Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He works mostly with dogs and exotic animals.

Toxic vs. Safe Foods for Dogs

Toxic vs. Safe Foods for Dogs


7 Foods That Are Not Toxic for Dogs

Let’s look at what’s actually not toxic for dogs to eat:

1. Fat Is Not Toxic

Those people who tell you that you cannot give your dog some chicken skin,
steak trimmings, or a little cheese are wrong. Dogs do not need carbohydrates,
but they do need fats.

If your dog is obese and you give her a high-fat meal, she may develop
pancreatitis. (No one is really sure about the mechanism here, just that the
problem is seen more in overweight, spayed females that gorge on fat, like a
big plate of turkey skin on Thanksgiving. Vets call it National Pancreatitis

A dog in good shape, however, will not suffer from eating a little fat added
to her meal. Dogs all over the world live off of fatty meals with no ill
effects. Pancreatitis is very serious and very dangerous, but telling the dog-
owning public that fat is toxic is like stating that sugar is poisonous
because some kids have diabetes.

Is this one of the toxic foods for dogs?

Is this one of the toxic foods for dogs?

cc flickr csaveneau

2. A Few Eggs a Week Are Not Toxic

Raw eggs contain avidin and may prevent the ingestion of biotin, a B vitamin,
but it is not necessary for your dog to consume that vitamin every day nor
will your dog have any problems if she consumes eggs in moderation. She will
still have a healthy coat if she does not consume biotin every day.

Raw eggs keep your dog healthy. They contain fatty acids and many vitamins
that are missing in your dog’s normal diet. Many holistic veterinarians
believe that the beneficial effects of the egg are lost through cooking or
processing and it is better for your dog if given still raw.

3. Bones Are Not Toxic

Some people get nervous about feeding bones because some dogs have been known
to break off a piece of cooked bone and it can cause an obstruction. This can
happen with anything (I read an article recently about one of the healthy
“greenies” causing impaction also), but with raw bones, it is unlikely.

I guess the only healthy kind of a bone you can give 100% safely is a nylon
bone, and the reason it does not cause problems is that the dogs do not like
its taste or texture, and thus it is not chewed on. Since your dog will leave
it in the yard untouched, the nylon bone is 100% safe.

My dog chewing a chicken leg

My dog chewing a chicken leg


4. Garlic Is Not Necessarily Toxic

There is scant evidence that garlic is toxic, but it is related to the onion
plant, and in the family Allium, so many vets lump them all together and
condemn this plant. I would be glad to accept that garlic is mildly toxic if
anyone is willing to produce any sort of proof.

One web site published an article where an owner told of her dog dying only a
few days after eating garlic; the story was reproduced on another web site as
proof of the toxicity of garlic, and before long other “experts” were using
the second web site as their evidence of the danger of garlic.

There was one study done by some veterinarians in Japan. Dr. Lee and his
fellow researchers decided that garlic was toxic so they gave a large dose and
monitored the results. (This dose was equal to 60 cloves of garlic.) None of
the dogs developed anemia. Therefore, they decided to recommend that garlic no
longer be fed to dogs.

Do you think they would get away with that type of conclusion if they were
investigating a big industry? How about “coffee causes anemia.” They study it,
determine it does not cause anemia, and then decide to recommend coffee no
longer be consumed anyway.

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5. Tomatoes Are Not Toxic to Dogs

Tomatoes are not toxic to your dog. There is a toxin (solanine) in green
tomatoes and tomato leaves and stem that can hurt your dog. When was the last
time you saw your dog going to your garden to eat your tomato plants?

6. Popcorn Is Not Toxic

The reason that some vets will tell you that popcorn is toxic has nothing to
do with the popcorn. The problem is usually the margarine or butter poured on
the popcorn, and all of the salt that is on top.

7. Cheese Is Not Toxic

When cheese is produced, almost all of the lactose (milk sugar) is removed
with the whey. Residual lactose is used by the bacteria in cheese when it is
aging. IF your dog eats too much cheese he can become constipated, so, just
like all things, cheese should be given in moderation.

My dog gnawing on a bone.

My dog gnawing on a bone.


Are Raw Bones Toxic for Dogs?

My dogs eat raw bones as part of their normal diet. If you want to learn more
about how to feed bones as part of your dog’s diet there is a book by an
Australian veterinarian that will explain how feeding bones can improve your
dog’s health. I found it useful because he gives formulas, how to use the diet
for puppies, adults, and how to feed raw in special cases. If you are
interested in the well being of your dog I recommend you read this book and
improve your dog´s life by taking advantage of a homemade raw diet.

