Dog staring at food

Recognizing the value of a balanced diet with authentic pet foods is essential for dogs. It goes beyond just eating—it's a way to care for them. That’s why it’s equally important for pet owners to know the dos and don’ts of feeding their pets.

There are numerous toxic foods and ingredients for animals that most pet owners are not aware of. It can also be quite tempting to give our fur babies any food they want, especially with their adorable eyes begging. Below are 12 of the poisonous food for pets that every pet owner should know by heart.

1. Chocolate

While chocolate is a delectable treat enjoyed by both humans, it is not the same case for animals. Chocolates contain theobromine, a stimulant that is poisonous for dogs and cats. When ingested, pets experience chocolate poisoning which can cause vomiting, restlessness, diarrhea, and in severe cases, seizures.

If your furry friend ingested chocolate, it's important to take immediate action. Determine the type and amount of chocolate ingested. Dark chocolate and cocoa powder contain higher levels of theobromine, making them more toxic than milk chocolate or white chocolate.

2. Onions and Garlic

The onion family, whether dried, raw, or cooked, is another extremely toxic food to dogs and cats. Whether powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated, onions and garlic can damage your pet’s red blood cells and cause anemia. The onset of symptoms may not be immediate and may occur several days after ingestion.

3. Nuts

Your dog or cat may experience muscle and nerve system effects from eating macadamia nuts. These nuts are particularly dangerous for dogs because even a small amount can cause symptoms like weakness, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia.

While some nuts might not be directly toxic, their high-fat content can still lead to digestive problems or pancreatitis in pets. It's best to avoid giving them to dogs altogether.

4. Avocados

Avocado is another food to avoid feeding your pets. While avocado flesh can be a nutritious and delicious treat for humans, certain components in avocadoes can pose risks to animals including persin.

Persin is a toxic substance to some animals. Dogs, in particular, seem to be more resistant to persin's effects, but they can still experience stomach upset or vomiting if they consume large amounts of avocado flesh.

5. Grapes and Raisins

We shouldn't just worry about the fruit form of raisins; they're also present in many of our favorite baked goods, biscuits, and cereals. Both grapes and raisins contain a potentially toxic chemical that has been known to cause serious liver damage and kidney failure in animals.

6. Coffee, Tea, and Other Caffeine

Be wary of all coffee and tea products, including the beans and the grounds. Avoid giving your pet anything with cocoa, chocolate, caffeine, or sugar. Some over-the-counter cold and pain medicines include caffeine as well.

7. Human Medicine

Human medications are not safe for dogs. Keep your dog away from any medications, just as you would your children. Never treat your dog with an on-the-counter medication without first consulting the veterinarian. Pain medications and cold remedies typically contain ingredients like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, which may be fatal to your dog.

8. Bones and Fat Trimmings

It's not a good idea to feed your dog a bone, as they can accidentally choke. Bones can splinter, causing obstructions or punctures in the digestive tract of your dog. Your pet can also develop pancreatitis from eating raw or cooked meat and fat trimmings.

9. Raw Egg

Uncooked eggs are part of the "raw diet" that some people give to their pets. However, the leading veterinary organizations do not support this practice. Salmonella and E. coli are two examples of microorganisms that could potentially cause food poisoning in animals.

10. Raw Fish and Meat

The same bacteria that can cause food poisoning in raw eggs can also be found in raw meat and fish. Salmon, trout, shad, and sturgeon are only a few types of fish that might contract a parasite that results in fish disease or salmon poisoning disease in cats.

Nausea, fever, and swollen lymph nodes are the early warning signals. It can be treated, but immediate vet care is required. It is best to completely cook the fish to eliminate parasites.

11. Junk Food

Don't give your dog salty snacks like chips or pretzels. If your dog eats too much salt, it will get extremely dehydrated. As a result, they may end up with sodium ion poisoning from having to pee too often. Vomiting, diarrhea, sadness, tremors, a high body temperature, and seizures are all signs of salt poisoning. Even death is a possibility.

