We feed our dogs a lot of condiments without checking the ingredients. But for the pet parent who cares about your dog’s health, you would want to know what goes into making everything your dog eats. This includes Ketchup which you so lovingly share with your dog.
Ketchup may be safe or harmful to dogs depending on what ingredients are used to make it. Ketchup brands with artificial additives can be harmful to your dog. This includes sugar-free ketchup that contains traces of Xylitol in it.
It’s like your dog has a sixth sense. Every time you fix yourself a sandwich, he is by your feet begging for a morsel. And because you love him, you gladly give him a bit despite the splash of Ketchup on it. As you watch him lick his lips clean, you are wondering to yourself ‘Can dogs have ketchup?’
Can dogs have ketchup?
First of all, what is in ketchup? Most pet parents know that the main ingredient is tomatoes and sugar. But there are hidden ingredients in Ketchup that can cause more harm than good in your dog.
Tomatoes are not harmful to dogs. Vets recommend tomatoes for promoting healthy digestion in dogs. Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants that kill radical cells that cause aging or cancer. Tomatoes are also rich in potassium, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C.
Adding tomatoes to your dog’s raw food helps balance his diet. When it comes to Ketchup for dogs, that is a whole different story.
The main ingredient in ketchup is tomatoes. But the other ingredients that most pet parents are unaware of include
Garlic and Onion
Garlic and Onion
Ketchup contains traces of garlic and onion which are harmful to dogs. Onions contain the chemicals sulfoxide and n-propyl disulfide. In large amounts, these chemicals destroy red blood cells in a fog. As a dog loses healthy red blood cells, they slowly sink into a condition known as hemolytic anemia.
Symptoms of hemolytic anemia in dogs include;
Yellowing of skin, mouth, and eyes (jaundice)
Reduced physical activity
Garlic contains high amounts of n-propyl disulfide and sulfoxide compared to onions. Ketchup contains both spices which make it harmful to dogs.
Limit how much ketchup you give your dog to avoid the risk of hemolytic anemia.
A little salt is healthy for your dog. Too much salt, on the other hand, can cause extreme thirst and dehydration in dogs. Small amounts of salt in ketchup will not harm your dog but overindulgence definitely will.
Dogs have a sweet tooth but too much sugar is not good for them. Undigested sugar turns into fats that are stored in your dog’s body. This leads to obesity which can shorten your dog’s lifespan.
Some ketchup products may not have ‘Sugar’ in the ingredient label. Ketchup companies often disguise sugar in other names like corn syrup, fructose syrup, or natural flavoring. All these are synonyms for sugar you should be aware of.
Xanthan gum is a stabilizer that helps increase the thickness in Ketchup. While this compound is harmless to humans, it can be fatal to dogs. Xanthan gum causes diarrhea and bloating in dogs. Too much of it can escalate the said symptoms.
Is there Ketchup for dogs?
Fortunately, new food brands are coming up that only deal with organic products. It is possible to find organic ketchup that has no sugar or additives that can harm your dog. But ingredients like onion and garlic are still used to give ketchup its spicy flavor.
The only way to ensure your dog enjoys ketchup is to make it at home with him. And it is very simple if you have the right ingredients. You also get to control what ingredients go into your ketchup which is a plus.
Homemade Ketchup for dogs
For your homemade ketchup, you need the following;
2 cups of pureed tomatoes
Half a cup of water
One cup of honey
1 tablespoon of olive oil
¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
½ a teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of salt
In a bowl, mix all ingredients and beat them to a fine pulse. You can use a blender to achieve the best consistency
Keep mixing as you taste. Adjust whatever ingredient you wish to make the ketchup better
Pour the ingredients into a cooking pot
Boil the mixture for about 20 minutes. This drains out excess water and helps thicken the mixture
Turn off the stove and stir the mixture one more time
Let it cool then store in a bottle or airtight jar
Your homemade ketchup may not taste like the store-bought option (because of eliminating spices) but it is healthy for you and your dog. Vinegar, oregano, and olive oil are safe for dogs.
Oregano is rich in antioxidant and antimicrobial properties
Vinegar improves digestion by balancing acidity in the gut
Olive oil improves cognitive functions and can help control obesity in dogs
Honey is safe for dogs compared to processed sugar. But too much honey can cause dental issues. So you still have to limit how much homemade ketchup you give your dog.
Ketchup for dogs is not harmful when given in small quantities. But always be careful about ingredients like onion and garlic which can harm your pup. To be safe, switch to homemade ketchup which only carries the ingredients your pooch loves.
Ketchup won’t kill your dog but it can cause some nasty side effects. If your dog downs a bottle of ketchup he may vomit or diarrhea later. Ketchup brands that contain Xylitol may, however, be dangerous for pets.
Condiments like ketchup are safe for dogs if given in small amounts. Before giving your dog any condiment, ensure the ingredients used to make the product are safe for pets. Also, beware of sugar-free condiments that contain the harmful ingredient, Xylitol.