I also give my dogs old sea turtle shell bones. They are large and flat,
impossible to swallow, and, since they are about 100 years old, the bones are
very hard and give her plenty of chewing exercise. I am sure that there is a
company that could replicate the object if enough dog owners were interested.

Will Garlic Poison My Dog?

There is no evidence that garlic is toxic, but it is related to the onion
plant, and in the family Allium, so many vets lump them all together and
condemn this plant without any proof. I would be glad to accept that garlic is
mildly toxic if anyone is willing to produce any sort of proof.

7 Foods That Are Toxic for Dogs

Now let’s look at the foods that are toxic for dogs:

1. Chocolate Is Toxic

This is a dose-related toxicity. If your Great Dane eats an M&M, there is no
reason to call poison control. If your teacup Yorkie happens to get into your
secret store of Godiva dark chocolate and eats the whole box, however, you
have a serious problem on your hands.

If a four-pound dog eats about one ounce of dark chocolate, he can die. Dark
chocolate (like the kind you put in chocolate chip cookies) is dangerous
because it has high levels of theobromine, the toxic substance in chocolate. A
Hershey’s bar is only 1.55 oz and milk chocolate, so it only contains 6mg of
theobromine per oz., nothing to worry about since the toxic dose of
theobromine is about 100mg/kg

Nestle Toll House chocolates come in 6, 12, and 24-ounce sizes, and since they
contain about 30mg/oz, a big bag would be enough to kill a 15-pound dog. Even
if the dog does not die from the toxin in the chocolate, he might have
enteritis or pancreatitis from all the sugar and fat.

So, the thing to remember is that chocolate is toxic, but it is not like
“biting down on a hollow tooth filled with arsenic.” Be careful, keep the
chocolate out of reach, but if the dog eats some do not freak out.

2. Raisins and Grapes May Be Toxic

The dose of raisins and grapes that have caused toxic signs in dogs is not
really that high, half an ounce per pound of body weight, and the symptoms
have been so severe that the poison control centers are recommending
aggressive treatment like pumping the stomach, inducing vomiting, and putting
the dog on IV fluids for at least a few days.

The strange thing is that no one is able to reproduce this poisoning with the
normal components of grapes so there is obviously something else going on,
like maybe molds, strange mixtures, who knows? Grapes have only been
considered toxic for dogs the last few years.

Something about eatingraisins causes kidney failure though, so this is
definitely something to avoid

Dog with an onion on her head.

Dog with an onion on her head.

3. Onions Are Toxic in Large Amounts

They can cause a type of blood poisoning called hemolytic anemia. The red
cells are weak and break up easily so the anemia doesn’t develop for several
days. The only reports out there of onions causing problems are when the dog
ate a cup or more—onions are only toxic when consumed at more than 0.5% of
their body weight.

It takes a lot of onions to cause toxicity so they can only be considered
mildly toxic.

4. Macadamia Nuts Are Toxic

They should only be considered mildly toxic. In reports I have read in
veterinary journals all dogs that were poisoned by macadamia nuts recovered
with and without any treatment.

5. Avocado Pits Are Dangerous

The skin may be toxic and the pits may act as a foreign object and cause
blockage. There is actually dog food made out of avocado so, although it may
be toxic to some animals, in dogs the flesh of the fruit does not cause a
problem. Peach and apricot pits can also cause problems.

6. Alcohol Should Be Avoided

Dogs can have effects from sharing a drink, but the most common problem is
when a dog is sprayed with an alcohol-based flea control product. Besides
being disoriented and having trouble walking, the GI tract is involved and
dogs vomit and have diarrhea. If they are not treated they can have a seizure
and die.

7. Xylitol Is Toxic to Dogs

This product is used a lot as an artificial sweetener in gum. It is very
toxic, and can cause seizures, coma, and death. Usually, the gum only has a
small amount of the artificial sweetener in each stick so it may take as much
as 9 pieces to kill a medium-sized dog. If your dog does consume this gum,
however, you should get her to your vet as soon as possible.

Other Toxic Substances

There are other substances but they can be toxic for both us and our dogs.
Dogs can be poisoned by lead from eating old paint chips, poisoned from
antifreeze when drinking from a pan that is left around instead of being
disposed of, they can be poisoned from agro toxins dumped on your lawn, or
they can be poisoned with toxic mushrooms.

There are a few things that we can eat that can sometimes cause problems in
dogs, like broccoli, but only if over 10% of a dogs diet. (Would anyone ever
feed their dog this much broccoli, and would he even eat it?)

