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What Can German Shepherds Not Eat?

German Shepherds, known for their intelligence, loyalty, and trainability, have unique dietary needs due to their distinctive black and tan coats. You must be aware of their dietary requirements to maintain their health.

To ensure your German Shepherd’s safety, avoid certain foods that can cause digestive issues, stomach upset, vomiting, intestinal blockages, yeast dough expansion, cooked bones injury, and sugary treats. 

Some poisonings could potentially cause dog death. Consult your veterinarian if unsure about food safety.

23 Foods You Should Never Feed Your German Shepherds

German Shepherds should avoid certain foods, including chocolate, garlic, onions, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, avocados, raw bones, raw potatoes, hops, green tomatoes, moldy food, and high-fat foods, as they can cause anaemia, kidney damage, neurological problems, stomach upset, and choking. 

Common human foods and household plants that should be avoided; 

  • Chocolate: 

Theobromine can be found in chocolate, especially dark and baking chocolate which can be toxic to dogs, causing vomiting, diarrhea, digestive issues, seizures, and heart problems, so it’s crucial to keep them out of reach.

  • Grapes and Raisins: 

Grapes and raisins can be toxic to German Shepherds, potentially leading to kidney failure. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and loss of appetite, and should be reported to a veterinarian immediately.

  • Onions, Garlic, and Chives: 

The Allium family, including onions, garlic, and chives, contains thiosulfate, which can damage red blood cells in dogs, leading to anemia. Large amounts of these foods can be fatal, so it’s best to avoid them in German Shepherds.

  • Macadamia Nuts: 

Macadamia nuts contain a toxin that can cause muscle weakness, paralysis, and tremors in dogs, leading to severe cases of seizures, coma, and even death, so it’s crucial to avoid them.

  • Xylitol: 

Xylitol, a sugar substitute in sugar-free foods, can pose a significant risk to dogs due to its potential to cause sudden blood sugar drops, weakness, seizures, and even death, hence its safety is crucial.

  • Avocado: 

Avocados contain persin, which can be toxic to dogs, particularly German Shepherds. Excessive consumption can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain, making it advisable to keep avocados away from dogs.

  • Bones: 

Raw and cooked bones are dangerous for dogs due to their potential to splinter, causing choking or digestive issues. It’s advisable to avoid these treats as they are more likely to cause splintering.

  • Raw Eggs: 

Raw eggs, despite appearing healthy, contain avidin, a protein that can hinder biotin absorption and risk Salmonella infection. It’s advisable to avoid feeding raw eggs to dogs and cook them thoroughly before consumption. Raw meat, fish, and eggs can also contain bacteria and parasites.

  • Alcohol: 

Alcohol should not be given to dogs as it can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and even death. It can also cause liver and kidney damage. Be cautious when growing fruit at home and contact your veterinarian if you suspect alcohol ingestion.

Next Post: Can German Shepherds Eat Raw Meat?

  • Caffeine: 

Caffeine, a toxic substance, can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, increased heart rate, and seizures in dogs, making it essential to keep them away from caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, and soda.

  • Cherries: 

German Shepherds should avoid cherry consumption due to potential stomach discomfort, pupil dilation, dyspnea, bright red gums, and shock due to the hazardous cyanide levels in the pit, stem, and leaves.

  • Hops: 

Hops, used in amateur beer production, are harmful to German Shepherds. Their potential symptoms such as malignant hyperthermia, increased breathing, racing heart rate, and vomiting, could potentially lead to death.

  • Horse Chestnuts: 

Horse chestnuts, containing aesculin, are poisonous and not suitable for German Shepherds. Symptoms include severe vomiting, diarrhoea, drooling, increased thirst, restlessness, and tremors. They are found in the UK and temperate regions of Europe, Asia, and North America.

  • Moldy Food: 

Moldy food, such as bread, pasta, nuts, and cheese, can harm your German Shepherd due to mycotoxins, specifically aflatoxin, causing liver failure. Avoid feeding moldy items or letting pets access household trash.

  • Mushrooms: 

German Shepherds should avoid eating mushrooms due to potential toxic effects, including vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors, seizures, and changes in thirst or urination. Safe-washed white mushrooms like white button or Portobello are available. 

  • Nutmeg: 

Myristicin, a dangerous component of nutmeg that can cause seizures, heart palpitations, hallucinations, parched mouth, stomach aches, and disorientation, is best avoided by German Shepherds; tiny dogs are less prone to become poisoned.

