What Spices Can Kill a Dog? (Solved & Explained!)

Before you experiment with your pet dog’s diet, you must know that there are some spices and seasonings that can be dangerous, or even lethal for dogs. This includes salt, nutmeg, cocoa powder, and several other herbs. 

Spices that are bad for your dogs

Many herbs and spices lying around in your kitchen can actually be extremely bad for your dog. It is important to make sure your dog never consumes certain ingredients. The consequences of ingestion can vary anywhere from abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, to seizures, heart failure and death.

Let’s take a look at the most toxic spices, herbs, or foods that you must keep your dog away from. 


Onion is one of the most commonly eaten foods when it comes to humans. But for dogs, this vegetable is a big no-no. Even onion powder is not safe for dogs. It can seriously upset your dog’s stomach and result in diarrhea or vomiting. 

So, why exactly is onion unsafe for dogs? It contains sulfoxides and disulfides that attack the red blood cells in a dog’s system. This can be extremely damaging and can lead to severe anemia. 

Which parts of onion are unsafe for dogs?

You should note that all parts of the onion are toxic for dogs. This includes the leaves, flesh, juice, or any powders made from it. Whether the onion is raw, cooked, or fried- it is still as dangerous, and should not be ingested by any dog.

Even 100 grams of onion can result in dangerous health consequences for dogs.  

Many ready-made and processed foods contain onion powder. So, always remember to check the ingredient list at the back of the packaging before offering any food to your pet dog. 


Similar to onion, garlic belongs to the Allum family and should not be fed to dogs. Garlic poisoning is a serious concern and can result in anemia in dogs. The main symptoms include abdominal pain, lethargy, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and exercise intolerance.

In serious cases, the dog may collapse. It is important to be very careful because the signs of garlic poisoning are often delayed. 

Are all forms of garlic unsafe for dogs?

There are some mixed opinions when it comes to garlic and its safety for dogs. Some owners even use garlic as a remedy for fleas in dogs. According to some people, the form and quantity of garlic consumed determines how dangerous it can be.  

Still, our advice is to stay on the safe side and keep your dog away from garlic. You should be wary of garlic powder, cloves, chutney, as well as foods that contain garlic, like lasagne, sauces, pizza, etc.


Salt adds flavor to most of the foods we eat. But when it comes to dogs, salt is always bad news. Even small amounts of sodium can lead to negative health effects. For this reason, the recommended salt intake for dogs is extremely low. 

Consuming too much salt can increase thirst and urination in dogs. This can lead to dehydration and other health risks like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

Salt products your dog should avoid

Almost every other food is salted in one form or the other so you must be very vigilant. Some common food products to keep in your mind are chips, fries, cheese, processed meat, table salt, salted nuts, crackers, instant noodles, pretzels, as well as sauces.

The best way to prevent salt ingestion is to keep all such items on high shelves or in a cupboard your dog cannot reach.


Nutmeg is a popular ingredient in baking and is often found in cookies and cakes. It has a rich, aromatic, nutty fragrance that is super inviting. There are high chances your pet dog would also feel attracted to nutmeg. However, it is certainly not safe to consume for dogs.

Why is nutmeg unsafe for dogs?

The reason for toxicity in nutmegs is the presence of a compound known as Myristicin. When consumed in large amounts, this can be lethal for dogs. However, very small, trace amounts of nutmeg are unlikely to create serious issues. 

Still, it can result in an upset stomach and it is best to steer clear of nutmeg when it comes to your pet dog. 

Cocoa Powder

Although it is not a spice, cocoa powder is a commonly used ingredient in baking. Just like chocolate, cocoa powder can seriously harm dogs.

It contains a caffeine-like compound that can negatively affect a dog’s nervous system. Ingesting cocoa powder can also lead to issues of the kidney and the heart.

How much cocoa powder can harm your dog?

Essentially, dry cocoa powder is the most toxic for dogs. It can contain up to 26 mg of theobromine per gram. This can be extremely toxic and even a few grams can result in your dog suffering from seizures. 

Which spices are safe for dogs?

Not all spices or herbs are toxic for dogs. In fact, some varieties can be beneficial for your dog’s health and can be used to add flavor to their meals.

Lets take a look at the most popular dog-safe spices your pet is bound to love. 

Basil: With anti-oxidant, anti-microbial and anti-viral properties, basil has very positive effects on dogs health. It can relieve the pain of arthritis and also act as a remedy for stress. You can simply add some chopped basil leaves in your dogs dinner.

Cinnamon: Another healthy condiment you can serve as a seasoning in your dogs meal is cinnamon. It is an anti-inflammatory and can help regulate blood sugar levels. Plus, it tastes really nice to dogs.

Parsley: Containing vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy antioxidants, parsley can be a healthy addition to your dog’s diet. It helps flush toxins out of the system and also improves organ function. 

Ginger: Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory with anti-bacterial properties. It can relieve nausea and improve the digestive system in dogs. As fresh ginger is very strong, it is better to use ground or dried ginger.