There are not a lot of toxic substances out there you need to be careful of
but there is a lot of hype about the few that do cause problems. I’m sure that
if a group of Japanese researchers selected a bunch of our normal fruit and
vegetables and fed high levels to dogs they would determine them dangerous.
There is still a lot we do not know.

If you do have a dog that goes “dumpster diving” however, you are never sure
what he has eaten, how much may have been dumped in the trash, and what
strange mixture he may have picked up. It is better to take your friend into
the emergency clinic and have his stomach pumped, given a dose of activated
charcoal, and then put on IV fluids to make sure everything is flushed out of
his body.

A dog dumpster diving.

A dog dumpster diving.


If you would like to read more about the material presented in this article,
take a few minutes and read one of these reference sources:

  1. Fats
  2. Eggs
  3. Bones
  4. Garlic
  5. Cheese
  6. Tomatoes
  7. Popcorn

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It
is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription,
or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional.
Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a
veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

Question: Will chocolate really kill dogs?

Answer: All toxins are dose related. If a dog eats enough chocolate,
especially if it is a dark product with a high level of theobromines, it is

Question: My nine-year-old Am Staff had major surgery a month ago. She
still hasn’t gained her weight back. What can I feed my Am Staff that won’t be
unhealthy to help her gain weight?

Answer: This is difficult to answer for several reasons. It might depend
on the surgery, and there still might be underlying issues. Assuming there is
not, and you just want her to be fat, giving her a simple carb source like
pasta will add some weight. If you are looking for mass, and not just fat, I
would also feed grass-fed beef. I also give my dogs grass-fed lamb, which may
or may not be available in your area. Chicken necks also have a lot of fat and
for a lean dog, they are fine. For an obese dog, there is some danger they can
provoke pancreatitis, and there is also some danger of vitamin deficiencies if
a dog eats a lot since they do not need to eat much else if they are eating
such a fatty diet.

Question: Can dogs eat clam strips ?

Answer: Are these clams that you yourself are eating? If so, there is no
problem. The main problem with clams is that they can be from nasty water and
contain toxins. If they are from clean water and people are already eating
them, then there is no problem.

© 2012 Dr Mark


Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on August 19,

Farah, you mean a chicken wing with spicy sauce? No, it will not kill her. The
spices may give her an upset stomach, but that small amount of chicken bones
is rarely an issue.

Here is some info on dogs and chicken bones https://pethelpful.com/dogs/dog-

Farah on August 18, 2020:

So my dog ate a spicy chicken it was on the floor will it kill my dog I gave
her water right after and it was her first time eating one it was small plz
someone tell me I’m really worried

Nelsie on June 16, 2020:

I got my dog at 8 weeks old. Now she just turned 1 yr. She still chews
everything. How can I get her to stop?

Eli on May 23, 2020:

My dogs old, she is seven years old. She is a boxer. She has signs of stomach
cancer and has been diagnosed with collides. She throws up her dog food. I
would like some recommendation on what kind of dog food to give her.

Nicole on June 01, 2017:


Our blue noes pitbull five years old

Just had her puppies yesterday all Ten of them…healthy. We want to feed our
dog, Sunday the best food for her lactation for her puppies and mom. We have
been giving her puppy food and some goats milk,We heard was good for mom . Is
that true? We can’t find much on that info…And what I read more about egg
yolks and meat is good info…Thanks…

MarieLB from YAMBA NSW on May 11, 2016:

It is so refreshing to get information that makes good sense. I always learn
something new when I pop in here to read. This time it is your view of garlic.
Many old folk swore that they fed it to their dogs [in measured doses] and it
never hurt them, yet so many magazines now tell us never to use it. I cook for
my dog, and I intend to use it -sparingly- for her from now on.

Richard Lindsay from California on April 18, 2016:

Great post, lots of good to know information for dog owners, tweeted this one.

Emily on February 27, 2015:

well sadly the smallest baby girl did not make it and the half pound doe died
as well and the horses that our friend was selling was shot 4 times each but
did not kill him and her so we got him and we owned a horse for 12 hours and
then our friend called and said the horse died becuse of the wounds that they
did not see…………that sucks but on a good note i have found two 12-13
yearold belgian mares broken to drive for $5,000, a 7 foot tall horse trailer
for $2,700, and a cool trail ride horse wagon for $2,500.

so that is $10,200 in all is that a good deel?

i am trying to get my mother to get them but she says its to much (he told me
that if i find A horse for at most $5,000, a wagon for at most$4,000 and a
trailer at most $4,000 and so i have found the cheapest and closest i can find
and she also said that the less we spend on the trailer and wagon the more we
can on the horse AND she said at the most for a horse is $5,000 I found TWO
horses for $5,000 so its even better but my mother says its to much she is a
liar and a cheap

