Written by Dr. Marcelle Landestoy, DVM
When it comes to poodles, it can be hard to resist their beautiful eyes as they beg for a share of your snack or table food.
However, sometimes, one way of being a good poodle parent is learning when to say ‘no’ to their demands.
Although considered safe for other pets and humans, some foods can be downright bad for your pup, and you should eliminate them entirely.
Foods your poodle should avoid include some obvious ones like chocolate or sugary and fatty foods (like bacon). However, you may be surprised to learn about others you might not be aware of, like avocados, tea and coffee, onion and garlic, yeast, raw meat, and artificial sweeteners.
As a licensed veterinary doctor, I’m going to detail in this post which foods you shouldn’t feed your poodle.
It’s important to know this because not only are these foods bad for your poodle’s weight and digestive system, but they can also — in extreme cases — require an emergency visit to the vet.
Know the Foods Your Poodle Should Avoid
Different foods have varying levels of toxicity or harmful effects when eaten by poodles.
Therefore, to help you learn more on this topic, I’ll use the traffic light system (green, yellow, and red) to separate foods into three categories:
- GREEN: Green will describe foods whose effects will be mild discomfort on your pup, such as mild diarrhea, vomiting, and bloating. Additionally, these foods will have long-term effects on your dog’s health if they become a dietary staple.
- YELLOW: The yellow category will comprise those foods that cause moderate to severe discomfort and may often call for a clinic visit. They can cause moderate to severe vomiting, fever, diarrhea, stomach upset, and breathing issues.
- RED: In our case here, I’ll use red to represent the dangerous or poisonous foods that your poodle should NEVER consume. These are the foods that, when eaten, will require immediate medical attention to save the poodle’s life. They can often result in death.
This concept sounds pretty simple and interesting, right? Now, let’s talk about which foods fit into each of these categories:
Green: Mild Discomfort
We all know what happens to our bodies when we eat large amounts of sugary foods for a long time.
You either gain excess weight, suffer from diabetes, tooth cavities, or put your heart and other vital organs at risk.
The same happens to your poodle when you feed him large quantities of sugary snacks. On an occasional basis, sugary foods may give your furry canine friend a mild stomach upset that goes away on its own.
Unfortunately, if you make a habit of giving him sugary treats and rewards, you may make him susceptible to diabetes and tooth decay, obesity, etc.
As we know, fatty foods such as sausages, bacon, and fries aren’t the healthiest meals for humans.
The same case applies to dogs, meaning if you give your pup foods rich in fats, he might suffer mild diarrhea and stomach upsets.
In the long-run, obesity and heart disease come knocking on his door with a vengeance.
Raw Meat and Eggs
Some poodle parents swear by the raw diet for their canine friends.
Unfortunately, raw or undercooked foods may bring more harm than good to your pup because they sometimes contain bacteria that cause food poisoning.
For example, raw meat contains Escherichia coli (E.coli) and Salmonella spp that often cause mild stomach upsets to your pup.
Additionally, raw eggs have Salmonella spp and Avidin, an enzyme that inhibits the effective absorption of vitamin B7 (Biotin).
The result of inefficient vitamin B7 absorption is often skin and fur issues.
Salt and Salted Food
We’ve been raised to believe that salt adds taste to our table food. Although this holds in most cases, it’s not the healthiest thing for humans, and it’s also less healthy for dogs.
Excessive consumption of salt will make your pup abnormally thirsty.
Additionally, sodium ion, the primary ion in salt, can lead to sodium poisoning, which comes with signs such as mild vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and seizures.
What should you do in case your favorite poodle eats any of these foods?
A few bites of either sugary, fatty, salty foods will not kill your dog. However, they may cause some mild symptoms that go away on their own.
However, if you aren’t sure of the quantity ingested, it’s essential to visit a veterinarian for a checkup to avoid further complications.
A life-saving tip here is to reduce the amount of ‘green’ foods in your poodle’s diet and their frequency of consumption.
Yellow: Moderate to Severe Discomfort
The controversy about avocados revolves around an element called persin, majorly concentrated on its skin, pit, seed, and fruit.
Persin poisoning causes diarrhea, vomiting, and heart congestion.
Additionally, the avocado seed presents a choking hazard as it can easily get stuck on your poodle’s throat or cause an intestinal blockage if swallowed.
Therefore, keep your pup away from an avocado plant, the fruit itself, or guacamole (an avocado-based salad).
