What Treats You Should Never Give Your Dog

What Treats You Should Never Give Your Dog

I understand how important it is to show your furry friend love by giving them a treat or two, however, it’s equally important to be aware of the treats that can potentially harm your pet. As the market is flooded with treats of different shapes, sizes, colors, and consistencies, it can be confusing to choose the right one for your dog. In this article, I will discuss the treats that you should never give your dog and why they can be dangerous. Additionally, I will suggest alternative treats that are healthy and safe for your dog.

It’s important to note that not all dog treats are created equal. Some may be filled with artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, which may cause allergic reactions in some dogs. Always check the label before buying any treats and try to choose those that have natural ingredients.

Additionally, it’s important to understand that treats should not make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily diet. Overindulging your furry friend can lead to obesity and other health issues. So, be mindful of the number of treats you give to your dog, and try to balance them with a healthy and balanced diet.

Greenies / Dental Sticks

Many dogs love greenies, and they are advertised as a treat that helps clean your dog’s teeth. However, you need to be aware that greenies can cause choking. The reason is that dogs eat these treats very quickly, causing large chunks to get lodged in the throat. If your dog is prone to scarfing food or is a young puppy, avoid giving them greenies. If your dog eats these treats, be aware of potential vomiting, bloody stools, and difficulty breathing. If you notice any of these symptoms after your dog has eaten this treat, seek medical attention immediately.

Alternative Treat: Consider offering your dog dental chews or dental sticks made by reputable brands. These treats are designed to clean your dog’s teeth and freshen their breath without causing any harm.

Rawhide Chews

Rawhides are chewy treats that dogs love to snack on. They are good because they clean your dog’s teeth and keep them occupied. However, some rawhides that originate outside of the United States may actually be preserved with arsenic-based chemicals that are dangerous for your dog. Therefore, make sure to purchase any rawhide treats processed in the United States, where this preservative is forbidden. If you cannot tell where a treat originated, do not buy it! Additionally, watch your dog when they are munching on rawhides to help prevent choking. Buy rawhides that are the right size for your dog. A small dog needs smaller-sized rawhide treats.

Alternative Treat: Consider offering your dog bully sticks, which are made from the pizzle of bulls or cows. These treats are digestible and less likely to cause choking than rawhide chews.


Chocolate is toxic to both dogs and cats, so you need to be aware of your dog sneaking chocolate nibbles, especially around the holidays. Chocolate contains an ingredient called theobromine, which is similar to caffeine in humans. Even a small amount of chocolate can make your dog hyperactive, while a large dose may be fatal. If your dog has eaten chocolate, look for vomiting, shallow breathing, and an irregular heartbeat. In this case, visit the emergency vet immediately.

Alternative Treat: Consider offering your dog carob treats. Carob is a plant that tastes similar to chocolate but does not contain theobromine, making it a safe alternative to chocolate.

Animal Bones

Dogs love to chew on bones, and it seems like a natural thing for them to do. However, some bones can be dangerous. Chicken and turkey bones are especially dangerous because they are brittle and can easily splinter, causing choking. Some pork and beef bones can also cause the same problem. Veterinarians agree that one of the safest bones you can give your dog is a shinbone. If you must give your dog a bone, supervise them and look for signs of bleeding. If you notice any bleeding, call your vet immediately for advice.

Alternative Treat: Consider offering your dog antlers or deer horns. These treats are hard, long-lasting, and do not splinter like bones. They also provide minerals and nutrients that are good for your dog’s health.

What Treats You Should Never Give Your Dog

Apart from the treats mentioned earlier, there are some other foods that you should avoid giving your dog. For example, grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs, while onions and garlic can damage their red blood cells, leading to anemia. Avocado and macadamia nuts are also toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems.

It’s also important to note that dogs have different nutritional needs at different stages of their lives. For example, puppies require more protein and fat than adult dogs, while senior dogs need fewer calories and more fiber to maintain their weight and promote digestion. So, make sure to choose treats that are appropriate for your dog’s age and dietary needs.

Finally, always supervise your dog when giving them treats. Dogs can sometimes get too excited and swallow treats whole, leading to choking or other health issues. By monitoring your dog, you can prevent any potential problems and ensure that they are enjoying their treats in a safe and healthy way.

In conclusion, while treats can be a fun way to show your dog how much you love them, it’s important to be mindful of what you give them. By avoiding harmful treats and choosing those with natural ingredients, you can keep your furry friend healthy and happy. Remember, treats should be given in moderation and should not replace a balanced and nutritious diet. And as always, if you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s diet or health, don’t hesitate to consult with your veterinarian.