Emily on February 25, 2015:

hey so far two of my goats kidded.

one mother had a buck and doe. the buck is 1 pound and the doe is half a pound
and the nigeren dwarf mother had three does. the three does are so tiny! the
first is about 14oz and the other two are about 20oz.

we have one more 8week old male puppy to sell for $350

and don’t you hate it when people dump their dogs? my mother saved a small dog
from being flatened on the highway. he is about 10 pounds and has so much get
up and go! he runs around us over & over but is so much fun we call him nuts
so (you hve to say his name like its one word) and we just got a horse

emily on February 23, 2015:

thank you and she is a alpine and the goats that are going to kid are saann
(the big white dairy goat) and nigeren dwarf and mix breed

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on February 23,

Good news on the puppies! I hope you find good homes for the others too. New
kids are great–what breed is she?

Emily on February 23, 2015:

hi how are you doing?

the last three puppies are doing great! we have sold four to really great
homes. the new milk goat is really sweet and i am so happy we should be having
goat kids in the next two days (date being 2/23) 😉

Emily on January 27, 2015:

well i have read up on using essential oils for fleas and most people said its
fine to use BUT don’t use tea tree they said it hurt their dogs and some said
it almost killed the dogs.

and its ok about not being on.

i am greiving over seven goats and three rabbits;( a pair of dogs came in late
at night and had fun with them but dident kill all of them so my dad had to
put down one and three just died from shock and blood loss. but i guess on a
good note my dad got the dogs who did it(not my dog) and the rabbits were the
mom and two babys); so that is how i am……….i feel awful i couldent do
anything to help them it was to late. andto top it all off six out of the
seven were our milking does so my mother and father had to get a new milking

and do you know anybody who wants a puppy? if you do tell me and ill tell you
more about them and the price my mother has for them.

thank you


Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 27,

Hi Emily I just looked at your email about the goats. I have not had internet
service for awhile here so I have not been able to log on. It is really hard
to say without looking, since it just sounds like dehydration and wasting. Not
much help, sorry.

Here is a link to an article I wrote about controlling fleas without


I would not want to use the essential oils on puppies. Not much proof if it
even works, but some people apply tea tree oil with some effect. After combing
each day (with a flea comb), try the vinegar spray. Fleas are a real problem
here in the tropics, and a constant headache. I usually just keep a small dish
with dish soap to catch them as I am combing, but it is time-consuming. Good
luck with that battle!!

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 27,

Hi Emily I just looked at your email about the goats. I have not had internet
service for awhile here so I have not been able to log on. It is really hard
to say without looking, since it just sounds like dehydration and wasting. Not
much help, sorry.

Here is a link to an article I wrote about controlling fleas without


I would not want to use the essential oils on puppies. Not much proof if it
even works, but some people apply tea tree oil with some effect. After combing
each day (with a flea comb), try the vinegar spray. Fleas are a real problem
here in the tropics, and a constant headache. I usually just keep a small dish
with dish soap to catch them as I am combing, but it is time-consuming. Good
luck with that battle!!

Emily on January 20, 2015:

ok first did you get my email?

then i have some Q.s for you.

1 is lavender and chamomile E. oils safe for dogs and puppies?

2 does lavender and chamomile kill and pevent fleas?

3 if the oils are not safe what can i use on puppies?

and i nom. use Dawn dish soap but it does not work.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 17,

Hi Emily go to my profile page (click on my avatar at the top of the page) and
leave me a question about the goats. I will help if I can.

I also have published my article on free range rabbits. Take a look and see if
it is any help to you.

Send me a picture of your baby rabbits when you mail the goat question. I
would love to see them!

Emily on January 14, 2015:

and the puppies are doing great!

there eyes are open now and started to walk without draging there bellies(we
are in for a wild ride;)

she now seems to have a nuff(i know its not a word but it fits) milk for them
now. and the baby rabbits are doing great too.

Emily on January 14, 2015:

hi i am back!

Gretta had her pupppies now two weeks ago and her limping got so bad that her
back leg on the other side started to limp as well. poor thing could not pick
a leg and limp on it.

she is almost back to nom. i think she worked out her kinks.

i know i tell my father that all the time with all animals but he does not do
it. and Gretta does not mess with the rabbits(she can’t even go near them) and
they are in a closed barn so they can’t see out and things can’t see in.

ok new Q. my famly has been having something happening to our goats if i tell
you what the sim. do you think you find out what is wrong please?

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 04,

The top of her shoulder? Do you mean the elbow? Here are some other xrays to
look at and some suggestions that might help.


