Can Dogs Eat Ketchup? Is It Safe Or Toxic?

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Ketchup is probably the most common condiment in most homes. Moreover, if you add some french fries into the mix you will have one happy family. But, can dogs eat ketchup? Are they fans of this condiment or they should stay away from it as possible? Read on and discover.

People are great ketchup lovers, and the chances are that you are a ketchup lover, as well, no? Actually, did you know that the average American consumes 71 pounds of ketchup every year? Interestingly, this popular condiment is even more popular among children. But, how popular and loved ketchup is among canines, and are they fond of this taste?

Can My Dog Eat Ketchup?

Long story short, yes. BUT, you should not make a habit out of it. Why? Occasionally, ketchup ingredients can be harmful to your canine and you should take time to find out exactly what’s in your/your dog’s ketchup.

In general, ketchup is full of chemicals, meaning that a number of these ingredients are questionable for dogs. So, always check the label.

Ingredients In Ketchup

In general, ketchup is made from tomatoes. But, besides tomatoes, commercial ketchup contains much more. In most cases, those are ingredients like:

  • onions
  • cinnamon
  • garlic
  • salt
  • extra sugar

Some of these ingredients are potentially harmful for dogs, especially sugar. You probably know that dogs don’t react well to sugar. In addition, commercial ketchup can contain other chemicals as well.

One of the most present chemicals is xanthan gum which acts as a stabilizer, sugar-like substance, which thickens the paste. And that’s something that you should not let your dog eat it.

So, the best thing that you can do for your dog when it comes to ketchup is to avoid giving ketchup to him in the first place. But, you should know that in case your dog eats some nothing serious will happen to him.

However, a significant amount of ketchup can be harmful. This is quite similar like in humans if you overeat something you will feel sick.

Furthermore, too much ketchup comes with some risk, because certain ingredients may cause allergic reactions or even a condition known as hemolytic anemia. Basically, you can’t know how your dog will react until he consumed ketchup, so avoid it. If nothing else, it’s a bad feeding habit.

Knowing The Risks

If your dog consumes ketchup you should know that nothing severe won’t happen to him, in most cases actually. But, if he eats too much of ketchup – especially if ketchup is on other food, you can expect some stomach upset, that in most cases can result in diarrhea or vomiting.

If this happens, it should resolve on its own. In addition, you should be careful about natural ketchup as well. A number of natural ketchup comes with ‘sugar-free’ label. However, the ingredients are often sweetened with a sugar-replacement like xylitol.

So, if you have natural ketchup’s make sure that you hide them well from your dog, especially if you are having a puppy.

Important: Xylitol is highly toxic to dogs. Their consumption can lead to kidney damage.

Symptoms To Watch For

If you are not sure how your dog will react to ketchup and you know for sure that he ate some or a significant amount of it, you should watch for the following signs:

  1. Reddish urine
  2. Loss of appetite
  3. Pale gums
  4. Lethargy or weakness

That being said, if you notice any of these symptoms, make sure to contact your veterinarian. Also, if you feel that there is a strong need for it, you can perform first aid.

Is There Any Nutritional Value In Ketchup?

While ketchup is technically safe for dogs, there are no benefits for his health. Moreover, ketchup has zero nutritional value. The same goes for natural ketchup. So, if you want to richer your dog’s diet maybe you should do your research on different diets and food combinations.

Even if your dog likes ketchup and he begs for food, you should think about his health first and nutritional intake.

If you are feeding your dog with ketchup on a regular basis you can expect the following issues in your dog:

  • Obesity – weight plays a major role in your dog’s overall health. If your dog is overweight he may be suffering from underlying condition. Therefore, it’s crucial to provide a healthy balance between physical activity and food intake. Therefore, make sure that you have a regular walks and properly measured meals.
  • Heart issues – heart disease in dogs is common as it’s in humans. The most common form of heart disease in canines is valvular disease. This disease is commonly seen in small breeds over 5 years age. Also, heartworms are also common in dogs, although this condition is preventable. Furthermore, myocardial disease, such as dilated cardiomyopathy, is often seen in larger breeds of all ages.
  • Diabetes – this is a chronic disease that can affect both, cats and dogs, and other animals, just like humans. It’s important to note that diabetes can’t be cured, but it can be managed successfully. Some of the early signs of diabetes may include weight loss, excessive thirst, and depressed attitude.

Ketchup is high in salt. Dogs have extremely low salt tolerance, so they can easily suffer from salt poisoning. This condition comes with symptoms like:

  • Seizures
  • Swelling
  • Stumbling
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low energy
  • Clumsiness
  • Low energy

What Kind Of Ketchup Is Good For Your Dog?

Overall, tomatoes are not harmful to dogs, so you can make homemade tomato sauce and serve it to your dog. So, tomato sauce is highly recommended. This way you can make a tomato that’s safe for your dog and organic. Pure tomato sauce is a much better choice for your dog. Just like for humans, its always better to consume food that natural and organic, than made with chemicals.

After all, you shouldn’t be giving your dog anything that you wouldn’t eat. But what about other combinations of food and ketchup like french fries with ketchup or ketchup chips, are those safe for dogs?

