Can Dogs Eat Ketchup?

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Ketchup is one of the most popular condiments in the world. A favorite side dish of many, it goes well with almost everything, and the chances are that you have some laying around in the kitchen. For many, ketchup is used in dishes every day. And that means that the chance of your dog coming in contact with it is very high. The options are near endless: a moment of distraction and your doggo munches on the ketchup at the side of your plate, or a sneaky steal of a ketchup-covered burger patty – anything can happen. But is there a reason to worry because of that? 

It usually depends. As we all know, tomatoes are the main ingredient of ketchup. As such, a tomato – without its leaves and stems – is not dangerous to dogs. However, few modern ketchup brands offer a pure product made from just tomatoes and natural ingredients. What is more, it is likely that your regular brand name ketchup contains a lot of sugars, conservators, emulsifiers, and other chemicals that can be toxic to dogs. Sodium is also contained in commercial ketchup, and in high quantities, which makes it unsafe for dogs. You should know that the cheapest brands of ketchup contain almost zero real tomatoes, and are often made from powder ingredients and chemicals. 

Sodium and sugar – in noticeable quantities – are harmful to dogs and can lead to a ton of issues. Other regular additions to commercial ketchup are onion and garlic powders, and these too are harmful to dogs. They both can affect the red blood cells in dogs and potentially lead to anemia. Xanthan Gum is another additional ingredient in ketchup and serves to make the condiment thick and consistent. It too is very bad for your four-legged friend. 

In the end, if your dog gets a lick or two of ketchup, there is probably no reason to worry. It’s only when the amount eaten is considerable, that you should be alerted. In that case, observe your dog in order to spot some telltale symptoms, such as lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Of course, you should seek out your veterinarian’s help at once. 

Ketchup can be ok as a lick or two, especially if you are certain that the brand you are using has a solid amount of real tomatoes and little added chemicals and sugar. This also brings up another interesting fact – and that is whether or not ketchup in large amounts is good for you? With all the sugars, sodium, xanthene, and other mean things, daily intake of commercial ketchup can only take away from your general health. In the end, it might be best if both you and your doggo keep ketchup at a minimum.