How long has it been since she had puppies? Does your dad realize she is not
going to get better if this is a chronic problem? Tell him that sometimes it
is a lot cheaper to take care of it when it is a fresh problem, if he puts it
off it can be a lot more expensive to deal with.

Does Gretta (or any wild animals) bother your rabbits at night? If they are in
cages, and a dog is banging on them, the does get nervous and will even eat
their kits.

emily on January 03, 2015:

her toes are seem ok and she does not drag but it makes her cry when she lays
down or when we mess with it and it seems it be the top of her shoulder

yes i give the rabbits pellets and good hay and fresh green grass when able to

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 03,

It is really, really hard to say on the limping without doing an exam. They
may be right and she may have just damaged the nerve that goes over the
scapula (it is the big bone in the shoulder) when she was laying down. Is she
dragging the toes as she is limping, or does it seem painful? Have you looked
at the toes, and between them? How about all of the nails? Give her a good
exam and let me know.

As far as the rabbits, I raise mine free range. They get to eat a lot of
forage, (grass, weeds, hibiscus flowers, coconut and coconut husks) so rabbits
that eat that way do not have the behavioral problems seen in caged rabbits.
Are you just giving your rabbits pellets? Sometimes it helps to give them
fresh hay, alfalfa hay, etc. (I was going to write more about raising and
feeding free range rabbits but I have not got around to it lately since I lost
my last computer due to salinity here on the beach. I will try to get it done
sometime this month.)

Check back in about the 15th and I will have more rabbit info on here.

Emily on January 03, 2015:

oh and i wanted to know if you had any tips on raising rabbits. i have about
20 silver fox rabbits and i have had them for 1 year now and i have bred them
but so far only one has really tried to she right now has 2 kits but she is
the one who likes to reject them (this is her third litter she ate the first
and left the second) and the kits eyes are open but they keep getting gross
and getting sealed up with gunk. how do i bred and raise them the right way
and how do i keep the kits eyes open.

thank you

Emily Awtrey

emily on January 03, 2015:

she has been limping ever sense she had her puppies.

my mother & father think that its from lack of moving around the first 3 to 4
hours after welping.

we have been trying to get her to move around but so far its not getting
better its getting worse and my father is (in my point of thinking) to cheap
to take anything to the vet anymore. the last time we went (it was me and my
mother we took a goat to Dr. Young and she ended up dying anyway)my father
yelled at me and my mother for doing so because the bill was $500 for a dead

so everything my mother does now is try to look up what’s wrong and so far its
not working. i have seen many animals die ); and i am the one person in my
family who wants to be a vet so that i can help the animals.

thank you for responding

Emily Awtrey

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 03,

Emily, I cannot tell you why Gretta is limping without examining her. She may
have damaged a toe or nail, or it may be something as serious as a broken
bone. Please try to take her to your regular vet if you can.

As far as milk goes, most dogs have enough unless they are malnourished. Here
is a link I hope you will find helpful. (There is also a milk replacer formula
if you need it.)


I worked with goats many years ago, but no longer deal with many large
animals. I also have rabbits, geese, and other poultry, so always deal with
them too.

Good luck with Gretta. Let me know if I can help you any more.

emily on January 02, 2015:

and my 2year oid first litter female dog has been limping around on three feet
why? and she does not have the milk needed to feed 7 puppies how do i help

by the way your site has been the first to let me ask Q.s

please respond soon

thank you Dr.Mark

Emily Awtrey

p.s. i am 16 and worried about my dog Gretta

emily on January 02, 2015:

this is a great site i wish i had found this sooner.

my Q. for you is: do you know farm animals too?

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on August 18,

Sorry to hear that about Roxy. Some dogs are sensitive, such as Miniature
Shnauzers, but if fed in moderation it does not cause any problem. I can
certainly understand being paranoid, though, and think I would be if anything
happened to Ajej (my Pitbull).

Leslie on August 18, 2014:

I had a very sweet, wonderful pug named Roxy who did have pancreatitis and did
eventually have to be put down from the disease. I do let my dog now have
fats, but it very limited amounts, especially bacon. I am slightly paranoid
and a little guilt-ridden!

Audrey Howitt from California on July 19, 2013:

I suppose so–but mine listens I think!

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 19, 2013:

Audrey, your dog is lucky you go for that extra effort. Of course, don’t try
to convince her of that. I tell my dog how lucky she is all the time, and she
just looks at me and stares like I am nuts. (I guess talking to dogs is
considered nuts in some places!)

