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Can Dogs Eat Stuffing? What The Science Says!

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

Can Dogs Eat Stuffing

Vet approved

Dr. Lauren Demos  Photo

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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Our dogs always try to get into things we prefer them not to have. If we let them, they would partake in every meal, gobbling up all of our goodies. If your dog has snuck into a helping of stuffing, or you’re just wondering if it’s okay to give them a bite, you’re probably checking your bases. Good for you.

Even though stuffing is a yummy treat for us, it’s probably not the best thing to give your dog, and we will tell you why.

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What Is Stuffing?

Most of us get our stuffing from a box on the holidays. We simply add it to boiling water, and voila! We have a delicious, delectable dish that pairs perfectly with our ham and turkey. However, still others prefer to make their own stuffing. Regardless of how it’s made, what exactly is in stuffing?

Several ingredients in stuffing are not fantastic for your dog to have in its system. Let’s start off with the basics.

pork sausage stuffing in ceramic dish
Photo Credit: Brent Hofacker, Shutterstock

Stuffing Nutrition Facts

Amount per 1-cup serving

Calories 326
Fat 20 g
Sodium 800 mg
Carbohydrates 30 g
Fiber 1 g
Sugars 3 g
Protein 6 g

Included Ingredients in Most Stuffing

While all recipes differ in terms of who adds what, here are some basic ingredients that most stuffing includes:

  • Chicken
  • Bread
  • Egg
  • Butter
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Celery
  • Seasoning
  • Sage
chow chow dog eating
Photo Credit: Ivan Marjanovic, Shutterstock

Every chef does things their own way, of course. For example, your grandma’s recipe may be quite different and include several other ingredients not mentioned here. In reality, this is absolutely human food and isn’t suitable for our furry companions.

Even though your pet is sure to be at your side waiting for you to drop a hunk or offer them a bite, it’s best to give them a more species-appropriate snack instead.

Potentially Dangerous Ingredients in Stuffing

Onions and garlic are very common additives in stuffing to add to the flavor we love. However, these ingredients are highly toxic to dogs, even in small amounts. Even though it isn’t enough to be ultimately detrimental, it can make your pet very sick.

Stuffing also has a high amount of sodium which is not good for any dog or human, for that matter. It also has high carbohydrate and fat content, making it unnecessary to have in a dog’s general diet.

If your dog has eaten a helping of stuffing without your consent, you might not notice any negative impacts on their health. But depending on the amount and sensitivity of your particular dog, you might see signs of discomfort such as:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
Black domestic dog are stoop body and vomit mucus
Photo Credit: Mumemories, Shutterstock

So, while stuffing is not likely to cause an emergency vet trip, it can cause some gastrointestinal upset that can be easily avoided. However, if your dog ate a significant amount of stuffing, especially containing onions, and you notice any severe signs such as blood in the vomit or stool or trouble breathing, contact your vet as soon as possible.

And as always, if you’re ever concerned about your dog eating anything, especially if they’re showing signs of illness, you can contact your vet just to be safe.

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If your dog has a few bites of stuffing, the worst that will probably happen is an upset stomach and possible diarrhea. However, if they have more significant portions, it can seriously impact their gastrointestinal system. Some dogs are more sensitive than others, having a much more negative reaction, while other pooches can go unscathed. Contact your vet if you have any concerns about your dog eating stuffing.

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