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What Can Chihuahuas Not Eat? (23 Toxic or Harmful Foods)

Last Updated: December 17, 2023

Feeding time for Chihuahuas is my favorite. There’s a huge difference between the eating patterns and styles of small, medium, and large-sized dogs. In my experience rescuing and raising dogs of varied breeds, I’ve found how small breeds eat cuter than the rest. However, their cuteness can lure you. You can’t feed anything and everything.

Chihuahuas shouldn’t eat avocado, chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, cherries, chives, nutmeg, mushrooms, horse chestnuts, shrimp, star fruit, xylitol, and much more. Additionally, avoid giving them cooked bones and high-fat foods to prevent choking hazards and pancreatitis.

Whenever I try explaining to my fellow pet parents about food, the first question they raise is – “why shouldn’t I give this to my little one?” If that question is on your mind, too, then this article gives you a detailed answer.

In my intention to educate fellow pet parents in proper feeding to their pets, I’ve crafted a list of toxic foods that Chihuahuas shouldn’t eat.

Travel with me as I provide the rationale for every poisonous food for Chihuahuas. Let’s begin!

What Can Chihuahuas Not Eat?
What Can Chihuahuas Not Eat?

What Can Chihuahuas Not Eat?

When I think of Chihuahuas, the first thing that comes to my mind is their sensitive stomach. The moment you give them harmful food, it’s going to take a toll on their digestive systems. As much as they get excited to try out new foods, they’re also prone to food allergies and poisoning.

When you shower your care on your Chihuahua, ensure that you also feed them right. Of course, they’re picky eaters, but you can’t risk it with the wrong choice of foods.

Here’s a complete list of toxic or harmful foods that should be avoided for Chihuahuas.


Alcoholic beverages and the consumption of food products containing alcohol can be very harmful to your Chihuahua. Alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, and even death.

Your extra care is all that matters to ensure the little one doesn’t secretly gulp.

Note: Some fruits naturally contain traces of alcohol. On the other hand, process like ripening involves the application of alcohol, which is the case with ripening melons.


Chihuahuas should not eat avocado as it contains a toxin called persin that can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Although the highest concentration of persin is found in the avocado pit, the plant and fruit can also be toxic.

It’s best to keep your Chihuahua away from avocados and seek veterinary care if you find symptoms like abdominal discomfort, stomach pain, and immobility, as the pit can obstruct the stomach.

Can Chihuahuas Eat Avocado?


Cherries are unsafe for Chihuahuas because they contain cyanide, which can be poisonous in large quantities. The cherry pits, stems, and leaves are especially dangerous.

If your Chihuahua has consumed cherries, look for symptoms such as difficulty breathing, dilated pupils, and red gums. Contact your veterinarian if you notice any of these signs.

Can Chihuahuas Eat Cherries?


Chihuahuas should not eat chives. Chives, along with onions and garlic, contain compounds that can damage your Chihuahua’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. Ingesting chives can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

“With decades of experience rescuing dogs, I can honestly tell you that when red blood cells are attacked, it can turn fatal in no time.”

Even if your Chihuahua has excellent immunity, I wouldn’t recommend risking them with the wrong foods.


Chihuahuas should not eat chocolate as it contains theobromine, a toxic substance to dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it can be for your Chihuahua. Chocolate ingestion can cause vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, seizures, and even death.

Honestly, my dogs love the aroma of chocolate, but I always become extra vigilant when I eat it. Perhaps, we can’t risk their lives at the end of the day.

Can Chihuahuas Eat Chocolate?


Caffeine in coffee can harm your Chihuahua, as it stimulates their central nervous system and can cause increased heart rate, tremors, and seizures. Keep your Chihuahua away from coffee and other sources of caffeine.

If your Chihuahua has ingested a small quantity, look for signs, and it should settle. But, if the quantity is high or the frequency is repetitive, the little one needs a health checkup.


Chihuahuas should not eat garlic. Similar to chives and onions, garlic can cause damage to your Chihuahua’s red blood cells. Symptoms of garlic toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, and anemia. Keep your dog away from garlic, and stay cautious when you’re using garlic for any purpose.

Significant hematological changes occur in dogs when garlic is eaten.

“Garlic poisoning or its effects can take a toll even after several days of ingestion. So, stay vigilant.”

Can Chihuahuas Eat Garlic?


Chihuahuas should not eat grapes. Grapes and raisins, even in small amounts, can lead to kidney failure in dogs. Symptoms of grape toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, and increased thirst and urination.

Note that dried fruits like sultanas and currants and foods that contain grape extracts, such as grape juice, granola, trail mix, and baked goods like raisin cookies or bars, can also be harmful to your pet.

These seemingly harmless snacks may contain toxins that can poison your furry friend, so keep them out of reach and always read the labels of any foods you give to your pet.

Can Chihuahuas Eat Grapes?

Horse Chestnuts

Chihuahuas should not eat horse chestnuts. Horse chestnuts are toxic to dogs, as they contain a compound called aesculin. Ingestion can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and loss of coordination.