Audrey Howitt from California on July 19, 2013:

Oh I see! It is harder to get them here–you have to go to a butcher–stores
never sell them

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 19, 2013:

California is internationally famous (?) for some of the restrictions put on
citizens,like not buying raw milk, etc. I was just curious if the same thing
was happening with raw food like chicken legs.

Audrey Howitt from California on July 19, 2013:

Now you make me worried–what stories do you hear?

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 19, 2013:

LongTimeMother, I worried about that with my dog too, but even though I give
her raw chicken, and she will watch me butcher a bird and knows where the feet
come from,she never has tried to kill a live bird. She will even share with
them–coconut, not her raw meat! I have had others (like my Siberians) who did
not eat raw but would kill my birds anyway. (Which is one reason I no longer
keep Huskies)

LongTimeMother from Australia on July 19, 2013:

lol. I put a great deal of effort into teaching my dogs not to eat raw chicken
… otherwise I’d have an empty hen house. They get to eat fresh free range
eggs from time to time (when I drop one) and I do occasionally add garlic to
the water bowls.

It fascinates me how all my dogs over the years have periods when they self-
medicate with comfrey. I have many photos of them chomping on the comfrey

Carolee Samuda from Jamaica on July 19, 2013:

There is one reason I don’t like feeding my dog raw meats and that’s because
they tend to want to hunt the free range chickens in the neighborhood..lol. I
don’t like giving them raw eggs but they find them in the yard where the
chickens lay anyway; and they have never gotten sick from eating them. The
thing I fear giving my dog the most is fish bones so I try my best to discard
those properly.

Nira Perkins on July 19, 2013:

This is great information. I’m sad that it took me so long to find this but
glad I did 🙂 Thanks for sharing this, I will have to pass it on.

Lavender Jade from Derbyshire on July 18, 2013:

This is a great hub, I never knew about onions or garlic, not that our dog has
ever had them, but I didn’t know they could cause a problem. Love the photos

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 18, 2013:

Thanks, Audrey, we hear so many stories about California that it is hard to
know what is true.

Audrey Howitt from California on July 18, 2013:

I don’t have any problems–I get them from a butcher that I trust

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on July 18, 2013:

Dr. Mark–Chicken neck bones! Great idea! I could see how they wouldn’t get
stuck in my little guy’s throat since they are practically broken up, anyway,
right? He won’t get too excited and try to swallow them whole, will he? I
doubt it, since he seems to have to take his time even chewing a carrot. LOL.
I will look for your dog food hub. Thanks!

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 18, 2013:

Thanks for commenting, Audrey.Do you have any problem buying raw chicken feet
in California?

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 18, 2013:

Hi Susan my dog gets all of these too (bones, garlic, eggs from my chickens,
and antioxidants) so I hope they have an effect on her lifespan. I want to see
an article from you about a 20 year old Newfie!!

Thank s for the share.

Audrey Howitt from California on July 18, 2013:

I have been giving my dog chicken feet and she loves them–

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 18, 2013:

Hi Victoria! I do not know how they market chicken necks where you live,but
Gizmo would have no problems with those bones. They would definitely add some
vitamins he is missing in commercial food, and would probably help with his

My dog is like yours–no worries about too much broccoli, as she will not eat

I am going to edit an old hub on probiotics and premium food tomorrow (it s
almost midnight so I need to take my dogs for a walk). I will share it so it
will be on your feed.

Thanks so much for sharing this one!!

Audrey Howitt from California on July 18, 2013:

Just an excellent article!!

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on July 18, 2013:

Can’t believe I missed this hub. Dogs I’ve had all my life have gotten garlic.
I purposely put a small clove chopped up in their food several times a week.
Bones – they love raw bones! Raw eggs they get those too.

Another great hub Dr. Mark.

Voting up +++, sharing, and pinning.

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on July 18, 2013:

Your articles are so helpful. I have heard about all of these things. I have
heard conflicting reports about garlic, too. There are even products out there
with garlic to help control fleas! I am afraid to give my 16 pound dog any
kind of bones, I must admit. And I can assure you that broccoli probably isn’t
a danger. He won’t touch the stuff. Nor celery or lettuce. He loves tomatoes,
cauliflower, and bell peppers. I figure a few veggies are good for him here
and there, huh? I’m pretty over-protective (I don’t feed him anything raw,
either–salmonella?), but I do let him enjoy some fat, a little dairy, and
veggies here and there. It makes him happy, and, when mixed with his dry dog
food, he eats it all so much better.

Someone made a comment about premium foods. I wonder if they are better with
supplements such as fats and vegetables, especially. I have tried all sorts of
the most expensive foods for my dog and can’t get rid of his skin issues
completely. Anytime I do research on the best foods, I get so many different
opinions that I end up confused. Do you have an article on that? I would love
some recommendations.

