Spices Harmful to Puppies

If you're going to share with him, share before you season.
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Between the foods you cook at home and the contents of your pantry, lots of snacks your puppies would like to sneak will put their lives in jeopardy. The spice cupboard can harbor a number of substances dangerous for just about all pets. Some of the most popular spices for people dishes can kill a puppy as well as a full-grown dog. Avoid offering puppies foods with any seasonings; if they do manage to consume onion, garlic, nutmeg or some other spices, get them to the veterinarian right away.

Garlic and Onion Powder

Any food of the onion family -- onion, garlic, leek or chive -- can cause a puppy serious health problems. This is true for dried varieties found in the spice rack such as powdered or minced garlic and onion. A compound in these plants, thiosulphate, destroys a dog's red blood cells, causing hemolytic anemia. Symptoms include pale gums, rapid heart and respiration rate, stupor and extreme fatigue. In extreme cases, a puppy could die. Garlic powder is an ingredient in many meat and pasta dishes, so use caution when offering your puppy or adult dog food intended for humans.


In small amounts, salt is not toxic for your puppy, but a large amount consumed all at once can cause salt toxicity. Symptoms of salt toxicity include dehydration, diarrhea, vomiting, excessive thirst, lethargy and loss of balance. The typical culprit isn't high-sodium human food such as a hot dog; rather, it's other items a puppy might ingest, like modeling clay, rock salt, Epsom salt, paint balls or ocean water.


Nutmeg can cause neurological damage if your a dog of any age eats a lot of it. Researchers have not yet figured out why nutmeg is toxic to dogs, or why some seem more sensitive to its effects than others. Nutmeg can cause uncontrollable shaking or twitching, seizures and coma. Puppies seem attracted to its rich scent, so it's important to keep nutmeg out of reach.

Cocoa Powder

Although it's not a spice, cocoa powder is often stored with spices and is used frequently in baking. Cocoa powder and baker's chocolate are concentrated forms of chocolate, and these are the most highly toxic forms of chocolate for dogs of any age -- though puppies are at greater risk due to their smaller size and immature internal development. Symptoms include vomiting, irregular heartbeat, diarrhea, seizures, tremors, hyperactivity and elevated temperature. Your puppy can die from ingesting even a small amount of cocoa powder or chocolate, whether in raw form or in baked goods.