A dogs paws touching the sides of a bowl of food.

Are There Things Dogs Won’t Eat?

5 mins |

Dogs are willing to eat a lot of things, including human food. But it does make you wonder, though. Are there things dogs won’t eat?

There are some foods dogs won’t eat. These include but are not limited to peppers, spicy food in general, citrus fruit, and bitter apples. All dogs are different, though, so some dogs may be comfortable eating these things. However, we don’t recommend giving your dog any human food, and we always recommend consulting with your veterinarian prior to any diet changes for your dog.

Is There Food My Dog Won’t Eat?

A bowl of meat with other foods sitting nearby.
Looks pretty tasty, but will dogs eat it?

A quick note before we get into these foods. We don’t recommend giving your dog any kind of human food, as some are toxic, and others contain ingredients that aren’t good for them. Remember to always consult with your veterinarian prior to any changes to your dog’s diet.

With that said, there are a few foods dogs don’t like to eat, though. Let’s start with peppers. 


When it comes to peppers, don’t be alarmed if your dog refuses even to taste them. That’s a good thing.

Should a dog taste even a small bite of the spicy pepper, it can experience unexplainable heat, which can even bring pain to the dog. 

The discomfort peppers cause dogs is because of the component capsaicin, which is toxic to dogs, and some mild symptoms dogs experience are often drooling and excessive thirst. 

If the dog had a bite from a pepper and shows more severe side effects, bring it to the vet immediately. 

Spicy Food

Going along with the above, dogs don’t like to eat spicy food in general. Dogs will immediately refuse to eat anything hot or spicy (especially if it has chili flakes in the sauce). 

All their life, dogs guide themselves by their senses, especially the smell sensors, so normally when you give food to it, it immediately determines whether or not it’s safe to consume. And just like us, dogs have taste receptors that identify sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. 

So, it’s not surprising a dog would turn away spicy food.

Citrus Fruit

I saw a lot of TikTok videos, as well as older Youtube ones, where owners get closer to dogs with lemons, and the dog instantly runs in the other direction. I was curious to see whether my dog would have the same reaction. And yes, it did. 

But I couldn’t understand why until now. Citrus fruits are high in citrus acid, an acid we are fully capable of ingesting, but dogs aren’t. Just a few bites cause adverse reactions in the dog, so it’s a good thing then that dogs are totally repelled by the taste and the smell of any citrus fruit.

Also, citrus fruits contain d-limonene, which, when ingested, can harm your dog’s liver or can lead to less severe toxicity. Additionally, citrus fruit contains psoralen, which causes phototoxicity or photosensitivity in dogs. 

Bitter Apple

Most dogs shy away from bitter apples as this is mainly used in sprays that deter dogs from chewing or devouring specific objects in the household. 

Also, the reason why many dogs don’t like to try a bitter apple is that their taste receptors identify bitterness, and they’re not fans. 

But, with everything in mind, this doesn’t necessarily mean your dog will hate every food listed here. This is just a general picture. Each dog, just as it has its own characteristics and its own food preferences too. 

Which Foods Are Definitely Off-Limits to Dogs?

Dogs are curious creatures and want to sniff or take a bite out of almost everything to see if they can eat it. 

But some foods should be off-limits to dogs as they may lead to severe health problems. Let’s have a look at what some of them are below.

Chocolate And Coffee

Dogs should not eat chocolate and coffee.

Chocolate and coffee come from cacao seeds, which contain high-level methylxanthines, and as such, can cause vomiting and even diarrhea in dogs. 

And dark chocolate is even more dangerous than milk chocolate as it contains more methylxanthines, which are overly toxic to pets


Alcoholic beverages and products that have alcohol are definitely not something to have around your dog. If your dog ingests something with only a slight amount of alcohol, it takes around 30 minutes for them to process it, and it can lead to vomiting, drooling, tremors, and even difficulty breathing.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts, or any nuts for that matter, are not something your dogs should eat. Not only can it lead to stroke, but most of them, including macadamia nuts, are toxic to dogs.  

Onions And Garlic

Onions and garlic come from the same family of spices, and while they are not toxic to humans, they are to dogs. 

Garlic or onions can cause gastrointestinal irritation or even anemia in more severe cases, for example. 

Do Samoyeds Eat Everything?

There is a common misconception that Samoyeds eat everything their owners give to them, but that’s not true. Contrary to popular belief, Samoyeds tend to be picky eaters due to their sensitive stomachs

So if you have a Samoyed at home with a sensitive stomach, it’s important to follow strict nutritional guidelines to provide Sammies with a nutritionally balanced diet consisting of wet and dry food. 

And do not forget some cooked meat and veggies

Final Thoughts: Are There Things Dogs Won’t Eat?  

Are there things dogs won’t eat? Yes, absolutely. In general, avoid giving your dog anything except dog food and dog treats. That’s the best way not to find anything out the hard way.

So, is there anything your dog won’t eat? Let us know in the comments below!

Sandra is a veterinary undergraduate student based in Macedonia. She combines her two passions: veterinary medicine and writing, and she also tends to raise awareness about animal welfare as much as she can. As a student, she has attended many seminars and conferences related to the veterinary profession, and currently, she is focused on veterinary content writing. Although she owns a cat, she strongly claims that “dogs are her favorite people”.