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Common Doggie Hazards

This page contains foods, common household products and other everyday things humans come into contact with that can be toxic and even fatal to dogs and puppies.  


Antifreeze is perhaps the number-one hazard to a dog. Less than one tablespoon of anti-freeze could be lethal to a 20-pound dog.

 Chocolate and Caffeine

Chocolate is another common canine hazard. Although it may be your favorite thing to eat, it can be very dangerous for your pet. Chocolate contains caffeine and a related stimulant called theobromine, which can make your dog seriously ill. Both of these stimulants can raise your dog’s heart rate, occasionally to the point of being fatal. Chocolate should be thought of as a poison to dogs.

The effect it has on your dog depends both on its size and the amount of chocolate the dog consumed. The smaller the dog, the less chocolate it needs to eat in order to overdose.

With baking chocolate, half to one ounce can cause death in small puppies. With milk chocolate, four to ten ounces can cause death in toy dogs.

A small amount may not cause death but it can make them very ill. Fortunately, most dogs that overdose on chocolate just get an upset stomach with perhaps vomiting and diarrhea. 

Sugar-Free Products

Sugar-free products which contain the ingredient Xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol which is sometimes used in sugar-free gum, candy, chewable vitamins, throat lozenges, pharmaceuticals and oral health products.  In dogs the product quickly lowers blood sugar levels and can cause severe liver damage in a 24-hour period of time. Three grams of Xylitol can kill a 65-pound dog. That is about 2 to 5 sticks in a smaller dog.


Splintering bones such as fish, chicken, turkey and pork can be very hazardous to dogs. Fragments of the bones can get stuck in the dog's intestines and throat causing damage or even death.

Holiday Hazards

Around the holidays you need to be especially careful. Mistletoe is extremely poisonous. Tinsel can be dangerous for your dog if he decides to eat it. You have to watch those thin glass Christmas balls too. Also beware of Styrofoam. Styrofoam will not digest and may get stuck in the intestines.

Pain Relievers

Dogs can also be poisoned by Advil®, Motrin® (Ibuprofen) and Tylenol® (Acetaminophen). Aspirin cannot be given on a long-term basis because of its blood thinning properties.  Do not give your dog human painkillers without consulting your veterinarian first.


List of foods which can be toxic to dogs. Some of the foods can actually be good for humans. These foods should be avoided and not fed to dogs.

Alcoholic beverages     Avocados      Bones (chicken and turkey)    Caffeinated tea and coffee


Cows milk - Goats Milk is Fine


Grapes and Raisins

Greasy fried foods - Macadamia nuts

 Moldy or spoiled foods - Mushrooms (certain types of wild mushrooms can be toxic to dogs)


Tomatoes and tomato plants - Yeast dough

Xylitol (products containing this sweetener)

Also - Cigarettes and other nicotine products








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