This post may contain affiliate links, or we may earn money from the companies mentioned in this post. For more information on this, please visit our legal page.

Once upon a time, our canine friends lived off the scraps of human leftovers. Little did we know, some of the scraps we fed were causing our puppies to be unwell. In the decades that have gone by, pet owners have gained a huge amount of knowledge on what puppy foods to avoid. With the help of our veterinarians, and the foods made specifically for dogs, our puppies have begun to live much longer and healthier lives.

Here is a list of puppy foods to avoid and the symptoms they can give your pup! Then we’ll go over the foods that can be severely toxic to your pet.

  • Citrus fruits: lemon, orange…, etc. (stomach upset, diarrhea)
  • Fresh coconut, coconut oil (stomach upset, diarrhea)
  • Macadamia nuts (tremors, weakness, vomiting – lasting 12-48 hours)
  • Milk and dairy – puppies cannot digest lactose (stomach upset, diarrhea)
  • High-fat nuts: walnuts, pecans, etc. (upset stomach, diarrhea)
  • Onions, garlic (intestinal irritation, red blood cell damage)
  • Seeds and pits: apple, avocado, etc. (during digestion, cyanide is released)
  • Grapes and raisins (unknown quantities lead to kidney failure)
  • Gum (stomach blockage)
  • Fat trimmings (upset stomach, diarrhea)
  • Cat food (upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea)
  • Corn cob (intestinal blockage)
  • Liver (fine in smaller amounts, large amounts can affect muscles and bones)
  • Raw fish (could contain deadly parasites)

Extremely Important Puppy Foods to Avoid

Chocolates and Anything Caffeinated

Methylxanthine is found in all chocolates and foods which contain caffeine. When ingested, they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, tremors, abnormal heart rhythm, and death. Dark chocolates contain higher amounts of this chemical. If you suspect your puppy has eaten anything containing chocolate or caffeine, call your vet.

Salt and Salty Snacks

High doses of salt can be fatal to your puppy. Include caution in winter areas where road salts can be used to melt ice. Snacks containing salt should always be a puppy food to avoid. Too much salt can lead to sodium poisoning, resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, and neurological symptoms such as drooling and confusion, causing coma and death.


This is a sugar alcohol sweetener found in gums, mouth wash, candies, and some baked goods, and even in small doses, xylitol can be highly toxic. It can cause seizures, liver failure, and death. So, if you suspect your puppy has eaten something containing xylitol, contact your veterinarian ASAP.

Cooked Bones

Although raw bones are healthy for your puppy, cooked bones can splinter and cause intestinal blockages. Also, cooked bones can pierce the intestines, which may ultimately lead to major health issues and death.

Yeast and Raw Dough

Raw dough containing yeast can cause the medical emergency dog bloat. Your puppy’s stomach fills with gas and can flip, cutting off  blood supply to vital organs, possibly tearing the stomach wall. If left untreated, this condition can quickly become fatal.

Now that we’ve gone over the puppy foods to avoid, take a moment to read our article on “Types of Food to Feed Your Puppy” to help you decide what is best to feed your little companion.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.