Mayo, or mayonnaise, is not something that you should be offering to your dog. If they sneak a lick of your mayo spoon, they will probably be just fine. But you shouldn’t make it a habit, as mayo has no health benefits for your pooch, and it can actually be harmful.
To understand the full effects of mayo on a dog’s health, we need to look at the nutritional information and familiar ingredients.
What Is in Mayo?
At its base, mayonnaise is a mix of oil, egg yolk, and an acid. Usually, this acid is vinegar or lemon juice. Lemon juice and citrus fruits in general are not considered safe for dogs.1 None of the other ingredients are necessarily bad for dogs on their own, depending on the amount and the way that they are prepared. Eggs are a great source of protein and specific vitamins, though there isn’t enough egg yolk in mayo for it to deliver any of these benefits.
Mayo contains a large amount of fat. This isn’t great for your dog, and it may easily give them an upset stomach in the short term. Dogs need to eat a complete and balanced diet consisting of protein, fat, and carbohydrates to thrive.
However, fat is about the only ingredient that mayo contains. It does not include any vitamins or minerals. Just like people, dogs need to make every calorie count when they eat their food. Dogs are also smaller, so just a bit of mayo can be a lot for them.
They are better off eating something else that contains more nutrients per calorie. In general, though, their health will not be ruined by stealing some mayo off of your sandwich or plate. But anything more than that is not advisable. Always make sure that human food is well out of your dog’s reach.
Will Mayonnaise Make My Dog Sick?
Mayo is incredibly rich, so it can give your dog an upset stomach. Your canine might get a stomachache shortly after consuming it and may even throw it back up. Some dogs may also experience problems like diarrhea and gas.
However, these problems are usually self-limiting and may resolve quickly on their own. After the mayo is out of their system, they should go back to normal. It is merely the richness and excess fat of the mayo that upsets their stomach. If they start feeling poorly, refuse their food, or develop vomiting, diarrhea, or a painful abdomen, they should be seen by your vet immediately.
When it comes to homemade mayo, there is a risk of Salmonella, which can make you and your dog incredibly sick. This can happen if the eggs used in the recipe were raw or undercooked and contaminated with the bacteria.
Can Dogs Eat Flavored Mayo?
Flavored mayo can contain all sorts of extra seasonings, some of which can be dangerous for our dogs. For instance, dogs should not eat onions and garlic. Many flavored mayos contain these seasonings. You should check the ingredients to ensure that they don’t contain these toxic components, in case your dog did steal some. This is valuable information for your vet to decide if your dog needs to be seen urgently.
However, many potential seasonings can be troublesome, and the content of the ingredients may upset your dog’s stomach, so it is usually best to avoid flavored and all other kinds of mayo altogether.
Again, a tiny amount likely isn’t going to hurt them, but you shouldn’t make a habit of feeding any kind of mayo to your dog.
Conclusion: Should I Worry If My Dog Eats Mayo?
Mayo is not healthy or appropriate for dogs to eat. If they somehow manage to lick a bit off the floor or your sandwich, it’s unlikely to hurt them. There is nothing in regular mayo that is directly toxic for dogs, but you still shouldn’t give it to them, and it may lead to an upset stomach.
Also, mayo doesn’t contain any beneficial nutrients for dogs and has far too much fat for them. Ideally, dogs should stay well away from it.
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