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Foods unsafe for dogs?

Species: Dog
Breed: Shih tzu
Age: 5-8 years
Hi Dr. Marie,

I have a 6 year old Shih Tzu. I have given him human food his whole life, I know that is bad, but it seems to late to try to break him of that now (is it?) My question, what foods absolutely should dogs, and particularly the Shih Tzu breed,not eat? Also, I give him a dog vitamin/treat everyday, and heartworm, shots, etc.

Thanks in advance, Janet Vigil


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

It sounds like your dog has trained you well!

While I don't condone feeding human food to dogs, as long as your dog is getting a decent amount of dog food each day along with the human food he will get the vitamins and minerals he needs. However, the problem with most human foods is that they can be fairly high in calories.

The following foods are to be avoided for any dog: onions, garlic, grapes, raisins and chocolate.

I have seen dogs that have been broken of the habit of only eating human food (even at this age). A dog will not starve himself to death. So, if all you offer him is dog food he will eventually eat it.

I hope this helps!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.