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Chocolate contains caffeine and a related chemical called theobromine that is also harmful to dogs.

Darker chocolates, including cocoa powder, contain more theobromine per ounce than milk chocolate. Eating just a half-ounce of baking chocolate could be deadly for a 5-pound dog.

Symptoms from eating a small amount of chocolate include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If your dog eats larger amounts it can also lead to:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Tremors and seizures
  • Irregular heartbeat

Garlic and Onions

Garlic and onions contain a chemical that breaks down into a substance that damages the red blood cells of dogs. A 10-pound dog could die from eating just half an onion.

Other ingredients, such as onion powder or juice, can also be harmful.

Symptoms after eating these foods can include:

More symptoms may begin days later, such as:

  • Stumbling
  • Lack of interest in eating
  • Dark urine

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes, and the raisins made from them, can cause kidney failure in dogs.

This doesn't affect every dog that eats grapes or raisins. Experts still aren't sure which ingredient in the fruit may cause this problem.

The most common symptom is vomiting. Early signs of kidney failure can include drinking more and urinating more. Later symptoms of kidney failure include pain in the belly and less urine.

Macadamia Nuts

These pale, round nuts can hurt your dog.

The symptoms of macadamia nut poisoning often begin with:

  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Stumbling
  • Shaking
  • Fever


This is used as a sweetener in gum, candy, many other foods and drinks, and toothpaste.

Fruits, vegetables, and mushrooms also contain small amounts of xylitol.

In dogs, this ingredient can cause insulin, a hormone, to soar. This causes their blood sugar to drop steeply. Xylitol can also cause liver damage.

Dogs often vomit after they eat or drink xylitol.

Other symptoms include:

  • Weakness
  • Clumsiness
  • Seizures