Can dogs eat ketchup? If you find that your furry family member won’t leave your side at your next barbecue, you’re not alone. Dogs seem to have a knack for getting in our business whenever the opportunity calls for some table scraps.
Fido is probably eyeing that hot dog that you just slathered with ketchup and mustard, and while it might be tempting to throw a little down for your precious pet, you may want to ask, “Can dogs eat ketchup?”
What Is Ketchup?
Can dogs eat ketchup? Ketchup is a lovely, tangy/sweet sauce comprised mainly of tomatoes. Originating in ancient China, it has made its way to nearly 98 percent of American tables as we adorn everything from meat to scrambled eggs and beyond with its delicious taste.
It has become synonymous with foods like hot dogs, burgers, and french fries, becoming the most commonly used condiment in the world.
Can Dogs Eat Ketchup?
Sorry Fido, we can’t feed you that hot dog slathered with ketchup. Even though certain parts of the fresh tomato are harmless to dogs, ketchup is a different food altogether.
Most blends of ketchup contain other ingredients, such as garlic and onion, that can be extremely detrimental to dogs if eaten in large amounts.
What If My Dog Has ingested Ketchup?
Can dogs eat ketchup? If you find that your dog has ingested ketchup, you’ll need to look at the ingredient list immediately to see if any of the following are present:
1. Onion or onion powder–Onion powder is a common additive to ketchup that is extremely toxic to your dog. All parts of the onion are toxic to dogs and, therefore, should not be consumed in any form.
Powder, in particular, is very potent. Onion toxicity in dogs carries with it the following symptoms:
- Weakness, lethargy
- Decreased appetite
- Pale gums
- Red urine
- Loss of consciousness
Contact your veterinarian if you see any of these symptoms or unusual behaviors after contact with onions.
2. Garlic–Ketchup often contains garlic and garlic powder as well; some dogs may be more sensitive to the effects of garlic than others, but large amounts of it can lead to poisoning.
Did you Know?
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3. High levels of sodium–Some brands of ketchup can be high in sodium, which is dangerous for your dog. Salt in moderation is not detrimental to your dog, but it can be poisonous if consumed in large amounts. Some common signs of salt poisoning include:
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Decreased appetite
- Excessive thirst and urination
- Loss of coordination
- Tremors, seizures, coma
Again, if you suspect that your dog is exhibiting symptoms of salt poisoning, contact your vet immediately.
Other Concerns With Tomatoes
While mentioned before that some parts of the tomato plant are okay for dogs to consume, the green top should be avoided at all costs. The green tops and stem of the tomato plant contain a toxic alkaloid called tomatine, which can cause gastrointestinal distress, vomiting, and diarrhea in most dogs.
Keep your furry family member out of the garden and set some limitations when loitering in the kitchen to ensure that your pet stays happy and healthy.
Good Treat Options For Hungry Pets
If your dog’s insatiable appetite is making it difficult for you to get anything done in the kitchen, consider these tasty, healthy treat options instead:
Peanut Butter Popsickles
Dogs can’t get enough of this creamy, nutty treat. Mash half a banana and mix with water and a few tablespoons of peanut butter. Freeze the mixture into balls or put it in a Kong and let them do the rest.
Apples are a good source of vitamin C, calcium, and fiber. Do not feed whole apples to dogs; instead, cut them up into small pieces and remove the core to reduce the risk of choking.
Blueberries are not only the perfect treat size for most dogs; they are flavorful and rich in antioxidants, which will keep your dog’s coat healthy and shiny.
Dogs enjoy fruits due to their natural sugary sweetness, but they also gravitate toward carrots. The crisp crunch caters to a canine propensity to chew, while mild and sweet flavors are easily digested. Cut up larger pieces to reduce the risk of choking and use liberally when treating, as carrots have a very low caloric content.
Get Informed About Treats
It might be tempting to throw your favorite foods to your dog but think twice about whether your faves may be beneficial or harmful to him. Steer clear of the tangy goodness of ketchup, saving it instead for your next crispy plate of onion rings. Your dog will thank you.