What if your Chihuahua has eaten one?

Hold on! Look for any changes in the little one. In most cases, regular consumption of horse chestnuts can hamper your Chi’s health condition.


Chihuahuas should not eat onions. Like chives and garlic, onions can cause damage to red blood cells in dogs, leading to anemia. Symptoms of onion toxicity in Chihuahuas include vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness.

Sometimes, there’s a delayed onset of new health issues in Chihuahuas. Even a small quantity can result in skin allergies and affect their digestive systems.

Can Chihuahuas Eat Onions?

Macadamia Nuts

Chihuahuas should not eat macadamia nuts as they can cause weakness, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia in dogs. These nuts contain an unknown toxin that can cause a range of symptoms, including severe weakness in the back legs, high temperature, vomiting, and muscle shakes.

Additionally, macadamia nuts can lead to pancreatitis in some dogs due to their high fat and oil content. This inflammation of the pancreas can be extremely painful and may require medical intervention.

Signs and symptoms can appear within 12 hours of ingestion, so you should act quickly to ensure the best possible outcome for your pet.

Moldy Foods

Chihuahuas should not eat any moldy foods, including dry dog food, as the mold can produce mycotoxins, which are toxic substances that can make your dog sick if ingested. These toxins can cause a range of symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and even death in severe cases.

Even kibble can develop mold, so it’s important to always check your Chihuahua’s food for any signs of mold or spoilage before feeding it to them. If you do notice mold on your dog’s food, it’s best to throw it away immediately and replace it with fresh, uncontaminated food.

Don’t give your Chihuahua moldy food if you ever run out of dog food. Instead, check out this article – 31 safe foods to feed your dog.

Mushrooms (Wild)

Most types of wild mushrooms are toxic to dogs and may cause a range of symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, lethargy, and even liver damage or death in severe cases. Symptoms can appear within hours of ingestion, so act as soon as you can!

Store-bought organic shiitake mushrooms and portobello are generally safe for dogs, but I urge caution when giving these to your Chihuahua, as their digestive systems are more sensitive than ours.

Wild Mushrooms


Chihuahuas should not eat nutmeg as it contains a toxin called myristicin which can cause hallucinations, increased heart rate, and seizures in dogs. Keep nutmeg away from your Chihuahua!

Sometimes, we may remain a little unconscious about things around us. If your Chihuahua eats a small portion of nutmeg, look for signs and plan your action accordingly. In most cases, it doesn’t cause severe poisoning as other toxic foods.


Chihuahuas should not eat raisins. Like grapes, raisins can also lead to kidney failure in dogs. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and increased thirst and urination.

The exact substance in grapes and raisins that causes toxicity is unknown, but even small amounts of raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. Keep raisins and foods that contain raisins, such as raisin bread, granola, and trail mix, out of reach of your Chihuahua at all times.

This research study explains how the consumption of raisins or grapes resulted in acute renal failure for dogs. So, you probably shouldn’t risk it!

Rhubarb Leaves

Chihuahuas should not eat rhubarb leaves. They contain a substance called oxalic acid, which can cause a buildup of calcium oxalate crystals in your dog’s kidneys, leading to kidney failure and other serious health problems.

Symptoms of rhubarb leaf poisoning can include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, tremors, seizures, and even death in extreme cases.

It’s vital to keep rhubarb leaves and plants out of reach of your Chihuahua and be aware that rhubarb is a common ingredient in many baked goods and other foods.

Can Chihuahuas Eat Rhubarb Leaves?


Chihuahuas should not eat salt. Excessive salt intake can lead to sodium poisoning in dogs, causing symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and tremors. Do not feed your Chihuahua salty snacks, and watch for symptoms of sodium poisoning if they have ingested large amounts of salt.


While shrimp is not toxic to dogs, it’s generally best to avoid giving it to your Chihuahua, especially if it’s seasoned or cooked with oils, fats, or spices. Seasonings like garlic and onions can be harmful to your Chihuahua’s sensitive stomach and may cause digestive upset or even more serious health problems.

Additionally, shrimp can be a choking hazard for small dogs like Chihuahuas, especially if they are not properly cooked or are given whole. If you do choose to give your Chihuahua shrimp, make sure that it is fully cooked and unseasoned, and that it is cut into small, bite-sized pieces.

Can Chihuahuas Eat Shrimp?

Star Fruit

Chihuahuas should not eat star fruit as it contains a substance called soluble oxalate salts, which can cause a buildup of calcium oxalate crystals in your dog’s kidneys, leading to kidney failure and other serious health problems.

Even small amounts of star fruit can be toxic to your little Chihuahua, and symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, tremors, seizures, and even death in severe cases.

Tomatoes (Green)

Chihuahuas should not eat green tomatoes. Unripe tomatoes, as well as the leaves and stems of tomato plants, contain a substance called solanine, which can be poisonous to dogs if ingested in large amounts. Symptoms of solanine poisoning can include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, and even seizures in severe cases.

