8 foods that can make your pooch sick

We all know chocolate isn’t good for dogs but there are many other foods that can make your precious pooch very sick. The best rule of thumb is to only feed dog food or treats. It is however, important to know what foods may be dangerous, especially if your dog often resembles a furry vacuum cleaner on legs!

What NOT to feed your dog 



The very popular human superfood can cause gastrointestinal upset in your dog and if they eat the pit it can obstruct their intestine, which may require life saving surgery.


Grapes and Raisins 

Grapes and raisins cause kidney failure in dogs, which can be life threatening. Remember that raisins can be found in many cakes and desserts…all the more reason to finish them yourself!



Probably the most common food toxin ingested by dogs, particularly around holiday periods such as Easter and Christmas. The symptoms of chocolate toxicity can range from gastrointestinal signs to seizures and death depending on the amount of chocolate and the percentage of cocoa in it. The higher the percentage of cocoa (the darker it is), the more toxic the chocolate!


Macadamia nuts 

Can cause weakness in the hind legs, pain, fever and muscle tremors. The symptoms usually subside within 48 hours.


Onions and Garlic

All close members of the onion family (shallots, onions, garlic, scallions, etc.) contain compounds that can damage dogs’ red blood cells. While it’s uncommon for dogs to eat enough raw onion and garlic to cause serious problems, exposure to concentrated forms of onion or garlic, such as dehydrated onions, onion soup mix or garlic powder, may put dogs at risk of toxicosis.



Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is widely used in sugar-free gum, as well as in sugar-free baked products. If eaten by dogs it can cause a rapid drop in blood sugar levels and this can be very dangerous.


Human medications 

Never give your dog human medication unless explicitly advised by your vet. Some common human medications can be very toxic and even fatal to dogs. Nurofen for example, will cause life threatening kidney failure in dogs.


Coffee or caffeinated drinks 

These drinks act like a stimulant and may cause vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, restlessness and an increased heart rate. In severe cases it can cause irregular heartbeats, muscle tremors, seizures and even death. There is no such thing as a safe ‘doggieccino’.


Our dogs are not always the best judges of what is safe to eat so it is up to us to be mindful of what we feed them. Accidents however do happen so if your dog ingests any of the above immediate veterinary treatment should be sought. In all cases the quicker the dog is treated, the better the outcome is likely to be. In any case of toxicity, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE.

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Dr Josie Gollan
If anyone can make veterinary science look good, it’s Dr Josie Gollan. Since graduating from Sydney University with Bachelor of Veterinary Science (with First Class Honours), Josie has practiced as both an equine and small animal vet. Currently, Josie is a dedicated vet at Sydney’s Animal Doctors clinic, treating creatures both big and small. She is an avid horse-rider and her love for, as well as extensive knowledge of the equine industry has facilitated Josie securing her title as the ‘Official Race Day Veterinarian’ for Racing NSW. Adding to this, Josie has written numerous articles for Trackside Magazine. Josie was a Guest Reporter on the broadcast of Channel 9’s Magic Millions in 2014. Josie also regularly appears on the Nine Network’s Today show as a Guest Vet to educate viewers on pet-related stories. Away from the camera, Josie is a sought-after keynote for many leading events in the vet and pet industry including the Dog Lovers Show held recently in Sydney where she performed two talks per day on the main stage. There isn’t much this beauty can’t do! Josie has a passion for travel and is a sporting enthusiast - tennis, hockey, touch-football and athletics are among her hobbies. She is even a certified ski instructor!