Our guide to fruit and vegetables which are toxic for dogs
We all love our dogs, but sometimes when we think we are giving them a treat, we can actually be causing them harm. In this guide, we’ll tell you which fruits and vegetables you really shouldn’t be feeding to your dog. Not only will this save your dog from harm but also save you from costly trips to the vet.
1. Grapes and raisins
The first on our list are grapes and raisins. This little fruit is so common in our homes and may seem like a harmless sweet treat, but a small amount could cause irreversible kidney damage and failure quite quickly depending on the size of dog that ingests them. If your dog eats some, or you suspect they might have, speak to the vet straight away.
There is some debate about avocados but as a general rule it is best to avoid giving any part of this fruit to your dog (or many other animals or birds). The stone and the skin are the most harmful and although some people give small amounts of the flesh to their dog mixed up in their food, to be on the safe side I would recommend steering clear completely. Avocados contain a toxin called Persin in levels that are harmless to us, but can cause breathing problems, sickness and diarrhoea to your pet.
3. Pips, seeds and stones
Tempting as it is to throw your dog an apple core or similar, the pips, seeds and stones from many fruits contain a small amount of cyanide that can be extremely harmful to your dog and even prove fatal. Notably fruits like apples, cherries, plums, peaches etc need to be avoided.
Whilst ordinary mushrooms that you use in cooking should be fine, wild mushrooms can be very poisonous not only to us but also to your dog. Dogs do love to forage and dig whilst out walking and some dogs are bred to actively seek out the expensive truffles so do be careful, especially in the autumn, that they are not eating any mushrooms or toadstools. Symptoms vary according to the mushroom but can include diarrhoea, vomiting and restlessness. If you suspect your dog has eaten wild mushrooms, get them to the vets.
Dogs don’t digest nuts in the same way as humans and several types are poisonous to them, particularly Macadamia nuts. Those that aren’t poisonous are still difficult to digest and can cause other problems to your pet’s wellbeing. The best advice is always to keep nuts out of reach. Particularly bad are walnuts, pecan nuts and macadamia nuts. Remember that nut butters are also high in fat and salt which is bad for your dog’s system.
6. Unripe tomatoes
Although ripe red tomatoes are ok for your dog, the tomato plants and unripe tomatoes are harmful. They contain a chemical called ‘tomatine’ which can cause damage to the nervous system, kidneys and digestive tract. So if you are growing your own tomatoes, make sure that your furry friend can’t access them.
7. Onions and garlic
In very small quantities, garlic can be good for your dog but if they eat too much garlic, onions or chives it can also be harmful and can destroy your dog’s red blood cells. It doesn’t matter whether it is raw, cooked or dried, make sure you avoid feeding these to your dog.
Not necessarily something that will be lying around your home in large quantities but something to be aware of! Nutmeg contains myristicin and although the small amounts found in cakes may not be harmful, larger amounts can cause tremors, seizures and even death in dogs.
Broccoli has so many health benefits for us and our families but the same is not true for man’s best friend. It contains chemicals which can severely irritate their stomach and can be very dangerous, particularly in certain breeds.
Another one of our commonly home-grown fruits which can be toxic to dogs and many other animals including chickens is rhubarb, especially the leaves which can cause damage to the nervous system, kidneys and digestive tract. Symptoms include tremors, seizures and heart problem so don’t let your dog get stuck into your rhubarb crumble. If you suspect rhubarb poisoning then contact your vet immediately.
Raw potatoes are the most dangerous to dogs as they contain a toxin called Solanine which can cause a variety of complaints including diarrhoea, vomiting and confusion. Cooking potatoes does reduce this, although boiling them does not, and often we cook potatoes with lots of salt and fats which in themselves are bad for your dog so it really is best to avoid giving your dog any sort of potato.
12. Persimmon seeds
Not terribly common in the UK, the persimmon fruit is an exotic orange fruit that we do find in our supermarkets sometimes. The fruit are sweet and tasty so may appeal to your furry friend, however the seeds are very harmful to a dog’s digestion and can cause blockages, diarrhoea and a high temperature so it is another fruit that’s important to avoid giving your four-legged friend.