Can Dogs Eat BBQ Sauce?

Can Dogs Eat BBQ Sauce
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You’re probably adding some of that sweet BBQ Sauce on your food and your dogs are sitting nearby staring at you. You’re about to let your dog lick some of that smokey sweet dipping sauce but catch yourself wondering if BBQ Sauce is safe for dogs to eat. Can dogs eat BBQ Sauce? Let’s find out! 

Can dogs eat BBQ Sauce? No, dogs should not eat BBQ Sauce as it contains tons of ingredients that are toxic to dogs, including garlic and onion. BBQ Sauce also contains other ingredients that are not canine-friendly. Avoid adding BBQ Sauce to your dog’s regular meal.

Can dogs have BBQ Sauce?

can my dog eat barbecue sauce
Can dogs have Barbecue Sauce?

No, dogs should not have BBQ Sauce. To fully understand why BBQ Sauce is harmful to our canine friends, let’s start by looking at the common ingredients used to make this smokey sweet sauce. 

  • Vinegar.
  • Tomato paste or ketchup. 
  • Mayonnaise. 
  • Onion and garlic powder. 
  • Mustard.
  • Chili pepper. 
  • Black pepper.
  • Sweeteners: brown sugar or molasses. 

Most of these ingredients are bad for our canine friends. Let’s find out why.

Is BBQ Sauce bad for dogs?

barbecue sauce for dogs
Is Barbecue Sauce bad for dogs?

Yes, BBQ Sauce is bad for dogs. Here are some of the ingredients in BBQ Sauce that are harmful to our four-legged friends. 

Vinegar in BBQ Sauce can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs

One of the main ingredients in BBQ Sauce is vinegar and most dogs do not like the strong smell of it. In fact, many dogs may get an upset stomach or gastrointestinal upset from consuming vinegar. 

If you have dogs with kidney disease, it’s best to avoid feeding them anything that contains vinegar. The same applies to dogs with stomach sensitivity. 

There hasn’t been much research on the health benefits of giving your dogs vinegar so it’s best to stay on the safe side and not feed your furry friends BBQ Sauce that contains vinegar. 

Many dog owners actually add white vinegar or diluted apple cider to their canine friends’ diet or use in bathing because it is believed that vinegar can help with cleaning and healing, but there are no studies or scientific research to prove this. 

Before using vinegar on your furry friends or adding it to their food, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian first and ask for their professional advice since there’s no proof that that vinegar can help with health issues or is the best solution to clean your pups. 

If you still plan on feeding your dogs a little bit of vinegar, be careful with the type of vinegar you’re giving them. Undiluted vinegar can cause a serious case of gastrointestinal upset especially for dogs that are: 

  • Not feeling well. 
  • Unhealthy. 
  • Have kidney diseases.
  • Have sensitive stomachs. 
  • Small dogs. 

You can expect symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and even dehydration. All of these symptoms are uncomfortable and painful so it’s best not to give your dog BBQ Sauce that contains vinegar.

Onion and garlic powder in BBQ Sauce are toxic to dogs

Both onion and garlic are toxic to dogs. It doesn’t matter whether the onion and garlic are fresh, dried, dehydrated, powder, or fried, both are extremely dangerous to our canine friends. 

Onion and garlic both belong to the Allium family and contain oxidizing agents and a compound called N-propyl disulfide which is extremely harmful to dogs. When our four-legged friends consume onion or garlic (even in small amounts), it can cause red blood cell damage and even anemia. N-propyl disulfide destroys the hemoglobin in the dog’s red blood cells which carries oxygen so the red blood cells get destroyed.   

Dogs that consume onion and garlic can be at risk of onion poisoning or garlic poisoning. Signs and symptoms of onion and garlic toxicity include: 

  • Gastrointestinal upset: vomiting and diarrhea. 
  • Kidney damage. 
  • Loss of appetite. 
  • Excessive drooling. 
  • Drooling. 
  • Abdominal pain so the dog is hunching over more. 
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Lethargy. 
  • Increase heartbeat or heart rate. 
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Panting heavily. 
  • Blood in the urine. 
  • Pale or blue gums. 

If you suspect your canine friend has onion or garlic poisoning, contact your vet immediately. This requires immediate medical attention and most likely your vet will ask you to bring your dog in for a checkup or examination. 

To avoid putting your pooch at risk for onion or garlic toxicity, it’s best to avoid feeding them BBQ Sauce since it contains both onion and garlic.

Fun Fact: Hummus also contains ingredients that are toxic to dogs. Check out Can Dogs Eat Hummus? to find out which ingredients in Hummus are harmful to dogs.

