Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Can Dogs Eat BBQ Sauce? Vet-Reviewed Risks & Tips

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Can Dogs Eat BBQ Sauce

Vet approved

Dr. Lorna Whittemore Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

When the summer months hit, it’s barbecue season, and if you’re like us, your pup is right by your side for all of it. But when they’re staring up at you at the next cookout, is it safe for them to eat some barbecue sauce, and what happens if they get into some when you’re not looking?

Under no circumstances should you feed your dog barbecue sauces since it likely has several ingredients that are toxic for your dog. But if your dog does get into a small quantity of barbecue sauce, they’re probably fine, but you’ll want to monitor them for a while.

It’s a lot to sift through, so keep reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know. Not only that, but we’ll also give you some great treat ideas you can keep on hand for your pup at the next cookout!

Divider 3

Should Dogs Eat BBQ Sauce?

No. Unless you create a dog-specific barbecue sauce with only ingredients dogs can eat, you should never feed your dog barbecue sauce.

Barbecue sauce is full of ingredients that are extremely unhealthy and potentially toxic for your dog. Many barbecue sauces contain onions, garlic, and higher concentrations of salt, which are toxic for dogs.

But while you should certainly avoid giving your dog any barbecue sauce, if they do happen to get a little bit, you likely don’t need to rush them straight to the vet. If you have any concerns, phone your veterinary clinic for advice. The signs of onion and garlic toxicity include pale gums, lethargy, increased heart rate, weakness, or lethargy, and take them to a vet immediately if you notice any of these symptoms which can take a few days.

Barbecue sauce in a saucer
Photo Credit: Goskova Tatiana, Shutterstock

The 4 Other Food Options to Avoid Feeding Your Dog

You should never feed your dog barbecue sauce; these are a few other foods you should keep away from your pup. Some of these foods are surprising, while others are well-known toxins for dogs. Either way, don’t feed them to Fido!

1. Grapes and Raisins

The exact mechanism of toxicity is not yet known but grapes and any grape products can be highly toxic for dogs. There is no known safe limit for the number of grapes a dog can eat. Some dogs will develop kidney failure after eating grapes. Keep fruit bread, cakes, grape juice and all grape products out of reach of your dog.

2. Chocolate

Chocolate is the best-known no-no for dogs. Chocolate contains theobromine, caffeine, and often xylitol. These ingredients are extremely toxic for dogs, sometimes even in very small quantities. Play it safe and keep chocolate far away from your dog.

varieties of chocolate bar
Photo Credit: Security, Pixabay

3. Milk & Dairy Products

Many dogs are lactose-intolerant, and because of this, you should avoid feeding them any dairy products. Not only can lactose cause problems, but many dairy foods contain higher concentrations of sugar and fat, neither of which are good for your pup.

4. Alliums

Perhaps this is the most surprising entry on our list. The allium family includes chives, leeks, onions, and garlic, all of which are toxic for dogs. These foods cause anemia, and if your dog eats too much of them, it can be fatal.

Photo Credit: RHJPhtotos, Shutterstock

divider 9

The 3 Healthy Treat Options for Your Dog

There are tons of foods you can’t feed your dog, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any healthy treat options out there. We’ve highlighted three of our pup’s favorite treats for you here. Don’t overdo it on the treats, no matter what you’re giving them. Even the healthiest treats shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake.

1. Blueberries

dog with blueberry on its nose
Image credit: Stefan Malloch, Shutterstock

If you’re looking for something sweet your dog might love, consider blueberries. Blueberries have tons of beneficial antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C, making them an outstanding treat option. Only feed blueberries in moderation though because they’re also packed full of sugar.

2. Carrots

Dog Eating Carrots
Image Credit: Bhitakbongse Lee, Shutterstock

Whether you want to feed your dog cooked or raw carrots, it’s a great healthy treat option for dogs. If you’re feeding them raw carrots, ensure you finely chop them up so your dog doesn’t choke on them as they scarf them down.

3. Peanut Butter

dog eating peanut butter
Image Credit: Elizabeth Foley, Shutterstock

This is likely a dog’s favorite treat option, and as long as you give it to them in moderation, there’s nothing wrong with it. Peanut butter is high in protein for your dog but avoid sugar-free options since they’ll often contain xylitol. And don’t give them too much peanut butter because it’s also high in fat.

Divider 5

Final Thoughts

While barbecue sauce is a terrible snack idea for your dog, there are plenty of healthy treats your dog can enjoy while you’re at the cookout! Come prepared; there’s no reason you and your pup can’t have a great time and chow down on a few snacks along the way.

Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database