Can Dogs Eat Ketchup? Everything you Need To Know

While dogs can eat certain types of ketchup, in general, they should not eat ketchup. Most ketchup includes garlic powder and onions – both which are risky for dogs to consume. Onions contain toxic elements that break down red blood cells (RBC), causing anemia. Garlic also affects the red blood cells in dogs. Additionally, ketchup is high in sodium which can quickly dehydrate dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Ketchup?

Pure and plain Ketchup is not harmful to dogs. However most types of ketchup, including those marketed as “healthy” or “organic,” contain several ingredients that could be harmful for dogs. Different varieties of supermarket ketchup may contain a range of spices and seasonings. Onion powder, allspice, a variety of salt, and garlic, to name a few, are all bad for dogs; and some of these ingredients are even poisonous. 

Usually, ketchup is prepared from tomatoes. But, besides tomatoes, supermarket ketchup includes ingredients such as:

Xanthan Gum, a preservative used in several brands of ketchup as a thickening agent is bad for dogs.

Different flavored ketchup, such as hot and spicy, jalapeno, and sriracha spice, can contain more poisonous ingredients. Excess ketchup consumption comes with some risk as some elements may cause a condition known as hemolytic anemia or even allergic reactions. A small amount is unlikely to affect them but it is important to be vigilant particularly with small breeds. 

Is Ketchup Safe for Dogs?

Tomatoes are the main ingredient of ketchup and ripe tomatoes without leaves or stems are not poisonous to dogs. Although tomatoes must not be a regular part of your dog’s diet, you can give them a bite as a treat or as a snack. So, if your dog sneaks a lick or two of ketchup, they should be fine with no adverse consequences.

Ingredients in Ketchup that are Harmful to Dogs 

Tomatoes are safe for dogs to eat. Veterinarians approve tomatoes for encouraging safe digestion in dogs. Tomatoes are high in antioxidants, which fight free radicals that cause aging and cancer. Potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C are also found in tomatoes. Tomatoes applied to your dog’s raw food will help to balance his diet. 

Although tomatoes are the chief ingredient of ketchup, there are a few other ingredients that are harmful to dogs. They include: 

Garlic: Ketchup contains garlic and onion, all of which are toxic to dogs. Sulfoxide and n-propyl disulfide are compounds found in onions. In massive doses, these chemicals create a fog that kills red blood cells. Hemolytic anemia is a disease that occurs when a dog’s healthy red blood cells are lost. Symptoms of canine hemolytic anemia include: 

  • Fever 
  • Body weakness 
  • Jaundice 
  • Dizziness 
  • Darkened urine 
  • Lethargy 
  • Disorientation 
  • Reduced physical activity 

Salt: A small amount of salt is beneficial to your dog’s health. In dogs, however, too much salt can cause excessive thirst and dehydration. 

Sugar: While dogs have a sweet tooth, excess sugar is harmful to them. Sugar that is not digested is converted to fat and retained in your dog’s body. Obesity develops, which will limit the dog’s longevity. The word “sugar” does not appear on the ingredient label of some ketchup brands. Sugar is often referred to as corn syrup, fructose syrup, or natural flavoring by ketchup manufacturers. 

Xanthan Gum: Xanthan gum is a thickener that aids in the thickening of ketchup. While this substance is safe for humans, it can be deadly to dogs. In puppies, xanthan gum causes diarrhea and bloating. Excess of that will make the symptoms worse. 

Risks from Eating Ketchup 

Salt toxicity is more common in dogs, and it can result in irreversible organ damage. Salt poisoning in dogs can cause the following symptoms: 

  • Vomiting 
  • Extreme Thirst 
  • Excessive Urination 
  • Reddish Urine
  • Diarrhea 
  • Loss of Appetite 
  • Kidney Issues 
  • Low Energy 

If you feed ketchup to your dog daily, you might expect them to have the following problems: 

  • Obesity
  • Heart Issues
  • Diabetes
  • Allergies and Anemia

Healthy Ketchup and Tomato Alternatives 

Fortunately, several other fruits are suitable for dogs to consume. These fruits will provide your dog with numerous health benefits without posing any significant risks. If you want to give your dog some human food as a reward, you can consider one of the following options: 

Final Thoughts

To summarize, allowing your dog a little bit of homemade, sugar-free (and garlic powder and onion free) ketchup is generally fine. Giving your dog a little commercial ketchup is fine too, but not recommended. Commercial ketchup generally includes onion and garlic powder that are unsafe for dogs.

Ketchup isn’t necessary for dogs. It contains sugar which has little nutritional value, and it can cause a variety of problems. So, in general, the best thing you can do with your dog is to be selective when sharing food with them. .

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