Human Foods Your Dog Can Never Eat: Commonly Found In Australia
We all want to feed our dogs the best food available, but most pet parents aren't aware of the many common foods that canines cannot eat. The list is pretty long and some items may even surprise you. So how do you know if the food you are eating is safe for you dog too?
No worries, we’ve put together the ultimate list of toxic food for dogs. With a little bit of know how, it’ll be easier to keep your pup away from dangerous foods. And you can be confident that you aren't giving them toxic food if you happen to give in to their begging puppy eyes.
Why Some Foods Are Poisonous To Dogs
While humans can eat a pretty diverse range of foods, our pets don’t work the same way. In fact, common human foods like onions are very dangerous to your pup’s health. Many common foods are poisonous to dogs and as their owner, you’re responsible for keeping them out of reach for your pooch.
PRO TIP: Many human foods are toxic to dogs, so avoid feeding them home-cooked meals made for people.
Dogs have different enzymes than humans. Their metabolism also works differently, and that’s why some foods are healthy for us but dangerous for them. For example, dogs are more sensitive to certain sweeteners, and they can spike their blood sugar levels and even cause liver failure.
The Ultimate List Of Toxic Food For Dogs
While this list of foods dogs can’t eat isn’t exhaustive, it’s a good starting point to know which foods are bad to dogs.
PRO TIP: Dogs shouldn’t eat Vegemite because it’s too high in sodium
Poisonous Garden Plants For Dogs
When it comes to what can dogs not eat, you need to take into account more than your dog’s diet. In fact, many pet emergencies happen because of dangerous substances or plants they weren’t supposed to eat in the first place.
Home gardens, while enjoyable, can host many plants that are very poisonous to dogs. According to the Animal Emergency Centre (AEC), here are some of the most common toxic garden plants that your dog shouldn’t eat :
PRO TIP: While these plants are poisonous, this doesn’t mean you can’t have them in the garden. Try to arrange them in a way where it’s difficult for your dog to get to them. For example, keeping them in pots away from your dog’s reach is a good option. Or placing them up high on a rock wall where your dog won’t see them. It's also a good idea to keep an eye on your dog when they’re out in the garden.
What Should I Feed My Dog?
Now you know what foods dog cannot eat. But what should you feed your dog instead?
RSPCA Australia recommends that your dog’s diet should be based on a high-quality, premium dog food. Make sure the label states the food complies with the Australian Standard AS5812, which ensures the food follows the latest safety measures .
PRO TIP: When in doubt, talk to your vet. They will offer recommendations based on your specific dog and will often let you know the best dog food brand for your pup.
How To Choose The Right Dog Food
While dogs should eat commercial dog food, not all of these are created equally. Choosing the right brand and ingredient mix is key in ensuring your pup’s long-term health.
Here’s what to look for when choosing your dog’s food:
Related: What is AAFCO? The Association of American Feed Control Officials
Related: What Is the Pet Food Industry Association of Australia (PFIAA)?
Related: AAFCO vs PFIAA: Dog Food Standards Comparison Australia
How To Add Variety To Your Dog’s Diet
On top of commercial dog food, you can also offer fresh “extras” to keep their diet diverse. Here are some ideas:
PRO TIP: Check with your vet first that raw meaty bones are suitable for your particular dog (e.g. some dogs with misshapen jaws or dental disease or older dogs may have difficulty chewing on raw bones).” – RSPCA Australia 
PRO TIP: Don’t overfeed your dog! These extras shouldn’t interfere with your dog’s regular eating schedule. To make sure you’re on the right track, here’s our in-depth guide to help you figure out how much should your dog eat.
Short answer: no.
Dogs love bones, and you can easily provide them as part of a balanced diet. However, you need to stick to raw bones.
Cooked bones are dangerous to dogs: they break and splinter easily, which can be fatal to your pup. RSPCA Australia recommends you give bones to your dog twice a week at most. You should also avoid large marrow bones, T-bones, large knuckle bones and bones sawn lengthwise. Dogs eating bones should be supervised at all times.
Yes, but only if it hasn’t been treated with chemicals like fertilisers and insecticides.
Many dogs enjoy munching on a bit of grass here and there, and it can also provide extra micronutrients.
- "Dangers for Pets". AEC Vets Animal Emergency Centre. Retrieved August 6, 2023. https://www.aecvets.com.au/what-is-an-emergency/dangers-for-pets/
- "Common plant toxins information sheet". AEC Vets Animal Emergency Centre. Retrieved August 6, 2023. https://www.aecvets.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Common-Plant-Toxins-2016.pdf
- “How is the pet food industry regulated in Australia?”. RSPCA Knowledge Base. Retrieved August 6, 2023. https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/how-is-the-pet-food-industry-regulated-in-australia/
- “What should I feed my dog?” December 3, 2021. RSPCA Knowledge Base. Retrieved August 6, 2023. https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/what-should-i-feed-my-dog/