April 15, 2023

Which Vegetables Are Harmful For Dogs To Eat?

Do you want to give your pup veggie treats but are unsure if they’re safe for your fluffy friend? This article highlights a list of all harmful vegetables for your dog.

We often hear about the importance of consuming vegetables and the immense benefits it gives to our bodies. But the most common question is, can dogs eat vegetables? The answer is Yes. Dogs enjoy most vegetables as snacks to keep them full between meals or as an occasional treat.

While most vegetables are dog friendly, a few are toxic and unsafe for consumption. Even with the “yes” vegetables, moderation is important, and always remember to check on your dog after trying new vegetables.

Here’s a list of all vegetables that are harmful to dogs to eat;


If you’re a dog parent, you’ve probably been told that it’s always not a good idea to give your dog “people food.” Have you ever wondered why? Well, most human food contains onions as its ingredient. Here’s why onions are a no for your dog;

Whether cooked or raw, all parts of an onion, including the plant, leaves, bulb, juice, or onion powder, harm dogs. Offering onions to your dog regularly or excessively can cause serious health problems due to the high amount of N-propyl disulfide they contain. When fed to dogs, they can destroy red blood cells in a process known as hemolysis, creating a high risk of anemia.

With anemia, body organs will no longer get enough oxygen, and in severe cases, this will lead to total organ failure and even death. In other cases, the urine turns brown or red.

Onion poisoning is mostly noted in dogs that consume more than 0.5% of their body weight in onions. The number of onions that might harm your dog depends on certain factors like the dog’s weight, breed, risk of diseases like anemia, diabetes, and liver disease, and also dogs under certain medication.

If you suspect or know your dog has eaten onions, look out for these signs and rush your dog to the vet;

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Not eating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Pale gums
  • Lethargy/Weakness
  • Stumbling or loss of balance
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Red or brown urine
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Increased heart rate


Like onions, garlic is another ingredient common in human food. Garlic contains many healthy components, such as amino acids, sulfur, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins.

While garlic adds flavor and benefits the human body, it is toxic for raw or cooked dogs.

Garlic also contains N-propyl disulfides and thiosulphates. When these compounds are present in high amounts in a dog’s body, they cause damage to red blood cells and eventually expose your pup to a high risk of anemia.

Red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen to tissues. Therefore, if your dog consumes garlic, this process is disrupted, and tissues will be oxygen deficient. This can lead to organ failure and, in some cases, death.

Garlic is also known for gastrointestinal irritation in pets. In the case of dogs, consumption of garlic can cause vomiting and diarrhea; you should see your vet immediately. Other signs of garlic toxicity include;

  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Ataxia (lack of coordination)
  • Pale gums
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Increased heart and/or respiratory rate
  • Red or brown urine
  • Hyper-salivation
  • Cyanosis (blue gums/skin)


Like onions and garlic, chives also belong to the Allium species. They are also commonly used for cooking and medicinal purposes. All species of Allium contain the same properties that make them toxic for dogs—a natural deterrent knew as acetylcysteine sulfoxides that convert into Sulphur compounds once the plants are ingested. These compounds also give chives their signature smell.

These organosulphides in chives are natural poisons protecting plants from insect and pest infestations. Therefore, they are extremely poisonous for dogs. Chives poisoning occurs as a result of the following;

  • Oxidative hemolysis
  • The cross-linking membrane reactions and the formation of centrocytes
  • Increased erythrocyte frailty due to the formation of Heinz bodies and centrocytes
  • Oxidative damage toward erythrocyte cell membranes
  • Decreased blood oxygen levels
  • Developing anemia
  • Developing methemoglobinemia

The following are signs that your dog is likely to exhibit when they consume chives and means that you should consult your vet right away;

  • Irritation of the mouth
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Inability to exercise
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Nausea
  • Abnormally high respiratory rate
  • Collapse
  • White or very light gums


Besides making your stews, soups, and other foods taste great, leeks can cause more damage to your dog when you feed them to him/her. Leeks are from the allium species, which are known for gastrointestinal irritation.

Suppose your dog eats a small slice of leeks by accident. They should be okay—but consult with your vet even if there are no signs. However, eating a lot of leeks in one sitting or regularly could cause serious health problems.

