Doggie Health Can Dogs Eat Ketchup? – A Complete Ketchup Guide

Can Dogs Eat Ketchup? – A Complete Ketchup Guide


You might often drop a small treat from your plate, as those cute, pleading eyes roaming around your table are hard to resist. Sometimes, it is a slice of cucumber or a tiny piece of sandwich covered with ketchup. But did you ever google, ‘can dogs eat ketchup’ or not! Although your pup seems to enjoy the ketchup, that does not guarantee safety.

Let us see how far is our typical taste enhancer ketchup good for dogs!

Tomatoes for dogs – safe or not!

Tomato belongs to the nightshade family, including potatoes, eggplants and pepper. The nightshade plants contain alkaloids, i.e. a chemical compound, toxic in concentrated form. In eggplants and potatoes, the toxic element is solanine, while in tomatoes, it is tomatine. Although the nightshade veggies are edible, the plant and other parts are not. 

You can give your pup a couple of slices of fresh and ripe tomatoes. But if you have a kitchen garden, make sure your dog never consumes any of the tomato plant’s parts. 

The goodness of tomatoes

If you want to know whether ketchup is bad for dogs or not, first you have to examine the main ingredient, of course, tomato itself! Tomato as a fruit or veggie offers a lot of nutritional values, including vitamin K, vitamin C and potassium. In addition to these, tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces the risk of cancer and heart diseases. Hence you may occasionally give your paw friend fresh and ripe tomatoes as a treat. Munching on it will not harm them. 

Dangers of tomatoes

 Is ketchup bad for dogs? The dangers of tomatoes are the reasons why you should not give your dog ketchup. Being a member of the nightshade family, tomato plants bear the toxic alkaloid tomatine in every part of the body. Green tomatoes, along with the stems and leaves, are equally harmful for this reason. 

Fortunately, in ripe tomatoes, the presence of tomatine is moderate and is not potent enough to be harmful to dogs if given occasionally. But the same is not true about ketchup; since ketchup is the concentrated form of tomato, the toxic tomatine is also focused there that might potentially cause severe health issues to dogs. 

Ketchup and other tomato-based products – safe or not!

It is pretty evident if your dog loves munching on fresh tomatoes, they will show interest in tomato products such as ketchup, tomato sauce and soup since their taste buds like the flavour of tomatoes. But can dogs have ketchup? Is ketchup bad for dogs if it is given occasionally?

Ketchup and other tomato products are such as sauce, tomato soup and puree are not recommended for dogs; the first reason is all these commercial products contain a large amount of sugar and preservatives that are unhealthy for dogs. Plus, ketchup and sauce are available in various flavours, such as hot, hot and sour. 

To make that delicious flavour, pepper and salt are used to cause digestive issues to dogs or irritation due to pepper. However, if you give your pup homemade tomato puree, still it would be toxic to them since it will contain concentrated tomatine. 

Why is ketchup not recommended for dogs?

If you ask, “can dogs eat ketchup?” Every veterinarian out there and I would say ”no”. But why! That is precisely what makes ketchup toxic to dogs! Let’sLet’s see!

  • Onion powder. A good amount of onion powder is used in ketchup. The onion itself is toxic to dogs, but the concentrated form makes it more dangerous. Hence, ketchup and anything that contains onion or onion powder are not suitable for dogs.
  • Garlic powder. The case is almost the same with garlic and garlic powder. Toxic to dogs and hence not recommended.
  • Xylitol. The biggest threat in ketchup for dogs is the presence of xylitol. It is an alternative to sugar, used in ketchup and sauces. Most brands use xylitol as a substitute for sugar to make the item sugar-free. But the danger lies right there. A tablespoon of ketchup contains a minimum of 2 grams xylitol, which is enough to make a 40 pounds dog sick. 

Safe tomato serving ideas for dogs

If you want to give your dog tomato treats, go for the fresh ripe one. Although the toxic tomatine is present in all forms of tomatoes, at least the fresh and ripe one is free from other chemicals and further toxicity. The tomatine level in ripe tomatoes is moderate and not harmful to dogs. 

Take red tomatoes; cherry tomatoes are also acceptable. Make sure you remove the stems, leaves and vines entirely before serving. Do not add salt or anything to make it tastier. Chop it into small chunks or slices and serve them fresh. 

Is there any alternative to ketchup?

Is ketchup sour for dogs? Yes, no amount of ketchup is safe for your pup. So how can dogs have ketchup? They should not have, but if you are willing to introduce a variety of tastes to your pup’spup’s diet, homemade tomato sauce or tomato puree is less risky. While making tomato sauce at home, avoid salt and sugar; the taste would be sweet from the tomato itself. Instead, you may use oregano, basil and parsley for flavour since these spices are safe for dogs. But even if it is homemade, feed them only once in a while. 

What to do if your dog ate ketchup?

Firstly, do not panic! If they accidentally consume a small amount of ketchup, it will not be harmful. But in case you are not sure about the amount they have eaten, monitor them closely. Look out for the following symptoms of tomatinetoxicity :

  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Hypersalivation
  • Dilated pupils
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle weakness
  • Abnormal heart rate

 Final Words

So, can dogs eat ketchup? The answer is, ketchup is not healthy at all for pups. If any of these signs appear after eating ketchup, tomato or any other tomato-based products, consult your vet immediately. Keep the ketchup sachets away from your pup, and keep an eye on them while they play in your kitchen garden. If they accidentally consume any part of nightshade plants, it would cause your unexpected visit to the vet. No matter how older your doggy is, they are always a child you must keep monitoring. The funda is simple: healthy pup, happy life.

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