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Can Dogs Eat Gravy? Vet Reviewed Facts & FAQ

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Can Dogs Eat Gravy

Vet approved

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

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

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Dogs love just about any food that humans enjoy, and gravy is no exception. But can dogs eat gravy? The short answer is yes – some types of gravy are perfectly safe for your pup to enjoy in moderation. However, there are certain ingredients found in many gravies that can be dangerous if consumed by your dog. In this article, we’ll explore the health risks associated with feeding your dog gravy, as well as healthier alternatives to traditional gravy recipes.

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What Happens If My Dog Eats Gravy?

If your pup manages to get their paws on a bowl of gravy, it’s important to know what could happen if they ate too much. Depending on the ingredients in the gravy, it’s possible for your pup to experience an upset stomach with mild vomiting and diarrhea, as well as potential food allergies or food poisoning.

a Maltipoo puppy eats from a metal bowl
Photo Credit: marketlan, Shutterstock

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Gravy Ingredients to Avoid & Why

When it comes to feeding your pup gravy, there are certain ingredients that should be avoided at all costs. These include cream of mushroom soup mixes, onion powder, processed cheeses, canned broths and bouillons, garlic powder, bacon bits, cooked onions, sour cream, and butter. All of these ingredients can be dangerous for dogs in large quantities and for different reasons, so it’s best to avoid them altogether when making or buying gravy for your pup.

For example, ingredients such as onion powder, garlic powder, and cooked onions are all toxic to dogs. Things such as butter, bacon bits, and broths and bouillons can be high in fat and salt content. Sour cream and processed cheese are dairy products, and some dogs can’t digest dairy products properly. It’s best to avoid feeding your dog gravy if you aren’t sure exactly what’s in it. If your dog does eat some gravy accidentally, it may or may not be cause for concern just depending on what was in the gravy.

Gravy containing things such as butter and broth will be less dangerous and may only result in stomach upset. But gravy containing seasonings such as onion and garlic will be more dangerous since these ingredients are toxic to dogs. It’s worth reaching out to your vet if you have any concerns whatsoever about your dog eating gravy.

knife and butter
Photo Credit: ds_30, Pixabay

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Healthier Alternatives to Gravy

If you want to give your pup a special treat that still boasts all the flavor of gravy without any of the unhealthy ingredients, there are a few healthier alternatives you can try. Consider making your own beef or chicken broth-based gravy with low-sodium bouillon cubes and fresh herbs such as rosemary and thyme. You can also make a yummy porridge-style gravy that’s free from processed foods by combining cooked oatmeal, stock or water, diced carrots, and some mashed banana for sweetness.

What to Look for In a Healthy Food Topper?

When shopping for a safe and healthy food topper for your pup, look for products that are made with natural ingredients and no artificial additives. Many brands offer pre-made gravy mixes that don’t contain any of the unhealthy ingredients mentioned above. Additionally, be sure to read the ingredient labels on all store-bought foods before giving them to your pup.

large fluffy bernese Mountain Dog with huge paws eating out of blue bowl
Image Credit: Kristesoro, Shutterstock

When to See the Vet

If your pup does happen to eat a large amount of gravy, or if they show any signs of an adverse reaction such as persistent vomiting or diarrhea, lethargy, or any other unusual sign, it’s important to contact your vet. Your vet may suggest you watch or dog or that you bring them in right away. Your vet can diagnose any potential problems and help you create a treatment plan that can help your dog feel better in no time.

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Can dogs eat gravy?

Yes, some types of gravy are safe for your pup to enjoy in moderation. However, there are certain ingredients found in many gravies that can be dangerous if consumed by your dog.

What happens if my dog eats gravy?

If your pup consumes too much gravy, they may experience an upset stomach with mild vomiting and diarrhea, as well as potential food allergies or food poisoning.

a sick dog with tick-borne disease
Image Credit: Pamela Lico, Shutterstock

When should I take my pup to the vet if they eat too much gravy?

If you suspect your pup has eaten too much gravy or if they start to exhibit signs of food poisoning or an allergic reaction after consumption, it’s important to take them to the vet right away. Your vet will be able to assess the situation and provide the best course of treatment.

Can I feed my dog store-bought gravy?

It’s best to avoid feeding your pup store-bought gravies that contain processed or unhealthy ingredients like onion powder, processed cheeses and bacon bits, or excess salt and fat content.

What are some healthy human foods I can feed my dog instead of gravy?

You can give your pup boiled chicken or turkey, mashed sweet potatoes, cooked eggs, plain yogurt, cottage cheese and steamed vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and spinach.

chopped boiled eggs
Image Credit: Helena Zolotuhina, Shutterstock

How much gravy can I feed my pup?

It’s best to give your pup no more than a tablespoon of dog-safe gravy per meal as a treat. Keep in mind that feeding your pup too much gravy could lead to an upset stomach and other digestive issues.

What are the signs of an allergic reaction to gravy in dogs?

Signs of an allergic reaction can include excessive itching, redness or swelling, hives, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing and sneezing. If your pup starts to exhibit any of these symptoms after consuming gravy, it’s important to take them to the vet right away.

What type of broth should I use when making homemade gravy for my dog?

When making homemade gravy for your pup, it’s best to use low-sodium chicken or beef broth as the base. Avoid using any broths that contain onion powder, garlic powder or other unhealthy ingredients.

saucepan with beef broth
Image Credit: Ahanov Michael, Shutterstock

What toppings should I avoid when making homemade gravy for my pup?

It’s best to avoid adding any unhealthy toppings such as bacon bits, processed cheeses or onion powder to your pup’s gravy. Instead, opt for fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme as well as diced carrots and mashed banana for sweetness.

Is there anything else I can do to keep my pup safe from unhealthy gravies?

Yes! In addition to avoiding store-bought gravies that contain unhealthy ingredients, opt for making your own homemade gravy with low-sodium chicken or beef broth as the base and fresh herbs such as rosemary and thyme for flavor. Additionally, limit how much gravy you give your pup at any given time and always keep an eye out for signs of an allergic reaction.

beef broth in pot
Image Credit: Esin Deniz, Shutterstock

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In conclusion, feeding your pup gravy can be a fun treat that adds flavor and variety to their diet. However, it’s important to remember that not all gravies are created equal, and some contain unhealthy ingredients such as onion powder, processed cheese or bacon bits. To keep your pup safe, opt for making homemade gravy with low-sodium chicken or beef broth as the base and fresh herbs such as rosemary and thyme for flavor. Additionally, limit how much gravy you give your pup at any given time and always keep an eye out for signs of an allergic reaction. Now you know, and your pup can enjoy delicious gravy safely!

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