Mustard in BBQ Sauce is harmful to dogs

The yellow mustard used in BBQ Sauce often contains ingredients such as mustard seed, salt, spices, vinegar, and turmeric. All of these ingredients are not safe or healthy for dogs. We actually discussed Mustard in detail in a separate post. Check out Can Dogs Eat Mustard? to learn more.

Sweeteners used in BBQ Sauce is harmful to dogs

Many enjoy the sweet smokey flavor of the BBQ Sauce thanks to the sugar and sweeteners used to make BBQ Sauce. Whether the BBQ Sauce use sucralose, brown sugar, molasses, or corn syrup, or high fructose corn syrup, they are all sugar. 

Sugar is especially harmful to our K9 friends since they don’t require any sugar in their diet. In fact, dogs usually receive their sugar intake from the carbohydrates in their regular dog food. This means that it is not necessary for pet owners to feed their dogs sugar at all. 

Too much sugar consumption can be harmful to your dog’s health because it can cause weight gain, diabetes, dental issues, and even pancreatitis.

You might also like: Can Dogs Eat Brisket?

So, can my dog eat BBQ Sauce?

As we can see, our dog should not eat BBQ Sauce. If you’re wondering, “Is BBQ Sauce good for dogs?” the simple and quick answer is no. Many of the ingredients used in BBQ Sauce can harm your dog’s overall health. 

The nutritional profile of BBQ Sauce is another reason why it is bad for dogs.

Nutritional Profile of BBQ Sauce (2 tbsp or 37 grams)

Name, UnitAmount
Calories, cal69.9
Sugar, g15
Sodium, mg300
Carbohydrate, g17
Calculation and information from U.S. Department of Agriculture

High salt content in BBQ Sauce is harmful to dogs

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, most BBQ Sauces contain high levels of salt which is not good for dogs. Keep in mind that a healthy 33-pound dog should only consume up to 100 mg of salt each day and no more than that. 

That means: 

  • A small 10 pound Chihuahua dog should only consume up to 30 mg of salt each day
  • A medium 75 pound Labrador dog should only consume up to 227 mg of salt each day

If you take a look at the nutritional profile of BBQ Sauce, 2 tablespoons of BBQ Sauce provides 300 mg of sodium! That’s a lot of sodium and can cause salt poisoning in dogs. 

Signs and symptoms of salt poisoning in dogs include: 

  • Dehydration. 
  • Very thirsty.
  • Urinating frequently. 
  • Nausea leading to vomiting. 
  • Watery and loose diarrhea.
  • Abnormal amount of fluid buildup in the body. 
  • Headache. 
  • Lethargy. 
  • Loss of appetite. 
  • Fever.
  • Increase heartbeat or heart rate.
  • Muscle spasms and convulsion.
  • Breathing difficulty. 
  • Abdominal pain causes dogs to hunch over.
  • Walking around in a drunk-like manner. 
  • Swelling of the lips, mouth, and tongue.
  • Confusion.

If you suspect your dog has salt poisoning, contact your vet or the pet poison hotline immediately. Sodium poisoning requires immediate medical attention. Your vet may ask you to bring your dog in for examination and treatment.

BBQ Sauce may be too spicy for your dog

As we can see, some BBQ Sauces use spices like chili pepper and black pepper which may be too spicy for our canine’s taste buds. In fact, our dogs like their food plain and simple. They don’t need spices or flavoring in their food. 

BBQ Sauce comes in varying levels of spiciness. Some are very spicy and others are mild. When our four-legged friends consume food with spices in them, it can burn their lips, mouth, and tongue and cause discomfort. 

In severe cases, consuming spicy sauce or food can even cause an upset stomach and diarrhea in dogs. This is why it’s crucial that pet owners keep BBQ Sauce away from their canine family members. 

Instead of BBQ Sauce, go with canine-friendly alternatives like fruit juice.

So, can dogs eat BBQ Sauce?

Avoid feeding your pooch BBQ Sauce. BBQ Sauce contains many ingredients that are harmful to dogs and can cause them pain and discomfort. Some dogs may react to BBQ Sauce by vomiting, having diarrhea, or getting upset stomachs. Other dogs may be at risk of onion or garlic poisoning depending on the amount of BBQ Sauce consumed.

Our four-legged friends do not know what sauce or food is good for them and what is bad for them. As responsible dog owners, it is our duty to keep them healthy and safe so we can enjoy many more years with them. For these reasons, it’s best to avoid feeding our pups BBQ Sauce.

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding dietary needs.