Can Dogs Eat BBQ Chips? The Interesting Answer!
By Kit Copson
In spite of our best efforts, sometimes our dogs can be pretty ruthless when it comes to getting their paws on a snack they’re not supposed to have. Barbecue-flavored chips are one of these snacks. Though a couple of barbecue chips aren’t likely to harm your dog, they’re still really unhealthy for them and too many could make them seriously unwell.
While some sneak a few from a bowl while your back is turned or hoover a couple up that fell on the floor, some are even skilled enough to nose their way into cupboards and retrieve entire bags. If your dog has had more than a few barbecue chips and you’re concerned, this post shares all you need to know.
Why Are BBQ Chips Bad for Dogs?
Barbecue chips are bad for dogs for the same reason they’re bad for humans. Though dogs require a moderate amount of salt in their diets, barbecue chips are pretty high in the stuff. Commercial dog food manufacturers typically include the right amount of salt for dogs in their formulas so it’s not necessary to give them any extra.
Excessive salt is too much for a dog’s digestive system to handle and may result in a tummy upset with symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. In some cases, too much salt leads to toxicity,1 which can be fatal. Products high in salt can be particularly dangerous to dogs suffering from kidney disease2 and hypertension.3 Moreover, barbecue chips contain onion powder, which is toxic for dogs.
If your dog ate a larger number of barbecue chips, it’s best to contact your vet straight away as pancreatitis is a possibility for dogs who eat too much fat.4 Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas and causes symptoms like stomach pain, vomiting, hunching over, and loss of appetite.
If your dog has only eaten a few barbecue chips off the floor, they’ll probably be fine, but don’t hesitate to contact your vet if you’re concerned. We recommend keeping all kinds of potato chips–barbecue-flavored or otherwise—out of your dog’s reach as giving even a few to your dog is simply not worth the risk, especially when there are plenty of tasty but safe dog treats out there.
Which Human Foods Can Dogs Eat?
Though barbecue chips are off the menu, there are plenty of human foods your dog can safely eat as an occasional treat in small quantities as long as they’re not allergic to them (chicken, for example, is a common allergen for dogs).
One thing to be aware of is that if you’re feeding cooked meats or fish to your dog, they should be completely plain and seasoning-free. Also, avoid canned foods like baked beans as these have a high salt content.
If you’re looking for a safe snack for your favorite pooch, you might want to try some of these:
- Plain cooked chicken
- Plain cooked turkey (excess fat and skin removed)
- Cooked shrimp (shells removed)
- Cooked pork
- Cooked, deboned fish
- Cooked eggs
- A piece of cheese
- Xylitol-free peanut butter (useful tip—this is a great Kong topper)
- Plain yogurt
- Corn (off the cob)
- Cashew nuts
Which Human Foods Are Dangerous for Dogs?
Like barbecue chips, some human foods are not good at all for dogs, and some are even toxic to them. These include (but are not limited to):
- Macadamia nuts
- Potato chips
- Ice cream
It’s unanimous that barbecue chips are not healthy for dogs in any way, shape, or form. Instead, stick to healthy treats like cooked lean meats, other safe human foods in small amounts, and treats made for dogs. There is an endless variety of these on the market, so there’s no reason to share your favorite bag of Lays with your dog. Next time you pop open a bag and tuck in, don’t give in to those puppy dog eyes!
Featured Image Credit: Brent Hofacker, Shutterstock