As a dog owner, your dog is like your little child and you want to make sure that what they eat is healthy. Ideally, a dog’s diet should be supplemented with large quantities of proteins and fibers along with smaller amounts of vegetables, grains, and fats. Dogs shouldn’t be eating table scraps or processed food because it’s generally not healthy for them and they may be poisonous.
As tempting as it is to make your dog try something different, it is important to have prior knowledge about the nutritional value and dangers of every diet. One such food dish is coleslaw because it is popular as a side dish or even in chicken sandwiches.
We will give you a thorough guide on this food item and answer the question “can dogs eat coleslaw?” In short, you should not feed your dog coleslaw because there are no ingredients that are healthy for your dog.
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What Is A Coleslaw?
Cole Slaw or cabbage salad is used as a side dish to barbecued meals or fried chicken. Derived from the dutch term Koolsa, it is majorly consumed across the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Russia, and Germany.
If you have a look at coleslaw brands available in shops like Walmart or Asda they will share a list of common ingredients. These include cabbage, mayonnaise, carrots, water, double cream, onions, white wine vinegar, sugar, salt, and certain preservatives and flavoring. None of these ingredients are healthy for your dog.
Additionally, people usually prepare this dish with mayonnaise or substitutes with buttermilk and carrots. Several times, vinegar or mustard is used as a substitute for mayonnaise or dairy products. The chief ingredient here is mayonnaise which is made of oil, whole eggs, vinegar, preservatives, and stabilizers. Essentially, coleslaw is an oil-heavy diet accompanied by sugars, flavoring, and raw cabbage.
Can Dogs Eat Coleslaw?
Dogs shouldn’t eat coleslaw, but it can be eaten in small amounts without significant harm to your dog. However, coleslaw is not healthy at all. If you want to feed your dog only healthy foods, you must avoid feeding them coleslaw.
If you take a close look at the ingredients, none of them are healthy enough for a dog’s digestive system. Additionally, preservatives and flavoring substances can have a significant impact on their health causing illnesses and indigestion.
What Are the Ingredients in Coleslaw That Makes It Unsuitable for Dogs?
Apart from the vegetative content of cabbage, most ingredients in coleslaw are bad for dogs. One must not forget that large amounts of cabbage can also lead to stomach issues and choking hazards. Let us take a detailed look into each of the ingredients that prove harmful for dogs.
Mayonnaise is an amalgamation of oils, egg yolk, and vinegar. While these ingredients are not directly toxic. The only problem is the high-fat content that can cause digestion problems or pancreatitis in dogs. If your dog already experiences an issue with its pancreas, mayonnaise is best to be avoided as even a few tablespoons can take a toll on your dog’s health.
Onions consist of a compound called N-propyl disulfide that affects the red blood cells in dogs eventually leading to anemia. Even for a dog as heavy as 45 pounds, any little content of onion will have a detrimental impact. Hence, onions should be specifically avoided for canine animals.
Most dogs and humans can comfortably consume cream. It can cause an issue if your pet lacks an enzyme called lactase and thus, is lactose intolerant. The signs of this include diarrhea, vomiting, and gas. If your pet reacts in aversion to significant quantities of milk and dairy products, it is intolerant to lactose.
Sugars are a source of carbohydrates and it is a required component in limited amounts in a dog’s diet. However, the sugars found in sweets are not recommended. They can lead to stomach problems, cavities, weight issues, and diabetes. As a way to supplement sugar in your dog’s diet, you could occasionally feed your pet fresh fruits that are devoid of any toxins.
Preservatives and Flavors
The biggest issue with feeding your dog coleslaw is the presence of added flavors and preservatives. Compounds like BHT, BHA, and ethoxyquin prove to be gravely toxic. They lead to allergies and ailments like cancer. Although artificial flavors develop the taste of food, it is best to be avoided.
Why Should Your Dog Not Consume Coleslaw?
You feed your dog to give them the best nutrition. Coleslaw lacks any nutritive value, making it a meal that doesn’t do your dog any good.
The negative effects associated with the ingredients will be visible on your dog’s health either immediately or in the long run.
Coleslaw has a high-calorie content that can be an issue for your pet. Dogs should ideally consume only 25 calories per day for every pound they weigh. For example, if a small-sized dog weighs six pounds, the calorie intake should not exceed 150 calories.
Similarly, for a dog as heavy as 60 pounds, the maximum calorie limit is 1500 per day. Further, any dog treat or snacks should not be above 10 percent of its diet intake in a day.
A regular coleslaw of 100g from any local American supermarket has an average calorie value of 165. This implies that it can have an immediate impact on your smaller dogs due to its low content in fiber and protein. Even in the case of heavier dogs, you should refrain from feeding them coleslaw.
High sugar and fat content
Lastly, even in humans coleslaw must be only consumed as a side dish owing to its high fat and sugar content. Hence, it must be definitely avoided as a way of nutrition for your dogs.
What Will Happen If Your Dog Consumes Coleslaw?
In most cases, a small amount of coleslaw eaten by your dog on rare occasions will not have an adverse impact. Yet, if you have any concerns you should consult your veterinarian.
There are short-term ailments and risks for dogs related to regular or unprecedented consumption of coleslaw. These may include the following:
- Hazards related to indigestion and choking on the cabbage.
- Stomach upsets that cause diarrhea or loose stools.
- Gas problems due to the high-fat content.
- Anemia can also be a major issue due to the onion content in the salad
- The high sugar and fat content can lead to several metabolic changes and obesity in certain cases.
- Diabetes in dogs can also be a health concern.
Healthy Alternatives to Coleslaw
The diet plan of your dog should be your top priority. Each dog has different requirements and as a pet parent, you have to carefully monitor these. A dog’s food must comprise a varying combination of raw diets and canned wet food. A small proportion of carbohydrates can be to enrich your dog’s body with dietary fibers. However, remember to refrain from high intake sugar sweets as a source of carbohydrates.
One must also avoid highly processed foods, especially if you have a puppy. While home-cooked meals sound like a healthy plan, they might be difficult to prepare with all the required nutrients.
In the case of fresh vegetables and fruits, remember to exclude onions, citrus, grapes, and avocado, and include the rest based on your dog’s age and nutritional needs. Keep in mind to feed your dog once or twice daily!
Dogs can be extremely persuasive and might try to lure you with their sparkling puppy dog eyes. You might give in and feed your pet the coleslaw you ordered at your dinner table. However, on the other hand, it is important to remember the repercussions. In most cases, small amounts of this dish will not have any adverse impact. But the bottom line remains the same that coleslaw can make them ill.
Thus, the answer to this very pertaining question about whether dogs can eat coleslaw is essentially a NO! The ingredients are unfavorable and have absolutely no nutritional value. As a dog owner, it is not worth risking the health of your pet.
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Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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