Can Dogs Eat Ketchup? – Is Ketchup Good For Dogs? (2023)

Quick Summary: 

Can Dogs Eat Ketchup? Well to answer it shortly dogs can only have ketchup in very small amounts, they find ketchup tasty and might end up being addicted to it. Ketchup for dogs is like a slow poison. ketchup over time leads to severe illnesses and can proof to be fatal as well!

As a Smart Dog Owner I carefully read the ingredients of any processed food out there in the market. A general rule of thumb is if it ain’t good for human consumption, it ain’t good for your dog either.

We all know that any tomato based recipe made in a factory would have tons of preservatives, chemicals and artificial flavors. Be it may tomato soups, tomato juice or the ever so addictive tomato ketchup.

There’s been a long standing argument about whether ketchup should be spelled with a “k” or a “c” as catsup. Knowing the rather exotic background of this common condiment may shed some light on the problem: ki-chiapfrom China and kicap from Indonesia both made their way to Europe with traders in the 1600s.

Just like names and recipes have changed, the way we feed and treat our canine companions has changed, too. For example, we no longer see domestic dogs as simply beasts of burden but our friends, family…and sometimes even surrogate children.

As such, we like to train our canine pals to do tasks for us and we often use food as a reward. In that regard, some types of fruits and vegetables make great, healthy treats. One of those is the ripe tomato (but not the leaves or vines.)

When given once in a while, ripe tomato can be a sweet treat packed with vitamins and other nutrients. However, once other ingredients are added, such as in the condiment we know as ketchup, questions arise as to whether it is okay for dogs to eat?

Did you know that the average American consumes 71 pounds of ketchup every year?  While it’s certainly a popular condiment among Americans (particularly children), our canine counterparts love this tasty treat as well.

Is Ketchup Good for Dogs or Too Dangerous?

Can Dogs Eat Ketchup?

In most popular brands of ketchup, there aren’t any ingredients that can be toxic to dogs.  The average ketchup simply has tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and a variety of seasonings, including onion powder.

But I thought onions were bad for dogs!

The amount of onion powder found in ketchup isn’t anywhere high enough to be cause for concern, even if they eat large amounts.

Can Dogs Eat Ketchup? – What If My Dog Consumes It!

Can Dogs Eat Ketchup?

If your dog happens to consume ketchup, you likely won’t notice anything other than a newfound penchant for being interested in your food!  However, if your dog eats a large amount of ketchup or even depending what the ketchup was on, you can expect some potential stomach upset.  This should resolve on its own without any intervention necessary.

A note about natural ketchup

A lot of ketchups boasting “sugar free” ingredients are often sweetened with a sugar-replacement like xylitol.  It’s important to note that xylitol is highly toxic to dogs, with consumption potentially leading to kidney damage.  If you have any “natural” ketchup, ensure your bottles and any foods covered in this ketchup are stored away from dogs–especially if your pup is sneaky and likes to steal food from the table.

When Is Ketchup Okay For Dogs To Eat?

I would answer with a firm “NO” to this question, but the reality is a bit different. For ages, we have known the myth that tomatoes are toxic for dogs to eat, well for more information on tomatoes, kindly read here. While adolescent tomatoes might be harmful to your dogs, fully-ripe ones aren’t.

Ketchup mostly consists of a certain percentage of these fully ripe tomatoes, so a once-a-blue moon experience is okay for your dog!

When Is Ketchup Bad For Dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Ketchup?

Let me guess you think tomato ketchup is mainly made out of tomatoes? Well, this isn’t always the case; most brands add garlic and onion powder to their ketchup. Both of these ingredients are harmful to dogs if taken over a certain quantity.

Onion powder in a dog’s mouth is like poison. Certain substances in the powder can damage the dog’s red blood cells and lead to a very severe condition known as anemia.

Additionally, garlic powder will also harm the red blood cells of your dog. Ketchup equates to high sodium levels, which aren’t good for your pooch.

If, for some reason, your doggo has given you the slip and ate a lot of ketchup, kindly keep your pooch under observation for at least 12 hours and look for these symptoms

  • Lethargic and inactive
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Urine color changes to a red-ish shade

Is Ketchup bad for dogs? Any Nutritional Value?

 It’s safe to say that ketchup isn’t a staple food for your dog to eat; with a zero nutritional value, we can’t emphasize enough limiting ketchup in your dog’s diet. Here are some healthy yet tasty food that your doggo will love to eat; these foods are a better alternative to your dog’s bad ketchup habit!

Why is ketchup bad for dogs?

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Ketchup can lead to the following issues if you, as a parent, keep adding it to your dog’s diet!


Ketchup causes digestive issues for your dog, which may result in excessive weight gain, which can cause a lot of complications for your dog. If your doggo likes to munch a lot, its best to have at least three physical activity sessions per week for your dog.

  Heart issues

Every dog goes through heart problems when they get old; you might be wondering my pooch has a long way to go right now, but to be honest, many dogs in their earlier years face heart problems due to dietary complications. Simply put, bad food choices lead to a weak heart, the result of which can be fatal. Ketchup can speed up this process twofold.

Another reason why ketchup is bad for dogs!


Corn syrup is a key ingredient in ketchup, meaning excessive sugar in your dog’s bloodstream. Diabetes requires giving your dog healthy food and physical activity, a morning walk for 15 mins would do to, but this routine will save your dog from lifelong diabetes and all the complications that arise with it.