But, wait – Aren’t Tomatoes Toxic to Dogs?

People often mention that tomatoes are toxic to dogs. Furthermore, it means that you should avoid feeding your dog with anything that contains tomatoes. The truth is that there are some toxins in tomatoes, called solanine and tomatine, and they can show some risk for dog’s health.

However, they are found only in the leaves and stems of ripened tomatoes and green, unripe tomatoes. Therefore, giving your dog a tomato fruit is not dangerous. However, this doesn’t apply to green tomatoes that are off the menu.

Can Dogs Eat French Fries With Ketchup?

Sorry, but this is a big NO. French fries are even unhealthy for humans, so they are definitely not a healthy option for dogs. Furthermore, french fries are really harmful to dogs.

But, if you insist on serving french fries to your dog, you should go for a healthy option, and serve your dog sweet potato fries.

Furthermore, if you can prepare homemade and safe ketchup your doggie is about to have gala dinner.

Can Dogs Eat Eggs With Ketchup?

Yes, eggs are healthy for dogs. Feel free to feed your dog with one or two eggs as a treat. You can sprinkle eggs with homemade ketchup. Bear in mind that anything homemade is always better than store-bought. Also, eggs are great for dogs skin and coat.

Can Dogs Eat Ketchup Chips?

This is a big NO, NO, NO! Any chips, or actually any processed food is dangerous for your dog. In addition, there are many reasons why your dog shouldn’t eat food like this one. Again, if something is highly unhealthy for humans, the chances are that it won’t be healthy for your dog as well.

But, if your dog eats ketchup chips you should keep a close eye on him. If he starts vomiting or becomes inactive, it means that you should contact your vet.

Can Dogs Eat Mustard?

Most condiments are not good for dogs, not only ketchup. Although most ketchup brands are harmless if your dog licks just a little bit, you should avoid condiments in general.

So, mustard is also not recommended for dogs, including mayonnaise, relish, and salsa. Basically, these are not highly dangerous, but they are not healthy either.

Just like ketchup, they are high in calories and loaded with spices. Just like with ketchup, always avoid sugar-free version and go for homemade and dog-safe condiments.

Ketchup Packet Danger

Dog’a are known for being able to eat anything that crosses their path. So, they can easily eat an entire bottle of ketchup and ketchup package as well. People often leave these packages laying around, so dogs can easily reach them and tear them apart. If this happens, make sure to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

In the meantime, monitor your dog and search for vomiting signs or signs of straining during defecation. Also, if you don’t see a ketchup package after several days, the situation is more than alarming.

Quick tip: Mineral oil mixed into food may help to lubricate the bowels.

Can Dogs Eat Ketchup – Key Takeaways

To sum up, giving your dog a lick of ketchup here and there should be fine, as long as it’s homemade and without sugar. Also, sharing some from commercial ketchup should be fine, but it’s highly not recommended. That ketchup contains garlic powder or/and onion that are not dog-friendly.

Simply said, garlic damages red blood cells, while onion contains toxic compounds that can break down red blood cells and eventually lead to anemia.

Bear in mind, even if you find ketchup without garlic powder or onion, you should know that ketchup is high in sodium. Food that’s high in sodium is not good for dogs, because they can quickly become dehydrated if they eat food rich in sodium.

In conclusion, restraining is the best policy here. Dogs don’t need ketchup. It contains sugar and comes with zero nutritional value, and can lead to a number of issues. So, the best thing that you can do for your dog, in general, is to be selective when sharing food with your dog.

That being said, make sure that you avoid additives and chemicals, including ketchup. However, if you really want to treat your canine with this souse, go for the homemade option and offer your dog a safe option.

FAQ – Can Dogs Eat Ketchup?

1. Can My Dog Eat Ketchup?

In general, nothing bad will happen if your dog gets a lick or two of ketchup, especially if it’s homemade (homemade ketchup is the only ketchup 100% safe for your dog). But, certain ingredients like garlic powder and onion can lead to disturbance and serious health conditions, like hemolytic anemia.

2. Is Tomato Ketchup Harmful To Dogs?

Green tomatoes are a big no, no, for your dog. On the other hand, ripe red tomatoes are harmless for dogs.

3. What Condiments Can Dogs Eat?

Don’t feed your dog with fruit that contains small seeds inside, like grape and raisins (they contain cyanide). However, you can feed your dog with carrots, both cooker and raw, eggs, and salmon, for example. On the other hand, they should be limited to salt and cheese.

4. Will Ketchup Kill A Dog?

No, however, it depends on how much of ketchup your dog actually eats. But, you should bear in mind that ketchup has no nutritional value and that too much of ketchup comes with significant risk. Moreover, there are some ingredients in ketchup that may cause a condition known as hemolytic anemia.

5. Are Tomatoes OK For Dogs?

Tomato contains solanine, a substance found in the stem and leaves. That substance is harmful to dogs in large quantities. Therefore, the stems, leaves, and green tomatoes contain a higher amount of solanine. Therefore, ripe tomatoes are safe for dogs.