20 Foods Your Golden Retriever Should Never Eat

As a proud Golden Retriever owner, I can attest to how much we love to treat our furry friends with food. Those big puppy eyes pleading for just a little bite of what’s on our plate can be hard to resist. However, it’s important to be mindful of what we give them because some human foods can be downright dangerous for our Golden Retrievers to consume.

From chocolate to grapes and raisins, onions and garlic to avocado, there are a host of common foods we must ensure our dogs never eat. Alcohol, macadamia nuts, candy, and chewing gum, bread dough, raw meat and fish, caffeine, dairy products, xylitol, fatty foods, mushrooms, salt, cherry and apricot pits, nutmeg, potato and tomato leaves, bones, and even corn on the cob all pose risks that could potentially cause harm or even prove fatal.

In this article, we’ll dive into why these foods are dangerous for our Golden Retrievers and the symptoms we should watch for. So, before you sneak a snack to your furry best friend, let’s explore the potentially hazardous consequences of not knowing what your Golden should never eat.

List of 20 foods that are dangerous for Golden Retrievers to consume.

Chocolate – A Dangerous Treat for Your Golden Retriever

As much as we love this sweet treat, chocolate is a big no-no for your furry friend. It contains theobromine, which dogs can’t digest properly, leading to a buildup of toxins in their system. These toxins can cause vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, seizures, and even death in extreme cases. So, if you want to keep your Golden Retriever healthy and happy, keep chocolate out of their reach.

Grapes and Raisins – A Small Amount Can Cause Big Problems

While grapes and raisins may seem like harmless snacks for you, they can be incredibly dangerous for your Golden Retriever. Even a small amount of grapes or raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs, which can ultimately be fatal.

Symptoms of grape or raisin toxicity in dogs can include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and decreased appetite. In more severe cases, your dog may experience abdominal pain, dehydration, and other serious health problems.

If you suspect that your Golden Retriever has eaten grapes or raisins, it’s important to seek veterinary attention right away. Early intervention can make all the difference in preventing serious health complications.

To keep your Golden Retriever safe and healthy, avoid feeding them grapes or raisins and make sure these snacks are kept well out of reach. Instead, opt for dog-friendly treats and snacks that are safe for your pet to enjoy.

Onions and Garlic – Toxic to Your Golden Retriever’s Health

Do you know that onions and garlic can be harmful to your Golden Retriever’s health? These common kitchen ingredients contain compounds that can cause damage to your furry friend’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. Symptoms of onion and garlic toxicity in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and breathing difficulties.

It doesn’t matter whether the onion or garlic is raw, cooked, or powdered; they all contain the harmful compounds that can be toxic to your Golden Retriever. So it’s essential to avoid feeding your furry friend with food that contains onions and garlic, such as pizza, pasta sauce, and baby food.

However, don’t worry if your dog has accidentally consumed food containing these ingredients. Call your veterinarian immediately, and they will advise you on the appropriate steps to take based on your dog’s health condition. Remember, prevention is better than cure, so keep onions and garlic out of reach from your furry friend.

Avocado – Not a Safe Snack for Your Golden Retriever

It’s no secret that avocado is a delicious and healthy snack for humans, but did you know that it’s dangerous for your Golden Retriever? Avocado contains a toxin called persin that can cause harm to your furry friend’s digestive system, leading to vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing. Additionally, the high fat content in avocados can cause pancreatitis in dogs. So, it’s best to keep this green fruit away from your Golden Retriever and stick to dog-friendly treats instead.

Toxic dog foods.

Alcohol – Alarming Symptoms in Your Golden Retriever If Consumed

Alcohol is unsafe for Golden Retrievers. Even a small amount can have alarming effects on your pet’s health. Some common symptoms of alcohol consumption in Golden Retrievers include vomiting, loss of coordination, difficulty breathing, and seizures.

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In severe cases, alcohol ingestion can lead to coma, respiratory failure, and even death. It’s important to ensure that your Golden Retriever does not have access to any alcoholic beverages, especially during parties or gatherings where drinks may be easily accessible.

If you suspect that your Golden Retriever has consumed alcohol, seek veterinary care immediately. Early intervention can help prevent further complications and ensure the safety and well-being of your beloved pet.

Macadamia Nuts – Harmful Effects on Your Golden Retriever

Macadamia nuts may seem harmless, but they can actually be quite harmful to your Golden Retriever. If ingested, these nuts can cause vomiting, tremors, high body temperature, and lethargy in your furry friend. In severe cases, macadamia nuts can even lead to muscle damage and paralysis. It’s important to keep any macadamia nuts out of reach of your Golden Retriever to help ensure their safety and wellbeing.

Candy and Chewing Gum – Sweet May Not Be Safe for Your Golden Retriever

As tempting as it may be to share your candy and chewing gum with your furry best friend, it’s important to resist that urge. These sweet treats may contain Xylitol, a common sweetener that is highly toxic to dogs, especially Golden Retrievers. Even a small amount of Xylitol can cause a sudden and severe drop in your dog’s blood sugar levels, leading to seizures or even death. Symptoms of Xylitol poisoning may include vomiting, loss of coordination, and lethargy. It’s best to keep candy and chewing gum out of reach of your Golden Retriever to ensure their safety.

