18 Human Foods Golden Retrievers Should Not Eat, Ever

Your dog is very much like a kid; they want to try out everything. This makes a lot of sense because they are new to this world.

Unfortunately, just like kids, they want to test things with their mouths, and they will try to eat a lot of things that they should never eat. We can also make the mistake by giving them foods that are bad for them.

In this article, I’m going to cover all the human foods golden retrievers should not eat including all the vegetables and fruits that can harm them.

Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources

Human Foods Golden Retrievers Should Not Eat

Before we begin, why is list even important?

If you make them homemade foods, this list is going to be very important for you because it will include everything that you definitely should not include in your cooking.

They are also important to not give your dog table scraps – something which we should not do but even I am guilty of doing once in a while. I’ve discussed why you shouldn’t give them table scraps in my article on 20 tips to make your golden live longer, make sure to check it.

Without Further ado, let’s jump right into it.

9 Vegetables Your Dog Should Not Eat

These are the vegetables your dog should not eat: 

  1. Garlic 
    • Garlic is famous for having amazing health benefits for humans, which makes it confusing for new pet owners when they learn how toxic it is for dogs and cats. 
    • Even small amounts of garlic can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs and cats alike. 
    • Garlic can cause red blood cells to burst in dogs which leads to anemia, weakness, loss of energy, and collapse. 
    • Avoid garlic for your pets at all, and make sure no table scraps you feed them have garlic in them. 
  2. Beets
    • While not toxic to dogs, beets can still cause some strong complications. 
    • Raw beets are a choking hazard and can get stuck in a dog’s bowel, avoid them. 
    • Cooked beets contain oxalate which is a building block for certain bladder stones. Avoid completely if your dog already has bladder problems. 
    • Beets are also acidic in nature and can irritate the gut 
    • Beets can also cause vomiting or diarrhea in some dogs due to their acidic nature 
  3. Brussel Sprouts
    • Brussel Sprouts are famous for generating gas and resulting in offensive flatulence. 
    • You should never feed them raw sprouts 
    • Spouts must be cooked if you’re going to feed them to your dog, and they are good for easing constipation in dogs. 
  4. Cabbage 
    • Similar to Brussel sprouts, cabbage will generate a lot of gas in dogs 
    • Raw cabbage also contains thiocyanate which can suppress thyroid glands when consumed in large quantities and can lead to hypothyroidism. 
    • Dogs can only eat cooked cabbage and only in small portions. They are best served as a cut-up crunch that’s sprinkled on the top of food. 
  5. Corn 
    • Dogs – especially large pups – can often swallow whole corn cobs, which can block the bowel and become life-threatening quickly. 
    • Corn itself is used as filler in dog foods and while not bad or harmful to the dogs, it’s of very low nutritional value – that’s why it’s called a “filler” – it just increased the dog food mass without adding value (or costing the manufacturer much money) 
    • Sweet Corn is actually good for dogs as they provide energy, fiber, and beneficial vitamins. 
  6. Eggplant 
    • While not toxic in itself, eggplant belongs to the nightshade family and is linked to allergic reactions in some dogs, so there is a chance your dog could have an allergic reaction to it. 
    • It’s better to avoid it, but you can also test it in very small quantities and see how your dog reacts to it. Eggplant is still rich in vitamins, fibers, and low in fats. 
  7. Kale 
    • Kale is another food that’s great for humans but not so much for dogs. 
    • Kale is high in oxalates which can cause bladder stones
    • It can also cause gases in dogs, similar to cabbage and sprouts but it needs to be consumed in relatively large amounts to have the same effects. 
  8. Mushrooms 
    • Mushrooms bought from the store are fine for dogs, but some wild mushrooms are extremely toxic to dogs. 
    • Symptoms of mushroom poisoning include: 
      1. Poor coordination
      2. Heavy Drooling
      3. Sickness and diarrhea
      4. Collapse 
    • Mushroom poisoning can be fatal and can lead to death in dogs 
    • Keep an eye on your dog if you take them walking or hiking in an area with wild mushrooms and train them well on “drop it” and “stop”  to be able to avoid disaster if you notice them chewing wild mushrooms or even sniffing around them. 
  9. Radishes
    • Radishes themselves are not toxic for dogs, but their shape is kind of dangerous. 
    • Dogs that swallow a while radish put themselves in the serious risk of a dangerous bowel obstruction