Thanks for this hub. I’m sharing it. 🙂

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on November 14,

Thanks for the comment about the photos. That is my dog eating raw and chewing
on a bone! All of which is forbidden by the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical
Association). Guess who their biggest contributor is? A foundation set up by
Purina! It is all marketing, like you said, and most dogs do just fine
consuming all sorts of things that others declare “toxic”.

Give Zeus a long bone while he is doing his job around the house. He will
thank you for it.

Shasta Matova from USA on November 14, 2012:

I loved all the photos in this hub! And you have provided great information
here – there is so much alarm about so many thing that we shouldn’t feed our
dogs, and it is never backed up with real information. It almost seems like
you can’t give the dog anything to eat except expensive dog food, which makes
me think that a lot of the information is coming from their marketing
department. Voted up.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 13, 2012:

I grow corn (little else will produce here on the beach) and give her corn on
the cob to chew and destroy; I guess it is more satisfying than those turtle
bones that will never break! Sometimes they just have to destroy.

sallieannluvslife from Eastern Shore on July 13, 2012:

Great hub! I did know about most of the things you have listed but I did not
know about the onions….thank goodness I haven’t fed our dog any onions….my
husband hates them anyway, so I don’t use them so much…Who knew about the
turtle shells!! That sounds like a great chew toy for our dog who destroys
pretty much every single toy we give her….She loves to play but her toys
never survive! I love your photos, too!

Helen Murphy Howell from Fife, Scotland on June 16, 2012:

Fascinating hub. I knew about onions and chocolate but not about garlic etc.
But that begs the question about research in general. How often have so called
‘research’ results come out only for others to find the opposite results? The
poor animals kept in abnormal and cruel conditions are not, in my opinion,
good specimens for research anyway. Dogs, like humans, will probably survive
anything in moderation. The danger is that we might end up being as neurotic
about our dogs’ health and what they eat as we are about ourselves at times.

Great hub + voted up!!

BritInTexas from San Antonio, Texas on June 10, 2012:

Vets are a sore subject with me, unfortunately. Just like human healthcare,
vets seem to have little compassion these days, and merely see dollar signs.
This is most likely their reason for having no time for alternative medicine.
If a vet could make $300+ for cleaning a dog’s teeth, why on earth would they
recommend you give your dog raw bones, which, in the wild, are natural teeth
cleaners? I have a habit of getting on my soap box when discussing vets (and
healthcare in general!), LOL

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 10, 2012:

Yes we can only do our best. I was thinking abour your comment about your
Texas vet and ACV; alternatives get no time in the veterinary cirriculum and
continuing education is a sore matter! Even if you print something for him and
give him a handout, that is no guarantee he is going to take the time to read
it. As you know time is so limited.

BritInTexas from San Antonio, Texas on June 10, 2012:

Wendy Volhard is apparently very pro-ACV. In an ideal world, we’d all spend
hours each day preparing natural, holistic diets for our beloved pets,
spending a fortune on all the vitamins, minerals, fresh fruit, veggies, etc,
required to maintain the pet’s health. But, for one thing, I am not wealthy,
nor do I have that kind of time on my hands to chop, cook, de-bone, squeeze,
boil (you get the idea) – so I do the next best thing and buy the best dog
food that I can afford, and compliment it with as many natural/alternative
remedies as I can. That’s all we really can do for them, isn’t it. (That, and
avoid all of the chemical crap that’s in store brand dog foods!)

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 10, 2012:

I am pretty sure Wendy Volhard has a site but I do not know the link. Better
safe than sorry, right?

BritInTexas from San Antonio, Texas on June 10, 2012:

No I don’t test her pH levels, and to be honest, my vet didn’t seem all that
knowledgeable about ACV. It’s like the thing with the raw bones – some vets
rave about it, others are indecisive. I do research things like this a LOT,
and I have read more than enough positive arguments to continue adding it to
Lily’s water daily.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 10, 2012:

I have heard good and bad things about ACV but like a lot of things no one
really knows. Do you test your dogs urine pH, like suggested by Wendy Volhard,
an ACV proponent? Did your vet know about the ACV when treating her for HGE?