Bread Dough – How it Can Affect Your Golden Retriever’s Digestive System

Bread dough can be harmful to your Golden Retriever’s digestive system. Raw bread dough can expand inside your dog’s stomach and cause blockages, which can be life-threatening. The yeast in the dough can also produce alcohol, leading to alcohol poisoning in your dog. Signs of bread dough ingestion include bloating, vomiting, and extreme discomfort. If you suspect your dog has consumed raw bread dough, contact your veterinarian immediately. Keep your furry friend safe by keeping bread dough out of paws reach.

Raw Meat and Fish – Increased Risk of Illnesses in Your Golden Retriever

Feeding your Golden Retriever raw meat or fish may seem like a healthy and natural option, but it comes with significant health risks. Raw meat and fish can contain harmful bacteria and parasites like Salmonella, E. coli, and listeria, which can cause serious and even life-threatening illnesses in dogs.

Consuming raw meat and fish can also lead to upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea, which can cause dehydration and lead to more serious health issues. Moreover, raw fish contains an enzyme that can destroy thiamine, an essential B vitamin that is vital for a dog’s nervous system. A deficiency in thiamine can result in neurological problems, seizures, and in worst cases, even death.

To keep your Golden Retriever healthy and safe, it’s best to avoid feeding them raw meat and fish. Instead, opt for cooked or commercially prepared dog food options that meet their nutritional needs.

Caffeine – Why Your Golden Retriever Needs to Stay Away from It

You may enjoy a cup of caffeinated coffee to start your day or give you a boost, but caffeine can be risky for your beloved Golden Retriever. Caffeine can cause your pet’s heart rate and blood pressure to skyrocket, which can lead to seizures, tremors, and even death. Your furry friend can accidentally consume caffeine by drinking coffee, tea, soda or guzzling chocolate-flavored drinks. Keep caffeinated beverages and foods far from your Golden Retriever’s reach to keep them healthy and safe.

Dairy Products – Lactose Intolerance and Other Health Issues

Dairy products are a common food item that many Golden Retriever owners are tempted to share with their furry friends. However, dogs, especially Golden Retrievers, are prone to lactose intolerance. Consuming dairy products can lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea, which can cause dehydration and other related health issues.

Lactose intolerance occurs when a dog’s digestive system lacks sufficient lactase enzymes. These enzymes are responsible for breaking down lactose, which is the sugar found in milk and other dairy products. So, while Golden Retrievers may love the taste of milk, cheese, and yogurt, consuming such products can lead to severe digestive problems.

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Apart from lactose intolerance, dairy products are also high in fat, which can lead to pancreatitis in Golden Retrievers. Additionally, some dairy products, such as cheese, can cause constipation, creating even more health concerns in your Golden Retriever.

In conclusion, it’s best to avoid giving your Golden Retriever any dairy products. Rather, you can opt for dog-friendly alternatives such as almond milk, which is lactose-free, or high-quality dog food that meets your Golden Retriever’s nutritional needs.

Xylitol – A Common Sweetener in Sugar-Free Gum and Candy That Can Be Fatal for Your Golden Retriever

Xylitol is a popular sweetener used in several sugar-free gums and candies, but it can be life-threatening for Golden Retrievers. It can cause a sudden surge of insulin, leading to hypoglycemia and liver failure. Make sure to keep all products containing xylitol out of your dog’s reach and contact your vet immediately if you suspect your pup has ingested any form of xylitol. Always read labels before purchasing products for your Golden Retriever, and keep them safe from this dangerous sweetener.

Fatty Foods – The Risks of Pancreatitis for Your Golden Retriever

Feeding your Golden Retriever fatty foods can put them at risk of developing pancreatitis, a condition that affects the pancreas. The pancreas helps with digestion and regulates blood sugar levels by producing insulin. When a dog consumes too much fatty food, it can cause inflammation in the pancreas, leading to pain, vomiting, and sometimes even death.

Foods high in fat like bacon, fried foods, and cheese should be avoided. If you must give your dog human food, make sure it is lean and cooked without any additional oils or spices. Keep your Golden Retriever on a healthy, balanced diet to prevent the risk of pancreatitis and other health issues.

Remember, as much as your furry friend might beg for some of your delicious fatty foods, it’s important to prioritize their health and wellbeing by not indulging them in their unhealthy cravings.

Mushrooms – Toxic to Your Golden Retriever’s System

Mushrooms may be a delicious and healthy addition to your diet, but they can be toxic to your furry friend. The toxins present in certain mushrooms can cause severe health issues in dogs, especially Golden Retrievers.

The symptoms of mushroom toxicity in Golden Retrievers can range from vomiting and diarrhea to seizures and even death. If you suspect that your dog has ingested mushrooms, seek immediate veterinary attention.