9 Fruits Your Dog Should Not Eat

a basket of fruits that top the list of human foods golden retrievers can't eat

While we may love to share our sweet fruits with our dogs, it’s not always a good idea. Here are 9 fruits that dogs should not eat:

  1. Avocado 
    • Dogs shouldn’t eat avocados as their pits, skins, and leaves contain persin which is toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting and diarrhea. 
    • The fleshy inside of avocados is not as toxic to dogs as their leaves, pits, and skins but is still too much to handle for most dogs and should not be given to dogs.
  2. Cherries 
    • Dogs should not eat cherries. While the fleshy part around the seed may be okay for dogs, the cherry plant contains cyanide which is toxic to dogs. 
    • Cyanide in cherries can disrupt cellular oxygen transport, which means your dog’s blood cells won’t be able to get enough oxygen. 
    • If your dog eats cherries by accident, look out for the signs of cyanide poisoning such as dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, and red gum. 
  3. Grapes
    • Dogs shouldn’t eat grapes as they are very toxic for all dogs no matter their sex, age, or breed. 
    • Grapes have been found to be so toxic to dogs that they can cause acute sudden kidney failure. 
    • Never leave grapes around the house as dogs can be attracted to them due to their look and smell and they are often tempted to try them. 
  4. Raisins
    • Raisins are basically dried grapes and they are just as toxic to dogs as fresh, non-dried grapes are. 
    • Some people add raisins to their food, if you are one of those people, pay very close attention to the human food and table scraps you give to your dog to make sure they don’t eat anything with raisins in it. 
  5. Tomatoes 
    • The ripened fruit of the tomato plant itself is considered generally safe for dogs, but the green parts are toxic. 
    • The green parts of the tomato plant contain a substance called solanine which can be very toxic for dogs and can make them very sick very quickly. 
    • It’s safe to avoid tomatoes altogether and don’t give it to your dog just to be completely safe. 
  6. Apricots 
    • Similar to tomatoes, the fruit itself is safe for dogs but the pit is very dangerous.
    • Apricot pits are a source of cyanide, which is toxic as explained before. 
  7. Dates 
    • Dates are not toxic, but you should still avoid them or limit your dog’s intake of them. 
    • Dates are high in sugar and fiber, which can cause diarrhea. 
    • Dogs will also swallow dates whole with the pits, which put them in the risks of serious bowel obstruction 
  8. Figs
    • Dogs can eat figs but really shouldn’t except in strict moderation, and it’s better to avoid them altogether. 
    • Figs contain fucosin and ficin which is irritating for some dogs. 
    • Figs can cause some reactions in dogs including heavy drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea. 
    • If you notice these signs, don’t worry, fig flesh is an irritant and not a toxin, so it won’t cause any harm to your dog beyond these symptoms which will go away with time. 
  9. Plums 
    • The fruit itself is fine to eat, but the problem is in the size of the fruit relevant to the pit. 
    • Dogs will gobble on plums with their pits, which can cause a number of very serious issues that can even be life-threatening. 
    • It’s best to avoid plums, but if your dog really likes them, there is no harm in giving them the fruit every once a while but only after you slice the fruit off of the pit. 

You should also watch this great video from AKC:

What Nutrients Do Golden Retrievers Need?

Your Golden Retriever Diet should include a healthy balance of all essential nutrients. Here are the essential nutrients that should be in every meal your dog eats:

  1. Water
    • Your dog’s food needs to have some water content. Dogs can’t eat dry food only and it will lead to troubles.
    • Waters makes up 70-80% of the dog’s body mass and serves some very important functions in the dog’s body such as
    • Dissolves and transports nutrients to cells
      • Helps regulate body temperature
      • Hydrolyze protein, fats, and carbs for digestion
      • Cushions the organs and nervous system
      • Flushes waste from the body
  2. Protein
    • The protein content is crucial for such large, muscular dogs. They are the basic building blocks of their body and very important for healthy muscle development.
    • Adult dogs need 30% protein content in their diets while puppies at least 22% protein in their diet.
  3. Fats
    • Their diets should be 9% fat.
    • Dogs burn fats for energy
  4. Calcium
    • Calcium is important for the health of their bones.
    • Calcium content in their foods should be ~ 1.5% which equals 3 gm/1,000 kcal.
    • Their diets should have a 1:1 balance of Calcium to Phosphorous
  5. Carbohydrates
    • Carbs are the only nutrient class that is not crucially essential for dogs, meaning they can survive and live normally on a no-carb or a low-carb diet, but I don’t recommend a no-carb diet.
    • Carbs are the fast-burning fuel of the body
    • Healthy carbs are important because they supply important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other important nutrients.
  6. Vitamins and Minerals
    • They need vitamins such as:
      • Vitamin A
      • Vitamin D
      • Zinc
      • Copper
      • Manganese
    • They are all important for healthy bones and normal growth

Ingredients to avoid in Commercial Dog Food

When buying commercial dog foods, no matter the brand or who recommended it; READ THE LABEL!

If you find any of the following on the label, don’t buy this dog food:

  • Generic Terms
    • If you find generic terms like “poultry” or “fish” this means they have questionable sources. They can be by-products or something worse.
    • Instead, find something with specific sources of protein like beef, rabbit, salmon, etc.
  • By-products
    • By-products are the parts of the animals that people don’t eat like blood, bones, lungs, spleens, heads, intestines, livers, and ligaments -among other things.
    • Their quality is always questionable
    • Your dog deserves better than our disgusting leftovers, don’t you agree?
  • Corn, Wheat, and Soy
    • They are often used as fillers with very low nutritional value.
    • Processed grains such as wheat gluten, rice flour, and wheat gluten can be bad for your dog.
    • They are common dog allergens.
  • Animal Fat
    • A very popular generic terms used by manufacturers to hide what they use in food. Fat is essential in your dog’s diet, but if they are from questionable resources, it’s better to avoid it.

Always, always, read the label. You will not believe what some manufacturers will sneak into these dog foods to try and eek a few more pennies even at the cost of our dogs’ health.

As for the regulations, the situation of dog foods is really complicated which means that they always find loops and stuff to get away with it.

Even with that, you should still verify that the dog food has been verified by a government organization. For example, if the dog food says “Organic”, verify that it’s indeed USDA-verified-organic.

Too many choices, too much information, and too little time? Check out my recommended dog foods for golden retrievers at every age. I have done my research for my dogs, and you can use the same dog foods that I’ve been using for years without worry.

I also always keep it up-to-date and add new, better foods and remove ones that I no longer trust.

Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources

Related Questions

Can Golden Retrievers eat Mango?

Yes, Golden Retrievers can eat mangos. They are delicious, sweet, tasty, and make for a great treat. Mangos are a perfectly safe human food to share with your dog.

Can Golden Retrievers eat Watermelon?

Yes, Golden Retrievers can eat watermelon. Cold watermelons make for an amazing treat in the hot weather that’s very refreshing for dogs and humans alike.

Can Golden Retrievers eat Cheese?

Yes, golden retrievers can eat cheese but it’s not a good idea, and their intake of cheese should be very limited. Cheese is dairy, and dairy products are not good for dogs and can make your golden retriever bloat.

You should absolutely avoid cream cheese, though, as they are the most dangerous on dogs and can cause the strongest reactions.


Fruits and Vegetables Dogs Can or Can’t Eat – AKC


Hey there, I'm Matt, the author behind Retrievershub.com. With a deep love for dogs and a dedication to strengthening the bond between owners and their retrievers, I've created a hub of resources for enthusiasts like you. Through engaging articles, training guides, and product reviews, I aim to provide practical advice that makes a real difference in your life as a dog owner. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of retrievers, my approachable and informative writing style ensures that you'll find valuable insights. Join me on this incredible journey of discovering what makes retrievers tick, unlocking their potential, and creating an unbreakable bond with your furry companion. Let's embark on an adventure of dog ownership together. Thank you for visiting Retrievershub.com and being part of our vibrant community.

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