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Can Dogs Eat Caesar Salad? Vet-Reviewed Health Facts

Codee Chessher

By Codee Chessher

caesar salad with croutons and parmasan cheese in bowl

Vet approved

Dr. Ashley Darby Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Ashley Darby

Veterinarian, BVSc

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

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Every now and then, a nice chicken Caesar salad just hits the spot, and we’re sure you’ve noticed your best furry friend eyeing your meal. Salad is made of pretty healthy ingredients for us, but is it healthy for your dog? No, Ceasar salad is not healthy for your dog and it can even be toxic if there’s a lot of garlic and onion in the dressing.

Caesar salad typically comes with a dressing or vinaigrette that contains a healthy helping of onions and/or garlic, which are toxic to your dog. It doesn’t help that your average salad dressing is loaded with fat either, making your salad even less healthy for your pooch.

For other relevant info, join us down below. Some of the ingredients like lettuce, kale, spinach, or plain grilled chicken may be healthy and safe for your dog to eat, but by the time you make it dog-safe, it hardly resembles a Caesar salad at all. For more details on how healthy salads are for dogs, how to incorporate salad ingredients into their diet, and

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What’s in a Caesar Salad? Ingredients Revealed

Caesar salad is one of the most popular salads for its crunchy, creamy, savory flavor, though we know now that not all its ingredients are safe for your dogs to eat. Salad dressing is the biggest thing to avoid when sharing a salad with your dog, but there are other ingredients involved too. For a brief breakdown of what’s in your average Caesar salad and how it affects your dog, skim our quick list below.

ingredients of caesar salad
Image Credit: Alena_Kos, Shutterstock

Caesar Salad Ingredients & Health Implications for Dogs:

  • Romaine lettuce: Romaine lettuce is high in water content, making it good for hydration but it’s also rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and folate.
  • Grilled chicken: Delicious and canine-approved, plain grilled chicken is a lean protein bomb your dog will never turn down.
  • Boiled eggs: Boiled eggs are nutritious and healthy for dogs in moderation.

  • Croutons: Slathered with harmful ingredients like butter, margarine, onion, garlic, and others, croutons are decidedly not safe for your dog to snack on. Garlic and onion (Allium spp) contain sulfur compounds which cause damage to red blood cells. Depending on the size of your dog and how much they eat, they could be at risk of developing anemia (red blood cell deficiency) if they consume garlic and onions.
  • Parmesan cheese: Fatty but low in lactose, very small sprinklings are safe for your dog to indulge in on occasion. Excess can lead to problems associated with lactose intolerance and high fat content. Over time excess fatty foods will lead to weight gain, however, even a one-off fatty meal puts your dog at risk of developing pancreatitis.
  • Caesar dressing: This is not safe for dogs due to dubious and outright toxic ingredients, from olive oil, lemon juice, oil, anchovies, onion, and garlic. The dressing is also very fatty.
  • Worcestershire sauce: This is definitely not healthy for dogs, as this popular condiment and ingredient has a high sugar and salt content. Over time sugar will lead to weight gain and secondary diseases. High levels of salt can cause salt poisoning, but your dog would have to consume a ridiculous amount of Worcestershire sauce for the salt to become an issue.
  • Dijon mustard: Mustard is toxic for dogs due to the presence of isothiocyanate compounds, and can cause gastroenteritis if eaten in excess.
  • Bacon: Bacon is not recommended for dogs mainly due to the very high fat content, which puts your dog at risk of developing pancreatitis.

Looking at it like this, Caesar salad really isn’t that good for dogs. At most, they’d love to try some of the chicken or bits of crunchy romaine lettuce, or maybe a bit of Parmesan cheese. Definitely skip the salad dressing, as it’s pretty fatty, even for us, and can even be toxic for your dog.

Caesar Salad with Cheese and Croutons close up
Image Credit: Brent Hofacker, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

We might enjoy a Caesar salad now and then, but the presence of garlic and onions, and addition of fatty ingredients, make them a poor meal for your dog. Instead, you can let your dog try some boiled eggs or grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, or any number of the other healthy foods suggested above.


Featured Image Credit: Joshua Resnick, Shutterstock

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