Human Foods that are Good, Bad and Toxic for Dogs

Most of us love to share our meal with our companion pets. There are many that are good and good in moderation.  Here is what to be very cautious of:  

Any product with XYLITOL is toxicXylitol is also sold as “birch sugar”. Artificial Sweeteners, Chocolate, Caffeine, Cherries, Grapes/Raisins and Avocados are bad for Dogs.  Peanut Butter, cheese carrots and eggs in moderation are good for Dogs.

Infographic of People Food -- The OK, Bad an Toxic for Dogs
Companion Pet Travel


ANYTHING with XYLITOL.  In Dogs, xylitol is so quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and the resulting release of insulin from the pancreas may result in a dangerous decrease in blood sugar (hypoglycemia)—often within 60 minutes.  Left untreated immediately, this hypoglycemia can quickly be life-threatening.  Cats are not as susceptible; however, it may be primarily due to their general dislike of sweets.

SYMPTOMS of Toxicity in Pets.

Evidence of xylitol poisoning in dogs include vomiting, followed by symptoms associated with the sudden lowering of your dog’s blood sugar, such as decreased activity, weakness, staggering, incoordination, collapse and seizures. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Xylitol is also sold as “birch sugar”.

Xylitol Is Toxic to Dos and Can be Found in Many Products including:

  • breath mints
  • baked goods
  • cough syrup
  • children’s and adult chewable vitamins
  • mouthwash
  • toothpaste
  • some peanut and nut butters
  • over-the-counter medicines
  • dietary supplements
  • sugar-free desserts, including “skinny” ice cream.


Products with artificial sweeteners.  ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS ARE NOT GOOD FOR PET DIETS, BUT THEY ARE NOT POISONOUS. Source  Products sold as” sugar-free” and “lite” often are made with artificial sweeteners including:

  • Chocolate, Coffee and Caffeine–can cause heart problems, muscle tremors, or seizures. These products contain chemicals called methylxanthines, which are highly toxic to dogs. The chemicals can cause vomiting, an abnormal heart rate, seizures, and sometimes death.  Some chocolate treats are made specially for Dogs but they contain a chocolate substitute that is safe for them to eat. See here for source.
  • Avocados
  • Cherries–Cherry pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous. They can also be a choking hazard or block the intestines if a dog swallows them.
  • Raisins including Grapes


  • Peanut Butter–unsalted with no added sugar or artificial sweeteners is safe for dogs to eat in moderation.  Most cats shun sweets. Peanut butter contains Protein, Vitamins E, B and Niacin and healthful fats. Ensure that the peanut butter Does Not contain xylitol.  See advice from the Center for Veterinary Medicine here.  Some brands that contain xylitol include Go Nuts, Hank’s Protein Plus, Krush Nutrition, and P28. Source
  • Cheese—just as with humans, cheese is fine so long as your pet is not lactose.  Signs of lactose intolerance are diarrhea or vomiting. See Medical News Today.
  • Carrots—they are low calorie and high in vitamins A from beta carotene, K1 an B6. (Cats, small quantity because cats do not produce enough enzymes to digest most vegetables.
  • Greek Yogurt—Yogurt without artificial sweeteners or added sugar are best.  Yogurt provides calcium and protein among other gut-healthy benefits.  (Not suitable for Cats)
  • Eggs–provide protein, riboflavin, and selenium.  They are inexpensive and can be prepared easily.  Boiled eggs are easiest to give as treats.
  • Apple Slices— great source of Vitamin C, fiber, calcium, and phosphorus. Most Dogs love apple slices, acceptable for Cats, but not usually accepted by Cats.
  • Pumpkin–fresh or canned, pumpkin adds beta carotene, vitamin A, and fiber.
  • White Rice—add carbohydrates and starch.  Brown Rice is good so long as your pet does not have gastrointestinal issues, especially diarrhea.

We know you are as concerned about your pet’s health  and here are NATURAL AND HOLISTIC WAYS TO CALM YOUR PET FOR TRAVEL.

Thank you Vets-Now, always a great source for pet health news.