Fed to dogs by accident, leeks contain toxic organosulfur compounds–N-propyl disulfide, that, when broken down by chewing, cause serious damage to red blood cells. This will reduce oxygen levels in the body’s vital organs, leading to a high risk of anemia, organ failure, and even death.

Depending on factors like the size of your dog or the number of leeks consumed, watch out for these signs of a dog that you suspect has eaten leeks;

  • Appetite loss
  • Blue or white gums
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Dark urine
  • vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Depression
  • tiredness
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive drooling
  • Extreme body weakness
  • Fast heart and respiratory rate
  • Nausea
  • Inflammation of the spleen and liver
  • Loss of muscle function
  • Seizures
  • Foul breath
  • Stomach pain and cramping
  • Weakness
  • Yellowing of the eyes and skin

Wild Mushrooms

Mushrooms are loaded with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which makes them highly beneficial to humans, but are mushrooms safe for dogs? Let’s find out!

Suppose you take your dog for a long walk, and suddenly, he/she enters the woods and feeds on a wild mushroom. Is it a thing to get worried about? Yes, you should get worried.

Wide varieties of wild mushrooms contain toxic substances that can be fatal to your furry friend. However, store-bought mushrooms (raw or cooked) are safe for dogs but do not necessarily need them in their diets. These varieties of mushrooms are poisonous to dogs;

  • Fly agaric
  • Panther cap
  • Gyromitra esculenta
  • Fools webcap
  • Galerina marginata
  • Death cap
  • Jeweled death cap

Most veterinarians advise against feeding mushrooms to dogs, even if they are identified as safe.

Being vigilant during walks and even in your backyard is key to avoiding cases of poisoning by wild mushrooms.

Mushroom poisoning varies depending on the variety of mushrooms and the dog’s size. So, if your dog has ingested poisonous mushrooms, they might experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Weakness and inactivity
  • Bleeding
  • Strong heartbeat
  • Yellowing of the skin
  • Uncoordinated movements
  • Excessive drooling
  • Seizures
  • Liver failure
  • Coma
  • Death


Rhubarbs are herbaceous perennials with fleshy red stalks and large triangular leaves. This may sound like a very healthy vegetable to feed to your dog. But before you offer them to your dog, beware that these vegetables are toxic to canines!

Why is rhubarb harmful to dogs? Rhubarb contains high levels of soluble calcium especially concentrated in leaves. If your dog consumes these vegetables, the oxalate crystals cause intense pain and irritation in the mouth. This irritation can radiate to the throat and even to the gastrointestinal tract and can cause swelling.

This swelling can also block the airway causing difficulties in breathing. Once the oxalate crystals are absorbed, they can cause renal failure. Signs of exposure to calcium oxalate crystals will start showing immediately. They include;

  • Blood in urine
  • Loss of appetite
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated eyes
  • Coma
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Kidney failure
  • Excessive drooling
  • Hoarse barking
  • Labored breathing
  • Numbness of exposed area
  • Obstruction of the airway
  • vomiting
  • Pawing/rubbing at the face or mouth
  • Swelling of the lips or tongue
  • Tremors
  • Vocalization


Usually, most people substitute onions with shallots, but technically, shallots are not the same as onions. However, shallots belong to the same allium family with onions, garlic, chives, and leeks.

Just as with onions, shallots contain N-propyl disulfides. If fed regularly or excessively, they can destroy red blood cells, hindering the transportation of oxygen to body tissues—this can lead to anemia and death.

Also, allium toxicity causes inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, also known as gastroenteritis. Symptoms of gastroenteritis include;

  • Irritation in the mouth and throat
  • Excessive drooling
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Additional signs that your dog may have allium toxicity after eating shallots may include:

  • elevated heart rate
  • reddish urine
  • abdominal discomfort
  • foul breath
  • excessive drooling
  • fainting
  • decreased appetite
  • pale gums
  • weakness

Before Sharing With Your Pooch

There are many cases of dogs dying from eating human food. While you love sharing your food with your best friend, it is important to know that certain vegetables cause adverse canine reactions.

Any abovementioned form is toxic to dogs—dried, powdered, liquid, cooked, or raw herbs. Studies have shown that ingesting 0.5% of a dog’s body weight can be enough to cause severe changes to the red blood cell.

So, if you suspect your dog has eaten any of these, rush them to the vet right away, even if signs have not started showing.

About the author 

Elle Gellrich

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