Note that ripe red tomatoes are generally safe for Chihuahuas to eat in moderation, but you should always remove the stems and leaves before feeding them to your pet.

Can Chihuahuas Eat Green Tomatoes?


Chihuahuas should not eat walnuts as they are high in fats that can upset your dog’s stomach and cause diarrhea or vomiting. In more serious cases, consuming walnuts can lead to the development of more serious conditions like gastroenteritis or pancreatitis.

Additionally, walnuts present a potential choking hazard and might cause an intestinal blockage.

Furthermore, walnuts are also known to contain a toxin called juglone that can cause laminitis in horses. While the toxicity of juglone in dogs is not well understood, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid giving walnuts to your Chihuahua altogether.

Remember, moldy walnuts are more dangerous than regular walnuts.

Can Chihuahuas Eat Walnuts?


Chihuahuas should not eat xylitol, a sugar substitute commonly found in peanut butter, candy, baked goods, and other products. When ingested by dogs, it can cause a rapid insulin release, leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure, and even death in severe cases.

Even small amounts of xylitol can be toxic to Chihuahuas, and symptoms can appear within minutes to hours of ingestion. Signs of xylitol poisoning in dogs may include vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and lethargy.

My dogs love peanut butter which is perfectly fine as long as you buy an organic variety.


Chihuahuas should not eat yeast. Ingesting yeast, such as raw bread dough, can cause gas, bloating, and even alcohol poisoning in dogs due to fermentation in their stomach. Keep your Chihuahua away from yeast-containing products and take immediate action if your dog shows signs of poisoning.

Foods Safe for Chihuahuas

So, I’ve detailed a massive list of foods unsafe for Chihuahuas. Does that mean there’s a dearth of safe foods for this breed?

Fret not!

In this section, we will discuss the different types of foods that are safe for your Chihuahua to consume. We will cover meats, fruits and vegetables, and other foods that can be incorporated into their diet.


Protein is essential for your Chihuahua’s overall health, and incorporating various types of meat into their diet can help meet their needs. Some safe meat options for your Chihuahua are:

  • Chicken: Cooked, boneless, and skinless chicken can be a lean protein source for your Chihuahua.
  • Turkey: Another lean protein option. Make sure it is boneless and cooked.
  • Salmon: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, this fish can promote a healthy coat and skin. Serve cooked and deboned.
  • Beef: Cooked, lean cuts of beef can provide the necessary protein and nutrients for your Chihuahua.

Always avoid feeding raw meat unless your furry friend is used to this type of diet, as this can lead to bacterial infections and other health issues

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables can be a great addition to your Chihuahua’s diet, providing essential vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber for digestion. Some safe fruits and vegetables for your Chihuahua include:

  • Apples: Rich in vitamins A and C. Make sure to remove the seeds and core before serving.
  • Bananas: High in potassium, they make for a healthy treat but should be given in moderation due to the high sugar content.
  • Blueberries: Packed with antioxidants, these berries can help boost your Chihuahua’s immune system.
  • Carrots: A great source of vitamins, carrots can also promote good dental health when given as a crunchy treat.
  • Watermelon: Excellent for hydration, this fruit should be served seedless and without rind.

Do you want to know more about all the safe fruits for your little Chi? Here’s a complete list of fruits for Chihuahuas to eat.

Can Chihuahuas Eat Fruit?

Other Foods

There are other foods, outside of fruits, vegetables, and meats, that can be safely incorporated into your Chihuahua’s diet:

  • Eggs: Cooked eggs can provide valuable protein and nutrients, such as vitamin B, but refrain from adding salt or other seasonings.
  • Rice: Plain, cooked rice can be an easily digestible carbohydrate option for your Chihuahua.
  • Oatmeal: Another good source of fiber. Make sure it is cooked and plain, avoiding any added sugar or artificial sweeteners.
  • Peanut butter: As a special treat, peanut butter can offer protein and healthy fats, but opt for an unsalted and organic variety.

If you’re tired of feeding your furry friend the usual dry dog food, you can probably experiment with other forms. Here’s an article answering whether you can mix kibble and homemade food.

Or, if you’re looking for safe homemade food for your Chihuahua, here’s a recipe that I liked and have tried in the past:

Final Thoughts

As soon as you bring home your dog, you should conduct detailed research to achieve happy and healthy parenting, and that includes knowing what foods are toxic to Chihuahuas.

In an aim to provide high-quality food to your little one, don’t compromise on reading labels or assessing the toxicity of a food. Make a note of every food item mentioned in this article and make careful choices going forward.

Happy parenting!

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Sowmya Sankaran
Sowmya Sankaran is crazy about dogs, rabbits and birds! An avid rescuer and rehabilitator of dogs and other animals, she runs the Life With Equality Charitable Trust, an animal shelter in Chennai, India. She is also the founder of Petsmond, a pet website, in which she shares her experiences in raising different creatures and paying attention to intricate aspects of their health.

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