BritInTexas from San Antonio, Texas on June 10, 2012:

I feed my dog Lily, with Blue Buffalo for small breeds (the pink bag). Yes,
it’s expensive, but it works for her because of her sensitive tummy. I also
add a teaspoon of pure, unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar to her water
bowl , as this too works about as equally as garlic does in preventing large
infestations of fleas. It also helps in preventing arthritis, it reduces tear
stains somewhat, and it can apparently neutralizing any toxic substances which
enter the dog’s body (according to one dog site). ACV can also be dripped
between the shoulder blades of a dog OR cat, and will work in deterring fleas.
I must admit, Lily’s never had more than ONE flea on her at any given time,
and ACV in her water is all we use.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 10, 2012:

Good comment Britin but the trouble is, what do we leave out? The dental
biscuits? The rawhide strips? The garlic that acts as a natural flea
preventative? The foods that supposedly contain everything for a long life do
not do anything to make your dog live longer. And like you said, unfortunately
we have no way to really find out.

I just added a link on premium foods and longevity. Please take a look

BritInTexas from San Antonio, Texas on June 10, 2012:

Unfortunately, without causing serious harm, or even death, to innocent doggy
test subjects, and doing what the evil so-and-so’s in Japan did, no one can
really prove one way or the other about many of the listed ‘toxic’ foods these
days. There’s the time tested ones such as chocolate and onions, which every
dog owner should know about. But things like garlic, grapes, certain types of
nuts… not only does it depend on the breed, size, age, and over all health
of a dog as to whether eating those things would affect him in a negative way,
but it also depends on which vet you talk to. Just like the whole RAW diet
theory; some vets are all for it, others (like my dog’s vet) look at you like
you’re nuts for even considering giving a dog a raw bone. I have an 11 lb
terrier mix with a sensitive tum. Just had to fork out over $600 to get
emergency treatment for ‘HGE’ (Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis), and that was
(most likely) caused from giving her so-called ‘healthy’ treats (crunchy
holistic dental biscuits). Best advice is, if you aren’t sure about something,
why risk it? If you love your dogs as much as I love mine, then you’ll spend
the extra to buy them good quality food FOR dogs, which should have all of the
vitamins, minerals and what-not that they need. “If in doubt, leave it out”.
Great article, though. :O)

wetnosedogs from Alabama on June 10, 2012:

Sorry, no I didn’t do any research. She just never got sick in any way for me
to be concerned. She was a stray from the humane society and although she is
never starving now, she seems to have it set in her mind to never starve again
and if she likes it, she will eat it. She’s a challenge that way. She used to
catch birds and want to bring them in the house! She can bring in pears any

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 09, 2012:

The only thing I have heard about pears is the seeds, which would be unlikely
to cause problems as it is dose related and a dog would not eat enough to
matter. Of course they could cause GI upset, diarrhea, but not poisoning. Have
you read anything different, reliable and researched?

wetnosedogs from Alabama on June 09, 2012:

Love the pictures, especially the last one!

No mention of pears, but my dog must be okay with them. She will bring in
dropped pears from the tree and have a great snack out of them. Out of all the
three dogs, she’s the only one that really likes them.

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on June 09, 2012:

Thanks! I’m glad we came to consensus on that point! 🙂

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 09, 2012:

I applaud you for that. I was referring to the low fat canned diets sold for
dogs with pancreatitis, homemade is obviously superior!

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on June 09, 2012:

Her special diet is prepared by me in my own kitchen with the best organic
ingredients, and with her vet’s blessing. She thrives on it, and you should
see her lick the bowl clean! (She obviously loves the taste.) I wouldn’t feed
her any type of commercial dog food because the pet food recalls for tainted
dog food have included the so-called “premium” brands.

As for what some commercial dog food manufacturers include in their food, some
items are horrifying.

I’m not a fanatic–I just love my dog like she’s one of the family, which she
is! And, from everything I’ve read, I’m certainly not alone.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 09, 2012:

Thanks for the comment about your Schnauzer. I am glad you have a diet that
works for her. I do not agree with you about “better safe” comment on garlic
because I think there are too many advantages. Check the label on your dogs
special diet and you many find garlic as one of the ingredients–dog food
manufacturers use it quite commonly on low fat diets because they are not

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on June 09, 2012:

I have a qualifier about feeding fat to dogs: Some breeds (and my dog is one
of them, a miniature Schnauzer) inherit a propensity to increased lipase from
fat consumption, which leads to pancreatitis. Even though she never had high-
fat meals, she’s had pancreatitis three times and nearly died from it once.
Her vet told me to keep her on a low-fat diet (less than 5% of her food and
not animal fat). So the amount of fat that’s safe depends on the dog’s breed,
size, activity level, and whether or not it has any known health issues.

I subscribe to the “better safe than sorry” theory about garlic for dogs. (My
dog could not care less, but I don’t want to take a chance that it will hurt

Otherwise, you’ve pointed out a lot of dangers about potential toxins from
ordinary foods. Every dog owner should know them.