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Raw Dog Food - What to Avoid

Just like humans, dogs enjoy a variety when it comes to their nutrition. That variety also ensures that overall they get a well balanced diet. But when giving this variety in a raw dog food diet, there are certain foods that could actually be harmful to your friend and companion, and should be avoided at all costs. This article will explore many of those items.

Some raw foods must be completely avoided, due to the potential harm to your dog. Some are perfectly safe only if precautions are taken in the preparation. And others are fine if used in moderation, but don't overdo these items.

Avoid completely in your raw dog food diet!

Onions, garlic, and chives

An active ingredient in onions, and other members of the onion family, is allyl propyl disulfide, which can damage the red blood cells in your dog, leading to a condition called hemolytic anemia. It can also irritate the gastrointestinal system of your dog. This is one great reason to read the ingredients when shopping for foods and treats for your dog. Onion can be found as an ingredient in many dog treats. Some people claim that in moderation onions are OK, and feeding these treats is safe. What do you think? Garlic has shown some benefit to a dog, so it is also included in the fine in moderation group.

Chocolate, coffee and caffeine

Chocolate contains both caffeine and theobromine, which can result in seizures or abnormal heart rhythm in your dog. Depending on the type of chocolate and the dose, chocolate can be fatal. Note that the purer the chocolate, the greater the risk (one ounce of milk chocolate contains 6 miligrams of caffeine and between 44 and 56 miligrams of theobromine, while one ounce of baking chocolate has between 35 and 47 miligrams of caffeine with 393 miligrams of theobromine).

Grapes and raisins

Grapes and raisins contain an as yet unknown toxin that can harm a dog's kidneys.

Macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts also contain an unknown toxin that can attack a dog's digestive and nervous systems.


Avacados contain Persin, which can cause your dog to vomit or have diarrhea. There have been some cases where excessive avacado eating has been fatal.

Potato skins and eyes

Potato skins and the eyes from potatoes contain solanine, which is poisonous to many animals, including dogs.

Raw dog food items fine in moderation


While I grouped garlic above with onions, it is important to note that the amount of allyl propyl disulfide contained in garlic is significantly less than onions. There is also a lot of evidence that garlic, taken in moderation, may actually be beneficial to your dog. A search of the internet will find many more sites proclaiming the benefits of garlic in preventing fleas, ticks and worms than those that say completely avoid garlic for your dog.

Cabbage family (cabbage, kale, broccoli, etc.)

Large amounts of vegetables in the cabbage family can decrease the thyroid function.

Spinach and chard

Large amounts of these vegetables, which contain oxalic acid, can irritate urinary conditions and could inhibit calcium absorption.

Raw dog food items requiring special preparation

Raw Pork

Raw pork may contain a swine disease known as Aujeszky's Disease or pseudorabies, which can be fatal for a dog. Fortunately, pseudorabies is a fragile virus. Unlike many other viruses, pseudorabies can be killed by freezing. So, if you want to feed your dog pork, just make sure that you keep it in the freezer for a few weeks, and then feed immediately after thawing.

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