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Dogs

Can Dogs Eat Ranch? (We Ask the Experts)

Ranch dressing in a jar

Ranch is a versatile dip: people use it on chicken nuggets, salads, and even pizza. Since it includes milk, many pet parents also wonder if it’s alright to feed their dogs ranch. If you have a family dog at home, you might wonder the same thing!

Dogs shouldn’t eat ranch. While it’s safe for your pet to eat it in small amounts, ranch contains toxic ingredients for dogs, including onions and garlic. Plus, ranch offers no nutritional benefits to dogs, and its high salt content can make them sick.

So, it’s best to avoid giving ranch to your dog. If you’re wondering what the experts have to say, keep reading! Everything you need to know on the topic is in this article. 

Is Ranch Bad for Dogs?

Ranch isn’t suitable for dogs because it contains ingredients that could potentially make them sick. Ranch usually contains onions and garlic—two items that your pet shouldn’t have.

This dressing also doesn’t have any nutritional benefits for a dog. A single serving of Hidden Valley Ranch, which is two tablespoons, includes:

Hidden Valley Easy Squeeze Original Ranch Salad Dressing & Topping, Gluten Free, Keto-Friendly - 20 Ounce Bottle - Pack of 6 (Package May Vary) (SA 100)

  • 130 calories (543.92J).
  • 14 grams (0.5oz) of total fat.
  • 5 milligrams (0.0002oz) of cholesterol.
  • 260 milligrams (0.009oz) of sodium.
  • 2 grams (0.07oz) of total crabs.
  • And zero grams of protein!

For many dogs, that’s way too many calories and a dangerous amount of salt. If you have a smaller dog, they are more likely to get an upset stomach from eating a few small servings of ranch. 

Also, note that ranch doesn’t contain any protein, which is an essential nutrient for dogs.

What Harmful Ingredients Are in Ranch?

There are many harmful ingredients in ranch, depending on the brand and flavor you buy. Most products contain milk, herbs, mustard, salt, onion, and garlic. Consuming these ingredients in large amounts would give your dog an upset stomach. 

If your dog happens to be lactose intolerant, you should never give them ranch as a snack. Plus, garlic and onions are very toxic to dogs, so you don’t want them to eat them. Here’s a quick breakdown of the more harmful ingredients:

Herbs

While dogs can safely eat some herbs, there are plenty of dangerous herbs out there. Your pet shouldn’t eat chives, oregano, chia seeds, ginger, and more. Depending on the flavor of the ranch dressing, those herbs could be present in the dip.

Mustard

Mustard comes from a seed that is very toxic to dogs. Eating it could cause stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or gastroenteritis in your pup. If your dog consumes too much mustard (or ranch) by accident, visit your vet immediately. 

Salt

If your dog eats too much salt, sodium ion poisoning is very likely. And ranch dressing contains enough sodium to be dangerous to puppies or small dogs.

If you believe your pup has salt poisoning, you should call the Pet Poison Helpline immediately.

Garlic and Onion

Garlic and onion are very toxic ingredients to all dogs. These ingredients come from the same food family, which contains large amounts of thiosulfate. It’s a highly toxic substance to dogs, which can harm their red blood cells, leading to anemia. You will need to call your vet if your dog seems weak and lethargic. 

Dogs and Obesity

Giving your dog too many human snacks could easily lead to obesity. Dogs shouldn’t consume as many calories as a person. So, ranch dressing is a potential “calorie bomb” for your pet. 

According to the American Kennel Club, obesity in dogs comes with a host of risks. An overweight dog can suffer from chronic kidney disease, arthritis, urinary tract disease, liver disease, diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, cancer, low thyroid hormone production, and even more potential diseases.

If you want to keep your pet healthy, you should offer them nutritious foods. Ranch isn’t on that list, no matter how much your dog enjoys it. Instead, go for protein-rich snacks like small amounts of peanut butter or treats manufactured for dogs.

As a general rule, dogs shouldn’t eat more than 10% of their daily calories in the form of treats. For some dogs, a single serving of Hidden Valley Ranch would go over that limit. 

You want your dog to eat mostly nutritious meals during the day to stay healthy and happy.

What Are Alternative Treats?

Instead of offering your dog ranch or other people food, you have plenty of options! You can make your own or buy them—your dog will be sure to love whatever you offer them.

I recommend the Portland Pet Food Company’s Bacon Biscuits from Amazon.com. They’re grain and gluten-free, hand-crafted, and all-natural. The treats have a flavor that your pup is sure to love. Plus, they’re much healthier for dogs than ranch dressing.

If your dog enjoys ranch for its texture, then you could try giving them the Chicken Delectables Squeeze Up from Amazon.com instead. The treat is “lickable” and comes in an easy to squeeze tube. Plus, your dog will be sure to enjoy the meaty flavor more than ranch.

Overall, you want to do your best not to feed your dog human food so that they’ll stay healthier. 

What the Vets Have To Say

Vets say that you don’t have to worry unless your pup eats a lot of ranch. As long as it was just a spoonful or two, they should be alright. That’s because there isn’t enough garlic, onion, or salt in one tablespoon to harm your dog. However, you might have to deal with vomiting or diarrhea. 

If your dog seems healthy otherwise, give them bland food for a few days.

Moreover, keep a closer eye on tiny dogs since even a low concentration of harmful substances can have substantial effects. Although, it usually won’t be much of a problem.

When To Bring Your Dog to the Vet

If your dog is sick, it’s a good idea to call your vet and hear what they have to say. The vet will ask you to come in if they have any concerns, but they may give you advice if they don’t think they need to see your dog in person.

You will want to bring your dog to the vet if they display signs of poisoning. These symptoms include:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pale gums
  • Panting
  • Agitation
  • Weakness
  • Exhaustion
  • Intense thirst

However, your dog isn’t likely to get that sick from eating a small amount of ranch. You only need to worry if the dog somehow eats a bowl of it- you should always set your food out of your pet’s reach when you leave the room.

What is Hemolytic Anemia?

Hemolytic anemia is a condition your pup can develop after eating large amounts of onion or garlic. This form of anemia harms your dog’s red blood cells, making it harder for them to transport oxygen.

The condition can even be fatal. You must contact your vet immediately if your dog eats large amounts of ranch. Your vet will let you know what steps to take to ensure your dog stays healthy. They may also ask you to bring the pup over for an examination.

Can Dogs Eat Ranch Flavored Chips?

Dogs also shouldn’t eat ranch flavored chips or other foods that contain ranch as an ingredient. Ranch chips are even more unhealthy for dogs since they have more significant amounts of salt than the dressing alone. If your dog eats the entire bag, it will get very sick.

Overall, ranch dressing in any form is bad for your pup. Some people think the chips are alright since they use a powdered form of the sauce. However, the powder still has all the ingredients and is very unhealthy for your pet. There are plenty of other snacks your dog could eat instead.

Final Thoughts

So, can dogs eat ranch? No matter the flavor, the answer is no; you don’t want to make a habit out of feeding your dog ranch dressing. 

Ranch contains many ingredients which could make your dog sick. If eaten in a large enough amount, your dog could even get poisoned, but they should be fine if they sneak a small amount of it. There are plenty of healthier snacks out there for your dog! Plus, they’ll probably enjoy the taste much more.

Sources

Andrew

My name is Andrew, and I've been around dogs my entire life. Look at my profile picture and, you see me as a little kid with my family's two German Shepherds. That's how my life with dogs started, and ever since, I've been both living and working with dogs.

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