When you’re enjoying a bag of BBQ potato chips and your dog hits you with those pleading eyes, you might wonder if it would be okay to give your dog a few chips. Are they safe for dogs?
Generally speaking, any kind of potato chip is not good for dogs, but BBQ chips are among the worst kinds. If a dog just eats a few, they should be okay, but too many chips could make your dog sick.
Here, we take a closer look at dogs versus BBQ chips and what you should look out for if your dog sneaks a few too many.
Are Potato Chips Bad for Dogs?
Chips aren’t considered to be nutritious snacks for humans, and dogs are no different. While chips are not toxic to dogs, they aren’t good for them.
Eating a few chips will likely not hurt your dog, but potato chips hold no nutritional value for them. A few of the ingredients can also exacerbate or lead to health problems, though that’s usually only if the dog eats a huge number in one sitting or on an ongoing basis.
Let’s break down what goes into a potato chip.
First, raw white potatoes contain something called solanine, which is toxic to dogs. Cooking potatoes reduces the solanine so they’re safer, but dogs should never be given raw potatoes.
Potatoes can also cause blood sugar spikes, so dogs with diabetes should not eat potatoes. It’s recommended that if you do give a piece of potato to your dog, it must be cooked and have no other added ingredients, such as oils, butter, or seasonings.
A bit of cooked plain potato mixed in with nutritious food is the best way to feed potatoes to your dog.
Potato chips are typically fried in vegetable oil, usually corn, canola, or sunflower. A diet heavy in fats and oils can lead to obesity, which can then lead to other health conditions, like pancreatitis.
Dogs can have a certain amount of salt, but too much can lead to salt toxicity. Like humans, dogs need a bit of salt in their diet, which can be found in commercially made dog food.
But chips are particularly slat, and a dog that eats too many chips is also taking in too much salt.
What About BBQ Chips?
Plain chips are already a snack lacking in nutrition. The issue with BBQ chips is that there are more ingredients in them than salt and oil.
Many manufacturers use the following ingredients to achieve the BBQ flavor: sugar, dextrose, salt, molasses, onion powder, spices, tomato powder, paprika, and garlic powder.
A few of these ingredients are safe enough, but the onion and garlic powder are the most worrisome. Onions are toxic to all dogs, but Japanese breeds and dogs with liver disease, anemia, or diabetes are more sensitive to onion poisoning. Garlic is considered at least five times more toxic than onions. The signs of onion and garlic poisoning include:
If your dog ever eats anything with garlic or onion, you should take them to the vet immediately. Garlic and onion powder are concentrated and should be avoided at all costs!
What If Your Dog Ate BBQ Chips?
If your dog happens to eat a few BBQ chips, the number of unhealthy ingredients, especially garlic, will be in low enough doses to not seriously harm your dog. But keep an eye on them for the next several hours.
The size of the dog is also a factor: A giant breed can get eat more chips than a small breed. Some dogs might just throw up the chips and will be otherwise fine, but if your dog has stomach upset for longer than 24 hours or if they have pale gums a few days later, see your vet.
You can also just speak to your vet if you’re in doubt, even if there aren’t any observable symptoms.
Are There Alternatives to Chips for My Dog?
If you’re hankering to give tasty snacks to your dog, there are alternatives to chips that your dog will love and that are safe for them to eat.
Any kind of crunchy dog treat would be great, but almost anything made specifically for dogs and in their favorite flavor is sure to be a hit!
You should only give your dog treats known to be safe for dogs. Speak to your vet for more ideas.
If your dog happens to snatch a few BBQ chips, they should be okay, but keep an eye on them for the next 24 hours, just in case.
Only give them treats that were specifically formulated for dogs or any people food that is safe for dogs, such as certain vegetables and fruits. Be sure to keep innutritious snacks out of reach from your dog. If they are wily, consider investing in a lock on your snack cupboard.
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