It’s important to note that not all mushrooms are toxic to dogs, and it can be difficult to identify poisonous species. It’s best to keep your Golden Retriever away from mushrooms altogether, whether they are in the wild or served on a plate.

In conclusion, mushrooms should be avoided in your Golden Retriever’s diet due to their potential toxicity. As a responsible pet owner, keep a watchful eye on what your furry friend eats to ensure their safety and well-being.

Salt – An Excess Amount can lead to Dehydration and Sodium Toxicity in Your Golden Retriever

Salt is a common ingredient in many of our favorite dishes, but for Golden Retrievers, it can pose serious health risks. Consuming an excessive amount of salt can lead to dehydration and sodium toxicity, which can be fatal if not treated immediately.

Sodium toxicity occurs when the body’s sodium levels rise, resulting in a variety of symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures, and even death. Golden Retrievers are particularly susceptible to sodium toxicity due to their size and characteristic love of food.

To ensure your Golden Retriever stays healthy, it’s important to monitor their sodium intake and limit their consumption of salty treats. Instead, opt for healthier options like fresh fruits and veggies, lean proteins, and specially-formulated dog foods that meet their nutritional needs without compromising their health.

Cherry and Apricot Pits – The Danger They Pose to Your Golden Retriever

While cherries and apricots can be a healthy treat for your Golden Retriever, their pits are actually dangerous. These pits contain cyanide, a toxic chemical that can cause serious health issues and even death in dogs.

When your Golden Retriever chews on the pits, cyanide is released, which can lead to digestive issues, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, seizures, and in severe cases, death.

To avoid any risks, always remove the pits from cherries and apricots before feeding them to your Golden Retriever. If you suspect that your furry friend has consumed a pit, look out for any signs of discomfort and immediately contact your veterinarian.

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Nutmeg – The Dangerous Side-Effect It Can Have on Your Golden Retriever

Nutmeg is a flavorful and aromatic spice that is often used in baked goods and desserts. But, as tasty as it may be for humans, it can be incredibly dangerous for your furry friend. Nutmeg contains a compound called myristicin that can cause severe side effects in dogs, including vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even hallucinations.

The toxic dose of nutmeg varies based on a dog’s weight and the amount ingested, but even small amounts can lead to serious health issues. If you suspect that your Golden Retriever has eaten nutmeg, seek veterinary care immediately. In severe cases, nutmeg toxicity can lead to liver failure and even death.

So, it’s essential to keep nutmeg and nutmeg-containing products away from your Golden Retriever’s reach. This spice is not worth the risk of your furry friend’s health and well-being.

Potato and Tomato Leaves – The Toxic Effect on Your Golden Retriever

Did you know that the leaves of a potato and tomato plant contain solanine, which is toxic to dogs? Solanine is a glycoalkaloid poison that can cause a range of symptoms in your Golden Retriever, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even seizures.

Your furry companion might be attracted to these plants in the garden or even while out on a walk, making it crucial to be vigilant and avoid any ingestion of the leaves. It’s also essential to dispose of any pruned or fallen leaves to prevent your dog from accidentally consuming them.

If you suspect that your Golden Retriever has ingested potato or tomato plant leaves, immediately contact your veterinarian. Depending on the severity of ingestion, treatment may range from closely monitoring your pet’s symptoms to hospitalization. Always keep an eye on your dog for any unusual behavior or symptoms and seek professional help if needed. So be aware and keep your Golden Retriever safe from toxic substances.

Bones – The Risks of Choking and Internal Injuries in Golden Retrievers

While it may seem like a natural treat for your golden retriever, bones can pose serious risks to your furry friend. Bones can splinter and cause choking hazards, as well as internal injuries by puncturing or obstructing their digestive system. Avoid giving your golden retriever bones, and opt for safer chewing alternatives like toys or dental chews. Keep in mind that even cooked bones, which may seem safer, can still pose a risk to your dog’s health.

Corn on the Cob – The Risk Factor for Intestinal Blockage for Your Golden Retriever

As delicious as corn on the cob might be, it is a risk factor for intestinal blockage in your Golden Retriever. With their small intestines and the inability to fully digest corn kernels, it is easy for a Golden Retriever to choke on the cob or for pieces of it to get stuck in their digestive tract. This might lead to severe vomiting, pain, bloating, and an emergency trip to the vet. Therefore, it is best to keep this summertime treat away from your furry friend to avoid any harmful incidents.


In conclusion, it’s important to be mindful of what your golden retriever is eating. While some human foods may seem harmless, they can actually pose serious health risks to your furry friend. Remember that chocolate, grapes, onions, garlic, avocado, alcohol, macadamia nuts, candy, chewing gum, bread dough, raw meat and fish, caffeine, dairy products, xylitol, fatty foods, mushrooms, salt, cherry and apricot pits, nutmeg, potato and tomato leaves, bones, and corn on the cob should all be avoided.

It’s important to provide your golden retriever with a balanced and nutritious diet that meets their specific needs. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your furry friend, and always keep them away from the dangerous foods mentioned above. With a little attention and care, you can help keep your golden retriever healthy and happy for years to come.

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