Ketchup is high in salt

Dogs are no fans of salt; they can easily fall prey to salt poisoning. Yes, a dog’s nose can detect the salt but mixed in their favorite food; dogs just cannot resist!

Higher salt concentration becomes deadly for dogs on a molecular level. The sodium in the salt starts building up in your dog’s blood cells, causing valuable nutrients to go out of the cell while sodium takes its place. Some common sources of a dog’s household salt poisoning are Ocean water, Paintballs, Rock salt, Soy sauce, Table salt.

Salt Poisoning Symptoms:

  • Seizures
  • Swelling
  • Stumbling
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low energy
  • Clumsiness
  • Low energy

Tomatoes – NOT TOXIC (with precautions)

As we discussed earlier, good ripe tomatoes wouldn’t harm your dog. When given in moderation, the tomato fruit can be a good treat for your dog! Ripe tomatoes still contain very small quantities of toxins that are harmful for your dog so moderation is key. It is pertinent to remember that any stems, leave and unripe tomatoes are toxic for your dog.

Signs Of Toxicity Include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Cardiac problems
  • Lack of coordination
  • Muscle weakness
  • Trembles

Sugar – NOT TOXIC (with precautions)

Dog can get their daily carbohydrates from foods like sweet potatoes and grains. Sugary treats like the ones humans eat are really high in calories. Your dog will get overweight, leading to significant problems like movement restrictions due to joint pain, complex conditions like diabetes, and heart diseases.

Only a small amount of sugar would trigger hyperactivity in your dog, something, not all dog owners are happy about when they come back home for a relaxing evening with their pets. A dog might have a mood swing for the worst if he is hyperactive and the owner isn’t responding with the same energy level.

Your doggo’s teeth are in great danger if you treat him with too much sugar. Frequently consuming sugary treats has grave consequences. The bacteria in the dog’s mouth react with the excessive sugar and make corrosive acids. Chances are your doggo is not a fan of the toothbrush and in the long run, this would require a lot of dental treatment.

Corn Syrup – NOT TOXIC (with precautions)

Corn syrup is a double-edged sword for dogs. In their younger years corn syrup can be full of calories that would lead to weight gain and other teeth; joint-related complications for diabetic dogs, corn syrup works like a miracle.

Corn syrup is given to hypoglycemic dogs when their sugar is low. It is an easy and natural way to revamp a dog’s blood sugar levels. A word of caution, do not administer corn syrup to a diabetic dog without consulting with a vet first.

Salt – NOT TOXIC (in small amounts)

The benefits of salt are unimaginable for all living creatures. Salt’s major role in an adult dog’s body is to regulate bodily fluids and digestion. For dogs, it’s recommended that they take about 1 gram of salt for 100 grams of the food.

As Smart Dog Owners, we need to regulate the amount of salt a dog takes as he grows up. We may need to put our dog on a low salt diet due to weak organs, underlying diseases, kidney, liver, and heart problems.


  • Your dog’s feels extreme thirst
  • Access urination
  • Dog has mood swings and fits
  • Lack of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Coma

Vinegar – NOT TOXIC (with precautions)

Vinegar is considered a superfood for humans and pooches alike. Vinegar can have numerous benefits for your dog, from regulating the pH levels to enhancing their digestive abilities. Starting out with new food is always difficult with a dog, as they may go through a cycle of diarrhea and vomiting.

Xylitol – TOXIC

Xylitol is a sugar substitute mainly used in sugar-free items e.g., sugar-free ketchup. Yes, you read it right; sugar-free ketchup is FATAL for your dog to eat! Xylitol narrowly has any effect on humans, but in dogs, it acts a bit differently.

If ingested by a dog, xylitol will spike the sugar levels in the body resulting in an insulin response by the dog’s body.

Can Dogs Eat Ketchup?

1. Can My Dog Eat Ketchup?

Yes, but in very small quantities. Its best if you go for an organic or homemade ketchup. They will have the least preservatives so it won’t harm your dog. However, monitor the quantities by yourself and keep a close eye on your dog’s ketchup consumption.

2. Is Tomato Ketchup Harmful To Dogs?

Yes, ketchup is really harmful for dogs if they take it in large quantity. If your dog has a liking to it and takes it every day with his food, he can be at a risk of diabetes.

3. What Condiments Can Dogs Eat?

Basil, turmeric, parsley, ginger and cinnamon are all safe condiments for dogs to eat. All of these condiments should be added to the dog’s food in very low quantities just to add flavor.

4. Will Ketchup Kill A Dog?

if consumed in large quantities and over a long period of time. Yes, ketchup might become a silent killer for your dog. ketchup for dogs has zero nutritional value and some of the ingredients in ketchup can be a cause for hemolytic anemia.

5. Are Tomatoes OK For Dogs?

Ripe tomatoes are okay for dogs to have. Solanine a substance found in green (not yet ripe) tomatoes, and in the stems and leaves of the tomato fruit itself which is very harmful to your dog. keep away from the stems and leave for both ripe and unripe tomatoes.

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Jackob Evans

Hi, I’m Jacob. I’ve been a professional blogger for over six years, and in that time, I’ve written countless blogs that have helped millions of people worldwide. A DVM by profession, I have treated and cured thousands of dogs, if not millions.

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