12. Sweet Food and Drinks

Like humans, dogs can experience negative effects from consuming excessive amounts of sugar. As a result, your dog may gain excess weight and have dental issues. It's so bad it can cause diabetes.

What to do if your pet eats what it shouldn’t?

If your furry companion ingested toxic food or harmful ingredients in their pet food, here’s what you need to do:

  • Remove your pet from the vicinity. Put your pet in a safe place to prevent them from eating more toxic food.
  • Do not make the dog throw up. Some well-intentioned pet owners may attempt to induce vomit thinking they are helping. Many poisons, however, can be corrosive, causing even more damage to your pet on the way back up.
  • Contact your vet. If you suspect your pet is experiencing the signs of poisoning, don't delay calling your vet.
  • Treat poisoning as your vet advises. Depending on what your pet ate, your vet may recommend an immediate exam for your pet. The veterinarian can then deliver lifesaving intravenous fluids, activated charcoal, or induced vomiting.

Cat eating

What To Feed Your Dog or Cat

Now you know the foods to avoid for pets, it’s time to learn what you should nourish them. These foods will benefit your dog or cat as they provide a healthy pet diet:

1. Cooked Eggs

If the eggs are cooked thoroughly, they are okay for dogs to eat. To calm an upset stomach, try eating some cooked eggs.

2. Cooked Fish

Good lipids and amino acids in fish help your dog's wellness. Salmon is high in vitamins and protein, and sardines have soft, digestible bones for calcium..

3. Honey

Honey contains vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K, potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, and antioxidants. Honey helps dogs with allergies by introducing little amounts of pollen to their bodies, creating immunity to local allergens.

4. Vegetables

Choose carrots, rich in vitamins and fiber, or spinach for iron and antioxidants. Broccoli florets provide vitamins C and K. These vegetables can be steamed, boiled, or finely chopped to enhance digestibility.

5. Pet Food

Pet food contains a unique mix of nutrients that meet your dog's or cat’s specific dietary needs. Most pet foods in the market are formulated based on the breed and age of the animal. When perusing pet food labels, prioritize recognizable, high-quality ingredients like real meats, whole grains, and vegetables. Avoid artificial additives, excessive fillers, and preservatives. Of course, consider your pet's age, breed, size, and activity level to tailor their diet.

As an option, you could feed your furry canine friend Pedigree pet food, which is known for its custom recipes that are made with years of experience and provide a healthy and satisfying diet. For feline pets, pet food suppliers like Royal Canin have a collection of cat food for all breeds of cats of all ages, as well as for different cat ailments.

Remember, a well-informed choice translates to better health, vitality, and happiness for your cherished companion. Here are Pet Express’ top pet food options for your dog and cat:

Pedigree Adult Beef and Vegetables Dry Dog Food 10kg

Pedigree Adult Beef and Vegetables Dry Dog Food 10kg

Pedigree Puppy Chicken and Egg with Milk Dry Dog Food 2.7kg

Pedigree Puppy Chicken and Egg with Milk Dry Dog Food 2.7kg

Royal Canin Feline Care Nutrition Adult Urinary Care Dry Cat Food 2kg Royal Canin Feline Care Nutrition Adult Urinary Care Dry Cat Food 2kg

Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Kitten Sterilised 37 Dry Cat Food 2kg Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Kitten Sterilised 37 Dry Cat Food 2kg


While we hoomans can enjoy any food, it’s important to recognize that not all the food we eat are suitable for our furry companions. Foods like chocolates, avocados, nuts, and more can present serious risks to pets.

Steering clear of such foods and ingredients will help you feed your pet the healthy pet diet they deserve. Be sure to seek professional guidance in case your dog or cat has ingested food they shouldn’t be eating. Just as we'd prioritize the well-being of family members, ensuring the safety of our pets through informed choices is an undeniable responsibility.

Check out the must-have pet food for cats and dogs online and at the nearest Pet Express store to ensure your pet’s well-being and happiness! Find more pet tips and guides online at pet
Pet health & nutrition