What Human Foods Are Dogs Allergic To?

Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs.
Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs. (Image: Macadamia Nuts and Shell image by MrGreenBug from Fotolia.com)

Dogs generally seem to love those scraps of table food thrown to them by their loving--and somewhat indulgent--owners. However, some human foods dogs should never eat because of toxic allergic reactions, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. These foods might be completely harmless to humans, but can cause symptoms ranging from digestive issues to death in dogs. Individual dogs might also exhibit allergic reactions to certain foods; in this case, you will likely need to consult a veterinarian to discover the problem food. If you notice digestive upset or strange behavior in your dog after eating certain human foods, avoid these foods in the future.


Methylxantines are substances found in foods derived from the cacao bean. This includes chocolate and any product with caffeine. In dogs, methylxanthines cause "vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death," according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Macadamia Nuts

Dogs exhibit "weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia" after consuming macadamia nuts, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. These nuts are often found in baked goods, such as cookies. Other nuts are typically acceptable for dogs to digest.

Fruits and Vegetables

Grapes and raisins cause a toxic allergic reaction in dogs, though the exact reason behind this remains unclear. Dogs also exhibit allergic reactions including vomiting and diarrhea to avocados. Onions, garlic and chives should not be given to dogs in large quantities, as they cause irritation of the gastrointestinal tract. And although corn does not cause a toxic reaction in dogs, it is often the cause of long-term, less severe allergic reactions.


Raw meat and eggs are dangerous to dogs for a number of reasons. Not only can they poison your dog through bacterial contamination, but the bones contained in some meat pose a choking risk for your pet. Furthermore, eggs contain an enzyme that affects your dog's absorption of biotin, which can lead to problems with the dog's skin and coat. Allergies to beef and chicken occur in dogs much more frequently than other types of food allergies. If your dog does not have an allergy, he can safely be fed cooked, boneless meat to meet daily protein and energy requirements.


Like some people, dogs do not digest milk products well because they don't have the enzyme lactase, which is needed to break down the lactose found in these foods. If ingested, milk-based products typically cause digestive problems such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. A dairy allergy is one of the most common types of allergies found in dogs.

Common Additives

Xylitol, a sweetener used in many human foods, causes high insulin levels in dogs. This can lead to liver failure and death within a few days. Salt causes unusual levels of thirst and urination in dogs. In severe cases, seizure and death can result. Additionally, a number of additives, colors and fillers can be allergens for dogs, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

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