Can Dogs Eat Potato Salad?

By John Martin - July 5, 2022

Potato Salad at a picnic

Sometimes, as pet guardians, we tend to offer table scraps to our beloved furry friends without realizing that not everything is a safe treat for them. But those pleading puppy eyes can be quite hard to resist!

However, as a pet parent, it is your responsibility to find out what is safe to offer your pooch and not give in to those puppy eyes. In this article, we will be discussing whether it is safe for dogs to eat potato salad or not.

What Makes Up a Potato Salad?

Everyone loves a delicious bowl of potato salad. But what exactly constitutes a potato salad?

A traditional recipe mostly consists of boiled potatoes, mayonnaise, yellow mustard, celery, vinegar, buttermilk, hard-boiled eggs, red onions, salt, pepper, and in some instances, garlic powder.

Of all these ingredients, some of them are safe for canine consumption in limited quantities. These ingredients include boiled potatoes, buttermilk, celery, and mayonnaise. However, red onions, mustard, garlic powder, and vinegar are the ingredients that will cause harm to your dog.

Is a Potato Salad Safe for My Dog?

If you are tossing a potato salad for the human members in your house and do not want to leave out your dog, you should prepare a separate mixture for the furry member.

Generally, it is not advisable to feed your dog potato salad because this can result in a number of health issues down the line. However, if you want to share a little bit of the pleasure, you can, provided you leave out the onions, garlic, salt, vinegar, and pepper from the mixture.

Even the specially prepared salad should not be given in a large quantity or frequently to your pet. Doing so can cause them intestinal distress such as indigestion, bloating, tummy ache, and gas.

Additionally, it is discouraged to feed table scraps to pets from a behavioral point of view. This is because the particular habit of eating at the dinner table can result in behavioral issues and other severe health problems down the line if encouraged.

Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Jicama?

What Ingredients Are Safe in a Potato Salad?

Eggs, Potatoes, and Celery

In a potato salad, eggs are the safest ingredient for your four-legged friend. Eggs are packed with amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and proteins. This is highly nutritional for your dog’s health. They are also easily digestible, causing no adverse reaction to your dog’s digestive system.

However, while eggs are a healthy snack, you should take caution not to feed them too many eggs. Eggs are rich in calories, and an egg-rich diet can make your pet obese.

Besides eggs, boiled potatoes are somewhat safe for canine consumption. Potatoes contain solanine. This is a toxic compound that causes gastrointestinal problems. While peeling, washing, and cooking the potatoes take away some of the solanine toxicity, a certain level of risk still remains.

Potatoes are heavy in carbs and not well-suited for dogs unless they lead an extremely energetic lifestyle. A carb-loaded diet will result in your pooch putting on extra pounds. This will eventually lead to other health problems.

Additionally, researchers have linked potatoes to a disease known as canine dilated cardiomyopathy. This disease disrupts heart function and causes congestive heart failure. It can even lead to sudden death.

Regular consumption of potatoes by your canine friend can also result in other health problems, such as digestive issues, heart problems, diabetes, and potato poisoning.

Celery is also safe for consumption in moderation. It packs dietary fibers and other important vitamins and minerals. Some pet parents also like to feed their canine friend celery to battle cases of bad breath.

Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Egg Shells?

Red Onions, Vinegar, and Yellow Mustard

Now, coming to the entirely unsafe ingredients like yellow mustard and red onions—you should take care not to introduce them to your dog accidentally.

Onions and garlic can be highly toxic to dog health. Being members of the nightshade family, they contain a toxin called N-propyl disulfide. The toxic principle may cause anemia in dogs by destroying their red blood cells.

The spicy bulb vegetable can also cause other health complications like asthma, liver damage, dermatitis, weakness, and stomach distress in dogs.

Besides onions, mustard has a toxic compound called glucosinolates that can flare up gastrointestinal issues in your pet and make them sick.

Most potato salads are drizzled with vinegar. Vinegar can be harmful to some dogs, even in a diluted form. You should also not include salt and pepper seasoning in the potato salad since excess sodium can result in dehydration and liver damage.

Dairy Products

Potato salads are also tossed in mayonnaise, cheese, and sour cream. These dairy products are harmful to dogs that are lactose intolerant. A mouthful of dairy-laden salad could result in your pet suffering from bloating, gas, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.

What Happens If a Dog Eats Some Potato Salad?

Do not panic if your dog accidentally nibbled on some potato salad. Even if it was just a lick of regular potato salad laden with garlic, onions, and other harmful ingredients, the small amount is not likely to cause any harm to your furry friend.

However, you should take note if your dog cleaned off an entire bowl of potato salad. Did the salad contain any allergens or toxins? If yes, then call up your local vet to seek advice on the next steps.

While potato salad is fine for consumption in small quantities without the harmful ingredients, you should still take note of any abnormal symptoms that may suddenly appear.

A potato salad poisoning can manifest symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, weakness, loss of appetite, pale gums, and reddish urine in your dog.

Get your canine buddy to the vet immediately if they consumed the potato salad meant for you.

Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Salsa?

The Takeaway

Potato salads have a myriad of health benefits, even for dogs. However, the risks outweigh the benefit.

If you want your canine friend to stay healthy, keep the bowl of potato salad away from them. If you must indulge them, prepare a toxin-free bowl of potato salad, keeping in mind to feed them in moderation.

As your pet’s guardian, ensure you feed them a healthy, well-balanced diet instead of table scraps.