylitol out of animals’ reach.


  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Avocado
  • Coffee (all forms)
  • Fatty foods
  • Garlic
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Moldy or spoiled foods
  • Onions & Onion powder
  • Salt
  • Yeast dough

If you suspect that your pet has ingested potentially dangerous substances, call your veterinarian or the APCC’s 24-hour emergency hotline at (888) 426-4435.

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