Garlic and Onions
Garlic and onions are some of the ingredients used by humans to add taste and smell to their food.
While you may give your poodle food containing garlic and onions without a second thought, it will likely cause severe gastrointestinal discomfort and hemolytic anemia, which damages the red blood cells, leaving your pup short of oxygen.
Therefore, you should keep all onions and garlic away from your pup; whether raw, cooked, powdered, or dehydrated, they are all equally toxic.
You may innocently feed your poodle human foods containing macadamia nuts such as cookies and cakes without thinking twice.
Although not lethal, macadamia nuts can cause severe muscle spasms, vomiting, and abnormally high fever.
Grapes and Raisins
Some poodle owners often give their pups grapes and raisins as treats and rewards.
Unfortunately, they can cause kidney failure. In small amounts, they can cause severe vomiting, dehydration, lack of urine, depression, and general body weakness.
Grapes are the main ingredient in some alcohols (like wine), which means you shouldn’t give your poodle any alcoholic product either.
If your pooch consumes any of the foodstuffs in this category, you’re advised to seek immediate medical care.
In some cases, for example, with macadamia nuts, grapes, and raisins, you can induce vomiting to reduce their lethal effects on your poodle.
Induced vomiting can remove the toxic substances from your dog’s body to reduce their harmful effects.
The most common way to induce vomiting in your pup is by administering 3% hydrogen peroxide orally.
More specifically, the recommended dosage is one teaspoon per 10 lbs (4.5 kgs) of your poodle’s weight.
However, you shouldn’t induce vomiting if your pup has difficulties breathing.
Red: Dangerous or Poisonous
These are the foods with fatal effects and which require immediate medical attention:
Chocolate contains theobromine, a substance that metabolizes slower in poodles than in humans.
This toxic substance poses as a cardiac and diuretic stimulant, meaning it can affect your pup’s heartbeat and kidney function.
Given that theobromine affects the vital organs, heart, and kidney, your poodle can easily die after snacking on chocolate.
Do poodles have a sweet tooth? Yes, they will love eating food with a bit of sugar. Unfortunately, most human foods contain a primary artificial sweetener — xylitol — which is toxic to dogs.
Xylitol is present in various food items such as protein bars, ketchup, candies, sugar-free gums, fruit jellies, and some peanut butter.
Xylitol poisoning causes tremors that can result in permanent brain damage.
When consumed in high quantities, it can cause liver damage and, in extreme cases, death.
Caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee, and energy drinks act as stimulants that can accelerate your poodle’s heart rate to dangerously high levels.
Caffeine toxicity can be fatal. Some of the symptoms to watch out for include hyperactivity, agitation, restlessness, excessive panting, and vomiting.
Poodles aren’t picky and will eat almost everything that comes their way, including yeast dough.
Yeast is highly toxic to pups because when consumed, it can continue rising inside your poodle’s stomach, causing a deadly gas build-up.
The gas build-up can cause bloating and eventual gas twisting, which can kill your canine friend.
These food items are highly toxic to your poodle, and you should keep them out of his reach.
However, if he accidentally ingests them, consult a veterinarian immediately.
Depending on toxicity level, your poodle may be admitted to the clinic for a close examination for a couple of days.
To save your poodle’s life, you may be instructed to do induced vomiting to reduce the level of toxins in his bloodstream before rushing him to the clinic.
Most of the items in this list are present in our kitchen pantry, and we often use them when making our table food.
Therefore, to be on the safe side, ensure you keep a close watch on what your poodle consumes or can access.
Avoid substances such as:
- Sugary foods
- Grapes and raisins
- Caffeinated drinks
- Macadamia nuts
Include these foods in your list of foods to avoid, and you’ll be a happy and content poodle parent raising a happy and healthy pooch.
- PetMed: Reasons Why Your Dog Shouldn’t Have Sugar
- Wag Walking: Inducing Vomiting in Dogs
- The Nest: Most Dangerous Foods for Poodles
- Canine Journal: 28 Foods Not To Feed Your Dog (And A List Of Those You Can)
- WebMD: Slideshow: Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat
- Poodle Report: The 9 Most Dangerous Foods for Poodles: What You Should Know
- Dog Time: 10 Foods That Are Bad For Dogs
Read more about the Poodle breed in my one-page poodle owner guide
Veterinary Hospital Director at UCE
Dr. Marcelle is a general veterinarian with a Small Animal Medicine Specialty | Director of the UCE School of Veterinary Medicine | Certified by the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society