Since humans and dogs metabolize foods differently, some meals that are safe for us can turn out to be toxic or, worse, even deadly for them. Let’s take the example of potato salad, a wildly popular cold side dish. While it’s no less than a tempting treat to humans, can dogs have a portion of it as well?
No, dogs shouldn’t eat potato salad. It contains potato cubes tossed in a mixture of non-dog-friendly spices and other harmful ingredients, such as onion, garlic, mayonnaise, mustard, etc.
Continue reading as I explain how potato salad affects your dog and what steps to take if your canine companion accidentally ingests some.
Is Potato Salad Bad For Dogs?
Yes, potato salad is bad for dogs.
The classic American-style potato salad contains certain ingredients like mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, cooked chicken eggs, sweet pickles, onion, garlic, and Dijon-style mustard your pup shouldn’t consume.
Note: Onions and garlic can cause hemolytic anemia in dogs, in which their red blood cells (RBCs) get destroyed faster than they can replenish. This is also called onion & garlic poisoning.
Moreover, high levels of sodium and fat further make potato salad a strict NO for canines!
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Potato Salad?
If you suspect your dog has consumed your potato salad, first of all, don’t go into panic mode yet.
I suggest assessing how much it ate and the ingredients that were present.
- If your canine manages to have a small portion of the salad, there’s nothing to worry much about in this case. Check if your dog develops symptoms like diarrhea, loss of appetite, or vomiting. If so, see your vet immediately.
- If your canine has a good portion of the salad, rush to the veterinarian instantly to remove potato salad from your dog’s stomach through induced vomiting.
What Happens If My Dog Eats Potato Salad?
There can be several outcomes of your dog eating potato salad, which it should not. For example:
Due to their sensitive digestive systems, it’s very easy for dogs to have an upset stomach. The situation further escalates with the potato salad – containing a mixture of fats, spices, sauces, and many other seasonings.
Food allergies in dogs are also common, with proteins, especially those from dairy, chicken eggs, chicken, beef, wheat gluten, or soy, the most common allergens in canines.
If you’ve added any of these protein-rich ingredients to your potato salad, your dog will likely develop allergies.
A potato salad tossed generously in mayonnaise or other fatty dressings also puts your canine at a high risk of pancreatitis – a painful and life-threatening condition. In most cases, it’s accompanied by loss of appetite, vomiting, belly pain, fever, hard breathing, and, worst, irregular heartbeat.
Gastrointestinal blockage in dogs might not be common, but can’t be neglected.
Potato salads containing toothpicks, skewers, or even plastic wrap to hold it together are some of its common causes.
How To Prevent Your Dog From Eating Potato Salad?
I recommend the following tips to prevent your dog from eating potato salad:
- Store any leftover potato salad in sealed containers, and keep them out of your dog’s reach. The refrigerator’s top or overhead cabinets are perfect.
- Ensure your trash bin(s) has a secure lid. After all, dogs are notorious for digging through trash bins in search of food scraps.
- Avoid eating your potato salad with your dog around. Sit in a separate room or train your fur friend not to snatch food from your plate, as I’ve done.
- It’s also good to train your pet with specific commands to discourage it from trying to eat human food. For instance, teach “leave it” or “no.”
- Educate other family members and friends to avoid sharing their portion of potato salad with the dog.
- Always feed your dog in advance so they don’t get the urge to hop onto your meal.
Being a pet parent, it’s your responsibility to prevent your four-legged friend from eating potato salad or anything else that will negatively affect its health.
What Are the Ingredients in Potato Salad that Are Harmful for My Dog?
A typical potato salad’s key ingredients include mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, sweet pickles, cooked chicken eggs, onion, garlic, and Dijon-style mustard. Out of these, onion, garlic, mustard, and mayonnaise are harmful to your dog, irrespective of their quantities.
If your canine is allergic to chicken eggs, add it to the list above.
How to Recognize if My Dog Has Eaten Potato Salad?
It’s pretty easy to recognize if your dog has eaten potato salad. Look around for clear evidence, like an empty potato salad container, its traces on the floor, etc. If not, check for symptoms such as vomiting, abdominal discomfort, increased thirst, etc.
If you have a pet camera at home, quickly check its recording for confirmation.
Are There Any Health Benefits of Including Potatoes in My Dog’s Diet?
Including potatoes in your dog’s diet has many health benefits. They are a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and magnesium. The dietary fiber in potatoes helps your pup digest and regulate bowel movements.
Adding carbohydrate-rich potatoes can do wonders if your canine is a bit lethargic or inactive. Lastly, remember this tuber’s low-fat content is handy in weight management.
Are Sweet Potatoes Safe for Your Dogs?
Yes, sweet potatoes are safe for dogs. Being a whole food, they don’t cause an immune response or damage to the dog’s digestive tract. Sweet potatoes contain less fat and more essential vitamins, such as A, B6, C, calcium, potassium, and iron, to ensure your dog’s overall well-being.
However, never serve raw sweet potato to your dog or cook it with other ingredients.
Are There Any Dog-Friendly Herbs and Spices I Can Add to the Diet for Flavor?
Yes, there are a handful of dog-friendly and vet-approved herbs and spices you can add to your canine’s diet for flavor. For example, you can add basil (antioxidants and antimicrobial properties), turmeric (anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties), and cinnamon (anti-inflammatory properties).
Ginger is also believed to be a spice good for dogs, as it helps alleviate their nausea, bloating, and gastrointestinal issues.
Can Dogs Eat Potato Salad?
No, dogs can’t eat potato salad. This is because of its non-dog-friendly ingredients, as mentioned above.
I hope you’ve understood why avoiding sharing your potato salad with your dogs is always a good idea. Instead, prepare a separate portion of plain, cooked potatoes seasoned with dog-friendly spices like ginger, basil, cinnamon, and turmeric. It will ensure their overall well-being and provide a tasty alternative for them to enjoy.
If you’ve got any other diet-related queries for your fur baby, drop them in the comments below!
Elena Gherman is a highly skilled and knowledgeable animal care expert. At the start of her career, she gained practical expertise with multiple animals. In addition to that, she works as a DVM veterinary editor for Joy Pet Products, which focuses on offering reliable information on pet health and wellbeing. She meticulously reviews each piece of writing before it is published to make sure pet owners get the most precise and updated information possible.