  • Potato: 

White potatoes are okay to give because they naturally produce solanine as a defence against insects, but German Shepherds are not allowed to consume raw potatoes because of the deadly solanine component.

  • Rhubarb Leaves: 

German Shepherds are not allowed to eat rhubarb leaves due to their toxic oxalic acid content, causing symptoms like drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, tremors, and changes in thirst and urination. Rhubarb stalks are safe for small quantities and can help with constipation. 

  • Salt: 

Limit salt intake in German Shepherds to prevent severe symptoms like vomiting, diarrhoea, depression, tremors, high temperature, and seizures. Avoid sharing salty foods with your dog to prevent excessive thirst and kidney damage. Avoid salty snacks for serious health issues.

  • Star Fruit: 

German Shepherds should avoid star fruit due to its high toxicity from oxalic acid, which can cause acute kidney failure, vomiting, diarrhoea, blood in urine, and increased thirst, even in small amounts.

  • Tomato: 

Green tomatoes, containing solanine, can cause stomach upset in German Shepherds and cause breathing and cardiac issues. Owners are advised against feeding green tomatoes to dogs, while ripe red tomatoes are safe.

  • Yeast Dough: 

Yeast dough can induce gas, swelling, and intestinal obstruction in German Shepherds, and raw bread dough can lead to alcohol poisoning, which manifests as bloating and weakening. For this reason, yeast dough should not be fed to German Shepherds.

  • Walnuts: 

German Shepherds are not allowed to eat black walnuts due to their high toxin content, which can cause seizures and tremors. They can consume cashews, almonds, and peanuts in moderation due to their high-fat content.

If your dog eats any of the foods listed above, keep them away from them and get in touch with your vet. In case of an emergency, always have the phone number and contact details of the nearby pet poison control hotline at your fingertips.

What To Do If Your German Shepherd Dog Ate Something Toxic

If your German Shepherd ingests toxic substances, contact your vet, the ASPCA, or the Pet Poison Helpline immediately. 

Early diagnosis and treatment increase recovery chances and reduce costs. The Pet Poison Helpline offers emergency instructions for German Shepherd owners.

  • Remove your dog from the area, ensure no other pets or kids are exposed, and safely remove any remaining poisonous material from their reach.
  • Check to make sure your dog is breathing normally and acting fine otherwise.
  • Gather material samples and packaging information for consultation with veterinarians or Pet Poison Helpline experts, as it will be crucial for their diagnosis.
  • Avoid giving your dog milk, food, salt, or other home remedies, and never induce vomiting without consulting a veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline, as it may be harmful or contraindicated.
  • Avoid giving hydrogen peroxide to your dog without consulting a vet or the Pet Poison Helpline. 
  • Keep your veterinarian, emergency vet, and the Pet Poison Helpline phone numbers on your cell phone for immediate assistance. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can German Shepherds eat Raw Meat?

German Shepherds should not eat raw meat, as it can contain bacteria and parasites that can make them sick.

What Food does a Dog Accidentally swallow that causes Poisoning the most often?

Dogs often consume toxic food ingestions, such as chocolate and grapes/raisins, often from items like cookies or muffins.

Can I administer Drugs to my German Shepherd if it eats something toxic?

If your dog has ingested something toxic, it’s crucial to call an animal poison control centre immediately, as inducing vomiting can worsen the situation and provide specific instructions on what to do next.

Which is the Best Way to Make a House Poison-Proof?

To safeguard your dog from potential hazards, keep food secure, use child-proof cabinet locks, and regularly check for food before leaving home. 

Keep garbage containers locked, and don’t assume your well-behaved dog won’t access food, personal hygiene products, or medications. Crate your dog when not home.

Can German Shepherds Eat Dairy Products? 

Different German Shepherds may experience digestive upset from dairy products, so it’s crucial to consider that what one dog can eat may not be safe for another.


German Shepherds should avoid certain foods like raw meat, bones, chocolate, grapes, onions, avocados, persimmons, dairy products, and sugary treats in moderation due to potential health risks. 

Consult a veterinarian before making any diet changes.


  • Rob

    Hi! I welcome you to my blog, where I discuss German Shepherds. Cheers to your GSD's welfare. And I hope you have a good time surfing my posts. Rob

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