Guide dog life

Don’t Feed My Dog! Top 10 Foods that are Toxic for Dogs

This is a list of only ten things, there are likely more foods that dogs should not have. Also, I’m not a veterinarian, my advice is from personal experience with dogs, guidance, and information from Cooper’s school, and lots of reading on the internet.

Patricia Timmermans
6 min readNov 15, 2022


picture of Cooper — a black lab
Image credit: the author. This is Cooper’s “It’s supper time!” face. He can hold this pose for as long as it takes.

My original idea was to complain about strangers (sometimes family members) who go ahead and feed our dogs even though they know not to.

Then I decided to make a list of foods that may be dangerous, possibly toxic, for dogs. It will be more helpful than my complaining.

But first:

Why don’t you want people to feed your dog?

I’ll use guide dog Cooper, in my example.

Cooper, like most dogs, has the most adorable face when he wants a piece of my food, so it’s hard to resist sharing with him.

But once we’ve started sharing our food with the dog, they expect it and it’s hard to backtrack; then too soon, we have an overweight dog.

Their healthy weight

I have a weight guideline to follow for Cooper, why?

At his optimal weight, I know he feels good. He’s light on his feet, energetic, and ready to play or run. He also does his job without getting tired, usually.

Cooper lets me know when he wants a break. I explain it in: How do I know my guide dog needs a break?

Another reason: you probably don’t want your dog to take food from strangers (you just never know).

Family members can take liberties too, but if you’re the only one feeding him and you want to give him treats for being awesome, you can assume he hasn’t been sneaking food from everyone else. You hope anyway.

Top 10 foods that can be dangerous for our dogs:

Chocolate (and coffee or tea)



Patricia Timmermans

My guide dog and I visit schools to raise awareness for sight loss; the kids’ questions make great stories! Plus, I love books and writing book reviews. 🇨🇦